Henry Kaiser, Harvey Mandel, Steve Kimock and Freddie Roulette - The Psychedelic Guitar Circus - 1994
Experimental guitarist Henry Kaiser, a man of boundless energy and an anything goes perspective - who incidentally falls into the Salvador Dali , "I don't take drugs, I am drugs" school - is one of the founding fathers of the relatively new school of American free-improvisational guitar, showcased on numerous solo recordings and side projects. A longtime expert on what is now collectively termed as "world music," Kaiser has produced records of Indian and Korean classical music and most recently traveled to Madagascar to record and perform on the acclaimed "World Out of Time" CD's (with partner David Lindley).
Harvey Mandel ranks as one of the pioneers of not only blues-rock but of virtually every sonic trick rock guitarists have come to take for granted. Along with Mike Bloomfield, he pushed the blues envelope into wide-open spaces and upped the ante considerably when he moved to San Francisco at the height of the Fillmore era. "Without sounding immodest," he states, "I would say we were trendsetters in that area of guitar playing, because it didn't exist before then. There were no Hendrixes or Claptons when I started playing. There wasn't that much on record - you couldn't go down to your local record store and get the real stuff - so my original bible was the Ventures. Then I saw real blues guys like Buddy Guy playing in person." In addition to his work with Charlie Musselwhite, John Mayall, Canned Heat and the Rolling Stones, Mandel's solo LP's are classics - in particular, his debut, Cristo Redentor.
Harvey Mandel has a knack for extending the accepted blues vocabulary, thus transcending the genre. "It wasn't so much what I was listening to," he points out, "it was more the physical part of the guitar. I wanted to be able to express it more like a violin or a harmonica; for some reason I always went for that sustain, long before I even knew what it was. Then feedback came as a result of that." (This was incidentally, long before the advent of Marshall amps. "No, it was mostly on little Fender amps at first, using different tricks, and I eventually used an all-tube, low quality Bogan pa amplifier. Had the greatest natural sustain."