A Bloody Mary is a nice drop yes, and maybe an inspiration for this rather mysterious band that no one on planet Earth knows anything about.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Bloody Mary
ALBUM: Bloody Mary
LABEL: Family Productions
SERIAL: FPS 2707
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
TRACK LISTING: 01 Dragon Lady * 02 Highway * 03 Riddle Of The Sea * 04 Free And Easy * 05 You Only Got Yourself * 06 Can You Feel It (Fire) * 07 I Hear The Music Playing
A Bloody Mary is best known as a cocktail drink made up of rum and tomato juice. A Bloody Mary is a nice drop yes, and maybe an inspiration for this rather mysterious band that no one on planet Earth knows anything about. Here’s what I know, but ‘stuff all’ is probably the apt description.
All fingers seem to point to New York City as the origin location for Bloody Mary. The record label Family Production is from there, as well as label owner Artie Ripp, plus the producer of the album Vinnie Testa and the engineers who worked on it. There is absolutely no trace of a personnel/credits list on the LP jacket so anybody setting off on a wild goose chase looking to know more will lose their bearings pretty quickly.
Though this album is reputably recorded in 1974, it certainly doesn’t sound like it. To me, Bloody Mary has all the hallmarks of a British sounding progressive pop band from the 1970-71 era. There was a rumor that fellow New York City band Sir Lord Baltimore‘s drummer John Garner was involved with Bloody Mary, but he denied ever knowing anything about them. John has since passed away in 2015 so that trail has gone cold.
The album only has seven tracks, and upon a quick initial listen I thought this was a proto southern rock band, but that’s not the case at all. The predominant organ work takes you back to the late 60’s and early 70’s. Think of bands like The Doors or Santana without the Latin leanings and you might land somewhere close.
‘Dragon Lady’ leads with some wobbly percussion work and brings into the spotlight the two influences mentioned above. ‘Highway’ has a proto sound that definitely comes out of the early 70’s, while ‘Riddle Of The Sea’ is mostly acoustic with a understated organ backdrop though it does build toward the end as a decent progressive effort. ‘Free And Easy’ is played at a faster clip, not quite commercial because the driving rhythm drops out at the halfway mark, with organ taking center stage.
‘You Only Got Yourself’ is the longest track here at 7 minutes, yes it’s a 70’s undulating prog extravaganza filled with organ parts and a heap of percussion. Meanwhile, ‘Can You Feel It (Fire)’ operates off a hard rock base, and is my pick for best track on the album. A piano part introduces ‘I Hear The Music Playing’, the track is subdued initially but wakes up at the 1 min 40 mark and rides out to the finish line.
You can tell I love a good mystery and this band has it all. On the off chance that someone can defuse the mystery of Bloody Mary please drop us a line so we can clear this anomaly once and for all. Good hunting.
Riddle Of The Sea
Can You Feel It (Fire)
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This album has all the makings of a “Stonewall” part two, in terms of the overall mystery scenario.