Friday, June 9, 2017

Western Vacation - 1986 [2010] "Western Vacation"

In the early 1980s, Steve Vai had just moved to California and bought a house in rural Sylmar California. At the time, it was a place with more animals than people. Steve's little house out in the wilderness, was a place where wayward musicians can come and call home. One of those musicians living at the house, was Marty Schwartz, Steve's friend from his Berklee School Of Music Days. When Steve broke his whammy bar during a gig in the Berklee recital hall, he asked if anyone had a spare rubber band, thats when a faint voice came from audience "Iv'e got one for you Steve!", that was the first time Steve met Marty.

In Steve's backyard, filled with chickens, ducks, and other various farm animals, Steve's first hand built studio, called Stucco Blue, was the birth place of, ''Western Vacation''. This album was created by Marty, and features a handful of Frank Zappa alumni, including keyboardist Tommy Mars, Vocalist Bob Harris, and Steve Vai, who was listed as the ''Reckless Fable'' on the ''Western Vacation'' track. Other musicians that played on this album were, Chris Frazier on drums, and Jac Mihanovic on bass.

''Western Vacation'' takes you on a progressive musical journey with uplifting melodic textures and dynamic musicianship! Bob Harris's voice is as sweet as a red velvet cupcake and the melodies on this record are so delicious. This album has been beautifully re-mastered in the ''Audio Laundry Mastering Lab'' in Steve's Encino studio, from the original 8 track tapes! This deluxe reissue features a wonderful booklet featuring a essay from Steve Vai and legendary writer and publicist Laurel Fishman.
Listen to Western Vacation and see if you can be transported to the idyllic 1980's in Sylmar. ''This captures that time and place with those wonderful friends,'' -Steve Vai.

I actually worked at the record pressing factory where this was originally pressed (yes...that means vinyl) and fell in love with it on first hearing back in the late eighties. This is some great, great playing...an example of what can happen when the musical stars align. This is a great snapshot of young musicians playing for each other and for fun. As a drummer, I still find inspiration in this album...twenty-odd years later!

This band is made up of a bunch of Steve's friends and Zappa alumni and was recorded in Steve's garage in the early 80's. It sounds like the fun Zappa stuff from prior to this recording and is also reminiscent of Steve's solo work from that era on Flex-Able. Even though Steve apparently only played on the title track his influence on the compositions and guitar work is clear. Or perhaps it is the other way around. Either way, a neat glimpse back at a number of talented artists. Thanks for sharing.

Western Vacation is a great album! I mainly purchased it because Steve Vai is not only my mentor, but my guitar teacher as well. I wanted to hear his early, early, works and here it is! This album wreaks an awesome 80's vibe and brings back many memories on such an awesome time for rock! Steve's(Reckless Fable) guitar solo on the title track is astounding! The vocals are very bubble gum 80's style, but hard to stop listening to! You buy this album and it will really bring you back to early 80's time period. Overall the music is awesome, Bass is killer, and you won't be disappointed! A+++ in my book!

Track listing / Personnel:

1 Western Vacation 6:55
    Backing Vocals – Suzannah Harris
    Bass – Jac Mihanovic
    Drums, Percussion – Chris Frazier
    Guitar, Voice [Cowboys], Soloist [1st] – Martin Schwartz
    Keyboards, Backing Vocals – Tommy Mars
    Saxophone – Ric Cunningham
    Soloist [Long Guitar Solo] – Reckless Fable
    Vocals [Lead & Background] – Bob Harris
    Voice [Cowboys] – Mike O'Brien (2)

2 Nocturnal Emissions 2:05
    Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar – Martin Schwartz
    Bass – Stu Hamm*
    Drums – Chris Frazier
    Other [Dedicated To] – Jim Moriarty

3 Fast Note People 4:01
    Backing Vocals – Jarrett Renshaw, Suzannah Harris
    Bass – Jac Mihanovic
    Drums – Chris Frazier
    Guitar – Martin Schwartz
    Keyboards – Tommy Mars
    Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Bob Harris
    Marimba – Brad Dutz

4 Send Us More Light 4:22
    Bass – Stu Hamm*
    Drums – Chris Frazier
    Electric Piano [Rhodes] – Tommy Mars
    Guitar – Martin Schwartz
    Vocals, Keyboards – Bob Harris

5 Patty 4:44
    Backing Vocals – Suzannah Harris
    Bass – Jac Mihanovic
    Drums – Chris Frazier
    Guitar, Sitar [Choral] – Martin Schwartz
    Keyboards – Tommy Mars
    Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Bob Harris

6 The Velvet Line 5:31
    Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Backing Vocals – Martin Schwartz
    Backing Vocals – Joe Kearney, Suzannah Harris
    Bass – Jac Mihanovic
    Drums – Chris Frazier
    Keyboards – Tommy Mars
    Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Keyboards, Trumpet – Bob Harris
    Other [Dedicated To] – Joe & Mary Ellen Kearney
    Saxophone – Ric Cunningham

7 Delicious 3:12
    Keyboards [Improvisation], Vocals – Tommy Mars

8 Borrowed Time 4:30
    Backing Vocals – Suzannah Harris
    Bass – Jac Mihanovic
    Drums – Chris Frazier
    Guitar – Martin Schwartz
    Keyboards – Scott Collard
    Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Trumpet – Bob Harris

9 Burning Flame 3:07

4 comments:

  1. http://www59.zippyshare.com/v/NSFqz6rZ/file.html
    http://www59.zippyshare.com/v/hI9eX4Tw/file.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Stan, the song Patty is a could be Frank Zappa song. Great melody. Thanks for the post. Hans L. from Breda, Holland.

      Delete
    2. Hey, Stan, the song Patty, could be a Frank Zappa song. Great post! Thank u from Hans L from Breda, Holland.

      Delete
    3. Hey, Stan, the song Patty is a could be Frank Zappa song. Great melody. Thanks for the post. Hans L. from Breda, Holland.

      Delete