1968, Cristo Redentor (LP, Philips, PHS 600-281
Harvey Mandel’s first album. There’s a sound in Harvey Mandel’s “Long Wait,” the last song on Side One of his 1968 debut, “Cristo Redentor.” 1:43 into a searing, grinding, winding guitar passage, there’s a little … “plink.” It’s a moment of subtle yet daring ingenuity, the kind Harvey Mandel has wielded in spades throughout his 50-year career. HARVEY MANDEL Cristo Redentor, 1968, the debut album by the psychedelic blues guitarist, who has chalked up playing for Charlie Musselwhite, Canned Heat, The Rolling Stones and John Mayall on his resume. Includes a mind-bending version of Wade In The Water plus the Donald Byrd title track.
1969, Righteous (LP, Philips, PHS 600-306)
This is good guitar relaxing music, it is very psychedelic and very smooth. Excellent for an acid trip. It is like taking a smooth journey that’s often-thought provoking. “The Snake” plays a real smooth jazzy blues rock guitar and he is stellar on this recording. Recommend if you like psych music, lots of note bending and sound effects as well, you will not be disappointed! Includes Harvey’s workout on Nat Adderley’s ‘Jazz Samba’, an obvious touchstone for the Latin-rock hybrid of Carlos Santana, plus Boo-Bee-Doo, a sharp & snazzy blues-rocker. This album was Harvey’s second in his solo career before joining Canned Heat. Definitely a trip album, made for easy listening, and for those taking a smooth psychedelic journey.
1970, Games Guitars Play (LP, Philips, PHS 600-325)
1970 masterpiece by guitar legend Harvey Mandel. Feeling that he needed a singer to compete commercially, Harvey Mandel decided to abandon his instrumental format, taking on multi-instrumentalist Russell DaShiell as lead vocalist for a good share of the tracks. Includes the standout instrumental “Ridin’ High” plus am excellent cover of Horace Silver’s “Senor Blues!”
1971, Baby Batter (LP, Janus, JLS-3017), also released as Electronic Progress (Bellaphon, Germany)
Baby Batter consists of 7 original instrumental tunes by Mandel with a large backing band that makes for a lush sound (a bassist, two drummers and a conga player and two organ/electric pianists make up the core band, who are joined by some additional percussionists on several tracks). The music sounds typically late 60’s/early 70’s, an eclectic mix of blues, funk and rock. Influences as wide as John Mayall, Clapton, Traffic, Hendrix, Buddy Guy, and especially on the fantastic track “El Stinger” of Zappa (Apostrophe era guitar sound), yet Mandel’s sound is consistent and distinctive – strong and direct style.
1972, The Snake, with Don “Sugarcane” Harris (LP, Janus, JLS-3037)
He emerged as one of the most innovative guitar players to come out of the psychedelic blues boom of the late 1960’s. Harvey “The Snake” Mandel pioneered electric fusion guitar with a string of jazz influences and an unmatched Blues background honed in the Windy City’s seediest clubs. “The Snake” marks Mandel’s signature stamp on modern music as an player looking decades into the future, incorporating then-unheard of effects and his signature snake-like guitar licks. “Uno Ino” features a rare foray into vocal work, and “Ode To The Owl” pays tribute to the then-recently deceased Alan” Blind Owl” Wilson. The slinky leads on this record will make you want to get up and strut the evening away.
1974, Feel the Sound of Harvey Mandel (LP, Janus, JLS-3067)
Undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest guitarists in the history of rock n’ roll, Harvey Mandel was light years ahead of the competition when he first broke onto the scene in the mid 1960’s with Charley Musselwhite’s Southside Band, bridging the gap between blues and rock n’ roll. A true innovator who sounds like no one else, Mandel played with such notables as Canned Heat, The Rolling Stones, and John Mayall before starting a solo career. Mandel’s classic 1974 solo album ‘Feel The Sound Of Harvey Mandel,’ features Ray Lester (bass); Victor Conte (bass); Danny Keller (drums); Paul Lagos (drums); Coleman Head (rhythm guitar); Mark Skyer (rhythm guitar) and the original Pure Food And Drug Act band.
