F E L T
Myke Jackson g
Mike Neel dr
Tommy Gilstrap bg
Stan Lee g
Allan Dalrymple keyb'ds
LP Nasco (US) 9006 1971
LP/CD Akarma (Italy) AK 127 2000
CD Flawed Gems (Sweden) GEM 11 2010
1. Look at the sun (M.Jackson)
2. Now she's gone ( M.Jackson / M.Neel)
3. Weepin' mama blues ( M.Jackson)
4. World ( M.Jackson / M.Neel)
5. The Change ( M.Jackson)
6. Destination ( M.Jackson)
A very little information is available about this US group. Felt came from Alabama. Their self titled album was recorded for Nasco
in 1971. The bands leader, Myke Jackson also made a solo album. Tommy Gilstrap can also be found on recordings by Mychael
(LP "Neon Dreams" 1978, Free Flight No. 3400). LP "Felt" is a very interesting and unique album. The opening cut, "Look at the
sun" is a very melodic and a bit like Lennon - McCartney compositions. Instrumentally their sound was dominated by organ and
guitar. The band played an imaginative amalgam of psychodelia and progressivism. They managed to make a great album with complex
arrangements, rich instrumental textures and soulful vocals. My favourite compositions "The Change" with sound like in "Half
Changed Again" ( Indian .Summer) and "Destination"a real fusion of main jazz, rock and blues.
For me, this record is Genuine Treasure!
Some times ago, I found website with e-mail adress to Tommy Gilstrap, Felt's bass player. I wrote to him with questions about Felt.
Below, his e-mail to me with history of the group and record.
Myke Jackson and Mike Neel were high school buddies in Arab, Alabama, a small town of about 5,000 people 20 miles south
of Huntsville, my home town. We met at a music festival at an ampitheater atop Monte Sano in Huntsville summer of 1969.
Myke's dad was a fiddle (violin) player for a lot of top Nashville country music artists in the 50's and 60's and was a regular
on the Grand Old Opry so Myke was immersed in the music business from an early age. Myke was blessed with not only
extraordinary talent for guitar playing and singing but is also a very prolific songwriter, having written literally hundreds. He
was looking for some musicians to bring his creations to life and our paths crossed. We sat down at a picnic table and he
played me a couple of his tunes and I was blown away. Some friends of mine were playing at the festival so I talked them
into loaning us some equipment and we actually played our first show ("World" and "Weepin' MamaBlues") for about 1,000
cheering fans after knowing each other less than an hour! We needed a fuller sound so I recruited Stan, a high school friend
of mine , to play rhythm guitar a few weeks later. This quartet rehearsed intensly, and within a couple of months had a
repertior of 25-30 of Myke's original tunes, with the band mates contributing to the arrangements. We were rehearsing one
night when a local radio disc jockey happened to hear us as he was driving by. He knew a man in Birmingham, Alabama
(about 100 miles south of Huntsville) that owned a small recording studio and took us there to record a demo. The studio
engineer liked our stuff so much that the scheduled 3 hour session turned into an all night affair that yielded 5 pretty good
songs complete with triple tracked harmony vocals. Not long after the demo session we met Alan, a couple years older than
the rest of us. He asked to jam with us and his Hammond B-3 organ really completed the sound that we all had in our heads.
We gave the demo tape to Myke's dad and he shopped it around to some labels in Nashville but at that time, Nashville was
strictly country music. A small company called Nashboro/Nasco, which at the time was primarily bluegrass, gospel and
country, decide to give rock music a try. We recorded the album in 2 days at Woodland Sound Studios on Nashville's east side.
Our producer, Bob Tubert, gave us an incredible amount of freedom in the studio considering our young age and relative lack
of knowledge concerning the differences between playing live and recording. A couple months after completing the album,
Myke was busted with an ounce of pot in his pocket. Being 17 years old in the state of Alabama in 1970 that got him 6 months
in state reform school and effectively spelled the end of Felt as a band. I must sign off for now, some band stories at a later
Tommy Gilstrap, Orange Park, Florida
When the group recorded the disc, Myke and Stan were 17, Mike and Tommy were 18 and Alan was 19. Alan Darlympler previously played
in local band - Suspended Animation (1968-1969) and Myke was in Everyday Lyfe (1968). Further career, after Felt split:
- Tommy Gilstrap (September 20, 1951) currently a freelance musicians playing jazz and pop at resorts on the Florida and Georgia
coast and accasional gigs at local night clubs.Tommy has played shows with Mary Wells, Cecil
Womack, Eddie Floyd, O.V.Wright and has opened for Archie Bell and the Drells, Kenny Rogers
and B.J.Thomas. He was also bandleader of the group Cor of which Pam Tillis was a member. Later
he worked in Nashville doing freelance studio work for RCA/Free Flight and as staff studio bassist for
Tree International Music Publishing. Currently he lives in Orange Park Florida and is the first call bassist
for several area bands and recording studios. In 2010, he plays with - Palmetto Catz, Dillinger and JR
Roberts Band. Thank you very much Tommy, for all information.
- MYSPACE - TOMMY GILSTRAP
- TALKBASS.COM - TOMMY GILSTRAP
- PALMETTO CATZ
- MYSPACE - JR ROBERTS BAND
- Mike Neel - in 70s, he played with Myron and the VanDells
- Alan Darlymple - he died in a car accident in the mid 70's
- Stan Lee - he plays jazz and classical guitar in Huntsville. He is coowner Redstone Audio. T.Gilstrap said:"I'm pretty sure that
Stan was not a part of The Dickies"
- Myke Jackson - his further musical career, you can trace the links given below:
- Official Website - MYCHAEL JOHN THOMASA
- Myspace - MYCHAEL JOHN THOMASA
- BAD CAT RECORDS website with information about his solo disc from 1978
Finally, I mentioned that in April, 2010, Sweden company called Flawed Gems issued another compact disc.
Date of publication