Thursday, May 21, 2020

Scott Morgan's Powertrane - Ann Arbor Revival Meeting 2002

Size: 201 MB
Bitrate: 320
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

Living up to its title, Ann Arbor Revival Meeting is a cross-generational project from 2002 that brings to life Ann Arbor & Detroit’s rock legacy through a combination of some of its key protagonists.

Scott Morgan, who leads the band at the core of the record, Powertrane, goes back to mid ‘60s days, to The Rationals, who ruled the local teen scene alongside the likes of Bob Seger & The Last Heard. Scott is one of the great white soul singers. In the ‘70s, he fronted the seminal Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, alongside Fred “Sonic” Smith of the MC5 and Scott Asheton of The Stooges

Deniz Tek, guest for the entire show, is an Ann Arbor native who spent most of the ‘70s in Sydney and led the mighty Radio Birdman. Birdman invested Australia with its love of all things Ann Arbor/Detroit, and had themselves a huge influence on successive generations internationally. 

Ron Asheton, the special guest who appears playing guitar on the handful of Stooges tunes here is the man who played on them originally, the great and sadly now late guitar innovator who was at the core of The Stooges’ huge influence across of the ‘70s and beyond. Ron’s phenomenal appearances with Powertrane and Deniz got him back in the saddle and no doubt inspired Iggy to get Ron and brother Scott “Rock Action” Asheton back onside and reform The Stooges in 2003. 

Representing the younger generation are Powertrane’s rhythm section Andrew “Box” Taylor on bass, who instigated the band’s shows with Tek & Asheton, and Andy Frost, a great drummer who was mentored by Scott Asheton. Frost sadly passed away in 2010. Additionally, local identities Robert Gillespie and Hiawatha Bailey are present. Robert Gillespie is Powertrane’s regular lead guitarist, a long time sideman for original white R&B belter Mitch Rider and a former member of Rob Tyner’s new MC5 in the late ‘70s. Hiawatha, who sings a couple of the Stooges covers, was a Stooges roadie back in the day and later front man of local punk-rockers The Cult Heroes in the late ‘70s and ‘80s. 

In addition to the Stooges material, the album includes a selection of tunes spanning Scott Morgan’s career from Sonic’s Rendezvous through to records he made with Nicke Anderson of Sweden’s Detroit-obsessed Hellacopters as the Hydromatics, the brilliant Rob Tyner/Robert Gillespie co-write “Taboo”, and a bunch of songs from Tek’s illustrious career, including a possibly definitive “What Gives?”, a barely in-control “Smith & Wesson Blues”, and intense versions of a couple of his post-Birdman tracks, “Outside” and “Blood From A Stone”. 

Originally released on CD only by Real O-Mind Records in 2002, this is one of the great live albums. As a measure of the Detroit/Sydney connection in the high-energy rock world, it’s probably even better than the monolithic 1981 recording “The First & The Last” by Radio Birdman/Stooges/MC5 supergroup New Race.

Featuring 3 extra tracks, remastered for maximum impact, and available on vinyl for the first time. “Ann Arbor Revival Meeting” is an essential listen for anyone who loves Detroit high-energy rock’n’roll.

The title of this blazing live document comes from a between-song quip from guest artist Deniz Tek, and it's certainly fitting -- the show captured here brings together some truly legendary figures from the Michigan college town that became a home to the likes of the Stooges and the MC5 back in the day. 

In the 1960s, Scott Morgan was the lead singer and guitarist with Detroit's finest blue-eyed R&B act, the Rationals, and later he teamed with Fred "Sonic" Smith to form the brilliant (and woefully underappreciated) Sonic's Rendezvous Band. While Morgan has a remarkable résumé, he's also still making great high-energy rock & roll in the new millennium with his band Powertrane, and for a handful of special shows at Ann Arbor's Blind Pig, they were joined by Tek, an Ann Arbor émigré and close friend of Morgan's who formed one of Australia's most iconic rock outfits, Radio Birdman. 

Tek, Morgan, and Powertrane lead guitarist Robert Gillespie (who has played with Rob Tyner and Mitch Ryder) make for a truly devastating guitar combination here, and things only get hotter when Ron Asheton shows up for a show-closing mini-set of Stooges classics. But as good as "TV Eye," "No Fun," and "1969" sound in this context, the songs that really astound are Morgan's stellar originals (especially "R.I.P. R&R," "Runaway Slaves," and "Dangerous") and some lesser-known tunes from Tek's solo career, in particular "Blood from a Stone" and a simply blistering run through "Outside"." 

Cult Heroes belter Hiawatha Bailey sounds great taking vocals on several of the Stooges' numbers, and it's high praise to bassist Chris "Box" Taylor and drummer Andrew Frost that they don't just keep up with the frontline talent, but push them gloriously into the red zone. The best rock & roll live albums are the ones that leave you saying, "Man, I would have loved to have seen that," and anyone who digs high-energy Detroit-style rock & roll will listen with slack-jawed glee to Ann Arbor Revival Meeting, imagining they'd been at the Blind Pig this particular evening. Thankfully, a good recording engineer was on hand to capture the fury for the folks who couldn't make it, and the results are 66 minutes of heavily amplified bliss.

01. Love And Learn  03:16
02. Rip R&r  02:26
03. Hanging On  03:53
04. Runaway Slaves  04:16
05. Ready To Ball  02:56
06. Blood From A Stone  03:51
07. Taboo  05:30
08. Smith & Wesson Blues  02:55
09. Earthy  02:53
10. Shellback  03:35
11. What Gives  02:47
12. Dangerous  03:43
13. Outside  06:38
14. 1969  03:57
15. I Wanna Be Your Dog  04:03
16. Down On The Street  03:51
17. No Fun  03:28
18. Tv Eye  05:38
19. New Race  04:00
20. City Slang  06.04

Part 1: Powertrane
Part 2: Powertrane
Part 1: Powertrane
Part 2: Powertrane
Part 1: Powertrane
Part 2: Powertrane