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Moby Grape - Live Grape & Live At Keystone (1978)

Peter Lewis – Guitar, Vocals
Jerry Miller – Guitar, Vocals
Skip Spence – Guitar, Drums, Vocals
Cornelius Bumpus – Keyboards, Saxophone
John Oxendine - Drums
Chris Powell – Bass
Daniel Spencer – Drums


O grupie Moby Grape - przy okazji prezentacji pierwszej, znakomitej płyty zespołu - napisał w swoim poście pięknie Conradino, więc nie będę się już powtarzał. Chciałbym natomiast przypomnieć dwie moim zdaniem znakomite płyty koncertowe, bo w okolicach 1977 roku grupa przeżyła tak zwany "reunion" w prawie-oryginalnym składzie. Z nagrań można wywnioskować, że zespół jest w świetnej formie. Słychać to przede wszystkim na płycie "Live Grape" i moich ulubionych dwóch kawałkach - That Lost Horizon i You Rider. Drugą płytę załączyłem niejako na zasadzie bonusu, bo jest to bootleg nagrany podczas występu w Palo Alto i zawiera więcej klasycznych nagrań z pierwszych płyt.


The album features core members Peter Lewis, Jerry Miller and Skip Spence. Original members Bob Mosley and Don Stevenson did not participate in the recordings, though Bob Mosley did appear with the band on occasion during this period.

The recordings were made of performances in 1977 and early 1978, in and around Santa Cruz. At the time, band members were in a protracted legal dispute with former manager Matthew Katz over ownership of the Moby Grape band name. As a result, Moby Grape is not named anywhere on the cover.

The album was originally released by Escape Records in 1978. It was reissued on CD by Line Records in 1994 and Akarma Records in 2007.

"Live Grape" is a welcome addition to any Moby Grape fan's collection because of its historical importance, being the 1978 reunion album. Truth be told, the contents are slight because of the absence of original drummer Don Stevenson and original bassist Bob Moseley. Skip Spence apparently makes a cameo or two ("Must Be Goin' Now Dear"). With substitutions Cornelius Bumpus (later in the Doobie Brothers) and John Oxendine, the playing is very well executed and the energy level is high. However, the creative songwriting impetus that carried them through their first five albums seems to be lost. There are some highlights, including the Peter Lewis compositions "That Lost Horizon" and "Up In The Air". Overall, one gets the impression that Moby Grape were, at this stage, a great bar band (the Cornelius Bumpus tune "Set Me Down Easy" is a great example). Unfortunately, without the full quintet of principals, the writing isn't as varied. One misses the the throaty soulfulness of Moseley, the other half of the Miller/Stevenson writing duo and the mercurial fire of a fully-participative Skip Spence.

This is a great album! Issued in 1978 without any mention of "Moby Grape" anywhere (no pictures either) it was a record that fell into the bins because it was released by a small label that didn't promote. But hey, any album that is released on a small indie label gets that treatment. This features all the original Grape guitarists together again for "Must Be Goin' Now,Dear", a new Spence track. Recorded some 10 years after he left the band (discounting the reunion in 1971)after his last performances. Also featuring Cornelius Bumpus (Doobies,Steely Dan,etc.) and John Oxendine on drums. The record sounds part studio, part warm-up, some live. Out of print, but worth finding. (amazon)

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