1993, Twist City (CD, Western Front, WFE 10022)
Back to the basics of guitar innovation, Twist City marks The Snake’s first solo record in 19 years and features nine recharged tracks of inferno intensity. He pays tribute to his roots; The title song is named after the club where he first sat in with Buddy Guy, “Bear Down” assimilates the boogie persona of fallen Canned Heat band-mate Bob “The Bear” Hite, and “Crosscut Saw” delivers a tastefully groovy nod to Albert King. Vocalist Mark Skyer takes care of the shouting, bellowing through each tune with the intensity of a 1970 Hemi Cuda. “Twist City” enjoyed a stint on the charts when “Shotgun Man” was featured in the network TV series Nash Bridges.
1995, Snakes & Stripes (CD, Clarity Recordings, CCD-1013)
“Snakes And Stripes” goes back to the twelve bar basics of Mandel’s complete mastery of the blues guitar, and simultaneously reestablishes is 3-D approach to changing instrumental effects. The six instrumental tracks show liquid direction and applied theory with intermittent supernova explosions of notes. “Future Blues” by Willie Brown, and later reworked by Canned Heat, is covered with a full horn section and female lead vocalist, and “Tears For Eric” employs many 1995, Harvey Mandel: The Mercury Years (Includes first 3 solo albums) (CD, PolyGram Records 314 528275-2)the licks that led Barry Goldberg to give The Snake his nickname. The disc was released in two formats, the regular version, and a 24k gold remastered audiophile disc. The latter has been seen by the Snake Crew in collector shops for the $30-40 range.
1995, Harvey Mandel: The Mercury Years (Includes first 3 solo albums) (CD, PolyGram Records 314 528275-2)
The Mercury Years is a compilation of Mandel’s first three records; “Cristo Redentor”, “Righteous”, and “Games Guitars Play” on Phillips/Mercury Records. This set marks an audiophile release of his legendary first recordings, leveling the psychedelia scene with sustain previously unheard of. All three releases have been re-mastered in chronological order, and the Masters were digitally tracked to ensure the full potential of the audio quality. Liner notes including the original album covers and artwork are included, as are facts about The Snake’s career, focusing on the early work with Mercury. The album is packaged in a slim-line case and is currently Out Of Print in the United States. Copies routinely sell on eBay for $50 apiece.
1997, Planetary Warrior (CD, ESP/Lightyear/WEA, 54215-2)
The 1997 release from guitar master Harvey “The Snake” Mandel (the world’s premier psychedelic guitar player), entitled Planetary Warrior, is a contemporary twelve song adventure in vocals and instrumentals which features vocalist Sonny Reece (on the first five vocal numbers), drummer Bennie Murray, and bassist Artis Joyce. The six instrumentals find Mandel showcasing his concise chops, his command of a multitude of tone pedal controls and exposing his unique take on Link Wray’s “Rumble”. Guest artists include keyboard legends Howard Wales and Barry Goldberg, and Steve Kimock on slide guitar. On balance, Planetary Warrior serves up a hard-edged platter of rock/blues outer space nourishment. Note: this CD’s jewel case has been marked by a drill hole in the lower spine by a former distributor to prevent return; it does not effect the performance of the CD. Instrumental Guitar (Electric/Rock), total running time, 55:56
1997, Emerald Triangle (CD, Electric Snake Productions, ESP-9701)
All-instrumental and dangerously funky, “Emerald Triangle” is an astral project that saw Harvey Mandel ready to embrace the new millennium. Smooth jazz is combined with an edgy crystalline feel that is part new age, part old school, and wholly in the groove. Subtle flurries of muted notes interlude through the corners of the record while mathematical precision delivers rhythm, magnitude and overall solidity. Assimilation of synthesizer knowledge and digital processors saw The Snake take complete control of the digital production, filling soundscapes of both keyboards and guitar. Classical composer Ravel’s “Bolero” is also tastefully redone to modern standards.
