Truth and Janey
Band members Related acts
- Steven Bock - vocals, bass (1967-76)
- Denis Bunce - vocals, drums (replaced
John Fillingsworth) (1970-76)
- John Fillingsworth - drums (1969)
- Billy Janey -
vocals, guitar (1969-79)
- Billy Lee Janey (solo efforts)
- Nowhere Fast (Steven Bock)
Rating: **** (4 stars)
Title: No Rest for the Wicked
Catalog: MR 376
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Country/State: Cedar Rock, Iowa
Comments: minor crease bottom right corner
GEMM Catalog ID: not yet listed
Here it is, an album widely acclaimed as one of rock's lost 70s' masterpieces and a high price collectable when it shows up on dealer lists. Hum, always a good reason to be skeptical ...
Based in Cedar Rock, Iowa bassist Steven Bock, drummer John Fulllingsworth and guitarist Billy Janey started their musical careers working under the burden of a major Jeff Beck fixation. By 1969 they'd dropped Fillingsworth in favor of Denis Bunce and adopted the name Truth ( the name coming from an early Jeff Beck solo LP). Slogging through the mid-West club scene, the trio's first brush with popular success didn't come until 1972 when they signed a one shot recording deal with the small Sound Command label. Released without promotion, or support the trio's debut single "Midnight Horsemen" b/w "Under My Thumb" (Sound Command catalog number 81472), wasn't anything special and quickly vanished without a trace. A year later Truth released a follow-on single "Straight Eight Pontiac" b/w "Around and Around" on their own Driving Wheel label. At the same time having discovered the name Truth was being used by another band, they opted to avoid a potential legal confrontation and modified their name to Truth and Janey.
Unable to interest a label in signing them, the trio spent another two years slogging away playing clubs throughout the mid-West and Canada. Serving as opening act for bigger name performers such as Blue Oyster Cult, Cheap Trick, Kansas and Leslie West and Mountain seemed to be about as far as they were going to get.
Increasingly frustrated with their seeming fate, in 1976 the band used their own resources to finance recording sessions at Ames, Iowa's A&R Studios. The result was the limited press (1,000 copies) "No Rest for the Weary". So, does the LP live up to its reputation? A qualified yes. That qualification has nothing to do with the quality of the material which is surprisingly enjoyable. The qualification instead has to do with the fact that while this album occasionally shows up on high priced psych/progressive lists, it's largely conventional hard rock. With six of the eight tracks being Bock-Janey originals there's some excellent hard rock material here, but with the possible exception of the two piece suite "Remember", it may not have a great deal of appeal to psych, or progressive collectors. Now the good part. Janey's an excellent guitarist and on tracks like the opener "Down the Road", "The Light" and the molten metal "My Mind" the trio manage to blend pounding rhythms with surprisingly commercial melodies and attractive harmonies. It certainly beats anything big name acts like Grand Funk ever did !!!
"No Rest for the Weary" track listing:
1.) Down the Road (Steven Bock - Billy Janey) -
2.) The Light (Steven Bock - Billy Janey) -
3.) I'm Ready (Willie Dixon) -
a.) A Child (Steven Bock - Billy Janey) -
b.) Building Walls (Steven Bock - Billy Janey) -
1.) No Rest for the Wicked (Steven Bock - Billy Janey) -
2.) It's All Above Us (Steven Bock - Billy Janey) -
3.) Ain't No Telling (John Hurt) -
4.) My Mind (Steven Bock - Billy Janey) -
Unfortunately, whatever momentum the band had was lost when Bunce quit the band shortly after the LP's release. Bock promptly opted out, eventually ending up in California where he was briefly a member of Nowhere Fast.
Janey subsequently recruited a new line up, releasing 1979's "Just a Little Bit of Magic" on the small Bee Bee label. Artistically the album lacked the debut's energy, proving a case of too little, too late, Within a year Truth and Janey was officially history, though namesake Janey continued to record material as a solo act.
We've never heard it, but there's also a posthumous, double LP live set. Released in 1988 by the small Rock and Bach label, the cleverly titled "Live" ist drawn from a 1976 concert, and reportedly captures the band at their prime.
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