Zephyr, released in 1969.
Zephyr was a blues-based hard rock band formed in 1969 in Boulder, Colorado by guitarist Tommy Bolin, keyboardist John Faris, David Givens on bass guitar, Robbie Chamberlin on drums and Candy Givens
on vocals. Although the charismatic performances by Candy Givens were
originally the focal point for the band, it was the flashy guitar work
of Tommy Bolin that the band is best remembered for. After Bolin left, he was replaced by Jock Bartley, and the band recorded the album Sunset Ride,
their second for Warner Brothers Records. The album is still in print
and is much loved by a small but loyal following. On Sunset Ride, Candy
Givens displayed her gifts as a singer, composer, and harmonica player.
The album was produced by David Givens who also authored the majority of
the tunes. As a result of his stint with Zephyr, Bartley went on to a
successful career with Gram Parsons and Firefall and drummer, Michael Wooten, went on to play for several years with Carole King.
Various versions of Zephyr continued to play in Colorado until Candy's
death in 1984. The release of "Heartbeat" in 1982 was promoted by a
video that incorporated very early examples of analog computer animation
combined with live action.
Other Zephyr members of note include trance blues maven, Otis Taylor,
who played bass during the mid-1970s, Kenny Wilkins (Drums) and also
later on as (guitarist), guitarist Zack Smith (founder of Columbia
Records band Scandal), and blues guitarist, Eddie Turner,
who played guitar in the last incarnation during the early 1980s.
Candie and David, Tommy, and John Faris were all founding members of The Legendary 4Nikators,
Boulder's oldest and best loved party band. Taylor and Turner were
later additions to The Legendary 4Nikators - Taylor noted for playing
motorcycle on stage during "Leader Of The Pack" and performing in a kilt
and Turner for his renditions of Jimi Hendrix classics.
40 years after, Zephyr's music is still in print and continues to be
played in the various media. YouTube has brought new eyes and ears to
In 2014, record producer, Greg Hampton and David Givens collaborated
on a project that resulted in the release of a limited edition boxed set
that included a remastered version of the "bathtub" album, two albums
of live material - mostly previously unreleased, and a booklet featuring
liner notes by Givens and photos from his private collection. The
remastered first album is an unqualified improvement over the original
and the live material justifies the high esteem the band accrued with
the audiences that witnessed their performances. The boxes sold out in
less than a month.
I saw this band on PBS when i was 12. They played Cross The River then St.
James Infirmary, complete with the 'echoplex' segue (i can still see
Tommy siding the 'speed' bar). I was hooked. Bought the album a short
time later. Side 2 opens with the tracks i saw them play on tv and i
still spin that first. Always seemed right to me.
Great band, Tommy doing the chameleon thing on guitar. Rock, blues, jazz? All present and accounted for.
know Candy doesn't have many fans here. Heck, my Mom didn't like her
and neither does my Wife. No matter-mind to me. I love the sheer abandon
when she sings. Plus, i always thought she was cute.
Great start for Tommy. He formed this band when he was 17 or 18.
I have Spectrum, Teaser and Private Eyes. This First Zephyr release will always be my fave.
This was Tommy Bolin's first album, and his playing on this heavy blues
rock album is pretty impressive. He had a great guitar tone, and
occasionally his playing really reminds me of Jimmy Page's style on some
of the slower early Zeppelin blues numbers. The rest of the band is
impressive as well, and I really have to give kudos to the organist for
some pretty wild soloing. The songwriting is generally strong, and will
appeal to fans of early 70's progressive blues rock. In my opinion, the
only thing holding this band back from true greatness are the really
grating vocals of Candy Givens. She tries to sound like Janis Joplin,
along with the blues moaning of Robert Plant. The problem is with her
Robert Plant fixation. Plant was usually successful in escaping total
embarrassment with his vocal excesses simply because he had a strong
voice. Candy Givens sings on-key and all, but she sings too much from
the throat when she does her Plant-style moaning, thus producing an
irritating, thin tone that sounds more like screaching rather than
blues-moaning. Simply put, it's absolutely horrible. If you can get past
this, then by all means, check out this album. Like I say....the band
"Sail on" (Tommy Bolin, Candy Givens) – 7:22
"Sun's a Risin'" (Bolin, David Givens) – 4:45
"Raindrops" (Dee Clark) – 2:40
"Boom-Ba-Boom" (D. Givens) – 1.20
"Somebody Listen" (D. Givens, C. Givens, Bolin, John Faris) – 6:10
"Cross the River" (C. Givens, D. Givens) – 4:43
"St. James Infirmary" (Joe Primrose) – 5:15
"Huna Buna" (C. Givens, Bolin) – 2:26
"Hard Chargin' Woman" (Bolin, Robbie Chamberlin, Faris, C. Givens, D. Givens) – 8:40
Candy Givens – lead vocals, harmonica
Robbie Chamberlin – drums, backing vocals
David Givens – bass, backing vocals
John Faris – keyboards, flute
Tommy Bolin – guitar, backing vocals