Shagrat Records is thrilled to announce the release of 60s cult hero Phil Greenberg's 'London 1969-72'
Though best known as one of the singers and guitarists with late 60s cult heroes, Formerly Fat Harry
, Phil Greenberg had already carved out a name for himself as a player to watch on the burgeoning American West Coast folk and blues scene before he came over to England in 1969.
Having caught the bug to play guitar, Phil began playing classic American folk songs aged 15 listening to many key figures from Charley Patton
and the New City Ramblers
to Dave van Ronk
and Bob Dylan
. He soon gravitated to the buzzing Berkeley folk scene, firstly to the Cabale club where he turned into a skilled flamenco player and later to the fabled Jabberwock, where he rubbed shoulders with various luminaries such as Barry Melton
, Joe MacDonald
and Bruce Barthol
(with whom he would form Fat Harry), and Phil Marsh
with whom he would enjoy a fruitful partnership as Phil and Phil.
London 1969-72 compiles a number of solo recordings he made during his time in the UK playing with Fat Harry, material he felt didn’t fit in with the overall style and direction of the band. As he observes: ‘One of the problems that evolved for me in FFH was that my song writing was going in a direction that didn’t work for the band. I was writing songs with two or three part harmony parts but neither Bruce nor Gary was a strong harmony singer. I was also writing some more folk-oriented and singer-songwriter tunes that didn’t fit FFH’s repertoire. I never even played most of the songs for my band mates in FFH because I knew that the songs wouldn’t work as part of the FFH performing repertoire. Almost all the tunes on this record fall into that category’.
Issued as a limited edition of just 300 copies, and housed in a beautiful gatefold sleeve, designed by John Hurford
, with extensive sleeve notes by Phil himself and some evocative archive photos, this 10” release features seven largely acoustic original Greenberg numbers together with a version of ‘Catalina Sunset’ his friend Jack O’Hara from Eggs Over Easy
wrote during his stay in London in 1971 plus a live version of the folk classic ‘Golden Apples of the Sun’ recorded in 1966 live off the PA at the Jabberwock.
A must for Fat Harry fans, this collection of folk and blues based material infused with bags of period feel and atmosphere, will also slap a big smile of the faces of anyone touched by the acoustic music scenes of the era.
".... like echoes through a misty looking-glass from that sepia time ..."
5 STAR Review in SHINDIG! MAGAZINE
PHIL GREENBERG -
Shagrat excels itself with this latest instalment in the saga of the fabled Formerly Fat Harry, who singer-guitarist Phil Greenberg joined in 1969 after guitarist Gary Peterson and former Fish bassist Bruce Barthol moved to London and sent for their friend in Berkeley. Thanks to Blackhill Enterprises booking them everywhere from Friars to free concerts I was lucky enough to witness their evocative country rock and Mariachi jamming many times before they split in 1972.
Greenberg was often recording songs which didn’t fit FFH. Nine appear here on ten-inch vinyl in gatefold cover with fascinating cover notes, including praise from old mucker Michael Chapman.
Greenberg’s uniquely vibrant melodies shine on vocal outings such as ‘Lost Love’ and ‘Young Mother’ while sublime guitar excursions include an electrifying ‘Late Nights’ and Django Reinhardt stroll of ‘Catalina Sunset’.
Poignant closer ‘Golden Apples Of The Sun’ was captured in 1966 at the Jabberwock.