Blue Ash is a Lost in the Grooves artist. Click to sample the music or purchase tracks from Around Again – A Collection of Rarities From the Vault 1972-1979. And keep an eye peeled to Frank Secich’s Blue Ash blog here at LITG for news, photos and insights straight from the band. This reissue (of a double CD first put out by the good folks at Not Lame) is just the start, as we’ll soon be digging deeper into the Blue Ash vaults for songs never before heard by fans.
Metal Mike Saunders provided this vintage record review for the Lost in the Grooves anthology:
Blue Ash No More, No Less (Mercury, 1973)
“I Remember A Time” could do for Blue Ash what “Mr. Tambourine Man” did for the Byrds: the start of a brilliant career, a Number One hit, instant mythology. The guitar intro lasts all of five seconds before Jimmy Kendzor and Frank Secich’s voices come in, oozing of everything the Byrds and Lovin’ Spoonful ever promised, the soaring harmonies in the chorus driving over jangling lead guitar work. It’s the sound of tomorrow right here today, it’s the perfect folk-rock single. It’s beautiful, that’s what.
This is one of the most spirited, powerful debuts ever from an American group. No More, No Less opens with “Have you Seen Her,” a fast rocker kicked off by four whomps on David Evans’ snare. This is the one that makes me think of The Who; the lead guitar is pure West Coast, though.
"Just Another Game” is the one quiet song, an effective tonedown before “I Remember A Time.” “Plain To See” is similar to “I Remember A Time” in the way its simple, compelling melody rocks out with vocal harmonies framed over a trebly Byrds guitar sound.
“Here We Go Again” follows, midway between the hardest and softest numbers on the first side. What’s great here are the group vocals on top of the tuff folk-rock cum hard rock instrumental sound; it’s like killing two birds with one stone, the whole premise behind the old and new Mod groups (Small Faces, early Who, the Sweet), not to mention the hard pop masterpiece known to the world as “Do Ya.”
By the time this album ends, there’s no doubt about it, Blue Ash have got themselves one hell of a debut LP that may send fellow stateside groups like Stories, the Raspberries, and Big Star running back to the woodshed to come up with music even better than their present stuff. (Mike Saunders)
The interview can be found at:
This is a great new site run by St. Petersburg musician Iggi Scaldin and his wife Marina.
Pictured below are Blue Ash in 1969. Photo by Darla Bartolin
The songs from Blue Ash’s "Around Again" (a 2004 two cd retrospective) will soon be available for collective and individual downloads. Also, over 170 Blue Ash songs that were found in the vaults a few years ago will also be available for the first time anywhere. Some of the titles are "Walls", "I’ll Be Standing By", "Dinner At Mr. Billy’s", "Make It Easy","It’s All In Your Mind", "Look Out Your Window Baby I’m On Your Porch", "Baby Doll", "It’s Alright By Me", "Dangerous! Dynamite!", "You Know My Number", "Freeloader","When I Get You", " If I Were Ever Minus You","Movin’ Right Along","You Really Get To Me",…and dozens of other tunes that have never before been heard by anyone outside of the band members themselves. All of it was written by the Blue Ash songwriting team of Bill "Cupid" Bartolin and Frank Secich. The songs were recorded in Youngstown, Ohio at Peppermint studios between 1972 and 1976. More details will be forthcoming here at "Lost In The Grooves" in the next few weeks.
Club Wow was formed in Cleveland, Ohio in January of 1982. Jimmy Zero (former Dead Boy) and Billy Sullivan (Paul Pope Band) had been recording together the previous year and decided to form a group. They asked Frank Secich (former Blue Ash bassist) and Jeff West (former drummer of the Testors) to join. Club Wow made their debut performance at Pirate’s Cove in Cleveland on April 1, 1982. Over the next few years Club Wow played regularly in Cleveland, Youngstown and Buffalo, NY. They also recorded many high quality demos in Cleveland throughout 1983-84. After failing to land a record contract when playing a major label showcase at "Tracks" in New York City in early 1985, Club Wow broke up. Recently, the long lost master recordings of Club Wow were unearthed. Well, they were found in a suitcase in Frank Secich’s cellar where they had been placed and promptly forgotten years ago. The good news is that these rare recordings will soon be made available for public consumption. Stay tuned for details.
