20071003

Short Cross - Arising (1971)

"We haven't been able to dig up much about Short Cross, though we know they were based in Sandston, Virginia (a suburb of Richmond). Originally known as The Hustlers, by the late-'60s drummer Gray McCalley, keyboard player Butch Owens, singer/guitarist Velpo Richardson and bassist Bird Sharp had metamorphosed into Short Cross. The band made their debut with a little known single on the small Colpar label - "On My Own" b/w "Marching Off To War" (Colpar catalog 54-1005). The following year they got an opportunity to record an album. Recorded in Richmond's Alpha Studio Studios and released by the small local Guzley label, 1971's "Arising" teamed the group with producers Dave Herren and Rhett Riddle. Judging by the liner notes, Richardson was the band's mainstay. In addition to serving as lead singer and lead guitarist, he was responsible for penning all eight tracks (drummer McCalley co-wrote one track). So what about the music? Well, over the years we've seen this one listed on several high priced psych/progressive sales lists. If you're looking for those genres, don't bother reading the rest of this. The majority of "Uprising" offers up a surprisingly accomplished set of mainstream guitar-rock. Overlooking the occasionally irritating horn arrangements ("Nothing But a Woman"), material such as the organ-propelled "Till We Reach the Sun" (sporting a nice Santana-styled Latin vibe), the bluesy "Suicide Blues" and "On My Own" was tuneful and rocked, fitting in well with conventional early-'70s rock. Sporting a modest Allman Brothers feel and a great rhythm pattern, "Wastin Time" was our personal favorite. While you won't find anything particularly original or earth shattering here, Richardson had a good voice and was a first-rate guitarist (check out his solo on "Just Don't Care"). Some of you may not take this as a compliment (it's meant to be), but we play this LP far more often than anything from Grand Funk Railroad ... The fact it was released on a small label with limited distribution capabilities spelled instant obscurity for the album (and apparently the band itself)." (via BadCat Records)

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6 comments:

Farlac said...

hi. Just to let you know that there is something about the "Optical Illusions" post that causes any page display that contains it (such as the current or September archive) to stop loading at that point.

Crotchbat said...

Hey farlac - pages are loading fine for me on my end, sorry your having trouble. But thanks for the heads up...

Stuart Shea said...

'do some suicide' ?!? This is a good track. Album re-released on Akarma is now on EBay for $40.

Anonymous said...

THIS IS A GREAT ALBUM!!!
IT IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITES, SO THANKS FOR THE TREAT AND KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK!!! TILL WE REACH THE SUN!!!
HIPPY DJKIT

Anonymous said...

Thanks for Short Cross, pretty cool! I thought they must have been a Christian rock band, but I can't detect any of that in the lyrics.

Cindy said...

They are absolutely a Christian Country Rock Band you have to read and listen to all of the lyrics, they are amazing musicians...