Cathy Lemons Blues Band – Dark Road (1998)

frontcover1Cathy Lemons’ critically acclaimed CD “Dark Road” has won her some hard fought for recognition both as a songwriter and as soulful and expressive blues talent. Bkues Revue hailed “Dark Road” as “a burnished, scintillating disc and certainly one of the finest debuts from a contemporary female blues singer this year.” Vintage Guitar says this of Lemons’ vocal style: “She presents an almost classical quality to her voice. A dangerous approach to a tradition? You bet! But Lemons makes it work. The more you listen to this self-produced effort, the more you realize that it is a very individualistic emotional approach.” And Living Blues calls Lemons “a skillful and expressive singer” delivering blues “in a wide range of styles” from “dance-floor soul grooves” to “the occasional ballad.”

The quality of this CD is strengthened by an all-star line up. Tommy Castro  delivers his own fiery brand of guitar licks on the Lemons penned funk “Let Me Be Good,” and his wailing solo work on the slow blues “Takin’ a Train” (another original) can only be described as electrifying.

Rusty Zinn plays some raw Elmore James-style licks on another Lemons original “Hard Headed Man” and his “nasty tone and wild note bending” guitar work on the Junior Wells classic “Little By Little” leaves the listener wondering if this young “golden boy” might be from another generation of players.

cathylemonsbluesbandBut is it Steve Freund who is the guitar star on this CD. Kisliuk writes that Freund “fills in the edges around the snowmelt slow ‘Dirty Man’ with restraint and aching beauty.” DH of Vintage Guitar says that Freund’s “Lockwood-style finesse in tone and articulation work perfectly” with Lemons’ “delicate style.” Freund plays with beauty and intensity on the title cut “Dark Road,” creating a melancholic undertone, which builds as the song progresses. Freund’s 30 years in the blues business has indeed made him an exquisite accompanist.

David Maxwell is the pleasant surprise of this CD. His brilliant, jazz-influenced riffs on the Magic Sam classic “I Need You So Bad” create a richly textured rhythmic flow and his sinuous, Spann-like scales during his solo on the haunting “Worry, Worry” are rendered with magnificent feeling and precision.

Johnny Ace, Lemons’ partner and session leader, makes contributions with both bass and back up vocals. Ace’s style is simple and direct. He has an uncanny ability to follow Lemons in all her subtlety and zone in on just the right bass line to create a sexy, low-down groove. Ace becomes the very pulse, the very heart beat of the music. Nobody can play blues bass better than Johnny Ace.

So, as Mark A. Cole says of “Dark Road” in his Big City Blues review, “This is an excellent CD in that it combines Texas-rhythm influences with Chicago lead configurations. Lemons vocal work is top of the line … Definitely a winner! This CD has more talent and depth than you can imagine!” (by cdbaby.com)

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In 2000 when it was released, “All Music” critic Hal Horowitz hailed the album as “the finest debut from a female singer this year.” Six time Blues Music Award winner Tommy Castro plays guitar on two tracks, another BMA award winner Rusty Zinn plays on two, and Grammy award winning guitarist Steve Freund rounds out the rest of the fourteen cuts, plus David Maxwell plays some brilliant keys. Chicago blues gems plus originals with fabulous singing from Cathy Lemons. (by allmusic.com)

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Personnel:
Johnny Ace (bass, background vocals)
Kevin Coggins (drums)
Steve Freund (guitar)
Cathy Lemons (Vocals)
David Maxwell (Piano)
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Tommy Castro (guitar on 04. + 10.)
Rusty Zinn (guitar on 02. + 13.)

