Band members Related acts
- Paul Forney -- vocals, bass (1970-71)
- Chris Luhn - drums (1970-71)
- Benji Schultz
-- guitar, vocals (1970-71)
- none known
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: The Original Wizard
Country/State: Atlanta, Georgia
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+
Comments: DJ stamp on back cover
GEMM Catalog ID: SOLD
Singer/basist Paul Forney and guitarist Benji Schultz first came together in 1970 as members of the Florida-based Brother. Working for the band as a roadie, Chris Luhn was asked to step in following an on-stage rehearsal fight that saw the original drummer walk out. The following day Luhn was made a full member of the band. Dropping the Brother name in favor of Wizard, the trio spent the next year touring throughout the South and the Midwest.
Released by the small Peon Records, the trio made their recording debut with 1971's "The Original Wizard". Recorded in Atlanta's LeFevre Studios the album featured a collection of 11 originals; all three members contributing material. Musically the set's clearly a reflection of the trio's roots as a working band. Sporting a live sounding mix (there's minimal post-production work here), tracks such as the opener "Freedom" offered up standard hard rock moves with then trendy lyrics (anti-war, anti-mainstream society, religious philosophy, drugs (the non-too-subtle "What Do You Know About Mary?"), etc.). That said, the album's surprisingly diverse and enjoyable. Forney and Schultz were both decent singers and the band effectively avoided the plodding white-boy blues that plague so many early-1970s' power trios. So what are the highlights? "Come and See the Bride" with its nod to The Who's "Pictures of Lily", the martial "Killing Time" and the country flavored "Going Away" are all great tunes. Pressed in miniscule quantities, the original LP is now quite rare (this is the second copy we've seen in 25 years of collecting and the first in such good shape) and carries a suitable asking price.
"The Original Wizard" track listing:
1.) Freedom (Paul Forney - Chris Luhn - Benji Schultz) - 5:15
2.) Come and See the Bride (Paul Forney) - 2:58
3.) What Do You Know About Mary? (Paul Forney) - 2:25
4.) Opus Ate (Paul Forney - Benji Schultz) - 3:24
5.) Going Away (Paul Forney) - 1:48
1.) Killing Time (Chris Luhn - Benji Schultz) - 3:56
2.) Got To See My Way (Paul Forney - Chris Luhn - Benji Schultz) - 2:37
3.) Ride (Paul Forney - Benji Schultz) - 3:01
4.) Seance (Paul Forney) - 3:47
5.) Talkin' To God (Paul Forney - Benji Schultz) - 2:35
6.) Evergreen (Paul Forney) - 3:48
One final self-financed single for the small Penguin label ("Got Love" b/w "Freedom" Penguin catalog number P-100) and the band called it quits in mid-1971.
The album's been bootlegged a couple of times. Akarma released a legitimate vinyl reissue in 1999 (catalog AK-070). The following year Gear Fab released an approved CD (catalog GF-124). The CD included the entire LP, tacking on both sides of the single.
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