Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1965-70)
- Rod Eaton -- drums, percussion
- Freddy Freeman -- vocals, keyboards
- Joe Kanan -- bass, backing vocals
- Bob Wells -- lead guitar
- Freeman & Nehls (Fred Freeman)
- Eric Marshall and the Chymes
- The Pigmies
- The Underbeats (Rod Eaton)
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: Recorded Live at the Bel-Rae Ballroom
Catalog: LP 4459
Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+
Comments: minor ring wear
Catalog ID: 4126
For a brief period in the mid-1960s T.C. Atlantic was one Minnesota's most popular club acts. Hailing from St. Paul Park, the band sported a lineup consisting of drummer Rod Eaton, singer/keyboard player Freddy Freeman, bassist Joe Kanan and lead guitarist Bob Wells. The group started it's recording career with an obscure single for the small Minneapolis Aesop's label
- 1965's 'Once Upon A Melody' b/w 'I Love You So Little Girl' (Asesop catalog number 5-6044).
The following year the band followed-up with a second single on the small B-Sharp label
- 1966's 'Mona' b/w 'My Babe' (B-Sharp catalog number 272).
Later in the year the band released a pair of impressive 45s for the equally small Turtle Records:
- 1966's Faces' b/w 'Baby Please Don't Go' (Turtle catalog number T-1103 A)
- 1966's 'Shake' b/w 'Spanish Harlem' (Turtle catalog number T-1105 A).
1967 saw the band finally given an opportunity to record an album. Released by the local Dove label, "Recorded Live at the Bel-Rae Ballroom" captured the group in a local club environment. Featuring an all covers set, tracks such as 'I Think It's Gonna Work Out Fine', 'Smokestack Lightening' and 'Stand By Me' exhibited the band's surprising R&B/soul influences (not quite what I would have expected having heard the earlier singles and the fact they were a bunch of white teenagers from St. Paul Park). It certainly was not what anyone who heard the earlier psych single 'Faces' would have expected. The overall production qualities were a little on the raw side and their song selections weren't particularly original, but they ran through the set with a degree of energy and enthusiasm. It's not exactly the James Brown Revue, but not half bad! Personal favorites - the single 'Mona' (sporting some nice guitar work from Wells) and their spirited 'Don't Ask Me What I Say.' The big question in my mind remains why collectors treasure this one. There are dozens of live album by band that were equally talented (The Weight comes to mind), who never attracted a fraction of the attention this set has. Maybe it has something to do with the great cover art - not. Beats me.
"Recorded Live at the Bel-Rae Ballroom" track listing:
1.) I Think It's Gonna Work Out Fine (Seneca - Lee) - 2:56 rating: *** stars
Anyone expecting to hear a face-melting slice of psych like the previous 'Faces' single was going to be disappointed by the tame Buddy Holly-ish rocker 'I Think It's Gonna Work Out Fine'. This song was fine for a live effort, just not one would have hoped for. The audience response was also tepid.
2.) Mona (Eugene McDaniels) - 4:06 rating; **** stars
Yeah it was a cover, but as far as Bo Diddley covers go, it was quite impressive. Always loved Rod Eaton's gigantic drum sound.
3.) Spanish Harlem (Phil Spector - Jerry Lieber) - 3:29
4.) Don't Ask Me What I Say (Paul Jones) - 4:11 rating: *** stars
There are lots of covers of Paul Jones' 'Don't Ask Me What I Say' and this one ranks somewhere in the middle of the pie.
5.) Smokestack Lightening (Chester Burnett) - 4:15
Maybe not the most original selection, but it is hard to go wrong with a Howlin' Wolf blues tune ...
1.) Shotgun (instrumental) (A. DeWalt) - 3:35 rating: *** stars
Great song and their performance was fine, but why would you want to hear this when the Jr. Walker & the All Stars version is readily available?
2.) Stand By Me (Carole King - Glick) - 3:32 rating: *** stars
The Ben E. King version is such a classic performance that even with a nice Freddy Freeman vocal, it's hard to listen to their cover without thinking of King's version.
3.) Shake (Sam Cooke) - 3:00
4.) Lovelight (Deadric Malone - J Scott) - 8:42 rating: *** stars
The song's title was actually 'Turn On Your Lovelight', but while they abbreviated the title, they extended this one into an eight minute plus jam. Should have just used the correct title. The extended jam wasn't necessary.
If you want to save some money you can always look around for the 1983 French Eva label bootleg (EVA 12014), though set's sound quality is up to Eva's usual shoddy standard.
The band also recorded a couple of non-LP singles.
- 1968's 'Twenty Years Ago (In Speedy's Kitchen)' b/w 'I'm So Glad' (Candy Floss catalog number C.F. 101)
- 1968's 'Twenty Years Ago (In Speedy's Kitchen)' b/w 'I'm So Glad' (Parrot catalog number 45-PAR-330)
- 1969's 'Love Is Just' b/w 'Faces' (Parrot catalog number 45-338)
-1971's 'Judgment Train' b/w 'Shine the Light' (Paramount catalog number PAA-0098)
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