Listen to 'Spirit Of The Bells', via the above Youtube clip.
UPDATE to the UPDATE! Since originally posting, EMI have made this album available for download via iTunes. I don't think the band will benefit from any sales, which is sad, and I'm still keen to unearth their follow up album and put the lot out, remastered etc, so anyone with leads, please get in touch.
I recently had an article published about the Earth Disciples album Getaway Train in the UK mag Drummer. During my research for the article I got in touch with drummer Reggie Harris. Here's a short quote from Reggie that didn't make it into the article:
“The story of The Earth Disciples is a long one, starting in Chicago, Illinois. The bass player (Reggie Austin), guitar player (Jimmy Holloway), and myself, met in high school, and played in Reggie Austin's brother's band (Johnny Robinson, piano). We played high school dances and local events. Oscar Brown Jr., a well-known jazz artist from Chicago, came to our school to do a show, including local talent from school and [the] surrounding area. The show was called Opportunity Knocks. At the end of the show Oscar took us on the road to New York, and on to Los Angeles. After the tour, some band members returned home. I stayed in Los Angeles. Oscar was looking for a pianist, and that’s when I met Rudy Reid. I moved in with Rudy and called Jimmy to come and play. After Jimmy moved in, we wanted to be reunited with Reggie Austin. We sent for him in Chicago; The Earth Disciples were formed.”
Guitarist Jimmy Holloway was the son of famous jazz saxophonist Red Holloway. Sadly, Jimmy passed away quite some time ago. I've speculated as to whether Reggie Austin's piano playing brother, Johnny Robinson (brothers with different surnames?), is the same Johnny Robinson who did Memphis High, but I don't know. Since my piece was published I've also tracked down bassist Reggie Austin. The two Reggie's are pleased to find there's still interest in their music after all these years.
My wish is to have the album remixed and re-mastered for re-issue, and, get this: there's another album in the can somewhere... At least there should be, as the Earth Disciples certainly recorded a follow up. The prospect of a de-luxe 'Complete Earth Disciples' package is quite exciting to me. If you dig these righteous soul brothers, leave me some feed back and comments, as I'm trying to gauge the level of interest in them and the viability of a reissue.
The pic of the single above is from my copy of the 7", and the image below is from my copy of the album. Left to right they are: Reggie Austin, Reggie Harris, Rudy Reid, and Jimmy Holloway. My thanks to Reggie Austin for this inside info. He also has some good stuff to tell about the shots on the loco, but that'll have to wait for another time!
ps - If anyone knows the whereabouts of Rudy Reid, please get in touch!
And just to reiterate: if you want to hear the Earth Disciples, message me in the comments section. I'm exploring possible reissue options with the band and trying to find the masters and who has licensing rights etc. I cottoned onto the band thanks to the excellent Four Brothers Beats blog, which seems to have gone 'invite only' at some point, meaning that if you're not one of the select invited few you'll not be able to download via that route. Throwback Music have also listed Getaway Train before, but again, it's invite only (as of my last visit), so currently there are no active download options I know of. As I'm looking into helping the remaining Disciples find a way to make the music available again commercially I don't feel it'd be right to just give it away here, much as I'd like to share the goodness!