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Tracklist:
01. Rolling And Tumbling (Morganfield) 4.18
02. Hard Headed Man (Lemons) 3.48
03. Dirty Man (Miller) 4.04
04. Let Me Be Good (Ace/Lemons) 4.40
05. Worry Worry (Davis/Taub) 5.26
06. Sayin It Plain feat. Steve Freund 03:07
07. Good Morning Little Schoolboy (Williamson) 5.55
08. Dark Road (Lemons) 6.08
09. Lonesome Whistle Blues (Toombs/Teat/Moore) 3.26
10. Takin A Train (Lemons) 5.56
11. I Need You So Bad (Maghett) 3.48
12. Just Got To Know (McCracklin) 3.46
13. Little By Little (unknown) 4.17
14. You Belong To Me (Magic Sam) 4.09

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Johnny Ace + Cathy Lemons

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Still alive and well: Cathy Lemons in 2014

Various Artists – Chicago Breakdown (1981)

frontcover1 Chicago Breakdown is a collection of blues recordings made in Chicago in the early 1060´s by Norman Dayron. It was recorded for the most, in the apartments or basements of the artists.

But sometimes the recordings werde made in small clubs on the South Side or the West Side. The feeling of the various sessions was always easy and natural. There was no sense of formality or self-importance. Only the sense of musicians and their friends trying to please each other. As such, these recordings are unusual and very personal.

They are also fine examples of the work of traditional blues artists who lived in Chicago at a time when electric band blues was the predominant sound of the city” (Noram Dayron; taken from the origianl liner notes).

And can not only fine black blues musicians from that time, but also young white blues freaks like Elvin Bishop, Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield ! … Their first recordings I guess.

More about the great Norman Dayron will come very soon ..

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A blues bar in Chicago

Personnel:

Little Brother Montgomery:
Little Brother Montgomery (piano, vocals)

John Lee Granderson:
John Lee Granderson (vocals, guitar)

Dr. Isaiah Ross:
Dr. Isaiah Ross (vocals, guitar, harmonica)

Big Joe Williams:
Paul Butterfield (harmonica on 10.)
Big Joe Williams (vocals, guitar)

James Cotton:
Elvin Bisjop (guitar)
Paul Butterfield (harmonica)
James Cotton (vocals)

Maxwell Street Jimmy:
Maxwell Street Jimmy (vocals, guitar)

Little Brother Montgomery:
Michael Bloomfield (guitar)
Little Brother Montgomery (vocals, piano)

Eddie Boyd:
Eddie Boyd (vocals, piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Little Brother Montgomery: Hesitatin’ Blues 2.33
02. John Lee Granderson: Minglewood Town 1.38
03. Dr. Isaiah Ross: Chicago Breakdown 5.51
04. Big Joe Williams: I Feel So Worried 2.58
05. James Cotton: V-8 Ford Blues 3.50
06. Maxwell Street Jimmy: Cryin’ Won’t Make Me Stay 2.54
07. Little Brother Montgomery: Michigan Water Blues 3.35
08. John Lee Granderson: Good Morning Little Schoolgirl 2.48
09. Dr. Isaiah Ross: Hobo Blues 4.32
10. Big Joe Williams: Stack O’ Dollars 2.37
11. James Cotton: Polly Put The Kettle On 1.43
12. Eddie Boyd: Five Long Years 2.54

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Lightnin’ Hopkins – Lightnin’ (1969)

frontcover1Sam “Lightnin'” Hopkins was one of the most influential musicians in modern days blues music. Born and raised in Texas, Hopkins lived early life as a rambler, playing music for most of his career on street corners and in local bars. As blues and folk music took the world by storm in the early 1960s, Hopkins became famous for his contributions, having recorded a number of widely popular albums and gaining a worldwide fan base. His music changed the way the world viewed blues music. (by highbeam.com)

“This is a twin LP package of twenty tracksby the great blues singer and guitarist and includes many of his older classics as well as a lot of new material. It is excellently recorded and is one of the best blues packages of the year.” (by Ralph J. Gleason, Rolling Stone)

“Lightnin’ Hopkins may have made more records than any other bluesman and with a few exceptions those records were remarkably consistent. There were peaks and valleys but the general form remained the same: a solid rhythmic accompaniment in E or A broken by bright fierce guitar runs and that amazing voice.

