Proud Peasant — Cosmic Sound
(Fruits de Mer crustacean 70, 2016, 7")
by Henry Schneider, Published 2016-03-12
Back when I interviewed Proud Peasant’s frontman Xander Rapstine in July 2014, he mentioned his love for Krautrock, especially Eloy, and also Manfred Mann’s Earthband. During the interview I immediately recognized that Proud Peasant needed to appear on Fruits de Mer. I introduced Xander to Keith Jones and roughly 18 months later their first vinyl release is part of FdM’s April singles batch. For their FdM debut, Xander chose to cover Eloy’s “Daybreak” and Manfred Mann’s “Saturn, Lord of the Ring / Mercury, The Winged Messenger.” As a bit of history, Eloy released two different versions of “Daybreak.” The first version was the B-side of “Walk Alone” released in 1970 and included as a bonus track on the reissue of their debut album. Then they released a second version of “Daybreak” b/w “On the Road” in 1972. This second version was included as a bonus track on the reissue of their second album, Inside. It is this second version that Proud Peasant covers on their single. Proud Peasant performs a brilliant cover that out-Krautrocks Eloy! They bring warmth to the music that Eloy did not have and it sounds like the band had a lot of fun covering the song. On the flip side, Proud Peasant shows a different side musically. They’ve taken Manfred Mann’s original and reinterpreted it from a more jazzy and blue perspective. Xander’s lead guitar is impeccable. On the “Mercury” portion of the instrumental they experiment with different cosmic guitar effects much like what happened in the 60s. Plus the arrangement is very tight. If you just listened to the disc in its entirety without any other information you would never guess that this disc was recorded in Austin, TX in 2015. Proud Peasant continues to mature as a band and they are headed into the studio this summer to record their next full length album, which is sure to please all of their new fans.
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more