what we have here is a brilliant slab of rock and Hammond driven blues topped off by the brilliant vocalist, Barrie McAskill, the only constant in the group's ever changing lineup. In trying to describe his vocal style, think of Chris Farlowe, circa Colosseum.
Many such bands of this era fell victim to making an album of 10 variations of the one tune, toppedwith some drivel, known as filler, all rather wearing on the listener. No such problem here. All members of the and are excellent musicians, having honed their skills on the then thriving pub circuit.
Before this album was made the band had moved to Australia's biggest city, Sydney and had performed constantly at the notorious Whisky A Go Go club.
Its fair to say that live, Levi Smith's Clefs were awesome and not surprisingly, had a very strong live following. This observation, however, maybe affected by the years and my love of the band! (another disclaimer).
After opening with a truly excellent instrumental, the band gets into full swing with the original "Shotgun" before getting to the album's centrepiece, a rather surprising version of the Beatles "You Can Do That". I can assure you that at over 11 minutes, the Lennon McCartney tune is only recognizable at the beginning and end, when McAskill adds his raspy vocals, the middle is full of great solos and invention, no dull bits. Stunning.
More stabs at blues-rock follow before the album concludes with the rather jazzy, instrumental title track.
Levi Smith's Clefs - Empty Monkey - 01 - Relief From A Lighted Doorway (6:42)
Levi Smith's Clefs - Empty Monkey - 02 - Shotgun (5:07)
Levi Smith's Clefs - Empty Monkey - 03 - You Can Do That (11:41)
Levi Smith's Clefs - Empty Monkey - 04 - Lisa (3:31)
Levi Smith's Clefs - Empty Monkey - 05 - The Hunter (2:40)
Levi Smith's Clefs - Empty Monkey - 06 - Shake & Finger Pop (6:53)
Levi Smith's Clefs - Empty Monkey - 07 - Who Is That Shall Come (3:32)
Levi Smith's Clefs - Empty Monkey - 08 - Empty Monkey (3:34)
There is some excelent info about the band and you can also buy the albums here!
Link : LeviSmithsClefsEmptyMonkey.rar