Hopkins always sounds relaxed sometimes almost asleep but with an underlying edge that goes right to the heart and gut. He invites comparison with John Lee Hooker that other master of the dark brooding vocal but his guitar work has a sophistication that Hooker’s lacks and his tunes stay closer to the standard 12-bar framework (although in Hopkins’s hands that could shrink to 11 or stretch to 13 1/2 bars).

lightin-hopkinsHopkins had an endless ability to improvise new songs but he had a few favorites that he came back to again and again. Virtually all those favorites are here played by Hopkins either solo or with a drummer nailing down the rhythm and on one track with a full band. Hopkins plays his acoustic guitar through a magnetic pickup and amplifier giving his playing a bite and sustain that his pure acoustic recordings lack.
Drummer Francis Clay though listed on 16 tracks appears on only bout half of them. On classics like his trademark `Baby Please Don’t Go’ his reinvention of Ray Charles’ `What’d I Say’ and the humorous boogie romp `Ain’t It Crazy’ Hopkins appears solo allowing free rein to his unique sense of pacing and dynamics. When the drums do come in on a driving `Mojo Hand’ and a fine version of `See That My Grave Is Kept Clean’ (here called `One Kind Favor I Ask Of You’) Hopkins takes advantage of their presence to extend his high note runs leaving Clay to hold down the rhythm.

The one band cut `Rock Me Baby’ shows Hopkins flawlessly adopting the Muddy Waters Mississippi/Chicago sound with results Waters must have admired. For lagniappe one cut `I Hear You Calling Me’ gives an extremely rare glimpse of Hopkins playing slide. Hopkins was one of the true greats a master artist whose work transcended the blues genre and this album is an unmatched sampler of his music.” (Elijah Wald, SingOut!)

A superb blues album !

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Personnel:
Jeffrey Carp (harmonica)
Franis Clay (drums)
Sam “Lightnin'” Hopkins (guitar, vocals)
Geno Scaggs (bass)

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Tracklist:
01. Hold Up Your Hand (Corley) 3.26
02. My Starter Won’t Start This Morning  3.20
03. What’d I Say (Charles) 2.46
04. One Kind Favor (Hopkins) 4.30
05. Baby Please Don’t Go (Broonzy) 3.00
06. Trouble In Mind (Jones) 3.13
07. Annie’s Blues (Hopkins) 2.31
08. Baby (Hopkins) 2.35
09. Little And Low (Hopkins) 3.33
10. I Hear You Calling (Hopkins) 2.06
11. Mojo Hand Part 1 (Hopkins/Robinson/Lewis) 3.06
12. Mojo Hand Part 2 Hopkins/Robinson/Lewis) 2.59
13. Have You Ever Had A Woman (Hopkins) 4.15
14. Ain’t It Crazy (Hopkins) 2.30
15. Black And Evil (Hopkins) 3.09
16. Rock Me Baby (King/Josea) 3.34
17. Hello Central (Hopkins) 4.35
18. Back Door Friend (Hopkins) 1.51
19. Little Girl, Little Girl (Hopkins) 6.03
20. It’s Better Down The Road (Hopkins) 2.36

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Paul Butterfield Blues Band – Same (1965)

frontcover1The Paul Butterfield Blues Band is the debut album by Paul Butterfield, released in 1965 on Elektra Records, EKS 7294 in stereo, EKL 294 in mono. It peaked at #123 on the Billboard pop albums chart. In 2003, the album was ranked number 476 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, moving up to number 468 in the revised 2012 list, and also is ranked at #11 on Down Beat magazine’s list of the top 50 blues albums.

In late 1964, a friend of Elektra house producer Paul Rothchild told him that the “best band in the world was on stage at a blues bar in Chicago.” Rothchild took a plane to Chicago to see the Butterfield quartet, and later the same night went to a different club and saw guitarist Mike Bloomfield with a different band. According to Rothchild, it was at his impetus that Paul Butterfield hired Bloomfield as his second guitar alongside Elvin Bishop. The Butterfield rhythm section of Jerome Arnold and Sam Lay had been hired away from Howlin’ Wolf.

