The Ravens -- not to be confused with the renowned R&B harmony vocal group of the 1940s and 1950s -- hailed from Pinellas County, FL, where they made a name for themselves locally during the late folk-rock and psychedelic eras. Mark Marconi was the lead singer, Al Schweikert handled the lead guitar, Brian Egan was their bassist, and Paul Purcell played the drums -- no one can remember the name of their first keyboard player -- and they formed a pretty intense and musically dexterous ensemble. By 1966 they were ready to make the move to being a recording act and the result was "Reaching for the Sun," co-authored by Schweikert and featuring some excellent guitar and organ interplay over a central tune that combined punk and raga elements around a dance beat (with Purcell admirably restrained on the skins). It showed up in the summer of 1966 with a B-side of "Things We Said Today," released on the Boss label, and failed to generate a lasting impression with the public. The group endured for a few more years, however, Chris Krawzcyn coming in on keyboards and Beau Fisher becoming their bassist after Egan's departure. The Ravens didn't survive the turn of the decade, but their efforts weren't totally lost -- "Reaching for the Sun" was later included on Gear Fab's psychedelic-punk anthology collection Psychedelic States: Florida in the '60s, Vol. 2.
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