The Underdogs Blues Band – Same (1968)

FrontCover1Formed in New Zealand in the late 60s, this blues rock band started out in a similar vein to that which Cream and the Doors mined so successfully. The band grew out of a mid-60s meeting in Auckland of like-minded musicians, including guitarist and vocalist Archie Bowie, guitarists Tony Rawnsley and Harvey Mann, bass player Neil Edwards and drummer Barry Winfield. Known casually as the Magee Street Underdogs, the group underwent personnel changes over the next couple of years during which time they made some singles for Zodiac Records and appeared fleetingly on television’s C’mon. By 1967 the personnel had become vocalist Murray Grindley, guitarists Mann and Lou Rawnsley (brother of Tony), bass player Edwards and drummer Tony Walton. Mann’s departure (he did not like the orthodoxy required by television producers) led to an adjustment of the remaining band members. They made some more recordings, including the popular Sitting In The Rain EP and the Blues Band album, and also toured in a road show version of C’mon.

Now based in Wellington, and with more personnel changes, Edwards was replaced by Dave Orams who was in turn succeeded by George Barris, the band lasted only a few more months. This was 1968 and when the band re-formed later that year it had Grindley, Mann, Lou Rawnsley, and drummer Doug Thomas. The following year, by which time Chaz Burke-Kennedy had replaced Rawnsley, this line-up, too, folded. Through the 70s various combinations of former members and newcomers regrouped, sometimes using the name Underdogs, sometimes not. Most members played with other groups and some also formed and briefly led their own bands. Grindley in particular did well with some solo hits in the early 70s and also 1982’s ‘Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang’, as Monte Video, which was placed number 2 in New Zealand and number 11 in Australia. Some of the Underdogs’ early material was released on vinyl under different titles on obscure labels, but most of their recordings were reissued on CD in 2000. (by allmusic.com)

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Here´s their debut album from 1968.

Lovers of John Mayall and his Bluesbreakers (note the Eric Clapton tribute paid on the sleeve of this album) will love this album. The Underdogs formed in 1964 and shared the scene with other greats from the country like The La de Da’s, The Action (NZ band, not to be confused with the UK mod godfathers) and The Pleazers. They spread the rhythm and blues word from their native Auckland through several 45s on the Zodiac label and went through a series of line-up changes prior to the release of their fabulous first long player.

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The Underdogs Blues Band LP shows the group’s appreciation for Mayall’s combo – just like The Bluesbreakers’ Crusade LP the Underdogs open their album with a cover of Albert King’s ‘Oh, Pretty Woman,’ one of three ‘Bluesbreakers’ songs covered on the LP. On this first long player the band storm into a world of guitar led rave-ups a la Yardbirds, organ blues grinders and even give a sight to what’s to come next with some incipient heavier sounds a la Cream. (Press release)

Indeed … one od finerst John Mayall cover bands in this time …anf these guys knows how to celebrate this very special British Blues style … listen to the guitar solo on “It´s Hurts Me Too” for example.

A great addition for collectors of the British Blues in the Sixites.

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Personnel:
Neil Edwards (bass)
Murray Grindlay (vocals, harmonica)
Lou Rawnsley (guitar)
Tony Walton (drums)
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unknown organ player

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Tracklist:
01. Oh, Pretty Woman (Williams/King) 3.27
02. Snowy Wood (Mayall/Taylor) 3.07
03. Main Line Driver (Grindlay/Rawnsley) 2.18
04. Mary Anne (Grindlay/Rawnsley) 2.00
05. Pauline (Grindlay/Rawnsley) 3.08
06. Pretty Girls (Church/Williams) 2.35
07. Yonder Wall (Traditional) 3.46
08. All Your Love (Rush/Dixon) 3.40
09. Hey Gyp (Leitch) 2.52
10. It Hurts Me Too (London) 3.15
11. Rubber Duck (Green/Dunbar) 2.24

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John Mayall – Live At The BBC (2007)

FrontCover1On its own terms, most of this 14-track compilation of 1965-1967 recordings for BBC sessions (all but one of them dating from 1965-1967) is a worthwhile collection of supplementary work by John Mayall’s best Bluesbreakers lineups. If you’re a serious Mayall fan, however, be aware that you might have already bought this material in some form or another in the year or so previous to the release of this CD in early 2007. For the dozen 1965-1967 cuts all appear as bonus material on the 2006 U.K. expanded CD editions of the John Mayall Plays John Mayall, Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton, and A Hard Road albums, all of which also include bonus tracks from non-LP singles, studio outtakes, and the like. If for some reason you do want to zero in on the BBC material exclusively, this has some decent live performances with both the Eric Clapton and Peter Green lineups of the Bluesbreakers. (The liner notes also admit it’s likely that the three tracks from October 25, 1965 feature not only Jack Bruce on bass during his brief Bluesbreakers stint, but also guitarist Jeff Kribit (sometimes spelled Geoff Krivit in other sources), who was in the group during a brief spell when Clapton left the band to go to Greece.)

