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Thursday, February 4, 2016

Craig Fuller & Eric Kaz - s/t

Name: Craig Fuller / Eric Kaz
Album: Fuller Kaz
Year: 1978
Style: Folk, Country, Americana, AOR
Similar Bands: Cat Stevens, Eagles, Warren Zevon, Jackson Browne, Steve Forbert, Pure Prairie League, Paul Williams
"One-Word" Review: Forlorn, Sentimental Recollections
Based Out Of: NY, NY
Label: CBS, Columbia
 Fuller Kaz - Cover, Sleeve, Record
Fuller Kaz - Back, Sleeve, Record
Fuller Kaz (1978)
  1. Feel That Way Again 5:38
  2. Cry Like a Rainstorm 3:31
  3. You Take My Heart 3:02
  4. Let the Fire Burn All Night 3:21
  5. Til You Come Back 4:05 /
  6. Annabella 3:59
  7. The Ways of a Woman 3:40
  8. Fool for You 3:22
  9. Restless Sea 4:20
  10. Annabella (reprise) 1:23
Album Rating (1-10): 5.0

Members & Other Bands:
Craig Fuller - Guitar, Vox (JD Blackfoot, Pure Prairie League, American Flyer, Little Feat, Pete Yorn, Poco, Jimmy Webb, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt)
Eric Kaz - Vox, Piano (Children of Paradise, American Flyer, Blues Magoos, Chris Smither, The Bears, Kim Carnes, Bonnie Raitt, Woodstock Mt Review, Fabulous Rhinestones, Happy Traum, Memphis Slim)
John Davis Souther - Vox (Longbranch/Pennywhistle, The Gentlemen Boys, The Souther-Hillman-Furay Band, Linda Ronstadt, Joe Walsh, Bonnie Raitt, Carole King, Outlaws,  Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, Dan Fogelberg, Karla Bonoff, Randy Newman)
Russell Kunkel - Drums, Percussion (The Section, Things to Come, discogs page)
Leah Kunkel - Vox (Coyote Sisters, discogs page)
Leland Sklar - Bass (Barefoot Servants, Group Therapy, Suzy Bogguss, The Section discogs page)
Michael McDonald - Vox (Steely Dan, All Star Choir, Artists United for Nature, The Del Rays, Doobie Brothers, discogs page)
Leo Sayer - Vox (Patches, Peace Collective, discogs page)
Rosemary Butler - Vox (Birtha, Metro Voices, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, Doobie Brothers, Tim Moore, Ben Sidran, Allen Toussaint, Rosanne Cash, Marc Tanner Band)
Dan Dugmore - Guitar (Ronin discog page)
Craig Doerge - Piano/Wurlitzer (Keppin' 'em Off the Streets, Rosebud, Section, discogs page)
David Campbell - Arrangement/Strings (Dave Campbell String Section, Carole King, Jackson Browne, discogs page)
Maxayn Lewis - Vox (Ikettes, Mandre, The Gap Band, Snap!,  discog page)
Steve Lukather - Guitar (Baby'O, Far Corporation, Larry Carlton-Steve lukather Band, Los Lobotomys, The Greg Mathieson Project, Toto, discogs page)
Don Grolnick - Organ/Piano, Guitar (Bob Mintzer Big Band, Dreams, Steps Ahead, discogs page)
Doug Haywood - Vox (Jackson Browne, Michael Dinner, Jennifer Warnes, Dillards, Allman & Woman, Willie Nelson)
Dennis Karmazyn - First Cello (Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, Paul Williams, discogs page)
Rollice Dale - First Viola (Shuggie Otis, Dory Previn, John Coltrane, Neil Diamond, Sarah Vaugn, discogs page)
Charles Veal - First Violin (South Central Chamber Orch, discogs page)
James-Newton Howard - Piano (Mama Lion, discogs page)
Richard Feves - String Bass
Andres Farber - Project Coordinator
Val Garay - Producer, Mixing
Tim Dennen - Asst Production
Steve Marcussen - Asst. Production
Ken Jacobs - Asst. Producer
George Ybarra - Asst Mixing
Doug Sax - Mastering
Survival Mgmt - Exclusive Representation
Tony Zetland - CBS Product Manager
Jim Shea - Photography
Kosh - Design & Art Direction

