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Articles Home » 1973 Articles » Painter - 1973 Painter
Painter - 1973 Painter

ARTIST: Painter
ALBUM: Painter
LABEL: Elektra
YEAR: 1973
CD REISSUE: 2010, Wounded Bird (USA), WOU-5071


LINEUP: Doran Beattie - vocals * Danny Lowe - lead guitar * Barry Allen - rhythm guitar, vocals * Wayne Morice - bass, vocals * Bob Ego - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 West Coast Woman * 02 Tell Me Why * 03 Song For Sunshine * 04 Goin' Home (To Rock'n'Roll) * 05 Space Truck * 06 Kites And Gliders * 07 Oh! You * 08 Slave Driver * 09 For You * 10 Crazy Feeling * 11 Goin' Down The Road

Painter were a Canadian band originating from Calgary, Alberta. They were part of the early and interesting history of Canadian hard rock, which was a bit more varied than most people would have you believe, who thought that the scene started and ended with BTO, The Guess Who and April Wine. Painter were resurrected from another Calgary band called The 49th Parallel during 1971, and also bought in previous solo artist Barry Allen on guitars and vocals to round out the line-up. The band released a couple of 7-inch singles between 1971 and 1972, and during this time managed to score a deal with Elektra Records. The self-titled debut released in 1973 was recorded over the border in Seattle Washington.

The Songs
Musically, there is a load of BTO references, but the band are high on melody and vocal harmonies, which gives this album a leaning toward a band like Trooper who would find success in Canada later in the decade. 'West Coast Woman' opens with thick Guess Who flavoured rhythm guitar work, and immediately the band strike with their melodic vocal attack. 'Tell Me Why' is another melodic sugarburst, it has a slight country rock feel to it - even though the song is a touch over two minutes long! Keeping up the timberjack appearance is 'Song For Sunshine' though again, the vocal harmonies are superb. Painter dig in for some straight ahead Canadian rock with 'Goin' Home to Rock n Roll' and drive it a bit harder with the galloping backbeat of 'Space Truck'. 'Kites And Gliders' offers some respite on the album, a gentle piece by comparison. This is short lived as 'Oh! You' fires up the electrics once again with melodies again in attendance. Painter have a dabble in some 70's funk rock with 'Slave Driver' and sound pretty convincing I gotta say. Vocalist Doran Beattie outdoes himself on the acoustic/electric 'For You'. Hear his high-pitched vocals during this song, it would put a guy like Mark Slaughter and Jim Gillette to shame! The flangers and phasers are on high alert as 'Crazy Feeling' swims in a 70's retro rockpool of drenched reverb and fuzz boxes. The album finishes off with a psychedelic inspired workout called 'Goin' Down the Road'. Not exactly stoner rock, but back then, a few lagers and doobies would've accompanied this song well.. lol!

In Summary
Since this one-off effort, the personnel all moved on to other bands and projects. Beattie and Lowe would go on to form Hammersmith which released two albums during 1975-1976. Lowe also went on to another celebrated Canadian outfit 451 Degrees, which released just one album on the Intercan label in 1980. Bob Ego would go on to join prairie favourites Streetheart during the 1980's, and features on a few of their albums up to about 1984. Probably the most interesting story surrounds (literally) Dan Lowe, who along with a couple of business associates developed the Q-Sound surround sound module which has been used successfully in the studio on high-end recording projects.

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Tags: Painter 
#1 | Eric on February 23 2008 22:48:24
Really nice to see/read this review. A forgetten and important slice of Canadian rock history.
#2 | gdazegod on September 23 2010 01:42:34
Now available on CD courtesy of Wounded Bird Records. An interesting but unusual release from Terry.. hmm..
#3 | super80boy on November 10 2013 16:19:06
Well executed early 70's melodic rock AOR with fantastic vocal harmonies. I've read that the Wounded Bird CD reissue sounds tinny due to a bad transfer job, so will stick to my vinyl version for now. Great detailed review above!
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