Club Wow 1982 Left to right: Billy Sullivan, Frank Secich, Jeff West and Jimmy Zero
Two members of Blue Ash (Bill Bartolin and Frank Secich) will be appearing on a cut for the upcoming tribute to Greg Shaw on Bomp Records. The song they recorded is a cover of "Him Or Me….What’s It Gonna Be?" by Paul Revere and the Raiders. Also, featured on the track are Ohio musicians: Jimmy Zero (Dead Boys), George Cabaniss (Color Me Gone, Hammer Damage Band), Billy Sullivan (Raspberries reunion band), John Koury and Pete Drivere (Infidels), Dave Swanson (Rainy Day Saints) and Canadian, David "Quinton" Steinberg of (Stiv Bators Band and Mods). The tribute album to Greg is novel in it’s approach in that it will be comprised of Greg’s favorite songs done by some of his favorite artists. It’s tentatively scheduled for release late this year or early 2007. Blue Ash also have 2 never-before-released cuts "She Cried For 15 Years" and "Say Goodbye" on an Australian compilation called "Planet Of The Popboomerang 2". It’s a 2cd set that features American power pop artists on one disc and on the other, artists from all over the world. You can check out samples at: www.popboomerang.com Frank Secich will also appear as a solo artist on an upcoming tribute to Stiv Bators out of Italy. The tribute is called "I’m Not Just Anyone…A Portrait Of Stiv" Frank’s song is called "The Stiv Bators Ghost Tour". Artists from around the world have contributed covers of Dead Boys, Wanderers, Lords Of The New Church and Stiv Bators Band songs. Http://www.latexxxteens.com/
Frank Secich, Jim Kendzor, Bill Bartolin and Jeff Rozniata of Blue Ash 1974
Blue Ash is glad and honored to be part of the "Lost In The Grooves" family. This is a brief history of the band. Blue Ash was formed in 1969 by Frank Secich (bass guitar), Jim Kendzor (vocals), Bill "Goog" Yendrek (lead guitar) and David Evans (drums). The band debuted at a psychedelic club called "The Freak Out" in Youngstown, Ohio on October 3, 1969. Determined to go against the then omnipresent long-guitar-solo-jam bands, Blue Ash would forge a style in the manner of their own teen-aged years heroes: Beatles, Who, Kinks, Byrds, Beau Brummels, Hollies, Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, and many others mixed in from the mid-60’s. Coupled with a wild stage-show and the management of Geoffrey Jones, Blue Ash soon became very popular on the teen-dance and club circuit of PA, NY, Ohio and W.VA. In October of 1970, guitarist Bill Yendrek was replaced by Bill Bartolin. For the next few years Blue Ash played a hectic 200-250 dates a year throughout the region. During that time the songwriting team of Secich-Bartolin were stockpiling an enormous amount of original material. In 1972, they were signed to a recording contract with Mercury Records by the late , great (legendary A&R man/ rock writer) Paul Nelson. Paul also signed " The New York Dolls" around the same time. Their debut lp "No More, No Less" (1973) received rhapsodic reviews in the rock press. Blue Ash along with Big Star and Raspberries became critical darlings of a new sound later to be called "power pop". With not enough sales or FM airplay came the death knell to the first wave of 70’s power pop bands. Blue Ash continued on and in 1977 released a 2nd lp on Playboy Records. In 1979 the band broke up. In the ensuing years Blue Ash developed a world-wide cult following with many groups recording their songs: Records, Finkers, Michael Monroe to name a few. Over the years there was rumoured to be tons of unreleased Blue Ash material. In 2004, Not Lame Records released a 2CD set of it with 44 songs called "Around Again". Blue Ash is now reformed (but not too reformed) and play out occasionally. The band consists of all 4 original members plus 2nd drummer Jeff Rozniata, Bob Darke (bass) and Brian Wingrove (piano, vocals). For more about Blue Ash go to: www.BlueAshMusic.com and…. http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BlueAsh/