A List of Things We Lost is the rare vinyl blog of the sometimes corporeal, always ephemeral Unbreakable Records.

Nothing posted here will be found on a compact disc. Links are lingering somewhere at the end of each post; go find 'em!

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Friday, July 24, 2009


Once, in talking about collecting records with Apothecary Hymns bassist Rob Fellman, he made an astute remark which I’ve always agreed with: “You can’t really go wrong with albums on Atco and Atlantic.” Certainly, all of the classics are worth repeated listens. But Attlantic, under the funky purview of Jerry Wexler and the Ertegun Brothers, had lots of undiscovered diamonds, especially in the rural rock coal mines.

There’s no better example of both the underground cred and above-ground appeal of the Atlantic catalog than B. Lance’s Rolling Man [Atlantic SD7218, 1972]. Bob Lance was a songwriter first, scoring serious soul cred by penning Aretha's hit "The House That Jack Built" (also on Atlantic). But other than that, and the album’s personnel listed on the back, you’d be hard-pressed to find out anything more, even armed with matrix numbers and Google’s search engine. The only other connection to anything tangible is guitarist Kenny Mimms’ name being mixed in with Duane Allman’s in relation to Muscle Shoals recording sessions. Certainly, one listen to this, Lance's only full length, proves that the B. Lance wasn't lacking in white rural R&B pedigree.

And Rollin’ Man definitely has an Allman aftertaste to it, but as an album, I kind of enjoy it more than, say, Idlewild South. It’s raucous but understated, less histrionic, and feels completely authentic. Groovier than the Stones and grittier than the Faces, the Lance band gets right down to business and doesn't stop til the last note, cooking up a gurgling gumbo of southern harmonies, overdriven guitar leads, white gospel and wailing organ. The simple arrangements belie the attention to detail and depth of sound – check out the rave-up on “Something Unfinished”, or the simmering Saturday night vibe of kinda-title track "John The Rollin' Man”. The ballads are all tastefully executed and never a drag, although if I had my druthers, the album would end on another rocker rather than the subdued blues of "Tribute To A Woman".

Drummer Jimmy Evans sounded familiar, but there are so many freakin' musicians by that name, I can't tell if he's the Nashville singer/songwriter, the rockabilly revival king, or someone completely different. Can't even get much info from a production credit, because Lance,arranged and produced it all himself! But you know what? I’m glad I don’t know anything about this one. It kind of gives it its own little mystery and makes me excited to think about that good ol’ Rollin' Man rumblin' back onto my turntable.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Any album that starts with a phased hi-hat & a hyper-speed intro solo’s gotta be good. Mixing fuzzy prog moves with bar band boogie and a solidly proselytizing lyrical message, Ron Salisbury & the aptly-named J.C. Power Outlet channel 110 watts of pure Jesus power. Forgiven [Myrrh MSA-6525, 1974] was actually the Outlet’s second record, but the one that gained them the largest following; it’s also arguably the Contemporary Christian Music movement’s first true hard rock set and has scraped its way onto the Top 50 Jesus Albums of All Time

There‘s not much to learn about the group (though Salisbury has been a lasting force in the CCM), but there is some truly great production & killin’ guitar solos. Also, while I would’ve preferred some of the rockier tunes without the horn section, there are a couple’a hot breaks to grab for the sample-heads (as is often the case with a lot of Myrrh LPs; see "My Sign", eg). More to my liking, there’s a strong West Coast vibe on a couple of tunes, in some places reminiscent of the quasi-religious melodies of SF psychsters Tripsichord Music Box (like “Give Him Your Love,” also my favorite track).

Not nearly as underground as other, more out-there CCM platters, Salisbury lays it on heavy with the preachy lyrics – he’s neither subtle nor poetic. But given that the cover basically implies that he’s out to patch up all the damage Adam & Eve did with that whole Original Sin thing, there may not be time to mix words. That being the case, I could also do without most of the ballads, which step firmly over the line from soft-rock to adult contemporary. It’s the burning, uptempo tunes that keep the interest up, and are definitely worth the listen.

With Salisbury’s prominence in CCM, and the consistent quality of the playing & tunes, what's most unforgivable is that Forgiven’s message hasn’t been updated to the digital era.