Sessions were arranged for December, 1964, but these were abandoned for live recordings from the Cafe Au Go Go in New York City after the band’s appearance at the Newport Folk Festival. The earlier studio recordings were eventually released on The Original Lost Elektra Sessions in 1995. Upon hearing the live tapes, Rothchild still remained dissatisfied, and the band went into the studio in September 1965 in an attempt to record the album for the third time. The guitar solos were all played by Bloomfield, Bishop relegated to rhythm guitar. Keyboardist Mark Naftalin was drafted in at the September sessions and asked to join the band by Butterfield, expanding it to a sextet.

The album presents band originals and songs in the style of electric Chicago blues. It is one of the first blues albums recorded in America featuring a white singer,[citation needed] trailing a few years behind the British blues movement where white singers and musicians had been performing and recording blues since the 1950s.

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Even after his death, Paul Butterfield’s music didn’t receive the accolades that were so deserved. Outputting styles adopted from Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters among other blues greats, Butterfield became one of the first white singers to rekindle blues music through the course of the mid-’60s. His debut album, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, saw him teaming up with guitarists Elvin Bishop and Mike Bloomfield, with Jerome Arnold on bass, Sam Lay on drums, and Mark Naftalin playing organ. The result was a wonderfully messy and boisterous display of American-styled blues, with intensity and pure passion derived from every bent note. In front of all these instruments is Butterfield’s harmonica, beautifully dictating a mood and a genuine feel that is no longer existent, even in today’s blues music. Each song captures the essence of Chicago blues in a different way, from the back-alley feel of “Born in Chicago” to the melting ease of Willie Dixon’s “Mellow Down Easy” to the authentic devotion that emanates from Bishop and Butterfield’s “Our Love Is Drifting.” “Shake Your Money Maker,” “Blues With a Feeling,” and “I Got My Mojo Working” (with Lay on vocals) are all equally moving pieces performed with a raw adoration for blues music. Best of all, the music that pours from this album is unfiltered…blared, clamored, and let loose, like blues music is supposed to be released. A year later, 1966’s East West carried on with the same type of brash blues sound partnered with a jazzier feel, giving greater to attention to Bishop’s and Bloomfield’s instrumental talents. (by Mike DeGagne)

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Personnel:
Jerome Arnold (bass)
Elvin Bishop (guitar)
Mike Bloomfield (guitar)
Paul Butterfield (vocals, harmonica)
Sam Lay (drums, vocals on 05.)
Mark Naftalin (organ)

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Tracklist:
01. Born In Chicago (Gravenites) 2.55
02. Shake Your Money-Maker ( James) 2.27
03. Blues With A Feeling (Jacobs) 4.20
04. Thank You Mr. Poobah (Bloomfield/Butterfield/Naftalin) 4.05
05. Got My Mojo Working (Morganfield) 3.30
06. Mellow Down Easy (Dixon) 2.48
07. Screamin’ (instrumental) (Bloomfield) 4.30
08. Our Love Is Drifting (Butterfield/Bishop) 3.25
09. Mystery Train (Parker/Phillips) 2.45
10. Last Night (Jacobs) 4.15
11. Look Over Yonders Wall (Clark) 2.23

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I was born in Chicago at nineteen and forty-one
I was born in Chicago at nineteen and forty-one
Well, my father told me
“Son, you had better get a gun”

Well, my first friend went down
When I was seventeen years old
Well, my first friend went down
When I was seventeen years old

Well, there’s one thing I can say about that boy
He gotta go

Well, my second friend went down
When I was twenty one years of age
Well, my second friend went down
When I was twenty one years of age

Well, there’s one thing I can say about that boy
He gotta pray

Well, now rules are alright
If there’s someone left to play the game
Well, now rules are alright
If there’s someone left to play the game

All my friends are going
And thing’s just don’t seem the same
Oh, thing’s just don’t seem the same, babe

