Womb


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (1967-70)

- Karly Boddy -- vocals, piano, guitar

- Rob Brunecker -- drums, percussion

- Rory Butcher -- vocals, percussion

- Christopher Johnson -- bass

- Roluf Stuart -- sax, flute

- Gregg Young -- lead guitar

 

  line up 2  (1970)

- Karly Boddy -- vocals, piano, guitar

- Rob Brunecker -- drums, percussion

- Rory Butcher -- vocals, percussion

NEW - Boots Hughston -- sex, flute (replaced Roluf Stuart)

- Christopher Johnson -- bass

- Gregg Young -- lead guitar

 

 

 

 

 

- The Hedds (Rory Butcher and Boots Hughston)

- HooDoo Rhythm Devils (Boots Hughston)

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Womb

Company: Dot

Catalog:  DLP-25933
Year:
 1969

Country/State: Sacramento, California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2890

Price: $100.00

At least a couple of references seem to indicate 1969's 'Womb" was this band's sophomore album,  The album catalog numbers make it clear this was released before "Overdub".  

Apparently originally from Sacramento, California, the group came together in 1967 and like every other mid-'60s band, headed for San Francisco.  With a line-up featuring singer/keyboardist Karly Boddy, drummer Rob Brunecker, former Hedds singer/percussionist Rory Butcher, bassist Christopher Johnson, sax player Roluf Stuart, and lead guitarist Gregg Young, they kicked around for several years, eventually getting signed by Dot Records.  I'm no expert, but Dot was better known for country-oriented acts than '60s psych and rock bands.   Could make for an interesting mash-up ?  It didn't.

 

Produced by Ray Ruff, "Womb" found the band clearly looking for a musical niche for themselves.  The album had a distinctively '60s vibe, but wasn't the most focused collection you've ever heard.  With a folk sound that recalled an American version of Fairport Convention, 'Conception Of Reality II' got the album off to a red haring start.  The song sported a pretty melody and served to showcase Boddy's sweet voice.  The single 'Hang On' returned to a folk sound; this time Butcher playing the role of Richard Thompson.   Elsewhere the album found the band seemingly trying to meld late-inning psych moves with jazz-rock.  I guess you could give them creative credit for being willing to work outside of the conventional box, but tunes like 'Morning Rises Early' and the instrumental 'Peace' were just flaccid.  Serving as their collective step into funk 'My Baby Thinks About the Good Things' was an ill advised choice.  That left 'Happy Egotist' as the album's most interesting tune. Back in 2000 a journalist by the name of Jason Griffith wrote a piece for the Sacramento News and Review where he crowned the song as the worst rock song ever written.  I'll readily admit I've heard better songs, but it was far from the worst thing I've ever heard.  In fact on the roster of '60s aural excesses, it comes off pretty high in the rankings.  You can read the piece at: https://www.newsreview.com/sacramento/happy-egotist/content?oid=3374    Not a must own; not even a great album, but worth hearing once or twice.

 

"Womb" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Conception Of Reality II   (Gregg Young - Karl Boddy) - 6:14   rating: *** stars

Geez, certainly not what I was expecting to hear ...  Showcasing Karly Boddy's crystalline voice, the acoustic 'Conceptions Of Reality II' sounded like an Americanized version of Sandy Denny and Fairport Convention.   Quite pretty, though it sounds quite pretentious and dated in this day and age..     

2.) Mary Miles Ryan, Where Are You? (instrumental)  (Gregg Young) - 0:52   rating: *** stars

With the focus on Young's screaming fuzz guitar, you could only wish the album had included more than this 52 second song fragment.

3.) Morning Rises Early   (Roluf Stuart) - 6:16   rating; ** stars

Somewhat plodding jazz-rock number that wasn't helped by the Canterbury-styled horns.

4.) Peace (instrumental)  (Gregg Young) - 3:50   rating; ** stars

Cocktail jazz.  Roluf Stuart's sax and flute work could have been mistaken for something off a Herbie Mann album.

 

(side 2)

1.) My Baby Thinks About the Good Things   Gregg Young) - 3:50   rating; ** stars

Hum, a San Francisco desperately trying to sound funky ... Not a good thing.   Unless you had a thing for a song where Boddy and Butcher sounded increasingly strident and irritating, I'd suggest skipping this one.   

2.) Hang On   (Gregg Young) - 3:20   rating: *** stars

Back to folk music; this time Butcher playing the part of Richard Thompson.   One of the album's prettier tunes and this was the one track where Butcher and Boddy's voices actually melded with some nice harmonies.  I'm guessing that's why Dot tapped it as the band's one and only single:

- 1969's 'Hang On' b/w 'My Baby Thinks About the Good Things (Dot catalog number 45-17250)

3.) Happy Egotist    (Roluf Stuart -Gregg Young) - 17:33   rating: *** stars

Music fans will be familiar with the genre of teen tragedy songs (Mark Dining's 'Teen Angel', The Shangris-Las' Leader of the Pack', Jan & Dean's 'Dead Man's Curve;, etc.).  Well, if you ever wanted to hear what happened to the genre when it grew up and move din with psychedelia, check out the seventeen minute 'Happy Egotist'.  Yeah, lyrically it was a bit on the morose side with Boddy's histrionic 'death" segment putting virtually every competitor to shame.  Sure, clocking in at over 17 minutes featured some seemingly never ending jam sections.  Young turned in what may be one of rock's most painful  extended guitar solos, though it was batter than Stuart's extended flute solo.  Still it was a fascinating example of a concept taken to the nth degree.  Add in Johnson's simplistic bass line and Brunecker's slightly spastic drums and I'll give it an extra star for being so darned weird.  By the way, based on the lyric "too much grass" I'm going to given them credit for recording an early anti-drug paean.  Seriously don't indulge and drive.

 

 

 

Young's still active in music and has a website at: http://www.greggyoung.com/

 

Hughston had also been a member of the Hedds. After Womb broke up he played with The Hoodoo Rhythm Band and was a member of one of Van Morrison's touring bands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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