Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (1968-70)

- Tommy Bolin (RIP 1976) -- lead guitar, vocals
- Robbie Chamberlin -- drums, vocals

- John Faris -- keyboards, flute, sax  vocals

- Candy Givens (aka Candy Ramey) (IRIP 1984) -- vocals,

   harmonica, keyboards
- David Givens: -- bass, vocals

  line up 2  (1970-71)

NEW - Bobby Berge -- drums, percussion (replaced 

   Robbie Chamberlin)

- Tommy Bolin (RIP) -- lead guitar, vocals
- Robbie Chamberlin -- drums, vocals

- John Faris -- keyboards, flute, sax  vocals

Candy Givens (aka Candy Ramey) (RIP 1984) -- vocals,

   harmonica, keyboards

- David Givens: -- bass, vocals


  line up 2  (1971-72)

NEW - Jock Bartley -- lead guitar (replaced Tommy Bolin)

Candy Givens (aka Candy Ramey) (RIP 1984) -- vocals,

   harmonica, keyboards

- David Givens: -- bass, vocals

- Dan Smith -- keyboards (replaced John Faris)

NEW - P.M. Wooten -- drums, percussion (replaced Bobby Berge)


  line up 4  (1973)

- Bobby Berge -- drums, percussion

- Tommy Bolin (RIP) -- lead guitar, vocals

- John Faris -- keyboards, flute, sax  vocals

Candy Givens (aka Candy Ramey) (RIP 1984) -- vocals,

   harmonica, keyboards
- David Givens: -- bass, vocals


  line up 5  (1982)

Candy Givens (aka Candy Ramey) (RIP 1984) -- vocals,

   harmonica, keyboards
- David Givens: -- bass, vocals

NEW - Eddie Turner -- guitar





- American Standard (Tommy Bolin)

- The Bs (Robbie Chamberlain, John Faris, Candy Givens, and7

   David Givens)

- Tommy Bolin (solo efforts)

- Jocko Bartley (solo efforts)

- Brown Sugar (Candy Givens and David Givens)

- Deep Purple (Tommy Bolin)

- Energy (Bobby Berge and Tummy Bolin)

- Firefall (Jocko Bartley and P.M. Wooten)

- Bard Hoff and Friends (Bard Hoff)

- The James Gang (Tommy Bolin)

- Kinesis (Bard Hoff)

- The Legendary 4 Nikators (Tommy Bolin, John Faris, 

  Candy Givens, and David Givens)

- Gram Parsons and the Fallen Angels (Jocko Bartley)

- Patch of Blue (Tommy Bolin)

- Silverlead (John Faris)

- The Sniffettes (Tommy Bolin)

- Eddie Turner (solo efforts)

- The Velaires. (Bobby Berge)



Genre: rock

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Zephyr

Company: ABC Probe

Catalog:  CPLP 4510

Country/State: Boulder, Colorado

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 1795

Price: $25.00

After all these years Zephyr seems to be remembered for the fact the late Tommy Bolin served as their initial lead guitarist.  The heart of the band, the late, Joplin-esque lead singer Candy Givens seems to have been all but forgotten.


There's a surprisingly amount of online material covering the band's history, so here are the basics.  


Born Candy Ramey, she started her musical career playing in a Colorado jug band, meeting bassist and future husband David Givens in 1968.   The pair quickly relocated to Boulder, Colorado where they formed the blues-rock band Brown Sugar.  Over the next couple of months they met guitarist Tommy Bolin (still in his teens), drummer Robbie Chamberlain and keyboardist John Faris.  By late 1968 they'd agreed on a collaboration and Ethereal Zephyr (quickly shortened to Zephyr) was born.