Written by Nicholas George Gravenites

Hubert Sumlin – Hubert’s American Blues! (1969)

frontcover1Hubert Charles Sumlin (November 16, 1931 – December 4, 2011) was a Chicago blues guitarist and singer, best known for his “wrenched, shattering bursts of notes, sudden cliff-hanger silences and daring rhythmic suspensions” as a member of Howlin’ Wolf’s band. He was ranked number 43 in Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. (by wikipedia)

Quiet and extremely unassuming off the bandstand, Hubert Sumlin played a style of guitar incendiary enough to stand tall beside the immortal Howlin’ Wolf. The Wolf was Sumlin’s imposing mentor for more than two decades, and it proved a mutually beneficial relationship; Sumlin’s twisting, darting, unpredictable lead guitar constantly energized the Wolf’s 1960s Chess sides, even when the songs themselves (check out “Do the Do” or “Mama’s Baby” for conclusive proof) were less than stellar.
Sumlin started out twanging the proverbial broom wire nailed to the wall before he got his mitts on a real guitar. He grew up near West Memphis, AR, briefly hooking up with another young lion with a rosy future, harpist James Cotton, before receiving a summons from the mighty Wolf to join him in Chicago in 1954.

hubertsumlin01aSumlin learned his craft nightly on the bandstand behind Wolf, his confidence growing as he graduated from rhythm guitar duties to lead. By the dawn of the ’60s, Sumlin’s slashing axe was a prominent component on the great majority of Wolf’s waxings, including “Wang Dang Doodle,” “Shake for Me,” “Hidden Charms” (boasting perhaps Sumlin’s greatest recorded solo), “Three Hundred Pounds of Joy,” and “Killing Floor.”
Although they had a somewhat tempestuous relationship, Sumlin remained loyal to Wolf until the big man’s 1976 death. But there were a handful of solo sessions for Sumlin before that, beginning with a most unusual 1964 date in East Berlin that was produced by Horst Lippmann during a European tour under the auspices of the American Folk Blues Festival (the behind-the-Iron Curtain session also featured pianist Sunnyland Slim and bassist Willie Dixon).
Only in the last few years has Sumlin allowed his vocal talents to shine. He’s recorded solo sets for Black Top and Blind Pig that show him to be an understated but effective singer — and his guitar continues to communicate most forcefully.
This is the 1st solo lp from Hubert recorded in 1964 and released on the Scout label in Germany in 1969. Backing him are Willie Dixon, Clifton James and Sunnyland Slim.
This is perhaps one of the worst covers I’ve seen for a blues lp and the rest of the Scout releases aren’t much better if you ask me. (by coblues.com)

Scout Records has been Horst Lippmann’s and Fritz Rau’s label preceeding L + R Records, you know, the guys who brought the American Folk & Blues Festivals to Europe …

Recorded November 1, 1964 at Amiga-Studios in East-Berlin/GDR

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Hubert Sumlin (left) and Howlin´ Wolf at the Manchester Free Trade Hall, England (1964)

Personnel:
Willie Dixon (bass, vocals)
Clifton James (drums)
Sunnyland Slim (piano, vocals)
Hubert Sumlin (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. My Babe (Dixon) 3.06
02. Hubert’s Blues (Sumlin) 3.46
03. We Gonna Jump (Luandrew) 3.50
04. Too Late For Me To Pray (Luandrew) 3.45
05. I Love (Sumlin) 3.06
06. It’s You My Baby (Luandrew) 2.29
07. Love You,Woman (Sumlin) 3.08
08. Every Time I Get To Drinking (Luandrew) 3.02
09. When I Feel Better (Sumlin) 3.42
10. Blues Any Time (Dixon) 5.15

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Alternate front+backcover from a re-release in 1980

Various Artists – American Folk Blues Festival 69 (1969)

frontcover1The American Folk Blues Festival was a music festival that toured Europe as an annual event for several years beginning in 1962. It introduced audiences in Europe, including the UK, to leading blues performers of the day such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker and Sonny Boy Williamson, most of whom had never previously performed outside the US. The tours attracted substantial media coverage, including TV shows, and contributed to the growth of the audience for blues music in Europe.

