Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch” series, where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore psychedelic tunes from the 60’s to today. Weekdays At Noon EST. Enjoy the trip!

Samurai was a short-lived prog/hard rock band active in the late 1960s. Not to be confused with the band of the same name renamed from The Web, this band was started by rockabilly singer/actor Miki Curtis along with fellow Japanese and European musicians, creating a mix of hard rock, psych, prog and Japanese folk. In their time of activity they made two albums.

Samurai was led by vocalist/flautist Miki Curtis, who previously played rockabilly music. They went to Europe in late 1967, picking up some European members and thus becoming half-Japanese. In London they recorded a single and their debut album, the double-LP Samurai a.k.a. Miki Curtis & Samurai, as well as a single only released in Italy. They should not be confused with the UK group of the same name, who released a self-titled LP on Greenwich in 1971. 

Their second album Green Tea (Released in 1970) was simply a single-LP repackaging of the debut only released in Japan, to where the band had returned. In 1971 the band released Kappa. The band played a varied kind of psychedelic progressive rock, occasionally a bit hard-rocking, with jazzy and exotic Asian touches and with a 22-minute closing jam. They’ve been compared by Vernon Joyson to Andwella’s Dream and early Traffic. Both albums were was reissued on CD by P-Vine. The bass player, Tetsu Yamauchi, was later in Friends, Free and The Faces, as well as pursuing a brief solo career. Drummer Yujin Harada was later in the last incarnation of Far East Family Band. Graham Smith, credited on harmonica on the first 2 albums, is probably the same person who later played violin in String Driven Thing and Van Der Graaf.

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