The Royal Purple is an ongoing side project of two veterans of the East Coast's popular 1960s revivalist bands, drummer Mike Sinocchi of The Insomniacs, and multi-instrumentalist Stu Rutherford of The Creatures Of The Golden Dawn. In 2004 the talented twosome recorded some covers of 1960s favorites for fun, and the result, the six-track EP *Spearmint Experiment* had critics waving their pens in the affirmative, and listeners and friends saying "More more more!" Mike and Stu said "Okay okay okay," and eventually said many other things on the full-length collection *Instant Analysis,* from June 2005. That release kicked off a trend that The Royal Purple continues on their new album and will uphold future releases, that being the duo joined on several tracks by guest vocalists.
Such guest appearances on *Transcendental Medication* help sustain the feeling that The Royal Purple host the grooviest 1960s singing showcase in the East, and that just about every New York metro area vocalist of note wants to take part.
The tracklist of this album reads like an awesome radio show of overlooked 1960s music... or a creative mix CDR of rare tracks. Bookended between a pair of impressive Rutherford originals, those being the dancefloor-summoning rocker "Sound On Sound," and "Keith Roger's Birthday," which sounds like the a mind-altering icing adorned the birthday cake and like at least Rick Wright and his combo organ were invited to the party, are twelve deep-pick covers from the mile-high record shelves of Messers Sinocchi and Rutherford. Mike's grab on The Skeptics' "Turn It On," a song whose chorus instantly makes you wonder if Marc Bolan ever heard it, hence its similarity to "Bang a Gong (Get It On,") is another of the albums highest highs.
And then there are the guests: Most everyone who heard The Royal Purple's last album placed Bibi Farber's mastery of The Honeycombs' "Something I've Got To Tell You" in their top two faves from the set, so her return on this new set is most welcome. This time she applies her magic to the equally impressive "Turning Back The Pages," originally by The Flies (she also lends backing vocals to a few other selections.) Elsewhere, Cynthia Santiglia of New Jersey's The High School Sweethearts tries to make us happy with "I Tried To Make You Happy"...and succeeds with flying purple colors, not only with her great vocal but for also altering Os Brasas's "Eu Tentei Fazer Voce Feliz" into something those of us not fluent in Portugese can sing along to(actually the translation was done by my fiancee and Mike Sin wrote his own English lyrics around them-Bill the Ed). And former Frigg's member Jenn Tarr impressively expands on the tip of the criminally overlooked British songstress Dana Gillespie, who turned a Donovanexclusive into one of his most rocking tunes ever, and rocks it even harder.
But it's not just Ladies' Night at Club Purple. Uppers' own Bill Luther proves himself as competent a vocalist as we know him as a journalist by way of his stab at the upbeat "Come And Stay With Me," written by Jackie DeShannon, mainly associated with Marianne Faithful, though Bill takes the route of Ola And The Janglers. A former partner of Stu's in Creaturedom, Kevin Groller, says "I Want More (Lovin')" and by track's end you'll want more Groller tracks. His rendition of this Chylds song also presents the best scream of the entire disc. Skooch of The Brimstones turns on The Music Machine with a jolly good "Worry." The guitar sound impressively and faithfully captures that of Mark Landon's deep thick fuzz notes that punched up many a Music Machine record. And good ol' Michael Lynch of The Anything People presides over "She'll Love Again" by The Cascades (yes, the same Cascades of "Rhythm Of The Rain" fame, but a more rocking effort for the vocal group than their more popular material.) The musicians Who-ify the song for maximum Modness.
Besides the fine music performances, what else makes The Royal Purple an interesting and likeable combo is that the project is all for fun, simply out of appreciation for the sounds of the 1960s. No visions of world tours, world fame or even money: They don't even sell their CDs...anyone who wants one need only contact them (see contact info below) and ask for a copy. No charge.
In short, The Royal Purple is no more and no less than two guys making music simply for the fun of it, loaded with enthusiasm to share the fruits of their labor. When one considers that such were the ethics of just about all the best garage rock of the 1960s, one must conclude Stu and Mike are on a good road. Let's hope they keep traveling down it and continue to send us musical postcards.
Join the party. Get medicated. Drop a line to The Royal Purple at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a free copy of *Transcendental Medication.* Also visit www.myspace.com/theroyalpurple
© Michael Lynch 2006 - 2008 [Published 13 June 2006]
1. Sound on Sound 2. She'll Love Again 3. Turn It On 4. I Tried to make You happy 5. Colors 6. I Want More (Lovin') 7. Worry 8. Hurtin' Me 9. Turning back the Page 10. Sun Is So Bright 11. You Just Gotta Know 12. Declaration of Independence 13. Come and Stay With Me 14. Keith Roger's Birthday
...originally served by Gyro1966...