Derek Lind – Mixed Blessings

Derek Lind
Mixed Blessings
1986 Someone Up There Promotions
Auckland, New Zealand

Derek Lind – Vocals, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, acoustic bass guitar
Pale Sauni – Bass, acoustic guitar, tuba
Bruce Bremner – Piano, synthesizer
Kevin Adair – Drums, percussion
Brian Coldham – Saxophone
Red McKelvie – Pedal steel
Brendan Power – Blues harp
Jeff Tribe – Trumpet

Side 1:

  1. Wasteland
  2. Stick to the Surface
  3. Thankyou Lord (You’ll Be the First to Know)
  4. New Zealand Day
  5. Without You
  6. A Man Like Me

Side 2:

  1. Hit The Road
  2. Nobody Knows (But You)
  3. You are My Song
  4. One Righteous Man
  5. Rusty Nail
  6. For a Friend

This is an early tape by Derek Lind – maybe even his first. He is still going to this day. His website says he started in the 1970s and has seven releases. So there might be one before this one. Most people in the States are probably familiar with his releases on Storyville / R.E.X. music in the early 90s. This tape seems to find him in similar territory – folk rock with some country elements as well as some blues rock as well. Generally people call this singer/songwriter music, but upbeat songs like “Hit the Road” are pretty much rock. You hear the influence of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, and other similar artists on his music. As far as I can tell, this tape was followed by 1988’s Slippery Ground.

Luke Hurley – First Civilian

Luke Hurley
First Civilian
1990 (no label)
New Zealand

Luke Hurley – Lead vocals, guitar
Nigel Gavin – Classical guitar, bass, Lead guitar, vocals
Kath Tait – Backing vocals
Tony Bracanov – Second guitar

Side 1:

  1. Lord of the Jungle
  2. Greenfields
  3. Precious Time
  4. New York to Paris
  5. Touching Sight – No One is Good

Side 2:

  1. First Civilian
  2. I Could Conquer You
  3. Kyrie Eleison / Follow Me
  4. Rock ‘n Roll to Soul
  5. Not Easy to Tune
  6. History’s Refrain

So the cover of this looks kind of like it would be Americana Rock similar to Rick Elias. But the tape comes from New Zealand, so that is probably not the case. This is really folk music that sounds like acoustic Aussie Rock – its Luke and acoustic guitar for most tracks. It is some pretty intricate guitar work, so it never gets boring if you are into that kind of thing. It also appears from the liner notes that other people added their guitar skills to the recording. The explanation for the title track is pretty sad, as it refers to the first civilian into space that dies when the Challenger died. It is also a full band song. It seems that Luke has had many other releases before and after this tape we well.

David Finley – Tired Feet, Hungry Soul

David Finley
Tired Feet, Hungry Soul
1989 Sonic Hope Records
Azusa, Arizona, USA

David Finley – Guitar, Voice
John R. Williamson – Bass guitar

  1. Lack-Luster
  2. Brush Me Back
  3. Unplastered
  4. Sitting Here
  5. Skyscape Personal
  6. Grace
  7. A Song Won’t Stop the World
  8. Pulchritude
  9. It Isn’t October Anymore
  10. A New Friend
  11. Sorry Mr. Beckett
  12. Tired Feet, Hungry Soul

This is one of many artists on the Sonic Hope Records label. Finley has appeared on other demos by Robert Deeble, John R. Williamson, and Chad Bryant Edmundson. Williamson also plays bass on this tape. The sound is mostly acoustic singer-song writer folk, with the aforementioned bass guitar adding a bit of texture to the songs. The songs were written between 1987 and 1989, but recorded in 1989. I don’t know if Finley had more tapes before or after this one. Also of note, the artwork in the j-card was by Finley as well (as is the case with most Sonic Hope Records releases, the j-card is a full sheet of paper folded down to j-card dimensions). The liner notes also mention that Finley ran a poetry journal called The Grapevine. While the j-card makes it seem like there were 6 songs on Side 1 and 6 songs on side 2, it turned out that all 12 songs were on Side 1. Side 2 was a collection of song by a band called Household Morgan, which was more alternative rock than Finley. I assume that means that Finley was involved with or connected to Household Martin in some way? I don’t know, but I will treat that side as its own tape.

John R. Williamson – Make a Songwriter Happy

John R. Williamson
Make a Songwriter Happy
1993 Sonic Hope Records
Claremont, California, USA

John R. Williamson – Vocals, guitars, other instruments?

