Moving Sidewalks - Flash

Year of Release: 2001
Label: Akarma
Catalog Number: AK117
Format: CD
Total Time: 53:46:00

Did you ever wonder what the great blues-rock guitarist Billy Gibbons did before ZZ Top? Well, he was in a group called Moving Sidewalks of course. I didn't know that he was either, so don't feel left out. Flash is the only album they ever made. And they were a popular regional group in the Houston area. They also backed up Jimi Hendrix on a few occasions at concerts. You can hear Jimi's influence coming through on several songs.

This is typical psych-rock for the year in which it was released, 1968. It was originally released on Tantara Records, now it's remastered with several bonus tracks thanks to Akarma Records. This is a really nice top quality digipack, made to emulate the LP.

This group really had some fun with playing music and voices backwards, and they really living up to their suggestive name by doing so. The only time anyone could ever see moving sidewalks is when they just dropped acid. And the mind games and sound tricks play right into that mindset.

With all of that conceptual jargon aside, this is a vast collection of songs. "You Don't Know The Life" is plea to someone who doesn't understand what it's like to wear the singer's shoes, while "Joe Blues" is a taste of the direction Gibbons was headed. It's a real down and dirty electric blues song. Gibbons is really able to stretch out and strut his stuff mightily on this track. He sounds as if he was restrained at several junctures playing with this band. It's due to the type of music he was playing I am sure. You can really notice the difference when you listen to "Joe Blues", as the real Billy Gibbons shows his true and brightest colors. "99THFloor" is psych-garage nugget, and it gave them some notoriety while becoming their trademark showstopper. With the bonus tracks there are a few surprises. The one that really floored me was the Beatles tune "I Want To Hold Your Hand." You talk about a complete departure, wow! The song is given a whole new life, and it really rocks. It's startling just how good it is considering how they put their own spin on it.

Each song features Gibbon's dominating guitar. I know I have said a lot about Gibbons... so what about the rest of the group? Don Summers (bass), Dan Mitchell (drums), Tom Moore (organ, piano) played a big role into making Mr. Gibbons stand out. The entire band is a wonderful gathering of musicians; there is no doubt about that.

This CD is fifteen tracks of psych-rock ecstasy. It's a wonder how a group can come together and make one great album then end it all. I am sure if they continued they would have evolved into something really special. As history shows, Billy Gibbons did. Now the rest of the group can have its moment in the sun and get some deserved credit for their part in the making of this great album.

Flashback (4:46) / Scoun Da Be (2:07) / You Make Me Shake (3:04) / You Don't Know The Life (3:56) / Pluto-Sept. 31st (5:13) / No Good To Cry (4:32) / Crimson Witch (3:06) / Joe Blues (7:37) / Eclipse (3:37) / Reclipse (2:30) / Bonus Tracks: 99th Floor (2:17) / What Are You Doing To Do (2:29) / I Want To Hold Your Hand (3:20) / Need Me (2:14) / Every Night A New Surprise (2:58)

Billy Gibbons - guitars
Don Summers - bass
Dan Mitchell - drums
Tom Moore - organ, piano

Flash (1968/2001)

Genre: Psychedelic/Space Rock

Origin US

Added: September 24th 2001
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck

Artist website:
Hits: 665
Language: english


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