H A R D W A T E R
Along with Minnesota's Trashmen, the Astronauts (from Colorado) were the premier landlocked Midwestern surf group of the 1960s. They recorded numerous singles and albums, and scored a national hit with "Baja", written by Lee Hazelwood. The group featured mostly instrumentals, which used mounds of wet Fender reverb, and two rhythm guitars. Rich Fifield joined The Astronauts in 1963 and was their last original member when the group disbanded in 1967. Fifield plus the last line-up (Tony Murillo, Robert McLerran, Peter Wyant and Mark Bretz) went on to record one 45 as 'Sunshine Ward'. When Bretz left they became Hardwater. Produced by David Axelrod (Electric Prunes), their album features a pleasant hard/soft West Coasty rock & folk-rock sound, with nice three part harmonies. Somewhat psych, garage, and laid-back hippie-rock, there is some fluid guitar-work here, and all the tracks are group originals except "City Sidewalks", "Sanctuary", and "Good Ole Friends" which were written by John Carter & Tim Gilbert, the creative source behind Denver Colorado's psych/pop legends, Rainy Daze. Coincidentally the very same Carter-Gilbert tracks appear on the Yankee Dollar album. The song "Good Luck" is a rip-off of the Beatles' "Taxman", and is sought after by collectors. Peter Wyant would later play with David Axelrod on his solo albums. Rich Fifield went on to the Boogaloo Swamis, and Tony Murillo later worked with San Antonio accordionist Ponty Bone. Selections are: Medley: My Time/Take A Long Look (6:49); City Sidewalks (3:18); Love And I (2:13); Monday (4:06); Plate Of My Fare (2:04); Not So Hard (3:16); Good Ole Friends (2:36); Sanctuary (5:33); To Nowhere (1:55); Good Luck (2:47). This is a seldom seen Original 1968 pressing on CAPITOL RECORDS (ST-2954), and is STILL FACTORY SEALED!
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