Harvey Mandel

Band members                             Related acts

- Joey Bishop -- guitar (1971)

- Don Cody -- bass (1971)

- Dove Cook -- keyboards (1971)

- Russell Dashiel -- vocals, guitar. keyboards

- Bobby Davis -- drums (1971)

- Freddie Fox -- vocals (1971)

- Eddie Hoh -- drums

- Phil Johnson -- drums (1971)

- Rusty Jones -- drums (1971)

- Ira Kart (RIP 2016) -- keyboards (1971)

- Ken Little -- vocals, bass (1971)

- Harvey Mandel -- lead guitar

- Peter Millo -- drums (1971)

- Craig Rasband -- drums (1971)

- Judy Roberts -- keyboards (1971)

- G.E. Stinson -- rhythm guitar (1971)

- Larry Taylor -- bass

- Nick Tountas -- bass (1971)

- Norman Wagner (RIP 2000) -- guitar (1971)



- Acme Thunder

Canned Heat (Harvey Mandel)

- Chicago Blues Reunion

- Flying Bear Medicine Show

- The Barry Goldberg Blues  Band

- The Barry Goldberg Reunion

- John Mayall

- Nightfire

- Pure Food and Drug Act (Harvey Mandel)





Genre: blues-rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Games Guitars Play

Company: Philips

Catalog: PHS 600-325

Year: 1969


Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD


Like his first two solo albums, 1969's "Games Guitars Play" found Harvey Mandel pursuing a largely blues-rock agenda.  Unlike earlier releases, the third LP wasn't an all-instrumental affair.  Backed by singer/multi-instrumentalist Russell Dashiel, the decision to go with a more 'commercial' approach proved a mixed blessing.  Dashiel's vocals made the set far more diverse than earlier releases.  Unfortunately, he wasn't the most appealing vocalist.  A capable, but largely anonymous singer, Dashiel sounded more comfortable handling the set's more pop oriented efforts (a cover of Joe South's 'Dry Your Eyes'), whereas the blues-rock stuff just didn't seem to suit him.  In contrast, at least to my ears, Mandel's guitar remained the prime selling point - check out his performances on 'Ridin' High' and the funky 'Capurange'.  Certainly a mixed success, but worth tracking down ...


"Games Guitars Play" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Leavin' Truck   (Sleepy John Estes) - 6:26

2.) Honky Tonk (instrumental)   (B. Doggett - S. Shepard - C. Scot - B. Butler) - 3:32

3.) I Don't Need No Doctor   (Nicholas Ashford - Valerie Simpson - J. Armstead) 3:45

4.) Dry Your Eyes   (Russell Dashell) - 3:03


(side 2)

1.) Ridin' High (instrumental)   (Harvey Mandel - Russell Dashiel)  - 2:45

2.) Capurange (instrumental) - 6:40

3.) Senor Blues (instrumental)   (Horace Silver) - 

4.) Games People Play (instrumental)   (Joe South) - 4:45



Genre: blues-rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Get Off In Chicago

Company: Ovation

Catalog: OVQD/1415

Year: 1971


Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve; quad compatible pressing; white label promotion copy

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4894

Price: $15.00


Released by Dick Schory's Ovation label (London Records released ithe album in the UK), 1971's "Get Off In Chicago" marked Mandel's first stab at self-production.  Recorded during a break between tours supporting John Mayall, the album was actually intended as somewhat of a concept piece.  To lift a quote right from the liner notes: "He [Mandel] decided to cut an album in Chicago with Chicago musicians.  The album would be written and composed spontaneously in the recording studio."  Well guess what?  That's exactly what you got on this collection ...  With backing from a host of Chicago-based musicians including keyboardist Ira Kart, bassist NickTountas, Fat Water vocalist Vickie Hubly ('Jelly Roll') and the rest of Fat Water on the blues-rocker 'Highway Blues' you got a collection heavy on Chicago blues numbers.  Given Mandel's musical career,that choice made perfect sense, if it didn;t make for the most exciting venture of the year.  Elsewhere Mandel rounded the album out with a couple of jazzy interludes ('Local Days').  It was all quite earnest and professional, occasionally actually generating a little bit of steam (the jazz-funk instrumental 'Sweet Lynda'), but simply didn't do too much for my ears.






Always loved John Craig's album cover:  







"Get Off In Chicago" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Jelly Roll   (Harvey Mandel - Ira Kart - Freddie Fox - Vickie Hubly) - 3:52   rating: *** stars

Musically 'Jelly Roll' wasn't any great shakes - kind of a run-of-the-mill blues-rocker.  That said, I've always liked the tone Mandel got out of his guitar on this one.  The track was also interesting to hear Mandel sharing lead vocals with ex-Fat Water vocalist Vickie Hubly.  Credited to "JIve" the song was tapped as a promotional single:






- 1971's 'Jelly Roll' b/w 'Highway Blues' (Ovation catalog number OV 1026)






2.) High Test Fish Line   (Norm Wagner - Ken Little - Ira Kart - Thomas Russ) - 5:19   rating: *** stars

Given Mandel's reputation as a guitarist, it was interesting to hear 'High Test Fish Line' split the focus between Mandel's guitar and the late Ira Kart's piano.  The song was also interesting for introducing a disctinctive jazzy vibe to the mix. 

3.) Local Days   (Nick Tountas) - 3:34   rating: ** stars

Lite cocktail  jazz - this one wouldn't have sounded out of place on a '60s Astrud Gilberto album. The song title was actually 'Lonely Day' (the label typoed the title).  Judy Roberts was featured on the wordless vocals.

4.) Check Me Out   (Harvey Mandel - Freddie Fox) - 3:46   rating: *** stars

'Check Me Out' offered up a decent mash-up of blues and funk.  The track would have benefited from a strong lead singer.

5.) Highway Blues   (Harvey Mandel - Dave Cook - Don Cody - G.E. Stinson - Freddie Fox) - 3:09   rating: ** stars

Co-written by Mandel and a late-inning version of the Chicago band Fat Water, 'HIghway Blues' was a conventional slice of electric blues.  Very Canned Heat-styled vibe.


(side 2)

1.) I'm a Lonely Man   (Dave Cook) - 6:26   rating: **** stars

Written and featuring keyboardist Dave Cook, 'I'm a Lonely Man' was easily the album's funkiest and most impressive performances.  The song also featured Mandel's standout guitar performance.

2.) Sweet Lynda (Instrumental)   (Harvey Mandel) - 3:06   rating: *** stars

Jazz-funk?  Funk-jazz?  Regardless, the instrumental 'Sweet Lynda' had a nice groove to it.

3.) Springfield Station Theme   (Norm Wagner - Ken Little) - 6:28   rating: *** stars

Taunt slice of CHicago blues with Ken Little handling vocals and bass.

4.) Race Track Daddy (Instrumental)   (Harvey Mandel) - 5:52   rating: *** stars

Another slice of blues-jazz?  Jazz-rock?  Who know what the right label is.  Mandel used the instrumental 'Race Track Daddy' to aptly showcase his guitar dexterity.