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Date Posted: 10:54:31 01/14/05 Fri
Author: Izzy
Subject: Monks website's Shade?

I take it this is the same fellow who writes for this site?

Heart So Cold

And the North Country is where? Siberia? Alaska? Yorkshire? In this instance it's upstate New York, where UT's Will Shade has been digging deep to get the story of the rock'n'roll scene that was jumping there in the early and mid-60s. Much of the action was captured on vinyl by the Rondack and Empire labels, based out of Plattsburgh, who released hot wax by the likes of "Wild" Bill Kennedy & the Twiliters, Mike & the Ravens, the Fugitives, the Infernos and the Monterays.

The best of the Plattsburgh scene-much of it from the pre-British Invasion period-can be heard on Heart So Cold, compiled and annotated by Shade for Dionysus Records' Bacchus Archives. The disc kicks off with a stone cold killer "(Everybody's Goin' to) Rollerland" by "Wild" Bill Kennedy and the Twiliters, a high energy romp recorded live at the venue of the same name in early 1964. (The Untamed Youth later did an excellent cover version.) The Twiliters also prove themselves on great versions of "Shakin' All Over" and "Move It," as well as their own Mersey-styled winners "Mary Lou" and "The Girl from Liverpool." The Twiliters are the subject of a feature article in this issue of UT.

Mike & the Ravens were perhaps the area's most talented group, and they get four tracks here, all written by the band's own Stephen Blodgett (who also penned "Rollerland"). Mike Brossard's powerful voice compares favorably to early Del Shannon on such rockers as "Goodbye to Mary Jane," "I've Taken All I Can" and the recently uncovered stormer "Oobie Doobie." (More on the Ravens next time.)

Other highlights include the Falcons fuzz-addled wailer "I Gotta See Her" and boss instrumentals by the Fugitives, the Monterays and the Infernos, whose moody "Restless Tides" is particularly effective. Heart So Cold proves once again that sometimes the hottest music comes from the coldest regions.

- Mike Stax (Originally published in Ugly Things #22, 2004)

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