Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sir Lord Baltimore: Kingdom Come

While the term “heavy metal” had been around for a while, the first documented evidence of its usage as a term for a type of music was in May 1971 when Creem Magazine reviewed Sir Lord Baltimore’s debut album. Released in 1970 and charting only at #198 on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart, “Kingdom Come” was ahead of its time.

Today, I feature the title cut, which led side two of the album. I’ve actually have had this cut in the cue to feature on some Saturday – and here we are with our bubbling under song. I received this album from my brother when he was thinning out his album collection in 1972. A year later, he asked for it back, but traded me a copy Grand Funk’s “Phoenix” as a replacement.

Released on Mercury, the band at the time of its release was a power trio and later that year added guitarist Joey Dambra to be a second guitarist to his older brother Louis Dambra; this arrangement lasted only two years. As for the other two original members, John Garner was the vocalist and drummer, while Gary Justin played bass. Sir Lord Baltimore, who were from New York, were active from 1968 to 1976. New songs were written for a third LP, but these were shelved until the band reunited in 2006 sans Gary Justin.

As you listen to “Kingdom Come,” you’ll notice that much of Louis Dambra’s guitar work was overdubbed, as there is only so much a guitarist can do at one time. A number of the leads and guitar accents are double and triple tracked to add depth. Garner who sang lead on all three albums died last year of liver failure.

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