Rebel’s Yell

6th September, 2019

G’Day Riff Raffers,

The year was 1970 when Rebel, a little known Melbourne record label released two highly significant singles in Australian music history, both featuring the mouth harp of a young Matt Taylor. Rebel was owned by Peter Goodman (a former member of the band The Town Criers) and they would press eleven singles and one long play in a short two year span.

The labels fourth single was by Meating, ‘Bad Luck Feeling/Back Home’ (DG-270/04) a collaboration between old Brisbane mates Greg Sleepy Lawrie and Matt Taylor. Greg had recently formed Carson County Band with Ian Fingers Ferguson and included Tony Lunt on drums and John Capek on keyboards. Matt at this time was with the short lived, but popular ‘prog’ rock band Genesis.

Sleepy had some ideas for songs and met up with Matt to flesh them out. This would be Matt’s second record. His first in 1968 was with Bay City Union with covers on the Festival label of Mike Nesmith’s tune ‘Mary Mary’ (recorded by Paul Butterfield) and ‘Mo’reen’ a Paul Revere and the Raiders tune. Sleepy and Matt’s single involved members of both their bands-Yuk Harrison (bass), Laurie Pryor (drums) from Genesis and John Capek (keyboards) from Carson County Band. The vinyl received some positive reviews in particular from music journalist Ed Nimmervoll. Here’s Matt’s recall of events, “I was in Genesis at the time and Sleepy was in Carson. So different players from both bands recorded Bad Luck Feeling as Meating. That paved the way for both myself and Sleepy to be taken seriously as songwriters.”

Matt’s desire for the band (for want of a better term as they only formed to record the single) was to be called Meeting, but Sleepy wanted something with a bit more grunt and called it Meating-even though Matt was a vegetarian.

A short time later the Carson County Band would release their first single ‘On The Highway/Resting Place’ (DG-270/06), both Sleepy originals. ‘On The Highway’ had bass player Ian Fingers Ferguson singing all vocals, including his own harmonies. Originally I had thought Paul Lever may have blown the harp on the tune as Matt Taylor had informed me he hadn’t. Ian Fingers Ferguson now better known as just Ferg put me on the right path. He had caught up with his old mate Sleepy who confirmed it was Matt. I sent Matt a grab of the harp from the song and he conceded graciously, “Yep, that’s me”. He, like others were forgetting when they were young. He hadn’t remembered playing harmonica on Russell Morris’ 1971 album Bloodstone. Matt blew licks on ‘Jail Jonah’s Daughter’ which appears as the ‘B’ side of Russell’s successful single ‘Sweet Sweet Love’.

Carson County Band shortened their name to Carson to avoid confusion they were a country band. In this picture (courtesy of Ferg) Matt is seen sitting in on a Carson gig at Melbourne night club Sebastians with Ian. Carson included a fine version of Meating’s Bad Luck Feeling in their live sets without the instrument that fits in your pocket.

The band headed to the studio to master a second single ‘Travelling South’ (under their new abbreviated name) this time on the Havoc label. Ian Ferguson’s vocals were later removed from this session and Brod Smith’s layered in when the 45 was eventually released in August of 1971. Ferg’s brilliant bass line, however would be retained. The planned ‘B’ side, ‘Morning Train’ was deleted and replaced with the tune ‘Moonshine’. Carson was experiencing line up changes around the time of producing the single. John Capek departed to join King Harvest and Brod Smith and Ian Willy Winter joined the group. Ferg would abscond a month before the release of ‘Travelling South’ and his reason, “I was never a big fan of Broderick and the band was shifting from progressive blues to more mundane twelve bar blues Bumpa Bumpa’s everything was sounding too Elmore James.”

With a rebel yell here’s some of Matt’s harp from his first three recordings, Rebel.

Ch SD

Thanks to Ferg for his help in providing information for this article. Here is a list of musicians on the recordings that he kindly provided.

Carson County Band and Carson Singles

Carson County Band:

“On The Highway”

Ian Ferguson; Bass and Vocals

Greg Lawrie; Guitar

John Capek; Electric Piano

Tony Lunt; Drums

Matt Taylor; Harmonica

“Resting Place”

Ian Ferguson; Bass and Vocals

Greg Lawrie; Guitar

Tony Enery; Electric Piano

Tony Lunt; Drums

Ian Wallace; Sax Solo

Jeremy Noone; Sax

Simon Wettenhall; Trumpet

Barry Harvey; Congas

 

Carson:

“Travelling South”

Broderick Smith; Vocals

Greg Lawrie; Guitar

Ian Winter; Guitar

Ian Ferguson; Bass

Tony Lunt; Drums

“Moonshine”

Broderick Smith; Vocals and Harmonica

Greg Lawrie; Guitar

Ian Winter; Guitar

Barry Sullivan; Bass

Tony Lunt; Drums