2000, Lick This (CD, Electric Snake Productions)
Harvey and son Eric Mandel’ first collaboration, “Lick This” is a modern contemporary techno recording which offers body-moving instrumentals and hip-hoppin’ trance vocals. Reveals the legendary innovator’s lifetime of trippy techniques like tapping, extreme vibrato, and backwards soloing and continues Harvey’s great tradition of extremely individual techniques. ‘Snake’ glides across the musical landscape, covering the ground from New Age to hip hop while illuminating the whole scene with bursts of psychedelic pyrotechnics. Moving from jazz to techno to unknown territory with ease, ‘Lick This’ has everything from smooth jazz to full-blown space opera. The Snake layers this on top of a funky hip hop and techno rhythm bed, achieving a new degree of ‘fusion’. Harvey plays all the instruments, while son Eric provides some extremely inventive vocals.
2003, West Coast Killaz (CD, Electric Snake Productions)
West Coast Killaz is guitar master Harvey “The Snake” Mandel’s second production collaboration with his son, vocalist Eric Mandel. Their first, “Lick This” was a modern contemporary techno recording which offered body-moving instrumentals and hip-hoppin’ trance vocals whereas West Coast Killaz is a rap/hip-hop record blended with Harvey’s cool, quirky, overdriven guitar jams. The CD features songs about crack dealers, dope and drive-by shootings (“3rd Street Killaz”), running from the police (“You’re Busted”), hoes, 5-0s, and drug dealers (“Street Soldierz”), and homeboyz down on their luck (“Gimmie A Hit!”) — and contains the ubiquitous profanity one would associate with a rap release (the CD carries a Parental Advisory: Explicit Lyrics sticker). Rap/Rock, total running time, 43:34
2003, NightFire featuring Harvey Mandel/Freddie Roulette (CD, Electric Snake Productions, NF1470)
Psychedelic guitar great Harvey Mandel and lap steel guitar legend Freddie Roulette, both with roots in the Chicago Blues, reunite here for the first time in over 30 years! Harvey This album ranges from Psychedelic Rock to Chicago Style Blues, with a little jazz and a little funk thrown in. It is balanced between instrumental and vocal. The last track, Guest House, includes guest artists Roy Rogers, Norton Buffalo, and Henry Kaiser. Former Jefferson Starship keyboardist Pete Sears lends his magic to three tracks (4,9,11); other tracks include Santana’s Michael Carabello on conga (1,7) and Jose Najera on conga and percussion (3,4,10), and former Sly and the Family Stone drummer Greg Errico (2), who also appeared on Santana’s ‘Abraxas’ album. Appearing on every track is the San Francisco Bay Area band NightFire, which, in addition to Harvey Mandel and Freddie Roulette, includes veteran musicians Michael Borbridge on drums, Eugene Huggins on harmonica and vocals, and Michael Warren (formerly with Merl Saunders and The Rainforest Band) on bass. Other guest artists on this album are Rikki Gordon and Sonny Reece on vocals, and Rob Pool, Liam Hanrahan, and Steve Evans on bass. There’s something for everyone here! Producer: Harvey Mandel Executive Producers: Michael Borbridge, Patricia Wong.
2006, Harvey Mandel and the Snake Crew (CD, Electric Snake Productions)
The Snake Crew treats you to interplay of the legendary Harvey Mandel, side by side with a host of gunslingers who know their trade and know how to work with each other. The music is bright balanced effortless and clean, though the strength of this release revolves around hearing how these people, and it is an impressive list, manage to work together so effortlessly.
