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Zephyr: Zephyr (Reissue)
Tommy Bolin Zephyr 1969 CD Album Review

Zephyr: Zephyr (Reissue)

Classic Blues Hard Rock

Ouch. My ears still hurt from listening to this album, and that was only through a few songs. But I'm getting ahead of myself for this review.

Zephyr Photo

Zephyr: circa 1969.

Most people recall Tommy Bolin as one of the great hard rock blues guitarists. His musical history dates back to the Sixties. Here is his first band Zephyr and their self-titled debut album as a reissue from Cleopatra Records' Purple Pyramid Records imprint. For Bolin fans, or classic rock historians in general, this is a unique and interesting reissue. That's the good news.

Here's the bad news. I could barely listen to this album. Excepting Tommy Bolin's terrific blues guitar grooves, Candy Givens shrieking screamo vocals were a total turn off. I get it. Bolin and company were trying to capitalize on the style and success of Big Brother and the Holding Company with their infamous female lead singer Janis Joplin. And, having been around during her time, I didn't, and still don't, understand what the big deal was with her. Screeching, ranting vocals, Me and My Bobby McGee excused, or not. Not. Ugh.

Givens is like Joplin on speed, then squared with crack. She sounds like somebody was drilling through her nipples with a core cutter bit, with no anesthesia, during this recording. That, or somebody was beating her feet with a ball peen hammer. I've got even more analogies. But you get my point. I lasted through three songs, and then ejected this disc. Normally, I would listen to an album a second or third time to write my review, but I didn't want to punish myself anymore.

But, hey, if you like Tommy Bolin, you might dig this album. All the best to you.

Zephyr - Sail On (1969) - New fiction, crime fiction by Craig Hartranft

In Short

Zephyr is an early band Tommy Bolin formed to deliver his classic hard rock blues guitar grooves. But watch out for the screeching screamo female lead vocals from Candy Givens.

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