Kubla Kahn

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Kubla Khan was an offshoot of the Zakary Thaks and the Liberty Bell, a pair of '60s-era Corpus Christi, TX-based garage bands. Although shorter-lived than either of its predecessors, Kubla Khan's music…
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Kubla Khan was an offshoot of the Zakary Thaks and the Liberty Bell, a pair of '60s-era Corpus Christi, TX-based garage bands. Although shorter-lived than either of its predecessors, Kubla Khan's music is just as worthy of being heard as it featured the voice and songwriting of Chris Gerniottis. By all accounts, Gerniottis was one of the most powerful vocalists ever to come out of Corpus Christi, and his songwriting was flexible enough to move within a multitude of idioms, from the psychedelia of the Zakary Thaks to the more basic hard rock of Kubla Khan. In addition to Gerniottis on lead vocals and rhythm guitar, the other members of the group were Jeff Burke on lead guitar, Mike Gregory on organ, Tom Engle on bass, and Mike Gersmann on drums. The group's goal was to lay down the equivalent of an album's worth of properly worked-out and finely honed material and take their career from there. Unfortunately, the hoped-for gigs never materialized, and the band broke up after only one official single release and a year of work. The reason for their failure isn't obvious, based on the songs they left behind, which were several cuts above what any local band was capable of producing. "Bossa Nova" could have been an outtake from one of Santana's early albums, while "Revolution" could have been a collaboration of the Who and Creedence Clearwater Revival, and "Give It Up" is a superb piece of white soul. Although mostly remembered today for their connection to the Zakary Thaks, Kubla Khan make a fascinating lost chapter in the history of Texas garage bands.