Title - Flash
Artist - Moving Sidealks
The way musicians come together is something that can never be completely explained. It takes a lot of good luck and a healthy dose of fate to bring together all the elements.
And even when those things are present, there comes a point when spontaneous combustion needs to happen as well. That is exactly what occurred when the Moving Sidewalks short, but extremely electrifying life came into being.
Based in Houston, the Moving Sidewalks were a psychedelic garage quartet that existed during the second half of the 1960s. The group famously featured singer-guitarist Billy F. Gibbons and drummer Dan Mitchell prior to their forming ZZ Top.
Inspired both musically and conceptually by Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, the Moving Sidewalks’ sole full-length album Flash was released in 1969 by Tantara Records.
Other members who appeared on the album were bassist Don Summers, keyboardist Tom Moore, and multi-instrumentalist Isaac Costa.
In 2013, Gibbons announced the reformation of the original lineup of the band, and they performed headlining shows in Austin, Houston, and New York City.
2. Scoun Da Be
3. You Make Me Shake
4. You Don’t Know the Life
5. Pluto - Sept. 31st
6. No Good to Cry
7. Crimson Witch
8. Joe Blues
11. 99th Floor
The band rose to local fame first and then expanded to opening with and/or playing with such legendary acts as The 13th Floor Elevators, The Doors, Fever Tree, Jimi Hendrix, Doug Sahm, and the Winter brothers, just to name a few.
They were a fine combo who could cook with the best of the bands they shared a stage with. Simply put, it is pure, homegrown Texas Psychedelic Blues, specifically the genuine South Coast Sound of Galveston, and that muggy Baghdad on the Bayou, Houston Texas.
Billy F. Gibbons really has not changed his style of playing since the Moving Sidewalks were formed and Flash was originally released, but he has certainly evolved and fine-tuned his already prodigious skills, of course, as we all know all too well now.
A little fun side note is that Jimi Hendrix, when asked about other guitarists who he respected, mentioned Billy F. Gibbons whose band Moving Sidewalks had been opening for him on his current tour.
The album Flash is pure 1960’s garage psychedelia, complete with sound effects and features Joe Blues, a near eight minute long track that not only wouldn’t have felt out of place with Jimi playing and singing, but also showcases the bands blues guitar work perfectly.
The songs on Flash were either written by Gibbons alone or with the other band members, with one song actually having been written by their producer Steve Ames, another by Al Anderson, and two by Tom Moore.
This prime, and early example of Texas psychedelic/blues/rock will have fans (like me) of late ’60s/early ’70s bands of this musical ilk loving this newly-released CD (now out via Liberation Hall’s reissue, which includes the non-LP bonus single 99th Floor) for it is a wondrous prime example and unmistakable sound from that era that just doesn’t show itself any more in our musical landscape.
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