German jazz publicist Joachim-Ernst Berendt first had the idea of bringing original African-American blues performers to Europe. Jazz had become very popular, and rock and roll was just gaining a foothold, and both genres drew influences directly back to the blues. Berendt thought that European audiences would flock to concert halls to see them in person.

Promoters Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau brought this idea to reality. By contacting Willie Dixon, an influential blues composer and bassist from Chicago, they were given access to the blues culture of the southern United States. The first festival was held in 1962, and they continued almost annually until 1972, after an eight-year hiatus reviving the festival in 1980 until its final performance in 1985. (by wikipedia)

And this is rare live recording from the 1969 show, recorded live at the Royal Albert Hall (October 3, 1969) and this album include rare recordings by more or less unknown blues artists like Juke Boy Bonner. John Jackson and Whistling Alex Moore but although well known artists like Earl Hooker and Carey Bell.

And not to fortget, the pioneer of Zydeco, the one and only Clifton Chenier !

Enjoy this mixture of American tradtional music !

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Personnel:

Juke Boy Bonner:
Juke Boy Bonner (vocals, guitar, harmonica)

Earl Hooker Band + Carey Bell Band: :
Carey Bell (harmonica)
Earl Hooker (guitar, vocals)
Robert St. Julien (drums)
Mack Thompson (bass)

Clifton Chenier Band:
Cleveland Chenier (washboard)
Clifton Chenier (accordeon, vocals)
Robert St. Julien (drums)

John Jackson:
John Jackson (guitar, vocals)

Magic Sam Band:
Robert St. Julien (drums)
Magic Sam (guitar, vocals)
Mack Thompson (bass)

Whistling Alex Moore:
Whistling Alex Moore (piano, vocals, whistling)

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Tracklist:
01. Juke Boy Bonner: Jumpin’ With Juke Boy (Bonner) 1.40
02. Earl Hooker: Going Up And Down (Hooker) 5.07
03. Carey Bell: Rocking With Chromanica/I Feel Bad, Bad, Bad (Bell) 7.00
04. Juke Boy Bonner: Running Shoes (Bonner) 2.25
05. John Jackson: Poor Boy (Jackson) 3.02
06. Clifton Chenier:  Zydeco Et Pas Sale (Traditional) 2.50
07. Earl Hooker: Blue Shadows Fall (Hooker) 5.12
08. Clifton Chenier: Wrap It Up (Traditional) 3.08
09. Magic Sam: Easy Baby (Maghett) 3.24
10. Magic Sam: Looking Good (Maghett) 2.06
11. Whistling Alex Moore: Across The Atlantic Ocean (Moore) 6.34
12. John Jackson: John Jackson Breakdown (Jackson) 1.43

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Alternate frontcover

Back Door – Live At The BBC (1973)

frontcoverBack Door was a jazz-rock trio, formed in 1971.

Colin Hodgkinson first met Ron Aspery whilst the two were playing in Eric Delaney’s Showband. The two began to talk about forming their own band around 1969, and eventually Back Door came to fruition in 1971, with Tony Hicks joining on drums. Hodgkinson made an innovative use of the electric bass, making it a lead instrument rather than a part of a rhythm section.

Their unique brand of jazz-rock and Hodgkinson’s original playing was a hit at their regular venue; the Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge, Yorkshire. However, record labels were not keen and the band were repeatedly told “No singer, no contract”. Ever the innovators, the band decided to record their first album themselves. It was recorded on a 4-track Ampex mixing console in eight hours, and mixed in four hours the next day. Around 1,000 copies were first printed by RCA. The album was sold over the bar at The Lion Inn, and at a few record shops in the local area.

A copy of the record somehow made its way to the NME headquarters in London, and a superb review by Charles Shaar Murray was printed. After a few more reviews, the band passed an interview, and began playing a regular slot at The Senate in Peterlee, despite Aspery snapping a key off his saxophone moments before the audition. The band’s popularity increased when they were asked to play a two-week stint at Ronnie Scott’s club in London, opening for Chick Corea, a run that was eventually lengthened to three weeks. The record companies changed their tune, and after receiving many offers, the trio decided to sign with Warner Brothers. The band rejected an offer from Richard Branson (who was just starting up Virgin Records at the time) because, according to Hodgkinson, “they were successful – this other guy seemed really nice, but he had no track record”. Warner Brothers then re-released their debut album.

