Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1970)
- Dave Andress -- keyboards
- Jeff Currey -- bass
- Mark Frazier -- drums, percussion
- Mary Sterpka -- vocals
- Bob Webb -- lead guitar
- The Chancellors (Dave Andress)
- Comin' Generation (Bob Webb)
- The James Gang (Bob Webb)
- The Measles
Rating: 3 stars ***
Country/State: Kent, Ohio
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: minor wear on bottom
Catalog ID: 5850
The short lived Kent, Ohio-based Lacewing's probably best known for their tentative link to The Measles. That link came in the form of guitarist Bob Webb who'd briefly replaced Joe Walsh in a late-inning version of the band. Even though The Measles had been around since the mid-1960s, by 1970 the line up had moved on to a second generation crew consisting of Webb, former Chancellors keyboardist David Andress, bass player Jeff Currey, drummer Tim Frazier, and singer Mary Sterpka. Under pressure to come up with a hipper imagine the revamped line up adopted the Lacewing moniker.
Signed to Mainstream, the band went into Miami's Criteria Studios with producer Bob Shad, releasing 1970's cleverly-titled "Lacewing". For some reason this one tends to get overlooked in the Mainstream discography which is a shame since these guys were quite talented, though he album was kind of erratic and they were not quite as commercial as some of their label compatriots. Sterpka was billed as the lead singer and while she had a good voice, most of the seven tracks showcased group vocals and harmonies. With all five members contributing material (Webb and Andress responsible for the majority of songs), musically the collection bounced across various genres including pop, folk-rock, and progressive outings which meant it was hard to figure out what they were really like as an entity.
"Lacewing" track listing:
1.) Paradox (Bob Webb) - 3:47 rating: ***** stars
Shame the rest of the album wasn't as good as the stunning 'Paradox'. Penned by lead guitarist Webb, the song had everything going for it - a great folk-rock feel; fantastic group vocals; excellent fuzz guitar; frantic drummer ... Imagine prime era CSN&Y with a strong female singer and you'd get a feel for the song. The best song on the album by a mile and easy to see why Mainstream tapped it as a promotional singlef:
1970's 'Paradox' b/w 'Paradox' (Mainstream catalog number 731)
2.) Crystal Myth (Bob Webb) - 4:06 rating: ***** stars
Opening up with some nice acoustic guitar and kicked along by some harpsichord and nice jazzy bass, 'Crystal Myth' started out as a pretty, fragile ballad that served to showcase the group's tight harmony vocals. To my ears the song's always had a distinctive English folk feel. The last part of the song saw it morph into an interesting acoustic guitar-bass-harpsichord-synthesizer jam.
3.) Our World (Dave Andress - Mark Anthony Frazier) - 3:20 rating: ***** stars
With Sterpka taking lead vocals 'Our World' found the band exploring kind of an interesting blend of folk and progressive genres. Complete with more harpsichord, nice Webb lead guitar, and Crosby, Stills, and Nash-styled harmony vocals this one wasn't the most commercially entry on the set, but was one of the more interesting performances.
4.) Time To Go (Jeff Currey - Mary Sterpka) - 3:15 rating: ** stars
Again showcasing Sterpka, ' Time To Go' was another pretty ballad, though this one never built up a great deal of energy. What sounded like a pedal steel solo didn't help it in my book. In fact the best part of the song were the group harmonies. The only real disappointment on side one.
a.) Epicycle (Bob Webb)
b.) Rebirth (instrumental) (Dave Andress)
'The Storm' started side two started out with a seven minute, two part suite. Propelled by Webb's chunky guitar, 'Epicycle' found the band trying to 'heavy up' their sound with mixed results. A mix of bar band rock and more pretentious moves, the track had its moments, but simply didn't hold together all that well. The instrumental 'Rebirth' bounced between echo filled effects and neo-classic piano. Way over the-the-top and simply dull.
2.) I'll Play for You (Dave Andress - Margie Walsh) - 4:15 rating: *** stars
Thankfully 'I'll Play for You' saw the group returning to a more mainstream sound. While Sterpka sounded atypically sharp and shrill like she was trying too hard, the song was quite good and sported Webb's best guitar solo.
3.) Galvenized Midget (instrumental) (Dave Andress) - 6:32 rating: *** stars
The instrumental 'Galvenized Midget' started out as an interesting slice of keyboard and lead guitar progressive moves; something along the lines of early Jan Akkeman. Unfortunately the song ended with a seemingly endless drum solo.
So if you were keeping track that made for one fantastic song; a couple of good tracks, and about a side's worth of mediocrity.
The album and singles both disappeared without a trace and the band reverted to The Measles nameplate for a couple of years.
Sterpka ended up recording backup vocals on a couple of James Gang efforts.
Webb became a late inning member of The James Gang.
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