Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lee Oskar

Lee Oskar was the harmonica player for the band War, and he also dropped some very tasty solo joints. My favourite tune of his is Haunted House, one that Cian (Conch Records) put me onto.

Oskar's self-titled solo debut came out in 1976 and featured a number of members of War backing him, plus Greg Errico (Drummer  for Sly and Family Stone) on several tracks. Errico also produced part of the album, and held down the producer's seat for Oskar's second solo effort, Before The Rain (1978), which features Haunted House.

Oskar left his native Denmark at 18, landing in New York to make it big, with his harmonica in his pocket. Following his success with War (out in LA), he later developed his own line of harmonicas.

If you want the full story on War, get hold of Wax Poetics Magazine issue #44. That details the highs and lows of the band. They eventually had a falling out with their management (record producer Jerry Goldstein), who owned the band's name. They still tour, but are not allowed to call themselves War - they're known as The Lowrider Band, while another lineup (with one original member) tours as War.

UPDATED Just pulled out my copy of Lee Oskar's debut album, still got the price sticker on it from the record store I got it from, Open Mind Music in San Francisco, a store Cian worked in when he lived in SF in the early 2000s.


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