Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Brotherhood

Today is the official release date of Brotherhood, the complete recordings 2 CD set.


A few people know that in the 1960's, my dad was the drummer for a band called Paul Revere and the Raiders. Very few people know that three core members of Paul Revere and the Raiders, my dad, Mike Smith, Drake Levin, and Phil Volk started another band in the late 60's called, Brotherhood.  They wanted to broaden their musical horizons, so to speak. They recorded three albums; 2 of them solid late 60's offerings, and 1 very experimental album (Friend Sound/Joyride). Unfortunately, they went relatively unheard.  

Today, these albums that have been out of print for 40 years, are being released for the very first time on CD. This is big news, it's about time!  I am so glad that more people will get the chance to hear these songs that were part of the soundtrack of my life.

I know this was a pivotal time in my father's life, and I think his heart was wounded when it didn't pan out.  I remember once in my 20s, a friend and I worked up a couple of the songs from the first Brotherhood album. My friend played the guitar and I sang the songs for my dad one night in an old wooden shed that perched over the banks of a pretty stream called Widow Creek. When we were finished, my father wiped his face with his hands trying to hide the tears running down his cheeks. Then he shook his head and laughed, "Oh now why would you want to play those old songs?" Because they are good songs, and a few of them are truly great.

A song like "Somebody," that holds my father's presence so profoundly, his drumming so clear and impressive; I can't help to think what a shame their collaboration was cut short. I would have loved to hear what a couple more years together would have produced.

Sadly, both my father and Drake Levin have passed, two formidable talents. I wish they could have been here for this release, to know that their music was going to be heard now. This surely would have been an emotional day for my dad. So many thanks to Phil "Fang" Volk, for your impressive memory, for telling the story, for all the work and the music. Thanks also to Bill Kopp, Real Gone Music, Vic Anesini and all those who made this happen at last.

Right at the height of popularity for Paul Revere and the Raiders, the band’s core power trio of Phil “Fang” Volk (bass), Drake “The Kid” Levin (guitar) and Mike “Smitty” Smith (drums) left to pursue their own more ambitious musical goals. Subsequent lawsuits and a run of bad luck meant that the first, self-titled album by their new band, Brotherhood, would be delayed, and received little notice at the time. Yet, by mixing a wealth of socially-conscious original numbers with hard-rocking reinterpretations of tunes by the Mamas and the Papas and Joe South, Brotherhood was a band brimming with promise. Between 1968 and 1969 the band released two more albums, one under their own name, the other a third, wildly experimental record (Friend Sound / Joyride) that drew upon Cage, Zappa and Stockhausen (and acid) for its influences. Bringing together music that has been out of print for over 40 years and never available on CD until now, Brotherhood: The Complete Recordingsincludes all three albums the group cut for RCA on two CDs, plus a definitive history of the band by Bill Kopp, based on extensive research and a lengthy interview with Phil Volk, who contributes a note of his own. Remastered by Vic Anesini at Battery Studios in NYC…one of the great lost bands of the late ‘60s

You can buy the Brotherhood CD set at:
Real Gone Music
Amazon

Me, my dad 1972

My dad always told me that if you just can't help yourself from making music, you better do it with your whole heart and soul. "You'll spill your guts, you'll break your own heart and always want more. It's a wild ride with moments of life changing beauty. But mostly, it's just guts and broken hearts."


4 comments:

Sherri B. said...

What a precious photo of you and your dad.

I am so happy that this dream has come true for you and the double album is being offered. I'm sure that there will be many, especially my era, that will be thrilled to add this to their collections. I have put it in my 'cart' at Amazon and will be purchasing it when I have a few other things. xo

Flaming Nora said...

Sniff.
Tear in the old eye.
What a wonderful thing to have happen.

Chris Gilliland said...

Thank you so much for sharing! This is great news! I look forward to hearing this music.

Daisy Jones said...

How wonderful... you must be so proud of him...I am gulping back a little tear for you... he is so handsome too.

so sorry that he is not here to see it all happening.

but you have him in the songs...
love as always
Daisy j x