Psychedelic-Rock'n'roll: Highway - Highway (POWERFUL HARD ROCK US 1975)

31 March 2015

Highway - Highway (POWERFUL HARD ROCK US 1975)



The history of the Highway starts in 1965 when two Fairmont, Minnesota bands, "The Pacers" and "The Corvairs", joined together and formed "The Epicureans".


The Epicureans in 1965 from left to right: Wayne Wolters (bass guitar), Steve Murphy (vocals and lead guitar), Jerry Clark (vocals, rhythm guitar and sax), Phil Messerli (vocals and organ) and Tom Brockman (vocals and drums)


Eventually "The Epicureans" became Highway in 1972. The Highway album was recorded in 1975 at Westminster Studio, outside Fort Dodge, Iowa and privately released in 500 copies.
At this time Highway was formed by "Steve Murphy" (guitars and vocals), "Eric Bannister" (bass guitar) and "Dan Cammarata" (drums).


Highway was an "unusual power trio album that's one of the best of its kind. It's hard but not heavy; there's not a single distorted guitar to be heard. What you get instead are intricate, complex riffs and hooks a-plenty in which speed and agility take precedence over pure noise.
The drums and bass compensate by being loud and frantic.
The production, on the other hand, is thin and trebly. As usual with this kind of band, lyrics are not their strong point, but the vocals are quite agreeable, not macho or obnoxious at all"
(Aaron Milenski).


The sound is raw and the impression of having been recorded in one take.

2 Comments :

adamus67 said...

Highway CD reissue of ultra-rare 1975 private label 70s hard rock that is so rare it never really got a chance to gain a proper reputation among collectors and see where they rank among the legends of rare 70's collectable hard rock like Truth and Janey, Poobah, Morly Grey, Wedge, Demian, Totty, Cain and so on. Thanks to this official CD reissue, complete with 4 non-Lp bonus tracks, Highway can finally be heard again after 37 years!! Don't miss out on this limited and hard to find Pearls of the years seventies. This limited CD reissue of the only album by HIGHWAY was made by the band in 1990. The original album privately released 1975 in Minnesota was an edition of 500 copies and became a very sought record for heavy, psycho & blues collectors. The music by this guitar orientated trio is blues influenced heavy rock with outstanding and variative guitar work that touches the "extended stoned westcoast-jam feeling". The mostly long compositions with melodic vocals - sometimes remind to a mix of 70´s Westcoast Rock and straight hardrock as the 70´s Ufo stuff, Jeff Liberman, Copperhead, B.Ö.C.

The history of the band began in 1965 when two Fairmont bands, The Pacers and The Corvairs, formed The Epicureans who evolved into Highway. Today, The Murphy Brothers Band has become the latest formation of Highway. Check out a great visual HISTORY OF THE BAND , and consider buying a Murphy Brothers Band album. The s/t Highway album is a great example of American mid seventies heavy guitar based blues rock, by a talented guitar orientated trio. Music as good as this is a rarity nowadays.

This is a very good album made in 1975 though it sound in parts as if it could have been released earlier. Good psych rock with plenty of drum rolesresembling 'the who' at times with lots of chord changes and dancing bass.
Genuinely very good, privately published in 1975 (with very good sound and as good, if somewhat crude production) album of the American trio playing in a European-sounding, heavy guitar rock in a climate very early Wishbone Ash and Thin Lizzy (but without two guitarists playing in unison ...) - there is no exaggeration in these bands and fans will be delighted. The compositions are very good, tasty and vinyl unfortunately veeeeery expensive!

This all original album was recorded in 1975 at Westminster Studio, outside Fort Dodge, Iowa. Only 500 copies were issued and released. In 1985, Highway guitarist Steve Murphy got a call from a collector in the Chicago area, who showed genuine interest in this rare album. In fact, Steve Murphy has received worldwide queries about the album. The album has received legendary status, as it has been "bootlegged" in a limited edition of 300. The bootleg very much like the original private pressing, but it was not made using any master tapes, and the song writing and musician credits do not appear on the album sleeve. Eventually the album was re-released officially on CD with four bonus tracks. CD release was in 2005 when Murphy to be sought after by many fans of Hard Rock. This album is incredible, fantastic long songs and melodies, is the kind of sound that leaves the first hearing since the guy that ties in the sound 70's slack jaw. The sound is raw and the impression of having been recorded in one take. The guys who enjoyed the "Josephus", "Grand Funk" and "Led Zeppelin" will certainly enjoy this band much. This is another super daquelsa bands that unfortunately not revenge, today Steve leads the The Murphy Brothers Band in 2005 and was nominated for the prestigious Minnesota Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

I cordially greet!
Adam.

Dedé said...

Great, thanks!