Josefus “Not Dead Yet”

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From the fine folks over at ShroomAngel Records comes this LP release of unreleased studio & live recordings from Texas hard rock act Josefus. What you get on Side A are four studio recordings from 1978, as well as a studio track from 2004, and over on the B side 5 live tracks from a reunited Josefus in 2012. If you like rugged, raw, bluesy ’70s styled hard rock, you’ve come to the right place.

On the previously unreleased 1978 recordings, the band were comprised of Pete Bailey (vocals), Dave Mitchell (guitar), Ray Turner (bass), and Jerry Ontiverez (drums). Plenty of meaty riffs, rock solid rhythms, and wailing vocals permeate the raunchy “Wheels”, and “Rock X”, “Gamblin'”, and “Five’ll Get Me Ten” share many of the bluesy, proto-metal traits of trailblazing acts like Cactus, Humble Pie, and Nazareth. “Slave of Fear”, though recorded many years later, doesn’t actually sound much different, and is even heavier than its predecessors, with a strong psychedelic, bluesy hard rock vibe that reminds of early Led Zeppelin in spots. Mitchell’s guitar work on this one is outstanding. The live tracks from 2012 see Bailey and Mitchell still on board, with Mark Weathers joining on bass and Leesa Harrington-Squyres on drums(who also plays in the all female Lez Zeppelin from New York – Led Zeppelin tribute band) . “Situation” is a brief yet heavy hitting rocker, and “Crazy Man” once again brings to mind classic Cactus with its thunderous rhythms and blistering lead guitar work. “Hard Luck” is more of a conventional rocker, but still works, with Bailey’s vocals reminding of vintage Leslie West and Mitchell once again delivering some wild lead guitar solos. We get an updated version of “Rock X”, quite snarling and angry this time around, and “I Need a Woman” finishes things off, a real bluesy crawl with jagged guitar licks, harmonica, and muscular grooves. Again, the Cactus comparisons are unmistakable.

So, some great vintage studio stuff from the vaults, and compelling live material from a still viable Josefus. You have to love when these ’70s acts reunite and come back better than ever, showing that even the old guys can still rock with the best of them. This one’s released only on LP, so if you’ve been groovin’ to some vinyl lately and love classic styled heavy rock, give this one a spin.

Track Listing
Side A
1. Five’ll Get Me Ten
2. Gamblin’
3. Rock X
4. Wheels
5. Slave Of Fear
Side B
1. Situation
2. Crazy Man
3. Hard Luck
4. Rock X
5. I Need A Woman

Weight 1.25 lbs

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