Hot Platters: Jerry Hahn Brotherhood (Columbia Records, 1970)

TRACK LIST: 

1. Martha's Madman 

2. Early Bird Cafe 

3. One Man Woman 

4. Ramblin' 

5. Dippin' Snuff 

6. Time's Caught Up With You 

7. Thursday Thing 

8. What I Gave Away 

9. Comin' Down 

10. Captain Bobby Stout

 

ALBUM CREDITS:

Mike Finnigan Organ, Piano, Harmonica, Vocals 

Jerry Hahn Guitar, Banjo, Vocals 

George Marsh Drums 

Clyde Graves Bass 

produced by Larry Sharp & Joe Gannon for Sharp-Gannon Productions 

engineering: David Brown, Willie Greer & Mark Friedman 

mixing engineer: Bruce Morgan 

recorded at Pacific Sound - San Mateo, CA 

 

If I was stranded on a desert island and was able to choose 10 albums to listen to, the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood album would definitely be part of the mix. 

 

I'll never forget the first time I heard this album.  I was a freshman at The University of Dayton and a fella by the name of Larwrence McCullough (my roommate at the time and currently a fine writer who recently collaborated on a great book with Harold F. Eggers Jr called My Years with Townes Van Zandt) showed up with a copy of the album and said, "Hey, check this out!"  I was immediately impressed with the diverse mixture of styles on the album.  One minute you'd hear rock then a taste of country and somewhere along the line straight ahead jazz. 

 

Jerry Hahn

The Jerry Hahn Brotherhood was formed by jazz guitarist Jerry Hahn who had paid his dues working with John Handy, the Fifth Dimension and Gary Burton. By 1970, he wanted to get a band together that would reflect a myriad of musical influences--- jazz, blues, rock, gospel, country etc. One of the best parts of the early 1970's was the great amount of experimentation that was going on among bands in general. A very fertile period indeed. As a matter of fact, one could easily make the claim that this here record was one of the very first true fusion albums to hit the scene. Later came such bands as Return To Forever and Weather Report who received wide acclaim for bringing together elements of jazz and rock but let's face it...The Jerry Hahn Brotherhood had been there first. 

 

Mike Finnigan

The band had several key elements: Hahn's jazz inflected rock guitar, a solid versatile rhythm section of George Marsh (drums) & Clyde Graves (bass) and most importantly, the lead vocals & Hammond B-3 organ of Mike Finnigan who infuses each song with a healthy amount of good ol' soul.

After his stint in the jazz world with the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood, Mike Finnigan joined up with Jerry Wood and formed Finnegan & Wood, a kick-ass band that stormed the West Coast and the Midwest between 1970 and 1975.

 

When the Finnigan & Wood project came to an end, Finnigan pursued a career as a backing musician for such bands as Crosby, Stills & Nash.

 

One of Finnigan's most celebrated moments as a backing musician was his work on the Jimi Hendrix Electric Ladyland track, Rainy Day Dream Away (Rainy Day, Still Dreaming).

 

Many of the songs on the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood album were written by someone named Lane Tietgen who provided the band with songs that had a lyrical sensibility that would later surface in such great bands as Little Feat and Steely Dan. Back in the late 60's, Tietgen was the primary songwriter and a guitarist for a band called The Serfs.  Mike Finnigan was a member of that band which explains how seven of Tietgen's songs happened to be used for the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood album. From the Views From A Hill blog: "The Serfs, the preeminent Kansas bar band in 1968, scored a record deal with the Capitol label. The band formed around Tietgen (guitar and bass) and Michael Finnigan keyboards (principally Hammond B-3) in Lawrence, Kansas, but was based primarily out of Wichita. They were to be produced by Tom Wilson (Dylan’s producer of the period) who had recommended the Record Plant to Jimi Hendrix’s people as the happening new place to record. Working down the hall from each other, Hendrix recruited Finnigan and Freddy Lee Smith (sax) and Larry Faucette (congas) to play on Rainy Day, Dream Away and Still Rainin’, Still Dreamin. The Serf’s Early Bird Café was an adventurous album featuring Tietgen’s originals with covers ranging from Dylan to Miles Davis. Perhaps too eclectic for their own good and because perhaps Wilson couldn’t get a handle on what they were all about, the record went nowhere." 

