Before he became Patti Smith’s lead guitarist, Lenny Kaye compiled the 2 album set, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era. Released in 1972, the two-LP set covered American garage rock and psychedelia from the years 1965-1968 and was a major influence on punk rock. Rhino Records reissued an expanded version of the set in 1998, with 118 tracks in total. I’m profiling and rating each of these 118 tracks, working backwards.
Track 31/118: Journey to Tyme by Kenny and the Kasuals
Release Year: 1966
From: Dallas, Texas
Aphoristic Rating: 7/10
JOURNEY TO TYME – Kenny & The Kasuals [2:27]
(Jerry Smith/Mark Lee)
Personnel/KENNY DANIEL: vocals * JERRY SMITH: lead guitar * PAUL ROACH: organ * LEE LIGHTFOOT: bass * DAVID “BIRD” BLACKLEY: drums
Produced by MARK LEE
Recorded in Dallas, TX
Mark Ltd. single #1006 (8/66); United Artists single #UA-50085 (10/66)
Kenny Daniel’s father led a big band in the 1930s. He encouraged his son to form a band with school friends. The first lineup was doomed, losing their drummer to meningitis. A second lineup of the band fared better. They emulated The Beatles, with matching outfits and Vox equipment.
Inspired by the British Invasion, most Nuggets bands fall into one of two camps. There are the blues-influenced bands, inspired by Them, The Rolling Stones, and The Animals. And there are more folk-influenced bands, more like Rubber Soul-era Beatles or The Byrds.
Kenny & the Kasuals split the difference – the guitar hook is perky and a little psychedelic, more Beatles than Stones. But Daniel’s vocals is rough and bluesy. There’s not much to recommend ‘Journey to Tyme’ beyond the guitar hook, but it’s enough to carry the song.
There’s certainly promise here, but the original lineup of the band didn’t last long. In an all-too familiar story in the Nuggets galaxy, Daniel was drafted. The band never recorded a studio album during their original tenure. They did release a live LP of covers, featuring garage chestnuts like ‘Gloria’ and ‘Farmer John’ – along with the ‘Journey to Tyme’ single, it’s a collector’s item.
The band reunited after Daniel’s return from Germany. Kenny and the Kasuals recorded four studio albums in the 1970s and 1980s, but broke up in 2018 as Daniel battled dementia.