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I'M ONLY ONE MAN

Micah

Heavy Prog


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Micah I'm Only One Man album cover
4.05 | 22 ratings | 2 reviews | 32% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1971

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. He's a dreamer (5:01)
2. Look around you (3:41)
3. So you can see (3:16)
4. I'm only one man (6:24)
5. You don't really care (5:41)
6. Remembrance of things past (5:23)
7. Finale (0:24)

Total Time 29:50

Line-up / Musicians

- Gus HERNANDEZ / Bass Guitar
- Martin HORNE / Lead Guitarist
- Gary OHLSON / Organ, Vocals
- Bob ROWE / Lead Vocalist
- George WOLFF / Percussion, Vocals

Releases information

Record Album Productions

Thanks to bonnek for the addition
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MICAH I'm Only One Man ratings distribution


4.05
(22 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
32%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
55%
Good, but non-essential (9%)
9%
Collectors/fans only (5%)
5%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

MICAH I'm Only One Man reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ozzy_tom
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars "Micah" is a very little-known American progressive rock band from early 70s. Their music is a great blend of American hard/psychedelic rock style (like "Ford Theatre") and art/symphonic rock of such British formations like "Cressida", early "Deep Purple", "Beggar's Opera" or "Rare Bird". To be honest British influences seem even stronger in their music, so it was quite a surprise for me when I started to listen to "I'm Only One Man"(their eponymous album). You could swear that they were from UK!

Anyway their sole record is a real treat for people who likes to dig out some forgotten gems. Especially that prog-rock in early 70s wasn't a popular style among American bands. Micah proves that after all USA also had some fantastic progressive music before Kansas was born.

"I'm Only One Man" was constructed with 2 long suites: one lasting 18:30 minutes and another 11:30 minutes (the second one seems to be unfinished in fact). Yes, they have separate titles of shorter songs which they were built from, but as far as I know we should treat it like 2 epic compositions, especially that there are no evident gapes in the middle of them (it's rather difficult to judge when one sub-song is finished and another starts. Maybe if it will be released on CD [right now it's available only on the vinyl], somebody will separate those suites into shorter songs, but I hope they won't do that...).

Let's review the suites:

1. "He's a dreamer / Look around you / So you can see / I'm only one man" - first epic composition starts with promising organ motif in the vein of Jon Lord's work. What follows is a delightful early-prog stuff full of great melodies, catchy rhythms, explosive Hammond riffs and equally good guitars. If I had to draw some similarities, I'd describe it like a mix of early "Deep Purple", "Ford Theatre", "Arcadium", "Cressida", "Live" and "Aardvark" with organ solos a la "The Nice" or "Quatermass". Yeah, you can't go wrong with "Micah", they surely sound fantastic and - what's also important - very professional. Quatermass. As you see 18:30 min. length you might think that the whole suite sounds like some overlong jam session (especially that American prog-rock wasn't quite developed back then), but it's not the case here, 'cause the whole composition is perfectly structured and divided into more song oriented fragments, while great soloing is somehow floating between them perfectly. Take note of the theme which starts about 16:10 min., what a splendid symphonic tune Gary Ohlson is playing there! Superb.

2. "You don't really care / Remembrance of things past / Finale" - 2nd suite is almost equally good. Lyrics are even better here to be honest ("I want to go / way back there / I want to die / Just to live again"; "Gonna lock myself off in my room / Turn off all the lights and drive myself insane / Maybe I die but he would feel the pain" etc.), truly emotion-packed and thought-provoking. Bob Rowe has a really fine vice. Instrumental interludes are long and professional here too. So many maniacal Hammond solos (Vincent Crane meets Keith Emerson sort of thing) and wah-wah guitars that you won't forget this music for a long time my friend. It's only a pity that after 11 minutes and half, it's already over.

And length seems to be the only problem of this magnificent album. But in fact it wasn't a fault of musicians, so let's forget about it and face the fact: "I'm Only One Man" is a lost gem, real classic from the past which deserves wider recognition and CD release! No early-prog collector and Hammond aficionado should omit it. Highly recommended.

Best tracks: well...both of them :-)

Rightfully deserved 4,5 stars from ozzy_tom

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
4 stars One of the truest examples of an early US prog obscurity, MICAH was a progressive rock band that formed in Terre Haute, Indiana and existed for three years before becoming a mere footnote in history. This band featured Gary Taylor Ohlson (keyboards, Hammond organ, synthesizer), George Robert Wolff (drums, percussion), Martin "Marty" Horne (lead guitar), Gus Hernandez (bass) and Robert "Bob" Rowe (lead vocals).

The band only left behind this sole trace of its existence. I'M ONLY ONE MAN appeared in 1971 with only a few private pressings. The original vinyl has become one of those highly desired collectibles however it has been re-released both on vinyl and CD on the Shadoks label in recent years. An interesting little musical specimen, there are really only two title tracks respectively with the added titling "Part I" and "Part II" however on the album itself it lists seven tracks with different titles. The entire album was only 30 minutes long but what an outstanding job these guys did!

This music is an excellent mix off 60s psychedelic rock with the classic Hammond organ sounds of Quatermass, Beggar's Opera, Cressida and even Deep Purple however the vocals are more in the soul category reminding of Steve Windwood and other bluesy singers from the late 60s. The energetic drive however is much more in the realms of the contemporary early 70s in the vein of Uriah Heep, Deep Purple and other heavier rock bands. Add the fuzz guitars, extraordinarily competent drumming wizardry and some bantering bass grooves and you got yourself an interesting specimen of underground prog here.

In many ways MICAH sounded like a garage band at least in tone and timbre. There is an amateurish DIY vibe to the whole thing but brought to the next level with more than competent songwriting and exquisite instrumental interplay. While the two tracks are composed of myriad motifs, the entire album sort of connects in a continuous stream of consciousness. The segments are melodic and there is sort of a chorus / verse / bridge thing going on but the entire run features interesting connective instrumentals which lead back to a reprise of the vocal parts. It's all quite intelligently designed and while the main focus is on the melodic developments, the extended time allows some excellent soloing most pronounced on the organ but also from the guitar and drums.

This wasn't love at first listen. I'm not really fond of this vocal style and the organ sounds dated for 1971. This really evokes the 1968 timeline however some of the slower transitions remind me of The Move especially on "Shazam." More than anyone else though, MICAH sounds like the American version of the UK's Cressida. The vocal range is similarly limited in range. The organs are the dominant instrumentation and the music exhibits a straightforward songwriting approach that has merely been augmented into crafting a longer stream of flow by adding jamming sections and off the wall twists and turns. It took a few listens but it finally sunk in how excellent this album really is. This is quite the undiscovered gem from the early US prog underground.

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