Detailed Album Notes

Recorded at Hapnin Studios, Los Gatos CA

Produced by Bob Gonzalez and Teddy “TJ” Politzer

Rock, roll, rhythm, and blues is what we started with in the early 60’s......we listened to and played it all. Music was not so focused, people danced and enjoyed it. Musicians experimented with it. This CD is a reflection of that time and attitude..... Call it what you like, it’s me and my friends doing what we do.

All of the songs were recorded in the following fashion. We always started with Guitar, Bass, and Drums with a reference vocal track all done at the same time. This method is often referred to as doing a live track. I also like recording this way because I am very comfortable playing in a trio.

 

Players:

Bob Gonzalez

Vocals- All Tracks

Bass- All Tracks

Arrangements- All Tracks, Except 5

Teddy “TJ” Politzer

Sound Engineer- All Tracks

Guitar- Track 9, 11 (Slide, and Acoustic)

Piano- Track 8

Background Vocals- 3, 7, 8, 9, 11,12

In addition to being at the control board, he also served a vital role as the guy who could play anything and sing anything. TJ was a founding member of the great San Francisco - Seattle based band, KId Afrika. He also was the leader of the world renowned zydeco band the Sundogs.

Dave Gonzales

Guitar- Tracks 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Arrangement- Track 5

Early in his career, Dave did a number of projects with my Syndicate of Sound partner; Don Baskin. He went on to make a name for himself as an outstanding Blues and Rock guitarist, working with the likes of Greg Allman and Inner Circle. Dave now fronts his band; The Humdaddyz. Dave and I have done a number of shows together, he was a natural to do most of the guitar work on this CD.

Patrick Hennessy

Drums- Tracks 2, 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 12

Background Vocals- Tracks 3, 10

Patrick was the original drummer with Cornell Hurd and His Mondo Hot Pants Orchestra. After he left that band he also worked with Don Baskin, my Syndicate of Sound partner. Patrick and I, along with his wife Gloria and Jim Sawyers have a classic rock band; the Sultans. Patrick also play drums with Dave and I. Another obvious choice for this project.

Hap Scott

Background Vocals- 1, 9

A good friend and major supporter of this project.

Jim Sawyers

Guitar- Tracks 3, 4 (First Solo), 10, 11 (12 String), 12 (First Solo)

Background Vocals- Tracks 3, 10

I have been working with Jim since he joined the Syndicate of Sound in January of 66’. We did all those shows all over the US and Canada together. I play with Jim in a classic rock band, the Sultans; and work with him from time to time on other projects. I would have been hard to do this CD with out his friendship and encouragement.

Mark Fenichel

Harmonica- 3, 5, 10, 12

Mr. Harmonica himself, one of the Bay Areas best.

Jerry Miller

Guitar- Tracks 4, 12

Jerry played guitar in one of my favorite bands of the 60’s, Moby Grape. It was unbelievable to me that he was able and willing to help out with this project. Truly, one the greatest guitar players ever...

John “Fuzzy” Oxendine

Drums- Tracks 1, 5, 6, 7, 9

Fuzzy got his start about the same time as I did. He played in a number of notable well know bands of the 60’s. The Sons of Champlin, Moby Grape, and the Rhythm Dukes. He still plays with Jerry Miller when ever Jerry is performing in Northern CA. He and I really “lock in” as a rhythm section.

Tony Castro

Tenor Sax- Tracks 4, 6

I wanted someone that played in the early 60’s, that understands the New Orleans sax sound. How could I do better than Tony? He played around the East Bay during that period and moved on to Vegas where he met his mentor Sam Butera (Louie Prema). During this recording he played his old Selmer Mark VI with a mouthpiece that Sam gave him......

Gloria Hennessy

Background Vocals- 3, 10

Song Listing

1) Get Out of My Life, Woman (Alan Toussaint); The Syndicate of Sound began to play this song as soon as we heard Paul Butterfield’s version from his East West album. I have always liked this tune and appreciate it even more now that I know of it’s New Orleans roots. Alan Toussaint originally wrote the song for Lee Dorsey. I added a verse from the original that Paul Butterfied did not include in his recording.

2) I Walk Alone (David Hidalgo, Louis Perez); This song works so well with the classic blues-rock trio that Dave, Patrick, and like to do. We did not add much from the basic track we just kept loud and proud.

3) Get Back (John Lennon, Paul McCartney); As with most Beatles songs, they can be done in a number of ways. I like doing it as I arranged for my Sultan’s band. What you hear is that version done by that band; Jim, Patrick, and Gloria with Mark on Harp.

4) Just a Little Bit (Roscoe Gordon); This might be the song I’ve played the longest. I learned this song in 1962 when I was just 15, as an Alto Sax player in a band called The Nightmen. Don Baskin and I left this band to form the Syndicate of Sound. Jerry Miller always does this song in his live shows and was very prepared to do it with me.

5) Psychotic Reaction (Elner, Chaney, Atkinson, Byrne, Michalski);

When most people think of the Syndicate of Sound, they link us with The Count V and their massive hit. I thought it only right to include a version on this CD. I discussed this song with Dave when I asked him to be part of the project. He took the challenge of reinterpreting the song and ran with it. I have to credit him with most of the arrangement. Fuzzy; being a big part of the San Francisco psychedelic music scene in the 60’s was a natural choice as a drummer. 

6) Bags’ Groove (Milt Jackson); Another song that I played in with the Nightmen, we so much wanted to be cool like Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Milt Jackson, and Thelonious Monk. At that time bands did more instrumentals. I don’t know if it was bad PA’s, or we were not comfortable singing, or both.

7) You Don’t Love Me (Willie Cobb); I first heard this song as on Al Kooper’s Supper Sessions album. I like going back to the original styling.

8) Trouble Bound (Dave Alvin); I started listening to the Blasters after finding the song Dry River. This is a great song for a live show, I couldn’t pass it up. Listen to Patrick’s classic drum beat. 

9) Gloria (Van Morrison); Gloria was a “show closer” for the Syndicate in our early years. A great song that was so overplayed that you do not hear much anymore. I thought if John Lee Hooker could do it, I could include a version on my CD. This is the only song that the basic track was not done live. TJ and I knocked out a rhythm track, with the help of a drum machine, and then brought Dave in for his magic. What glued it together, was Fuzzy’s inspirational drumming. You had to play in the 60’s to really understand.

10) I Ain’t Got You (Calvin Carter); This is the only song I sang lead on with the Syndicate. I still sing it with the Sultans. So, I’m using the Sultans (Jim, Patrick, and Gloria) on the recording along with the most talented Mark Fenichel on Harp.

11) Dry River (Dave Alvin); I had heard James McMurtry’s version of this song a few times. When I was reviewing songs for this project, Dry River just found me. It came up as I was letting my ipod just play. The song spoke to me......my growing up in Santa Clara Valley was a similar experience to Dave Alvin’s in Orange County. The guitar work done by Jim and TJ along with Patricks drumming make this cut a personal favorite of mine.

12) Little Girl (Bob Gonzalez, Don Baskin); I wanted to do a version that I could do on my own that didn’t step on the way Don sang on our original Syndicate of Sound recording. I reconstructing the song in a classic blues structure. And chose to do it in the Texas Shuffle style that works so well live. Jerry Miller’s (Moby Grape) guitar work put the icing on the cake.....

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San Jose CA
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Santa Clara CA
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My CD

Bob Gonzalez: Hey, Little Girl   Rock, Rhythm and Blues

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