[Ed. Note: This is the companion to Rocks Off's Wax Museum feature, focusing here on Houston's psychedelic and garage-rock legacy.]
The Great Believers, "Comin’ Up Fast, Part 1"
I figured we might as well start this thing off with a bang, and there could be no better Houston garage 45 for the job than the Great Believers. Undoubtedly one of the fuzziest recordings ever made, it hits like a truck. Between that warm feeling of the Cookie Monster keys and the acoustic guitar, The Great Believers sound like the big brother the Monks never had.
The name Believers may be unfamiliar, but you’ve probably heard of their singer/guitarist and keyboardist - later known to the world as the Winter Brothers. This was one of Johnny and Edgar’s very first outings in the music world; they also played together in short-lived local garage group the Black Plague. Cascade, meanwhile, was yet another of local record mogul Huey P. Meaux’s labels. How many did he own? I doubt such a question can ever be answered beyond a simple "tons."
Bobby Mabe and the Outcast, "I’m Lonely"
Black Snakes and Kangaroo mastermind Jeff “Leftovers” Williams took me on a record-hunting excursion this past weekend and this is what I came back with: vinyl proof that our neighbors to the south in Galveston were down with psychedelic music from day one. From the sounds of things, Bobby Mabe and the Outcast were really down with the Moving Sidewalks.
Both were late-'60s Houston-area psychedelic groups that played with a heavy organ sound, and this 45 seems to bear the influence of the Sidewalks “99th Floor” - which, as you can hear, isn’t a bad thing. Mabe also released one other 45 before this, “Tender Lovin’,” on the Tab label (also out of Galveston). Hip-hop producers, note the killer break towards the end of the song.
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The Ninth Street Bridge, "Wild Illusions"
If you enjoy fuzzed-out guitar solos, feast your ears on this. Not much is known about the group; obviously they took their name from a bridge on Ninth Street, now only if someone can tell us which one. “Wild Illusions” was released on the Cecile label, which I’m pretty sure the Ninth Street Bridge owned, as it seems to be the label's only release. A couple of their unreleased cuts are available, including a version of the Stones' "2120 Michigan Ave." with original lyrics, on the Houston Hallucinations compilation. - Brett Koshkin