Hartley Band: "The Time is Near" CD re-issue coordinated by
Mark Powell, ECLCD 1027
originally 1970 The Decca record label
The booklet includes a history on Keef Hartley and the main members, written by Duncan Heining, as well as lyrics for all seven tracks. There are some great (black and white) photos, including close-ups of each of the key band members (Anderson, Hartley, Thain) and some nice studio shots from the rest of the members from the recording sessions. I especially like the one with Gary Thain playing Acoustic Guitar. The original sleeve notes are included (June 1970 by Keef Harley/Neil Slaven).
Per liner notes this was written as a concept album by mostly Miller Anderson, who while not lending his name to the band, was probably the largest contributor to the KHB in their day. I did not read that part until I finished listening to the CD (it's way at the back of the booklet), but, even new to this material, I did feel like all seven tracks somehow did flow together and . A few times I caught myself looking at the CD player even to see if it had skipped to the next track yet or if I had missed a change somewhere.This was true especially for the last 3 tracks: "Premonition", "Another Time, Another Place" and "Change".
The Title Track, although not the Opener, is the highlight. Starts out with the strong lyrics of Miller Anderson, before he goes on to show his versatility with Electric and Acoustic Guitar solos throughout. Track 5 "Premonition" is Instrumental and has a cool Bass Intro by Gary that really fits the song title. The same Bass Theme runs through-out the song, which is really catching.
The acoustic/vocal opening of track 6, "Another Time another Place" reminded me of a Bob Dylan type quality to Miller's voice. That song while short, has some great lyrics and feeling to it. The last number, aptly named "Change" finishes up with a Spanish feel, and a great harmony between Hartley's Drums and Thain's Bass.