Thursday, August 04, 2022

Fever Tree: Studio Albums


The psychedelic era produced so many diverse, unusual sounds and groups that it would be hard to find any worthwhile psychedelic band that wasn't idiosyncratic in some ways. Even among late-'60s psychedelic groups, however, Fever Tree boasted attributes that set them aside from many of their peerson several counts. There was their unusual heavy concentration of classical and jazz influences within a rock framework, as well as their use of numerous instruments other than the standard guitars, bass, drums, and keyboards. There was also the use of a husband-wife team that wasn't part of the group, Scott and Vivian Holtzman, who supplied much of the material as well as handling management and production duties. The Houston group did some recording both before and after their first two albums, but those two records, "Fever Tree" and "Another Time, Another Place" are considered their most essential and popular work.


Originally known as the Bostwick Vines, the group changed their name to Fever Tree after hooking up with the Holtzmans, who had already written some material on records by the New Christy Minstrels and Tex Ritter. It wasn't the kind of resume one would expect to lead to involvement with an emerging

psychedelic rock combo, but Fever Tree proved adept at interpreting and recording the Holtzmans' material for rock arrangements, also getting involved in the writing as well. With the lineup of singer Dennis Keller, guitarist Michael Knust, drummer John Tuttle, bassist  E.E. "Bud" Wolfe III, and rhythm guitarist/keyboardist Don Lampton, they had some success in Houston with singles on the Mainstream label. By the time they were ready to record their first album, they'd signed to a new label, Uni, and replaced Lampton with multi-instrumentalist Rob Landes, who handled harp, flute, harpsichord, bass recorder, clavinette, and cello in addition to piano and organ.

This obscure, if reasonably interesting, late-'60s psychedelic group, Houston's Fever Tree is most famous for their single "San Francisco Girls,(Return of the Native)" reached No. 91 in the U.S. on the

Billboard Hot 100 chart in June 1968."  with its dramatic melody, utopian lyrics, and searing fuzz guitar. Like most of the band's material, it was written by the couple of Scott and Vivian Holtzman, who also were their producers. This four-minute track captured all the band's trademarks: Dennis Keller's incantation-like vocals, the quick shifting between slow parts with an almost sacral feeling and faster, more rock-oriented parts, and especially the searing guitar work by Michael Knust.

Most of their best material, ironically, was written by their over-30 husband-wife production team, Scott and Vivian Holtzman, who had previously written material for Tex Ritter and the Mary Poppins

soundtrack. These odd bedfellows produced some fairly distinctive material with more classical/Baroque influences and orchestral string arrangements than were usually found in psychedelic groups. Their pretty, wistful ballads (enhanced on their first album by arranger David Angel, who had also worked on Love's classic Forever Changes) endure better than their dirge-like fuzz grinders, which epitomize some of the more generic aspects of heavy psychedelia.

Fever Tree released their self-titled debut album, Fever Tree, in 1968, which charted at No. 156 on the Billboard 200 Chart. A second album, Another Time, Another Place, followed in 1969 and peaked at No. 83 with a third album Creation, charting at No. 97 on the Billboard 200 Chart in 1970. After "San

Francisco Girls", they never had another hit, although they later also tried writing songs themselves when they had dropped the Holtzmans as producers. The group disbanded in 1970, but reformed in 1978 with only guitarist Michael Knust remaining from the original line-up. The new formation of the group had little commercial success; Fever Tree was not heard of again until 2003 when Michael Knust died. Releasing four albums (the third of which, Creation, included guest guitar by future ZZ Top axeman Billy Gibbons), their records grew weaker and more meandering with time, and the group disbanded in 1970.



Dennis Keller - vocals
Michael Stephen Knust (March 11, 1949 - September 15, 2003) - guitar
Rob Landes - synthesizer, organ, piano
E.E. "Bud" Wolfe - bass guitar
John Tuttle - drums
Don Lampton - guitar, keyboards
Rob Landes – cello, clavinet, flute, harp, harpsichord, organ, piano, recorder



Fever Tree (1968), Uni Records/MCA US Billboard #156
Another Time, Another Place (1968), Uni/MCA US Billboard #83
Creation (1969), Uni/MCA US Billboard #97
For Sale (1970), Ampex Records
Live at Lake Charles (1978), Shroom Records



The self-titled debut album of this unfairly neglected psychedelic band is an odd mix of slick studio work laced with surprising moments of eclecticism, from soundtrack references to hard rock worthy of the best bands of the time. They open up with a pretty good piece of musical prestidigitation, melding

Johann Sebastian Bach and Ennio Morricone into the album's first track, which segues neatly into a hard rock style that's their own on the spaced-out, Ravel-laced "Where Do You Go," which sounds like the Doors and the Jimi Hendrix Experience jamming together. They also roll over "Day Tripper" and "We Can Work It Out," squeezed into a two-song medley, like a proto-metal steamroller while quoting "Norwegian Wood" and "Eleanor Rigby"; then switch gears into a beautifully elegant, gently orchestrated pop/rock rendition of Neil Young's "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing" that's worth the price of admission by itself.

