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Whalefeathers biography
Formed in 1969, in Cincinati, Ohio Whalefeathers released just two LP's before disbanding. The music is best described as melodious progressive rock with a lot of piano & organ, good vocals & some intense guitar.There is nothing stand out as such but the band sit well within the confines of Prog Related.Their debut album Declare and follow up Whalefeathers were both released in 1970.In 2002 both albums were re-released on CD under one package. The line up and band members were:

Michael Jones : Vocals, Guitar
Leonard LeBlanc : Vocals, Bass
Mike Wheeler : Guitar, Bass
Stephe Bacon : Vocals, Drums, percussions, timpani
Ed Blackmon : Vocals, Keyboard
Former/Past members
Roger Sauer : Vocals, Bass

They officially disbanded in 1973

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3.50 | 4 ratings
2.62 | 7 ratings

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Whalefeathers by WHALEFEATHERS album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.62 | 7 ratings

Whalefeathers Prog Related

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

2 stars This album is a delight but not so much as for the musical content as due to the mean and vicious organ, wreaking havoc on the listener. The sound of the organ is so raw and well played that I fall into a trance. It must be said, I love the Hammond organ. But a flower do not make a summer (or is it a swallow?) and a burger is next to nowt if you are only served a slice of bread. It need more to be a complete meal. Or summer.

Whalefeathers is just another band in a long line of bands that recorded one or a couple of albums in the 60's and 70's before realizing they're not going anywhere or seeing themselves being dumped by the record label. Sometimes you understand why and sometimes it's a bloddy shame. In the case of Whalefeathers it was, maybe, a sound decision by the record company to not wanting them to make a third album. If now that was the case.

It is not a bad album. Really, it isn't. I guess it's just a case of not being particularily great either. 50% of the material on the album is comprised of covers. That is slightly too much. Well, maybe that wouldn't be true if the interpretations hade been more interesting but they sort of aren't. The opening "World of pain", made famous by Cream, is the most interesting of the covers. The organ, as I said, is deliciously frantic and raw and the arrangement is actually quite interesting with some tempo changes. Unfortunately it grinds to a halt when they alter the frantic charge to a slow blues rock section at the end, which, sad to say, is like choking on your burger. It doesn't matter how delicious it was, you lose your appetite a bit.

"I don't need no doctor" is a quite straight forward heavy blues rock and it's great but not really done in a genuinely interesting version. It sounds like any and all of the great blues rock bands of the period. "It's a hard road" is a soulful blues which is alright, as is the percussion heavy "Bastich. The latter is one of the few tracks that sports any real progressive tendencies. "Pretty woman" is yet another bluesy workout. Alright but not progressive in the least.

The final track is the 10 minutes long "Shadows". Aaaah, the organ. Man, that sounds good. It is the only track that is progressive rock in it's true form, although in a proto-prog way. The opening organ leads into a vocal part that is quite gentle, before the whole thing ends in a jamming fashion with a lot of blues in the bottom.

And thus the album has come to a close. It was a pleasant journey but the only lasting impression is the organ. Listen to the album for the organ and crank up the volume if you're having a party. It is a great little party album and it would have been a treat seeing these guys in concert back then, cause I do think they could tear the place apart. The sheer energy and volume on the album suggests a terrific live band. But when all is said and done it's one of those obscure, alright albums that are pleasant to listen to but really provides litte to remember. Sorry, Whalefeathers. I must sail on, to another ocean.

 Whalefeathers by WHALEFEATHERS album cover Studio Album, 1971
2.62 | 7 ratings

Whalefeathers Prog Related

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

3 stars Thankfully proving that despite having a fairly rubbish band name that includes the word `Whale' in it still provides great prog-related music (also looking at you, Satin Whale!), late Sixties group Whalefeathers from Cincinnati, Ohio released two albums in their fairly short time together, the debut `Declare' in 1970 and this self-titled follow-up a year later. With a sound somewhat similar to groups such as Cream, Vanilla Fudge and Nosferatu and favouring blues-based soloing, confident soulful vocals and plenty of Hammond organ soloing, if anything the band sounded more embryonic and Sixties flavoured than anything else, with the `proggy' elements coming from the improvised jamming passages they liked to stretch out with, not unlike what many of the numerous other `proto-prog' groups were delivering at that time.

Opener `World of Pain' is a powerful rocker with searing electric guitar runs and trickles of Hammond organ seeping in before culminating in two bluesy finales. `I Don't Need No Doctor' is a sprightly and gutsy R n'B-flecked rocker with winning group harmonies and vibrant up-tempo bursts, and `It's a Hard Road (Back Home)' is a stirring slow-burn blues come-down with plentiful piano, electric guitar and organ solos. `Bastich' that opens the flip-side shows the most exciting potential displayed by the band, the first minutes a reaching build of dreamy group harmonies before a tough slow-rocking second half. `Pretty Woman' is all grooving bluesy rocking swagger, and the ten minute closer `Shadows' provides the closest the album comes to prog thrills by delivering lengthy extended jamming soloing from all the musicians. With endless runaway Hammond organ, smouldering guitar runs, purring thick bass constantly punching through and thrashing drum attacks, it presents the band that their most wild and unhinged and is the standout moment of the whole LP - very tasty stuff!

Whalefeathers disbanded two years after this album in 1973, but during their time they got to perform concerts alongside higher-profile acts such as the Allman Brothers, Edgar Winter, Grand Funk Railroad, Badfinger and others. They left behind two very admired albums that are still enjoyed today, with a steady demand for reissues over the years giving the band and their works a small but sure status of an obscure rock band of note. Fans of hard-driving Hammond rockers with killer guitar playing, light psychedelic flavours, a large dose of the blues and early proto-prog sounds will likely find plenty to interest them here, and it's an energetic, cool and addictive album from a talented lost group well worth exploring.

Three stars as a prog album, four stars as a red-hot rock album.

Thanks to chris s for the artist addition.

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