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T Kail - Somewhere, Sometime
 

T Kail - Somewhere, Sometime

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Title:  Somewhere, Sometime
Company: Jade
Catalog: BBW 8001
Year: 1980
Country/State: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

This one generates all kinds of hype within the collecting community so I was hesitant to check it out. As most folks know, dealer and collector hype tends to be a clear warning that something is grossly over-priced. To be perfectly honest, this one isn't the killer classic dealers would have you believe, but on the other hand it wasn't nearly as bad as I expected. Call it a pleasant surprise, if not a find-of-the-century ...

Other than tidbits picked off their album, I can't say I know a great deal about this outfit. The line up featured guitarist Tom Abrahams, singer/keyboardist Kathy Bass, bassist Tom Shea, and drummer Brian Sherry. Their album was recorded in Minneapolis' Blackberry Way Studios with the band and Mike Owens co-producing.

Okay, so what if this album was recorded in 1980 by a group seemingly based in Minnesota ... In spite of those roots much of "Somewhere, Sometime" had a delicious '60s-era West Coast psych feel that most '60s era bands could only have dreamt of achieving. As the featured vocalist Bass had a fantastic voice. Piercing and crystal clear, she would have easily given Grace Slick, or Liza Gonzales (Yankee Dollar), a run for her money. In fact, three of the four songs she handled was worth hearing. Abrahams was also impressive on his three lead vocals and took full advantage of the opportunities he was given to showcase his guitar chops - check out the opening part of 'Progress'. The rhythm section of Shea and Sherry were equally good, keeping things moving along with a minimal amount of disruption. As mentioned, ;large sections of the album had a distinctive '60s West Coast vibe, but it wasn't a case where these folks started out trying to be imitative. Hard to explain, but while they were clearly influenced by that early genre, they were very much their own creative unit.
- Kicking along by Bass crystal clear voice and swirling keyboards, 'Peace of Mind' was a great way to start the album. With one of those melodies you unexpectedly find yourself humming, this was the kind of song Grace Slick was always looking for. The song also gave Abrahams an opportunity to stretch out and showcase his impressive guitar chops. rating: **** stars
- The title track hung on to the band's '60s feel, but driven by Bass voice and 'save-the-earth' lyrics, added a sharp sense of urgency to the proceedings. Since I'm a big fan of cheesy synthesizers, this one grabbed me on that count as well. Nice twin lead guitar segment too boot. rating: **** stars
- Featuring Abrahams on lead vocals, the first half of 'Bye Bye' was probably the album's most commercial track. Starting out as a mid-tempo rocker, the song had a great melody and also featured Abrahams best guitar solo. The second half of the song found the band moving into West Coast jam band territory. It wasn't bad, especially if you were into the likes of Quicksilver Messenger Service, but stretched out over eight minutes it began to run out of energy towards the end. rating: *** stars
- 'Lonely Lady' started out sounding like an Ann and Nancy Wilson outtake. It got a little better when it kicked into gear, but found the band dropping their '60s influences in favor of '70s AOR. Big mistake, though Abrahams nice solo garnered the song a second star. Unfortunately even that was flawed given the song faded out just as the solo started to get really good. rating: ** stars
- The second song to feature Abrahams on lead vocals with Bass handling harmony, 'Ain't Used To Crying' was an acid-tinged ballad that sounded like something David Crosby might have penned for a CSN&Y album. The song had the same weird, discordant, slightly jazzy feel that made Crosby's work something you either loved, or hated. I'm a Crosby fan so this one scored with me. It also had another nice twin lead guitar segment. rating: **** stars
- The album's only real misstep. 'Dance, Dance' was the lone track that gave away the album's 1980 origins. Complete with horns, Latin percussion and some amazing bad lyrics ("you've got to dance, dance, dance, dance to that music ..."), this one sounded like Bass and Abrahams had been listening to a little too much Miami Sound Machine. rating: * star
- The third Abrahams vocal, opening up with a Chic-styled 'scratchy' guitar 'Progress' initially sounded like it was going to be another throwaway disco-influenced tune, but luckily Abrahams' multi-tracked lead guitar kicked in giving the song more of a pop orientation.

To be honest, I'm not sure I can give it the enthusiastic review others have; not that the album isn't good, rather I'm not sure it is asking price good ... Ultimately each listener will have to be judge.

"Somewhere, Sometime" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Peace of Mind (Kathy Bass) - 4:11
2.) Somewhere, Sometime - (Kathy Bass - Tom Abrahams) - 3:37
3.) Bye Bye (Tom Abrahams) - 8:09

(side 2)
1.) Lonely Lady (Kathy Bass) - 5:05
2.) Ain't Used To Crying (Tom Abrahams) - 5:20
3.) Dance, Dance (Kathy Bass - Tom Abrahams) - 4:19
4.) Progress (Tom Abrahams) - 5:09

As far as I can tell, Sherry's the only member who remained active in music, playing with a stream of Minneapolis-based bands including Boys, The Fanatics, Paragon, White Raven, and Gilman's Crossing.

For anyone interested, here's a link to the Gilman's Crossing website:
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/default.cfm?bandID=1099909

I'd love to know more about the band ...
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