Dad Rock: It’s What’s In!

It’s amazing that vinyl is cool again, isn’t it?

Our dad has a ton of great records and homemade mix cassettes, and Danny and I used to sit in the basement right in front of the his wood-cabineted drivers and take in all the richness and texture– sounds we soon became enamored with and identified with. While dad drank Red Dog and watched the football game on mute, the Brothers Eschmann took shifts playing air guitar and drums, or just dancing to the sweet 70’s rhythms.

Thinking about these golden days makes me thankful we finally have a vehicle to channel these sounds and these feelings; the blue shag carpet and the ancient Technics stereo head indeed make their influence known in our music. If we had it our way Apex Shrine would never have to sound any better than technology allowed for bands to sound in the mid 70s. It’s simply the best era for music!

So now it’s time for us to give our faithful (lol) listeners a little bit more of the Apex picture. Many of the artists our parents used to play for us (Cream, Black Sabbath, AC/DC) were very well known, but quite a few of them remain fairly obscure for various reasons. It is our job to inspire, so here is some cool stuff to Youtube if you’re feelin’ groovy:

1. Tommy Bolin Private Eye (1976) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0EZJO4umCY

-Tommy Bolin is an unsung guitar god who died long before his time. His lowdown crunch and soaring, melodic guitar lines were integral in forging our love of good tone, inspiring us with countless epic jam freakouts. The sheer work ethic of this guy is rivaled today only by musicians like Jack White and Josh Homme, Bolin having played with Deep Purple, the James Gang, and Billy Cobham just to name a few!

2. Blind Faith Blind Faith (1969) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FLKTvSmPCA

-Everybody knows Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker from Cream, but add Traffic’s Steve Winwood into the mix, and you get a supergroup of otherworldly proportions. Winwood brought a new level of songwriting and composition to a group already full to the brim with fantastic players. The dual guitar lines and thumping drums drive us crazy every time!

3. Gypsy Gypsy (1970) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OSVddHn8xQ

-Hammond B3 organ, raunchy guitar, and velvety harmonies. Not enough people know about this Minneapolis-native group and their four immaculate studio albums, but their organ wizard James Walsh still takes the group out to play once in a while. An undeniable Kshe Klassic, for you 94.7 listeners.

4. Sweet Smoke  Just a Poke (1969) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qsgj0rFUOC4

-Psychedelic jazz rock? Yup. The whole album is two sides of the same song. We actually found these guys ourselves, and are currently trying to find a good deal on a decent alto recorder on eBay (that’s not a flute you’re hearing, Jethro).

5. The Human Instinct  Stoned Guitar (1970) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz8q5PG-Lsw

-Here’s a three piece that was big in New Zealand in the 60’s. The drummer stood while he played, and took the lead vocal role while the guitarist and bass player riffed opposite each other in a stream of raw psychedelia. Powerful stuff, man.

6. The Sacred Mushroom The Sacred Mushroom (1969) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Kmo1q3JtUA

-A brother band! Nobody knows about this sweet little blues rock outfit and it’s such a shame. Just an example of the wash of great bands that were never properly promoted by the record companies in their heyday.

7. Fuzzy Duck Fuzzy Duck (1971) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LZFm82OgTk

– A British supergroup that absolutely hits it out of the park with their single studio album. The mind-ripping organ and guitar solos on “Time Will be Your Doctor” are so superb… it’s really time for us to score a better set of keys… Anyone who finds a copy of this album on vinyl– buy it for us and we will pay you back double. No, triple.

8. Velvett Fogg Velvett Fogg (1969) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pnQda5DMkg

-Tony Iommi was in a band before Sabbath, and it was this one! A sweet period piece through and through, the album art is as priceless and dated as the soundscape. I mean come on, the drums are mixed predominantly to the right!

9. Les Dudek Say No More (1977) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq-OJ-9MM-M&list=PLC6ADEB603E60E098

-We have Brandon’s dad, papa Tusk, to thank for introducing us to this man. Like Tommy Bolin, Dudek’s music is terribly soulful and funky, and you feel his fantastic sense of humor and musicianship right off the bat. Les is still partying today, but in our opinion, he is incredibly underrated.

10. Tame Impala (Kevin Parker’s early demos) *DISCLAIMER: THIS IS NOT ACTUALLY FROM THE 70’s!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDZ5_JhbR00

A lot of you kind folks that have come to see us play have compared us to Tame Impala, which is humbling and exciting! Anybody that so deeply respects and faithfully emulates the harmonic richness of rock’s golden era is fine by us, and Tame’s Kevin Parker is a modern master. Every Tame Impala tune is recorded almost entirely by Parker alone, in the same vain as Todd Rundgren or Pete Townshend on his solo records. The link will take you to a sweet collection of Tame Impala b-sides, all done on a digital 8-track mixer when he was like, 19. Super freaking cool to see this band dominating festivals and bringing psychedelic pop/rock back into the mainstream.

So that’s ten of ’em. I know we cheated on the last one, but you get the idea. Listen to some dad rock, and you might understand why we do what we do just a tad bit more.

And that’s groovy by us. We’ll see you next time Inside the Shrine.

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