Unknown-ness: I’ve never heard of this band, which is just two guys, so it seems. They look a little like Paul Simon and Harold Ramis, but that does not say anything about what the album will be like. It could be country, could be folk, heck, could be disco by looking at their collars on the back photo. But from the conservative blue collar dress, I’m going to guess they fall in the singer songwriter Americana vibe of the late 70’s.

Album Review: Craig Fuller was one of the founders of the Pure Prairie League out of Ohio. After working with Kaz in another band, American Flyer, they recorded this album, which is slightly more rock than their previous band. Joining them is a slew of popular session musicians who have worked with the likes of Carole King, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, and many of them together make up another band/album that I have pending to this TSM list, The Section. Linda Ronstadt liked one song (Cry Like a Rainstorm) so much that she asked them to teach it to her, and it became part of the title for her 1989 album. After this one-off record, Fuller went back to Pure Prairie League as well as worked with Little Feat. Kaz continued to produce and compose works for other artists. Overall, this is not really my style of choice; it is completely harmless.

“Feel That Way Again” has an intro that is very similar to the acoustic guitar of Live’s “Lightning Crashes” intro. The song has a laid back, folky-country vibe. The vocals sound like Steve Forbert. The intensity grows a little bit with the electric guitar chords and the jangely piano toward the end, before the fade out.
“Cry Like a Rainstorm” was rerecorded and taught to Linda Ronstadt as the title track of her 1989 album. It begins with vocals and piano, reminding me a little of Neil Young’s vocals. It has a reflective confidence and somber tone. Two minutes in, an electric guitar cries out, reiterating the sullen sentiment.
“You Take My Heart” continues the reflective piano ballad genre. The chorus is a harmonized group of female vocals behind the lead. The second verse begins after a minute and a half; surprisingly unchanged from the first…I was expecting a tonal change. It sounds a little like one of the sentimental songs from Paul Williams in Emmet Otter’s Jugband Xmas special. This is the first Kaz lead song.
“Let the Fire Burn All Night” gains a little honky-tonk, pub room swagger, but it is far from a rocker. It maintains a steady tempo all the way through to the fade out. JD Souther adds to the background vocals.
“Til You Come Back” begins with nearly solo forlorn vocals. The song adds elements to the background, and putters on at a respectable pace. It rolls along, reminding me of the pace from Doris Troy’s “Just One Look,” without the catchy hooks.

“Annabella” starts with a quiet acoustic guitar, and then the bass begins. The rolling melody maintains a reserve, like it is restricted from producing energy from the emotional lyrics about a woman who seems to be slipping out of the singer’s grasp, growing desperate at the ending fade out.
“The Ways of a Woman” is quiet and reflective at the beginning. Voices join the lead vocals, bolstering his emotions. But the song feels like AOR filler, with an undefined chorus that blends right into the verse at a steady pace. The slide guitar gives it an authentic country feel. This is a Kaz lead song.
“Fool for You” picks up the pub rocking spirit a little, with the start stopping electric guitar, like the chorus of Steve Miller Band’s “Rock’n Me.” The chord changes are catchy in the chorus, and this song has more energy than the rest of the album put together. Michael McDonald helps in the backing vocals here
“Restless Sea” combines a gentle organ, and slow-ish, bouncy bass line. The song finds a middle ground pace, and the track continues a country style of storytelling, particularly in the instrumental break down. Leo Sayer contributes to the backing vocals here.  
“Annabella (reprise)” is a strings only variation of the Annabella melody

Stand Out Track: Fool For You

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