Yellow Hand

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1970)

- Mickey Armstrong -- bass, vocals

- Joe Campese -- rhythm guitar, vocals

- Pat Flynn -- lead guitar, vocals

- Jerry Tawney -- vocals, percussion

- Oscar Tessier -- drums, percussion

- Kenny Trujillo -- keyboards




- The Portraits (Jerry Tawney)

- Jerry Tawney (solo efforts)





Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Yellow Hand

Company: Capital

Catalog: ST-549

Year: 1970

Country/State: L.A., California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring wear; opened shrink wrap to tape

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4764

Price: $48.00

Cost: $20.00


For every ten albums I pick up, the vast majority prove to be disappointing, or even worse.  That makes an album like "Yellow Hand" an unexpected surprise.  Mind you, it's not a major classic that will change your life, but these guys exhibited good taste in their covers (lots of Stephen Stills and Neil Young) and they played with more enthusiasm than most of the competition.


Produced by Dallas Smith, the album was produced in L.A.'s Golden West Studios.  At least one well known reference drew a comparison to a lost Buffalo Springfield album.  That's actually not a bad description, though I'd say the album sounded more like a Poco release  had Paul Cotton and Rusty Young decided they wanted to rock out, rather than pursue country-rock bliss.  There were also CS&N echoes (check out the vocals on their cover of Stills 'Neighbor Don't You Worry').  As mentioned, the covers were all pretty good - two Neil Young efforts (their covers of 'Down To the Wire' and 'Sell Out' were two of the album highlights) and four previously unreleased (?) Stephen Stills songs.  I don't know enough about The Springfield to say this for sure, but I suspect the Young-Stills songs were all culled from non-released demos.  Bolstered by some nice harmony vocals and Pat Flynn's excellent lead guitar (which actually recalled Stills' own work), and you had a set that was worth a couple of spins.

"Yellow Hand" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Down To the Wire   (Neil Young) - 4:16

Ever wanted to hear a great unknown Neil Young tune that was blessed with CSN-styled vocals and a guitar solo that would make Stephen Stills turn green with envy ?   Well, here's your chance ...   Understandably Capitol tapped the track as a single, though I can't understand why they didn't other to promote it.

- 1970's 'Down to the Wire' b/w 'God Knows I Love You' (Capitol catalog number P-2957)    rating: **** stars

2.) Sell Out   (Neil Young) - 3:37 

Powered by some blazing Pat Flynn lead guitar, 'Sell Out' offered another dollop of unknown Neil Young.  Coupled with the band's sweet harmony work it made for one of the album standout performances ...  rating: **** stars

3.) Home   (Jerry Tawney) - 3:22

Credited to singer Jerry Tawney, 'Home' was one of three band originals.   Pretty, heartfelt ballad with some nice finger picking and understated Hammond from Kenny Trujillo.  Certainly not my favorite tune, but it would have made a nice 45.    rating: *** stars

4.) Neighbor Don't You Worry   (Stephen Stills) - 2:14

I always loved the arrangement on this one - great vocals and Par Flynn turned in a wonderful fuzz guiatr solo at the end of the tune.  Shame it faded out just as he started to jam.  rating: **** stars

5.) We'll See   (Stephen Stills) - 3:01

To my ears the arrangement was a bit scattershot, but Flynn's classic fuzz guitar made up for whatever shortcomings.  rating: *** stars


(side 2)
1.) Come On   (Stephen Stills) - 2:42 

Another album highlight with a highly commercial melody, some tasty group vocals, and more of Flynn's crisp lead guitar.    rating: **** stars

2.) God Knows I Love You    (Delaney Bramlett - Mac Davis) - 2:39

I'm a big Delaney and Bonnie fan so I was curious to hear their cover ...  quite enjoyable with some of the Poco flavor I mentioned and some tasty Mickey Armstrong bass work.    rating: *** stars

3.) My World Needs You   (Jerry Tawney) - 3:19 

Not bad, but far more pop oriented than their Buffalo Springfield covers ...  Almost sounded like something you would have expected from Mark Lindsey and the Raiders.   Once again the band's harmonies and Flynn's tasteful guitar saved the tune from oblivion.   rating: *** stars

4.) Hello I've Returned    (Stephen Stills) - 3:01 

Their cover of 'Hello I've Returned' introduced some breezy country-rock influences to the mix ...   The tune also reflected Tawney's best vocal  performance, with Flynn outdoing himself with some nifty jazzy moves.   rating: **** stars

5.) Freedom Express   (Jerry Tawney) - 2:52

Hearing 'Freedom Express' you couldn't help but wonder if Tawney hadn't been listening to way too much Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions ...   Nice performance, but there seemed to be more than a slight resemblance to 'People Get Ready'.   rating: *** stars



One album and one single seems to cover their recording career, though Tawney seems to have also released some solo sides.