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In 1974, the trio went to New York City to record their second album, 8th Street Nites. The album was produced by former Cream producer, Felix Pappalardi. This was their first album to feature vocals, provided by Hodgkinson because “we needed a singer, and I was the least bad out of us.” Pappalardi himself also played on a few tracks. Warner Brothers duly released the record, and a tour of the United States supporting Emerson, Lake & Palmer followed. Subsequent tours (usually as the support act) included one with Alexis Korner in Germany, which led to a long-lasting collaboration between Korner and Hodgkinson, and The J. Geils Band in the US, and a few as headliners on the university circuit in the UK.

By the time they recorded their third LP, Another Fine Mess, Dave MacRae had joined the band on piano. He was a friend that Hicks made while in Australia. The band shifted style slightly on this album, and more effects, processing, and electronic sounds were used, although they were still defined as jazz-rock. McRae’s stint in the band only lasted about a year, however, and by the time they recorded Activate in 1976 he had departed the band, as had longtime drummer, Tony Hicks. The band hired Adrian Tilbrook as a replacement on drums, claiming they needed “a more hard-hitting drummer.” The album was produced by Carl Palmer.

After the release of Activate, the band played less and less together, and eventually broke up around 1977. Aspery went on to do work as a session musician, and Hodgkinson worked in a string of projects including The Spencer Davis Group, a stint playing live with Alexis Korner, as did Aspery, and a few outfits alongside Jan Hammer, then of The Mahavishnu Orchestra.

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The original line-up briefly reunited for what was initially one night at the Ronnie Scott’s 1986, although this was subsequently followed by a short tour of the UK.

In 2003, the original line-up reunited once again to record a new album. Askin’ the Way consists of 6 re-workings of favourite old songs, and 13 new recordings. Hicks also played accordion on this album on a couple of tracks.[4] The official launch took place in The Lion at Blakey Ridge, where the band had first started out back in 1971. The band then played a few more shows but Aspery had been suffering from an illness for quite some time, and decided that the rigours of the road were no longer for him.

On 10 December that year, Ron Aspery died at his home in Saltdean, Sussex.

The band played a few more concerts in 2005 with Rod Mason on saxophone, including the Guildhall venue at the Brecon Jazz Festival, Hull Jazz Festival, and further sold – out Blakey concerts in 2005.

Tony Hicks died in Sydney, Australia on 13 August 2006.

In 2007 Colin Hodgkinson formed a new trio under the name Colin Hodgkinson Group with Rod Mason (sax) and Paul Robinson (drums). In 2008 they released Back Door Too!, a mixture of old Back Door numbers and new material. (by wikipedia)

And this is the B-side of a BBC In Concert album, recorded live at the Paris Theatre, London and the band was introduced by the one and only Alexis Korner, who played with Colin Hodkginson many, many year.

Listen to this unique jazz-rock-blues trio … withthis unbelieveable sound … one of the finest jazz-rock bands we ever had … !

This is another item from my tape collection …

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Personnel:
Ron Aspery (saxophone, flute, keyboards)
Tony Hicks (drumss)
Colin Hodgkinson (bass, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Introduction by Alexis Korner 0.27
02. Folk Song (Hodgkinson/Aspery) 3.21
03. Introduction to the band 0.30
04. Roberta (Leadbetter) 2.57
05. Linin´ Track (Leadbetter) 4.10
06. Forget Me Daisy (Hodgkinson/Aspery) 2.39
07. Country Blues Nr. 1 (Hodgkinson/Aspery/Hicks)
08. His Old Boots (Hodgkinson/Aspery)
09. Walkin´ Blues (Johnson) 4.13
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09. Live At The BBC (complete show without editing)

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