The harder rocking numbers (especially "San Francisco Girls") are highly diverting artifacts of their time, while the last two songs, "Unlock My Door" and "Come with Me (Rainsong)," show off a totally unexpected and beautifully reflective folk-rock side to their sound that's strongly reminiscent of Phil

Ochs' work on Pleasures of the Harbor and Tape from California. The variations in sound and content, plus the fact that the only keyboard player, Rob Landes, made any large contribution to the in-house songwriting (mostly the work of their producers, Scott & Vivian Holtzman), makes it difficult to pin down precisely what Fever Tree was about, beyond the evidence at hand; but taken on its own terms, the album ought to be better known than it is, which is probably also true of the band itself.
By Bruce Eder



01. Imitation Situation 1 (Toccata And Fugue)   2:32
Written-By – Johann Sebastian Bach, Scott Holtzman, Vivian Holtzman
02. Where Do You Go?    2:25
03. San Francisco Girls (Return Of The Native)    3:58
04. Ninety-Nine And One Half   2:45
Written-By – Eddie Floyd, Steve Cropper, Wilson Pickett
05. Man Who Paints The Pictures    2:32
06. Filigree & Shadow    3:51
07. The Sun Also Rises   2:41
Written-By – Rob Landes, Scott Holtzman, Vivian Holtzman
08. Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out   3:27
Written-By – Lennon-McCartney
09. Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing   3:00
Written-By – Neil Young
10. Unlock My Door   3:45
Written-By – Rob Landes, Scott Holtzman, Vivian Holtzman
11. Come With Me (Rainsong)   3:45
Written-By – Rob Landes, Scott Holtzman, Vivian Holtzman



The second (and arguably most fully realized) album from Texas psychedelic band Fever Tree, Another Time, Another Place owes less to the sound of roots-based contemporaries like the 13th Floor Elevators, Moving Sidewalks, or the Sir Douglas Quintet and more to heavier West Coast acid rock. One of the most underrated '60s psych bands, Fever Tree comes off like a coincidental midnight

meeting of Jim Morrison, Steppenwolf, Jefferson Airplane, Iron Butterfly, and Jimi Hendrix at the tail end of a drug and whiskey binge. Luckily, however, the group transcends its influences by sheer force of attitude. The material here (mostly written by producers Scott Holtzman and Vivian Holtzman) is of generally pretty high quality, wisely avoiding too much of the drippy "ice cream cones and cosmic smiles" type stuff that bogged down the work of pretenders like Ultimate Spinach and Tricycle. Fever Tree was always a real, down and dirty rock band, and this record is no exception. Although in the liner notes the group stops just short of apologizing for including the oft-covered song "Fever," this version actually kicks some serious ass.

Other highlights include the bawdy, roadhouse-style rocker "What Time Did You Say It Is in Salt Lake City," "Grand Candy Young Sweet" (a frightening, tuned-down plodder that sounds like Soundgarden's Kim Thayil jamming with Jandek), and the excellent chamber pop tune "Death Is a Dancer." The album's only questionable moment comes with "I've Never Seen an Evergreen," a sullen, hazy drug song that might have fit perfectly on a Roky Erikson album, but just sounds out of place here. Also of note is the over seven-minute instrumental "Jokes Are for Sad People," which fulfills the unwritten psychedelic statute requiring one long trippy jam per album, but thankfully does so with a minimum of pointless noodling and a generous helping of compositional flair.
By Pemberton Roach



01. Man Who Paints The Pictures -- Part II   6:51
Written-By – M. Knust, S. Holtzman, V. Holtzman
02. What Time Did You Say It Is In Salt Lake City?   3:16
Written-By – S. Holtzman, V. Holtzman
03. Don't Come Crying To Me Girl   2:35
Written-By – R. Landes, S. Holtzman, V. Holtzman
04. Fever   3:43
Written-By – E. Cooley, J. Davenport
05. Grand Candy Young Sweet   1:53
Written-By – F. Davis
06. Jokes Are For Sad People   7:17
Written-By – R. Landes, S. Holtzman, V. Holtzman
07. I've Never Seen Evergreen   3:25
Written-By – S. Holtzman, V. Holtzman
Written-By, Vocals – M. Knust
08. Peace Of Mind   3:14
Written-By – N. Woods
09. Death Is The Dancer   3:56
Written-By – R. Landes, S. Holtzman, V. Holtzman



Creation is their most accomplished album (nearly as enduring as their debut) and a much stronger effort than the previous Another Time, Another Place, due largely to better overall songwriting from the

Holtzmans and especially the criminally overlooked Diane Kolby. Also those growling Steppenwolfish vocals are mostly gone in favor of classier singing that suits the more baroque elements of Fever Tree, which are their strong suit. Keller's singing really grows on you, though. When the band foregoes straight bluesy rock for folkier elegance and more adventurous jazz dabblings, the results are usually impressive and occasionally even timeless. An interesting band, Fever Tree, who put it all together and played to their strengths on Creation.



