California Blues Redux
(Audio Fidelity)


The late, great Randy California was an architect of modern rock music as we’ve come to know and love it. Jimi Hendrix and Randy were great pals back in NYC in the late ‘60s. No doubt Randy and Jimi would have made a great recording team together, but Randy had other ideas and formed the group Spirit in 1967. Spirit was California’s musical vehicle and the original lineup featured a number of musical giants including the late, great keyboardist John Locke and Randy’s dad, drummer Ed Cassidy. Sadly, Randy passed away in 1997 but his spirit lives on in the grooves of all those great Spirit album classics. Fans should take note of a great new reissue / remaster featuring some of Randy’s final recordings. Released in 2009 by the L.A. based Audio Fidelity label, Spirit’s California Blues Redux reconfigures a number of Randy’s final studio works and results are quite satisfying. Displaying his amazing vocals and one of a kind guitar skill’s, California Blues Redux features Randy backed up by Ed Cassidy and guitar ace (and brother of founding Spirit bassist Mark Andes) Matt Andes, along with Matt’s daughter Rachel, then just 15, on backing vocals and Steve Loria on bass. The late John Locke also appears on several tracks. With Spirit’s classic sound on the rebound back then, Randy was set for a fantastic comeback but alas, his tragic death in Hawaii on January 2, 1997 made it all over too soon. In his historic liner notes, CD producer Mick Skidmore goes into great depth on how this CD came to be. In addition to Mick’s editing, remixing and remastering of the California Blues Redux album, Audio Fidelity’s double CD set also features a second CD of live Spirit tracks from 1993. As if this great rocking, bluesy Spirit music and splendid repackaging wasn’t enough, the CD also features guest spots from a number of players such as Doors guitarist Robbie Krieger, Spencer Davis and late, great drumming legend Bruce Gary. Packed with that patented California / Spirit vocal and guitar sound, California Blues Redux is a worthy remembrance of Randy California’s musical legacy and is essential listening for Spirit fans. www.RandyCaliforniaSpirit.com


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