During their tenure the Sonic’s Rendezvous Band only released one 7” in the shape and form of “City Slang” that supposedly had the song in stereo on one side and mono on the other although the general consensuses are, they are identical. If you were not lucky enough to have the aforementioned 7” the only other source was the badly recorded Bootleg album “Strikes Like Lightening” that surfaced in the 1980s. That was until the late 90’s when soundboard live records started to surface and were officially released. The latest is the vinyl 12” “No Sleep Till Ypsilanti” that was recorded at the Huron Inn, Ypsilanti MI 10th April 1976 and released on the Spanish label Bang!
“No Sleep Till Ypsilanti” is an interesting release because it’s only the band’s 2nd set. They would go on to play a total of three that evening. Apart from the opening number of “Grand River Soul” which was collectively written by the band the others are either covers; Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”, Ray Charles’ “I Believe To My Soul” and “Part-Time Love” by Clay Hammond or were written by Scot Morgan giving it a more soul and blues feel with only “Mystically Yours” and “Electrophonic Tonic” hinting at the onslaught of guitars that is synonymous with the band. Morgan’s vocals sound like he’s spent far too long at a Dive Bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans; supremely laidback. It’s clear that this is an early gig with the band finding their feet with original bassist WR Cooke, who sadly passed away in 2015, still on four-string duties. The LP is limited to only 500 copies and to be honest, is really for completists as the whole three set concert is readily officially available elsewhere. However, having said that I’m hoping that Bang! records will, in the fullness of time, be releasing set 1 and 3 as standalone albums.
Author: Armitage Smith