Ripped by ChrisGoesRock
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster
After the dissolution of Savage Grace, John Seanor (keyboards) and Ron Koss (guitar-vocals) released this album with the help of King Errisson (congas-percussion), John Seiter (drums), and John Sebastian (harmonica).
The album is described by timeshifter at RYM as “semi-funky A.O.R. with some bluesy cuts, some horns and harmonica, Jagger influenced vocals, decent song writing, and some rural moves”.
Seanor & Koss aren't exactly novices in the rock recording game, having made two previous Reprise album as keyboard man and lead singer-guitarist, respectively, of a group called Savage Grace. Their new name signifies a variety of things: 1) a revival and re-direction of hard rock energy; 2) union with a new rhythm section, and 3) good old American self-assertiveness, a trait not all incompatilble with their music. One major act of re-direction and revival fairly leaps out from the credits for this album: "Produced by Shel Talmy". "In addition to several early hits by the Kinks and who-knows-how-many-other-legendary-English groups, Mr. Talmy produced one record which is an especially close spiritual ancestor of today's Seanor & Koss: "My Generation" by The Who.
Like Peter Townshend evergreen, the often sardonic lyrics and swaggering music of Seanor & Koss are one constant flash of youth-pride. Shel Talmy is not the only byword of the new rock to appear in these credits. John Sebastian, who went from Spoonfulism to soloism to make three honorable albums of his own on Reprise, is heard here in a rare return to the instrument the learned at an early age from his namesake and father. Unlike the classically-oriented Sebastian pere, young John blows harp here in the electrified Chicago hard-blues style, providing a suitably urban-Midwestern foil for the feartured Detroiters. John may be heard on "Mystery Train," "She Keeps It Hidden" and "Homegrown." "Mystery Train," by the way, is not the tune that Elvis Presley recorded just before "Heartbraek Hotel."
This train is a Ron Koss original about being from Detroit. In it are some of the best lines any mother ever spoke to her son: Everybody hears the whistle / But I hope you see the light. Other than that, several of the songs are combination tributes to and putdowns various deserving females in the popular Dylano-Jaggerian tradition. Two of the lyrics, however, take on the whole of American the Beautiful. In John Seanor's "Matchstick," the protagonist is a traveler with arsonic propensities. Seanor also wrote "Babylon" which, in addition to a complex, serious lyric; has the most ambitious music on the album.
It's on of those tunes which starts relatively quietly but promises much, and delivers even more; the eventual climax is fairly monstrous. John Seanor, keyboarder, was born in Chicago on February 7, 1944 and got into classical music at an early age. Piano remained his avocation as he got a B.A. in history at Denison University, and then became his major as he went on to study music at Boston University. Boston eventually made a jazz pianist out of John, and he gigied thusly around the East for some time before returning to Detroit to join Ronnie Koss in the former Savage Grace.
Koss was born in the Motor City on September 12, 1946. He's been singing, playing and writing for about 10 years, but says that his association with Seanor has inspired his most serious efforts as a writer. The two men share the writing about equally. New recruits Kenny Altman (bass) and John Seiter (drums) are the rhythm motivators of this nasty but nifty band, which should go a long way toward redefinning Detroit before it's through.
♫♪ Ronnie Koss - guitar, vocals
♫♪ John Seanor - keyboards
♫♪ Kenny Altman - bass
♫♪ John Seiter - drums
♫♪ John Sebastian - harmonica
♫♪ King Errison - congas
01. Mystery Train (04':35")
02. She Keeps It Hidden (03':56")
03. Iceland Annie [Bara, You're Pretty As Your Name](04':17")
04. Babylon (05':13")
05. Homegrown (04':25")
06. Matchstick (04':30")
07. Feelin' In The Day (03':59")
08. One Day Longer (03':52")