 

For many years I was unable to dig up any info on Lane Tietgen but recently discovered that he's still active as a musician and recently released a new album in 2009. From Wikipedia: A number of Tietgen's songs have been covered by famous musicians, including "Captain Bobby Stout" and "Martha's Madmen" by Manfred Mann's Earth Band, "It Can't Make Any Difference to Me" by Dave Mason, and "Red and Black Blues" by Ringo Starr. In 2006 Ice Cube used a melody by Tietgen for his song, "Click, Clack - Get Back!," on the album Laugh Now, Cry Later.  Tietgen currently posts on his Views From A Hill blog.

 

In the course of doing research on the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood album, I came across the following article from the NY Times: Caught in the Limbo of Vinyl:The Case of Jerry Hahn Brotherhood (NY Times, Verlyn Kinkenborg, August19, 2006).  "The other day a song popped into my head, just a few up-tempo instrumental phrases — guitar, bass, drums and a Hammond B3 organ. I knew instantly what it was, though I hadn’t heard it in at least 20 years. It was a passing moment from “Martha’s Madman,” the first song on the first side of an LP called “The Jerry Hahn Brotherhood.” I bought the record when it was released in 1970. I was a freshman at Berkeley. It would have been easy to see the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood performing that year, though I never did. Its lone record was a sunny mixture of straight-up jazz with a blues spine, a music that wants the latter-day word “fusion,” though that word does so little good. Above all, it was a reminder of the eclecticism of the time. Audiences that would soon diverge found themselves packed in a hall together all night long, like one October weekend at Fillmore West when the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood shared the bill with Van Morrison and Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band...We live, of course, in an age of accelerating digital replication. Before long, it seems, every recording of every kind in existence, along with all the outtakes, will have been turned into a CD or a DVD or a digital file for download over the Internet. But some things get left behind...There will probably never be a movie based on the Jerry Hahn Brotherhood, no commercial incentive to remaster and rerelease this album. The story of the band is a good one but all too familiar — the inevitable clash between the artistic and business sides of the recording industry. The band fell apart disputing the honesty of its manager....What’s left is an orphaned vinyl LP...I talked to Jerry Hahn the other day...he said that the master tapes of The Jerry Hahn Brotherhood are stored somewhere in New York State. The man who produced the record has retired to Hawaii, where he and his wife own several restaurants. I haven’t been able to track down the manager. I’d like to hear his side of the story...Even through the mist you can still hear the brightness of the music. But someone needs to find those master tapes, breathe some air into them, and do this minor masterpiece (and all the outtakes) justice at last. I’d buy a copy, especially if I thought that some of the purchase price might make its way to the artists."

Sadly, this self-titled effort is the only recorded output by The Jerry Hahn Brotherhood. Prior to recording a follow-up album the band broke up due to management problems. As I write this, The Jerry Hahn Brotherhood album has not seen the light of day due to ongoing legal difficulties and it looks like this record may never see release on compact disc or as a digital download (at least not in our lifetimes).

 

So, without further adieu...as my old friend Larry would say, "Hey, check it out!"

 

FURTHER INVESTIGATION

Jerry Hahn: All Music

George Marsh: Jerry Hahn Brotherhood Drummer

Clyde Graves: Jerry Hahn Bassist

Mike Finnigan: Music Credits

Mike Finnigan: NAAM Interview

Q&A With Legendary Session Musician Mike Finnigan

Mike Finnigan Wikipedia

The Peverett Phile Interviews: Mike Finnigan

 


Blues You Can Use!

One September evening in 2006, four guys calling themselves The Hideaways (Chris James - Vocals, Guitar & Organ , Sean O'Neill - Bass , "Boom Boom" Johnson - Drums and Scotty Micciche - Blues Harp & Vocals) walked into a studio in Deer Park, New York and created this 2-track live recording called The Lost Tracks Vol. 1.  Mind Smoke Records is delighted to take part in the release of this remastered blues gem that captures the raw energy of The Hideaways!

 

 

Downloads & Streaming

AMAZON.COM

APPLE MUSIC / ITUNES

SPOTIFY

CD BABY

MIND SMOKE DOWNLOAD STORE

 

Compact Discs

MIND SMOKE CD STORE

 

Be Sure To Catch The Hideaways LIVE

@ CHARLOTTE'S SPEAKEASY JULY 27th

 


 

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