Monday, September 03, 2007

December's Children "December's Children" {USA} [1969](Psych)

There is not very much information on this band on the net but they did manage to create a decent Psych album.

The band would appear to be:
Craig Balzer, Bruce Balzer, Bill Petti, Ron Papaled and Alice Popovic. Although I did find a statement by Gary Lorig that he was in the band.

I think I am correct in stating that both Gary Lorig and Bill Petti were in a rockabilly band from the early 60's Jonny And The Vicounts

I am certain that both Bill Petti and Gary Lorig were in that band. I also know that Craig and Bruce Balzer joined the Cleveland Ohio band Circus soon after leaving December's Children, raising the said band from a Bar Room thing to an outfit that would produce some singles that many collectors seek after. Also, the Brothers Balzer formed themselves into a late 70's, early 80's US band American Noise which I would love to hear.

Craig and Bruce left the music business to go into advertising and I do not know much else, but I certainly like the sounds on this album. Nowhere is the guitar playing inadequate - it is always interesting. The lyrical content is more than competant and even though one would feel an attraction to draw similarities to other USA male / female combines vocal groups as Jefferson Airplane they have a very different sound.

Track 01 - Trilogy: i. 2:30 Casino, ii. In Between A Dream, iii. Lady Of The Garden Starts off more Beatlesque if you ask me - slowly and cleverly building to a faster sound for part 2. "Gonna Take A Ride On A Good Ship - Sing Along a Melody!" with nice guitar, then slowing after another minute to the final part of this trilogy. "I am at peace with myself". This is good stuff - very good considering when it was recorded.

Track 02 - Sweet Talkin' Woman is sort of Allman Brothers style and not particularly exciting (as I think the Allman Bros are anyway). That said it is a competant song and fits as a track 02 on an album of this era.

Track 03 - Jane's Song (The Slow One) reminds me of some of the UK folk that was around at this time, and is really good. "We will always be. (Have always been). Will always be (Deep Within our Winter's Sleep)" This is a really good acoustic section reminiscent of CSNY if not better. (I love this song).

Track 04 - Hide The Water sounds similar to CCR and I can almost imaging John Fogerty joining these people in this song - It does have the nice guitar riffs that are generally missing from CCR stuff, if only I didn't have to draw similarities to another band I would love this.

Track 05 - Afternoon starts as an almost country sound but, swiftly gathers a competant Psych feel with it's intelligent lyrical approach and the Guitar Sound. I wonder is that sound Craig or Bruce Balzer. Any info on this band in the commments will be gratefully received.

Track 06 - Slow It Down does not actually slow down the album progression. It seems to Kick in something. A Blues Rock number that also has good lyrical conten along with excellent guitar work. I wonder whether this was rehearsed for a long time or whether the musicians are simply competant at what they are doing. For sure this is simple music - But It Sounds GREAT.

Track 07 - Too Early To Be Late is a sturdy enough composition (all tracks are attributed to Balzer, Balzer & Petti - "It's getting early to be late - Another surfer on a date" Also a Blues influenced song that sounds great to me.

Track 08 - Last Monday Night if it were more melodical 'could' be a Mamas n Papas type song but it has a Brashness and a great guitar riff. Just imagine the M n P's with some rel Funky guitar riffs at the front of the mix.

Track 09 - Back Road Rider certainly allows the woman singer to impress with (YET AGAIN some Great Guitar). I get Janis Joplin a lot from the singing but love the guitar - as it reminds me of my fave guitar man "Deke Leonard" from Man.

Track 10 - Livin' (Way Too Fast) saves the best till last. It has a nice beat, great vocal and could have been an excellent single. Also relating to the Blues, the Psych side is expressed through the Guitar which erupts into a wah wah style lick that attracts. Again this has the female vocals that are real good at creating a Funky - Blues feel. I reckon that other than the Folky song "Jane's Song" this is the best song.

Weighing in at around 43MB for the 192 samples it is quite small. Peronally I enjoyed this one and hope some out there do too.


ZaXXoN said...

Anonymous said...

Great blog!!! Excellent music!!!
Can you please re-up the John Berberian posts???

Thank you.

Dee said...

Wow! I would love to get a hold of a copy of the December's Children. The last time I heard this lp was about 36 years ago. December's Children changed their name to Ambleside and played the local bars around Ohio. Bruce and Craig were a dynamic duo in the group and were invited to join the extremely popular Ohio band Circus. They played on the first and only album put out by that band and it was titled Circus.
Circus was quite a band! Their spectacular drummer, Tommy Dobeck was snatched up by Michael Stanley ( Michael Stanley Band) and that band broke records for sellout shows in such popular venues as Blossom Music Center and the Front Row. They also had quite a few albums and a chart topper single, "He Can't Love You" Getting back to Bruce and Craig, after Circus, they formed American Noise and put out an album. They were awesome musicians and showmen. Not to mention cute as hell!

Moroccanbaraka said...

Happy to find One of the rare pearl in safe hands!
thank you brother for sharing love...

ed said...

gary loring was not in december's children. in the song too early to be late, the words in question are " another circle on a date". bruce was heavily influenced by duane allman. they met at the sesions for december ' children and allman was doing layla.

Anonymous said...

While attending Kent State university from 1977-81 I had the good fortune to stumble upon American Noise. I saw them 20-30 times and can these guys rocked...not only did they have a great arsenal of original songs such as Hollywood Boulevard, Take It All, Anyone With A Heart, but they were famous for covering The Who's Baba O'Riley....I can still picture Tommy Rich on drums. Thanks for the memories.

Anonymous said...

I remember that some of the flight cases Craig and Bruce had were stenciled "Circus" and were still in use in the early '80s when they were part of American Noise.

Anonymous said...

I saw American Noise at the old Cleveland Connection on Berea Road in 1984. It must've been one of their last concerts. They were a great band. At least 4 songs from the album got heavy local airplay. Great power-pop..think Badfinger meets Fountains of Wayne.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, saw Circus w/ the Balzer Brothers at Highland Highschool early 70's. Then, in early 80's a band I was in called Rocky Sullivan opened for American Noise at the old club Strongsville Jail, maybe 1981 or 1982.

Anonymous said...

Gary Lorig was in the band for about a year when Ron left. He played with the group at the Agora, Negils and other clubs in Cleveland. He and Craig met James Brown and had pictures taken with him while the band was playing a hotel in down down Cleveland. He also played with them at Otto's Grotto which was a hot club downtown.

Anonymous said...

Craig Balzer lost his battle with cancer and passed away on January 7, 2011 . RIP Craig.

Anonymous said...

Thanx a lot!

Aline Luz said...

Fantastic blog!!!!

I have find a web site that explains a lot about the future of December's Children members:

Very nice songs' review!

kanmani said...

Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

Luzes LED Tube

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

is it possible someone can re-upload? I want to hear this!!!!

Park Mastering said...

I have several of their master tapes from around '68 when geno Viscione was their producer. Awesome group!

Post a Comment