Side 1:

  1. Where They Meet
  2. The Observant Scout
  3. 14 Adjustments
  4. Trying to Love Clayton Ides
  5. The Breadth of My Will
  6. Hot Jazz

Side 2:

  1. Exodus Revisited
  2. Friends
  3. From Russia With Love
  4. The Ballad of Funnycuzi
  5. The Death of the Rough Rider
  6. Hart Overboad
  7. Thanks a Lot

From what I can tell, this is at least Williamson’s 4th or 5th demo (depending on when the undated Sketches came out, or if there are other earlier demos I haven’t heard of. Since Canvas of Blues was also released in 1993, but ’m not sure which one came out first. There is also a missing song on Side 1 – seven are listed, but only six are played. I can name all of the tracks except for track 2 – so it is either “Roley Poley” or “The Observant Scout.” Based on the liner notes, I went with “The Observant Scout” – but I could be wrong. This tape follows other Williamson releases, in that it is mostly folk rock with many other instruments thrown in. That makes some songs come across as more Americana Rock than folk rock.

Ed Englerth – Demo

Ed Englerth
Demo
19?? (no label)
Hastings, Michigan, USA

Ed Englerth – Vocals, guitar, harmonica

  1. Sin Kills
  2. Curious
  3. Her Lips Said Yes as Her Heart Said No

Ed Englerth of Armada and Preston fame returns with this three song demo. It is mostly Ed, an acoustic guitar, and a harmonica. These three songs were also released on Rational Enquirer in 1990 (not called Rational?). Well, “Her Lips Said Yes as Her Heart Said No” was renamed to “Her Lips Said Yes, But Her Heart Pounded No” (both lyrics are in the song). But otherwise it seems that these are the same versions as the ones on the album. Not sure of the date on this one, but it seems this was after 1987’s Hit the Wall but before the 1990 release of Rational Enquirer. Three pretty cool songs for being all acoustic, and Rational? is easy enough to find online, so I should give that album a listen as soon as I can. I am assuming Ed does everything here, but I could be wrong.

John R. Williamson – Sketches

John R. Williamson
Sketches
199? Sonic Hope Records
Palo Verde, California, USA

John R. Williamson – Vocals, guitars

Mike Harkins – Trombone
Korby Paulsen – Guitar
Eric Patton – Drums
Mandy Horak – Singing

Side 1:

  1. Reckoning
  2. The K-Mart Song
  3. Morning Storm
  4. Spiney Snake
  5. Alone With a Will
  6. Ode to Keaton’s Young Sherlock

Side 2:

  1. I’m Breathing
  2. Ray Horne
  3. Eyes
  4. Clinging to Jesus’ Cloak
  5. Poetic Prophetic Musical Sketches
  6. Such is Love

This is another John R. Williamson release, but without a date on it. I assume it was in the 1990s like his other ones, but I have no idea where it falls in the order with other tapes like Canvas of Blue or Do I Dare to Eat a Peach? The sound is also similar to his other tapes, being mostly acoustic alternative rock. Sometimes it’s folk-ish, other times it is singer-songwriter-ish, but it also seems to be a bit outside of those genres as well. This could be due to the occasionally bass guitar, percussion, or other instruments that get thrown in the mix. Unfortunately, the first song on side 2 (“I’m Breathing”) was a bit mangled on this copy, but you can still kind of make it out, and that issue goes away by the next song.

Missing Information: what year was this released?

Chad Bryant Edmundson – Promise

Chad Bryant Edmundson
Promise
1991 Sonic Hope Records
San Juan Cap, California, USA

Chad Bryant Edmundson – Lead vocals, backing vocals, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, keyboards, percussion

David Finley – Vocals on “Sorry Mr. Beckett”
Robert Deeble – Lead guitar on “Sorry Mr. Beckett”
John R. Williamson – Guitar on “Justice at the Crossroads,” bass on “Aspect”
Eric Paulsen – Drums on “Aspect”
J.D. – Lead guitar on “Aspect”

Side 1:

  1. Sorry Mr. Beckett
  2. And for Reason
  3. Janie
  4. Aspect
  5. Justice at the Crossroads

Side 2:

  1. Love and Tombstones
  2. Hope
  3. On This Day
  4. Shared Laughter
  5. [bonus live]

This is an earlier demo from Edmunson – two years before his Wonder and Strangeness demo. It’s still on Sonic Hope Records, so many of the usually Sonic Hope people guest on here as well. The sound this time is mostly acoustic folk, but there some other sounds as well. There is a live recording of “Aspect,” which is an instrumental full band rock song. There are also places where electric guitars and keyboards are used to add some texture to the acoustic folk songs. The last track is part of a live track, but I can’t make out the vocals to say what the title could possibly be.