01. Woman, Woman (Woman)   2:33
Written-By – Jancy Lee Tyler
02. Love Makes The Sun Rise   2:32
Written-By – F. Davis, S, Holtzman, V. Holtzman
03. Catcher In The Rye   3:12
Written-By – R. Landes, S, Holtzman, V. Holtzman
04. Wild Woman Ways   4:05
Written-By – Jancy Lee Tyler
05. Fever Blue   3:33
Written-By – S, Holtzman, V. Holtzman
06. Run Past My Window   3:25
Written-By – Jancy Lee Tyler
07. Imitation Situation (Complete And Unabridged)   4:47
Written-By – R. Landes, S, Holtzman, V. Holtzman
08. Time Is Now   4:05
Written-By – S, Holtzman, V. Holtzman
09. The God Game   4:35
Written-By – R. Landes, S, Holtzman, V. Holtzman

FOR SALE  1970


With every album Fever Tree made, their '60s psychedelia and customary folk-pop style wore off a little

more. Their greatest asset comes in the way of Grant Johnson's rich organ work. Backup vocalists the Blackberries offer up a slight gospel tinge through two or three of the tracks, but even these short bursts of musical flavor aren't enough to release For Sale from its conventional domain.
By Mike DeGagne



01. I Put A Spell On You   3:23
Written-By – Slotkin, Hawkins
02. You're Not The Same Baby   3:46
Written-By – S. Holtzman, V. Holtzman
03. She Comes In Colors   3:04
Written-By – Arthur Lee
04. Hey Mister   2:06
Drums – John Tuttle
Keyboards – Rob Landes
Written-By – S. Holtzman, V. Holtzman
05. Come On In   2:50
Written-By – Sean Bonniwell
06. Girl Don't Push Me   2:39
Drums – John Tuttle
Keyboards – Rob Landes
Written-By – S. Holtzman, V. Holtzman
07. Hey Joe   12:56
Written-By – Billy Roberts



San Francisco Girls remains the best guide to the sounds of Fever Tree.
Michael Knust reformed the band in 1978, recording a four-track EP "Fever Tree Return" and the "Live At Lake Charles" 1978 CD, which was released in 1998. The group style is best described as "Fever Tree gets funky", and neither release is recommended.
Kevin Kelley joined the band from The Byrds (and went on to play in Jesse, Wolff and Whings) ; Clarry and Blanchette were both earlier in The Sherwoods.



01. San Francisco Girls (Return Of The Native) (4:02)
02. The Sun Also Rises (2:47)
03. Come With Me (Rainsong) (3:52)
04. Nowadays, Clancy Can't Even Sing (3:00)
05. Unlock My Door (3:51)
06. Ninety-Nine And One Half (2:50)
07. Man Who Paints The Pictures (2:36)
08. Imitation Situation (Tocatta Fugue) (4:07)
09. Filigree & Shadow (3:59)
10. Day Tripper - We Can Work It Out (3:32)
11. Grand Candy, Young Sweet (1:54)
12. Puppet Master (4:14)
13. Don't Come Crying To Me (2:28)
14. You Don't See Me (3:26)
15. Party Anytime (3:29)
16. San Francisco Girls (Live Version) (6:56)
17. Houston Post Radio Commercial 1967 (1:02)



who really cares? Who understands?
'God' in their mouths, blood on their hands.
every man equal, equals of what?
what have we lost? what have they got?

what is the question? .... what is the answer?
the piper's a madman ....death is the dancer

who really cares? who stops the sea?
Let tend the prisoner, right hand is spread
every man equal, equals of what?
what have we lost? what have they got?

what is the question? .... what is the answer?
the piper's a madman ....death is the dancer

who really cares? Who understands?
the piper's a madman - - - death is the dancer
who really cares? - - - who stops the sea?
who really cares?


Fever Tree + ANother Time, Another Place
MP3 @ 320 Size: 165 MB
Flac  Size: 411 MB

Creation + For Sale
MP3 @ 320 Size: 149 MB
Flac  Size: 383 MB

San Francisco Girls
MP3 @ 320 Size: 108 MB
Flac  Size: 359 MB


  1. I have all of course.
    How beautiful you made the Fever Tree page with posters of Spirit & Fever Tree. ALL A FEAST FOR THE
    Live 69 is also highly recommended.

  2. Many thanks Kostas! Much appreciated !

  3. I have all of these treasures but not in FLAC. Great work of presentation as always.

  4. Это просто праздник! Спасибо. Ещё бы и концертник , было бы здорово.

  5. The group has many similarities with Music Machine. Even the singer sounds similar to Sean Bonniwell. The music is obviously not the same and Music Machine had a harder edge. Of course both groups are good.

  6. Photo No 2 is canceled. Thanks.

  7. Thanks a lot for this great post!!! Much appreciated!!!

  8. Dear Kostas,
    this is a really amazing find you shared with us! I never heard of the band and can't stop listening! Thank you so much for this! Keep on diggin' and searching for gold to share with us!