As a record collector one of the best and most fulfilling parts is the hunt! And when you find one of those elusive gems in the wild, digging in a dusty corner of a store that you’ve never been in before, it’s like finding gold!
One of the those pieces of gold is the self-titled debut from the Canadian/British power trio called May Blitz! They were signed to Vertigo records in 1970, and recorded their self titled debut album that year. They followed it up in 1971 with 2nd Of May but disbanded not long after. Both of these albums are hard to find, and definitely more rare to find in the wild. Recently I wandered into a record store in Ashville, NC, and after digging through the racks, I struck gold, and found the debut from May Blitz! When I got back to my turntable here in Florida it was the first thing I put on, and it did not disappoint. A spacey psych experience with incredible musicianship, from drummer Tony Newman (who had played with Jeff Beck, The Hollies, and Sounds Incorporated), bassist Reid Hudson whose phrasing is deliberate and unique, and the soulful vocals and guitar playing of Jamie Black. This is the first copy I’ve ever seen in a store, and if you aren’t familiar but you love that period of psych rock, go check them out online! By the way, the album artwork is as out there as the performances!
Canada has churned out many great albums over the years, but few bands became as successful internationally as the legendary Guess Who!
Deko Entertainment started 2023 off by signing The Guess Who and have now released the incredible Plein D’Amour. Now many of the original members quit the band years ago of their own choosing, and abandoned the legacy, only coming back into the fold when reunion tours were pitched, the last of which was many years ago. Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Derek Sharp has lead the band forward for many years now, after establishing himself as a musical force in Canada for decades working with a literal who’s who of musicians and acts. His songwriting has always been powerful, but perhaps never more so than on Plein D’Amour. He’s surrounded with talent on this album including the sole original member of The Guess Who, Mr. Garry Peterson on drums, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Leonard Shaw who has been with the band since 1990, the newest addition to the family guitar powerhouse Michael Staertow whose guitar tone and tasteful leads will make any guitarist envious, and bassist Michael Devin (who has unfortunately moved on since the recording) lent some beautiful playing to the masterful songs put together for this album.
I challenge music fans to listen to this album for the songs, not based on the name of the artist! You’ll hear compositions that are reminiscent of Jeff Lynne, CSNY, and Jellyfish, with the heartbeat of The Guess Who. A truly remarkable group of songs from the opener “The King” to the finale and title track “Plein D’Amour”. When I first listened to it back in January I just remember thinking “musicians don’t write songs like this anymore, and many can’t!”
I’m so excited to being a part of bringing this album to the world! There are three vinyl variants for you vinyl addicts, all on 180 gram vinyl, adorned with the artwork of Iaonnis, one on the traditional black vinyl, a purple splatter, and a smokey green in a very limited edition. You can pre-order this album now at dekoentertainment.com, and we even have CD’s for those of you who love shiny mirrored discs!
The feature single off the album is out now, “People Around Me”, and it took on a life of it’s own before the video dropped on July 28th! I love seeing the quality of the product being appreciated, and destroying all pre-conceived ideas of what something is supposed to be!
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