2009, Live at Biscuits & Blues (CD, Electric Snake Productions)
A special night of a blend of blues vocals and great instrumentals featuring a wonderful band of musicians led by Harvey Mandel on guitar. Produced by Harvey Mandel and Michael Borbridge. Recorded at San Francisco’s famous Biscuits and Blues. Fabulous musicians featuring: Harvey Mandel, Guitar Pete Sears, Keyboard Mick Martin, Harp and Vocals Steve Evans, Bass Billy Johnson, Drums Michael Borbridge, Percussion Jose Najera. Percussion and Joli 2014, Dragons at Play (CD, Electric Snake Productions)vocals.
2014, Dragons at Play (CD, Electric Snake Productions)
Harvey Mandel’s virtually–cosmic creativity, all come together in this dazzling display of musicianship. Performing pieces that Harvey composed, the music in Dragons at Play is in the end pure Harvey Mandel – exciting, potent, beautiful, mystical in the greatest rock and roll sense. All instrumentation in this album is by Harvey Mandel. You can listen hundreds of times and still hear more in Harvey’s breathtaking guitar. Dragons at Play is music for mature rock and blues connoisseurs. Listen to each piece through to the blissful end, Harvey has a talent for building each piece and finishing with magic.
2015, Snake Box (Included first five solo albums plus Live at the Matrix from 1968 (CD, Cleopatra, CLP-CD-2100)
Legendary blues guitarist from Canned Heat, Harvey The Snake Mandel, presents this deluxe limited edition 6CD box set that includes 5 classic solo albums from 1968-1972 plus a bonus vintage concert recording from 1968 that features guests Jerry Garcia & Elvin Bishop! Each of these albums showcase Mandel s innovative, hugely influential playing that earned him a place alongside not just the Heat but also The Rolling Stones, John Mayall and others! All 6 CDs come individually packaged in its own cardboard sleeve reproducing the artwork from the vinyl jacket along with a full color booklet with detailed liner notes by rock historian Dave Thompson!
2016, Snake Pit (CD, Tompkins Square, TSQ 5296)
Snake Pit was Harvey Mandel’s first full studio album since 1974. The album was recorded at Creedence’s Fantasy Studios with Ryley Walker’s Chicago band. Snake Pit is a storming return to the sinuous, supercharged, heavy sustain guitar jazz-blues-rock-funk gumbo old heads and young crate diggers revere him for, a sound that draws on 50 years of playing with Muddy Waters, Magic Sam, Canned Heat, and John Mayall, plus a very brief period with The Rolling Stones2017, Snake Attack (CD, RockBeat Records, ROC-3357)
2017, Snake Attack (CD, RockBeat Records, ROC-3357)
Snake Attack was released In 2017. According to Mandel, “I wrote all the songs, performed all the instruments and mixed and mastered all the songs myself. Working in my own home studio allowed me to do all sorts of great guitar overdubs that I’d never have been able to do in a regular studio.” Indeed, he plays everything on this instrumental album. The music has a wide range, but lands closest overall to fusion. All in all, this is a diverse and entertaining set with some 2018, Live at Broadway Studios, San Francisco (CD, RockBeat Records, ROC-3366)guitar work.
2018, Live at Broadway Studios, San Francisco (CD, RockBeat Records, ROC-3366)
Recorded before an enthusiastic audience at Broadway Studios in San Francisco, on June 21, 2001. The performance includes three of his best known songs, “Christo Redentor”, “Wade in the Water” and “The Snake” and the sound quality is incredible, taken from a Digital Master Soundboard (DAT) with 4 Subgroups – Guitar, Bass and Stereo Drum Mix plus stage.Harvey “The Snake” Mandel at his peak!Recorded before an enthusiastic audience at Broadway Studios in San Francisco, on June 21, 2001. The performance includes three of his best known songs, “Christo Redentor”, “Wade in the Water” and “The Snake” and the sound quality is incredible, taken from a Digital Master Soundboard (DAT) with 4 Subgroups – Guitar, Bass and Stereo Drum Mix plus stage.Harvey “The Snake” Mandel at his peak!
2019, Smoke This (CD, Out The Box Records)
A new studio album of songs written, recorded and produced by visionary musician Harvey Mandel.