With the spotlight on the tiny Given's powerful, Joplin-styled voice, it wasn't long before record labels came calling.  Signed by ABC's Probe subsidiary, their 1969 debut saw them recording in Los Angeles with producer Bill Halverson.  Recorded at Wally Heider Studios, the sessions were apparently rocky with the band being forced to record in between other, better known acts, while repeatedly clashing with Halverson's recording style.  Regardless,  "Zephyr" (fans refer to it as "The Bathtub Album" due to the cover art), is one of those albums that's always been a mystery to me.   Fans swoon over the collection, pointing to Givens' powerhouse voice as being the best thing since sliced bread.   Bolin's fretwork comes in for similar praise.   Having listened to this album dozens of times over the years (I've owned a copy since attending high school in the mid-'70s), I just don't get it.   Technically I can't disagree with the contention Givens had a great voice.  It was even more impressive given what a petite creature she was.  You had to wonder how such a small package could belt out vocals with such energy.   In spite of that natural talent, Givens didn't seem to have any idea how to control her voice.   She's always struck me as coming across as a second tier blend of Janis Joplin and Heart's Ann Wilson (though both were better singers).   Like many others, Givens apparently never met a song where she didn't feel the need to over-sing - check out her brutal performance on Zephyr's cover of Dee Clark's 'Raindrops'.   Similarly there's no denying Bolin was an amazing guitarist, but with the exception of 'Cross the River' and a couple of other snippets ('Sail Away'), he simply wasn't given a great deal of spotlight on the album.   I can already hear fans screaming for my head, but the debut strikes me as a rather dull and plodding collection of pedestrian blues-rock tunes.   There are moments of promise scatted across the nine tracks, but Givens' habitual over-singing managed to crushed them before they can escape.   Wish I could be more positive on this one.



"Zephyr" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Sail On (Tommy Bolin - Candy Givens) - 7:42   rating: ** stars

I'd love to tell you 'Sail On' was a classic track, but to my ears it's always sounded like a spur of the moment studio jam session.   True, everyone got a moment in the spotlight, but it just wasn't that strong a song.  the tune was tapped as the album's single:

- 1969's ' Sail On' b/w 'Cross the River' (Probe catalog number CP 475) 

2.) Sun's-A-risin'  (Tommy Bolin - David Givens) - 4:45  rating: *** stars

A standard blues number, 'Sun's-A-Risin'' served to showcase Given's Joplin-styled wailing.  Lots of folks will enjoy her performance, but I found it kind of plodding.  Probably the song's best segment cam in the call and response work between Given's harmonica and Bolin's steaming lead guitar.

3.) Raindrops (Dee Clark)  - 2:40 rating: * star

Not to sound mean-spirited, but if you want to hear a singer pushing way too hard, then check out their cover of 'Raindrops'.  Apparently under the impression the only way to sell a song was y singing the sh*t out of it, Givens literally shouted and shrieked her way through this one.  Painful.  My cat actually walked out of the room the last time I played it. 

4.) Boom-Ba-Boom (instrumental) (David Givens) - 1:20 rating: * star

Throwaway bluesy-instrumental which was actually better before Givens started scatting at the end.  

5.) Somebody Listen (David Givens - Candy Givens - Tommy Bolin - John Faris) - 6:10    rating: ** stars

Another Givens and Bolin-powered blues jam ...   Wow, she could be shrill. 


(side 2)
1.) Cross the River (Candy Givens - David Givens) - 4:43
  rating: *** stars

In spite of Given's chronic over-singing, the rocker 'Cross the River' was one of the album highlights.   The opening, mid, and closing segments briefly switched the focus to Bolin (easy to see why Deep Purple cam a knockin') which made all the difference in the world.  You also got to hear Bolin's adaptability, with him shifting gears into jazz territory.  

2.) St. John Infirmary (Joe Primerose) - 5:15    rating: ** stars

Fans seem to gravitate to this tune, but the appeal is lost on me.   There are so many covers of this tune and the combination of Givens shrill reading and Bolin's jazzy interludes just missed the mark for me. 

3.) Huna Buna (Candy Givens - Tommy Bolin)  - 2:26    rating: ** stars

Another tune that sounded like a studio jam with each member getting a brief spotlight segment.  The surprising winner this time out in the talent competition was bassist David Givens.

4.) Hard Charging Woman (Tommy Bolin - Robbie Chamberlain - John Faris - Candy Givens - David Givens) - 8:49    rating: ** stars

The lone group composition, 'Hard Charging Woman' offered up more  shrieky blues-rock.   The main problem with this one is that it seemingly went on-and-on-and-on.    It isn't actually related to this tune, but YouTube has some rare video of the band that someone slapped on to this song:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt41IxA6_5Q  


If you want to learn more about the band, on the Tommy Bolin website your can find an extensive (I mean extensive) interview by Allan Vorda with David Givens:  http://www.tbolin.com/interviews/givens_volcano.html


Bolin died of a drug overdose in December, 1976.  He was only 25 at the time of his death.


Only 37, in January 1984 Candy accidentally drown while in a hot tub.  Depending what you read, she may have passed out and drown from a combination of drugs and alcohol.


Here's a link to David Givens' Zephyr website: Zephyr VIDEO Intro (zephyr-official.com)