As to be expected on ‘LPG’, Lee Pickens delivers hard rock of the Texan kind, with doses of psychedelic rock and blues thrown in for good measure.
Written by: gdmonline
ARTIST: Lee Pickens Group
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Lee Pickens – lead guitar, slide guitar, vocals * Eddie Deayton – lead vocals, organ, guitar * Charlie Bassham – drums, congas, vocals * Milton Walters – organ, harmonica, vocals * Gary Owen – bass, vocals
TRACK LISTING: 01 You’d Better Stop * 02 Sail Away 3:18 * 03 She’s My Lover * 04 It’s Not Right * 05 I Can’t Stand It * 06 Hold On To Me * 07 2° South * 08 Ten After Never * 09 Thumbs Up
Lee Pickens is a name that may be familiar to old dinosaur fossils from the 70’s. He was in fact the guitar player for the Fort Worth based band Bloodrock, and appeared on their albums from 1970 to 1971. He joined the band in 1967; in an earlier incarnation called Crowd + 1.
Pickens took over from Dean Parks who would eventually end up in L. A becoming one of the most sought after session guitarists during the 70’s. By 1969, the band along with manager and producer Terry Knight changed their name to Bloodrock and by the following year, released their debut album for Capitol.
Pickens lasted for several albums (four of them), but left in early 1972. Band mate Jim Rutledge also departed in the same year. By 1973, Pickens released this solo album under his own name with the cleverly titled LPG. Liquefied petroleum gas? I think not! It was recorded during October and November 1972 with a new lineup; the same time his former band were releasing their ‘Passage’ album.
As to be expected on ‘LPG’, this is hard rock of the Texan kind, with doses of psychedelic rock and blues thrown in for good measure. It would be hard to ignore Lee Pickens prior band, there’s a good supply of rock organ and tasty lead guitar work from Pickens that makes this a good Bloodrock compendium.
The opener ‘You’d Better Stop’ captures the LPG team firing on all cylinders, and is a great lead-off. The fluid hard rock of ‘She’s My Lover’ is another highlight, some spotless lead guitar runs from Pickens lifts this off the floor.
Changing tack, the Latin funk of ‘It’s Not Right’ sits in the same pile as bands like Santana and Chango. At seven minutes, ‘Hold On To Me’ is a touch too long for a ballad, though full of synthesizer strings and organ; Picken’s solo finally kicking in with 90 seconds on the clock.
Another direction change this time with ‘2掳 South’, which is all over the musical compass; like Pat Travers and Frank Marino having a jam! It’s flanger time on ‘Ten After Never’, not one of the albums endearing tracks. Much better is the closer ‘Thumbs Up’, which is a total guitar overload, played over a bluesy base.
I have to thank RKBLUEZ for dragging this one out of the archives. ‘LPG’ has to my knowledge, never been released officially on CD (though there is an unofficial CD from 2010 which is out there), so this remains a vinyl archive at best.
Lee Pickens didn’t go on to much after this album, though he was involved in a Bloodrock reunion concert in 2005, for a medical charity/benefit gig for keyboardist Stevie Hill, who was diagnosed with Leukaemia. He passed away in 2013.
You’d Better Stop