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The BBC takes here of songs that also appear on Mayall’s official ’60s releases aren’t as good as the studio versions (and are sometimes very similar), but are still well done, though on the five tracks on which Clapton appears, he doesn’t seem to be playing with as much fire as he was capable of mustering. Of special interest are a few songs that Mayall didn’t put on his official ’60s recordings in any form, including a cover of Willie Dixon and Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Bye Bye Bird” and (from the October 1965 session) two decent original Mayall compositions, “Cheating Woman” and “Nowhere to Turn.” Also note that while Mayall was leading the Peter Green version of the Bluesbreakers on the four songs from a January 23, 1967 session, it’s Mayall playing alone on one of these tracks, “No More Tears,” which would appear on his The Blues Alone LP. The two songs that end the CD are from an October 21, 1975 session, and are of far less interest than the other material, dating from a time where Mayall was a few years past his creative peak and leading a much less interesting band. (by Richie Unterberger)

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Personnel:
Ronnie Barron (keyboards on 13. + 14.)
Jack Bruce (bass on 04., 05., 06.
Eric Clapton (guitar on 01., 02., 03., 07., 08.
Aynsley Dunbar (drums on 10., 11. + 12.)
Hughie Flint (drums on 01. – 12.)
Peter Green (guitar on 10., 11. + 12.)
Don “Sugarcane” Harris (violin on 13. + 14.)
Jeff Kirbit (guitar on 04., 05., 06
John Mayall (vocals, guitar, keyboards, harmonica)
Dee McKinnie (vocals on 13. + 14.)
John McVie (bass on 01., 02., 03., 07., 08., 10., 11.
Soko Richardson (drums on 13. + 14.)
Larry Taylor (bass on 13. + 14.)
Rick Vito (guitar on 13. + 14.)

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Tracklist:
01. Crawling Up A Hill (Mayall) 2.07
02. Crocodile Walk (Mayall)
03. Bye Bye Bird (Williamson/Dixon) 2.49
04. I´m Your Witchdoctor (Mayall) 2.11
05. Cheating Woman (Mayall) 2.03
06. Nowhere To Run (Mayall) 1.42
07. On Top Of The World (Mayall) 2.33
08. Key To Love (Mayall) 2.02
09. No More Tears (Mayall) 2.18
10. Riding On The L And N (Burley/Hampton) 2.19
11. Sitting In The Rain (Mayall) 2.53
12. Leaping Christine (Mayall) 1.55
13. So Much To Do (Mayall) 5.31
14. Taxman Blues (Mayall) 3.50

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Pete York – Superblues (1994)

FrontCover1Another very fine rarity from my archive … a Blues Session with Mr. Pete “Superdrumming” York:

The Blues has been a constant force in popular music for over eighty years. Out of the early ragtime and jazz recordings of the Twenties came hit sons which were often called blues-based, and out of the Rhythm and Blues scene in the Forties came the Rock n Roll wave of the Fifties.

The explosion of British groups in the Sixties laid the foundations for a Rock scene wich is still with us today.  The musicians and singers gatheredfor “Superblues” have a thoroughbackground in all forms of the Blues. Indeed many of them played with the old mastes and absorbed the simple truths about interpreting this deceptively simple music.

I first heard the blues as interpreted by people like Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday in a relatively sophisticated band setting, whilst my old friend Spencer Davis was absorbing the guitar songs of Leadbelly and Big Bill Broonzy. Two sides of the same coin.

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Before the formation of the hit-making Spener Davis Group we played in a tradtional band performing all of what we heard. Our versions of these classic songs came out differently because we subconsciously added other influences which we had also absorbed. Our original recording of “Dimples” was our first single and begann to sell in 1964 untill a rival record company realised they had John Lee Hookers own version to release. At least we were Number 1 in Birmingham. (Pete York, taken from the original liner notes)

So … enjoy a very special night … check the line-up … and you´ll agree when I write A night the legends cam out toplay … and to celebrate the Brith Blues and Rhthm & Blues scene on the Sixites !

Recorded live at the Zelt Music Festival in Freiburg on 19th June 1991

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Personnel:
Miller Anderson (guitst, vocals)
Tony Ashton (keyboards, vocals)
Wolfgang Dalheimer (keyboards)
Spencer Davis (guitar, vocals)
Chris Farlowe (vocals)
Bea Gebauer (vocals)
Eddie Hardin (keyboards, vocals)
Dick Morrissey (saxophone)
Gary Twigg (bass)
Harvey Weston (bass)
Roy Williams (trombone)
Pete York (drums, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. High Heel Sneakers (Higginbotham) 6.30
02. Flip, Flop And Fly (Turner/Calhoun) 6.46
03. Parchman Farm (Allison) 5.44
04. Lover Man (Davis/Sherman/Ramirez) 5.04
05. Dimples (Bracken/Hooker) 3.00
06. Born Again (Davis/Dean) / Get Back (Lennon/McCartney) 7.35
07. Ain’t No Love (In The Heart Of The City) (Walsh/Price) 8.00
08. Never Too Old To Rock (East/Jupp) 6.31
09. Resurrection Shuffle (Ashton) 10.35
10. Out Of Time (Jagger/Richards) 5.34
11. Johnny B. Goode (Berry) 4.5362

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John Mayall – A Hard Road (1967)

FrontCover1A Hard Road is the third album (and second studio album) recorded by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, released in 1967. It features Peter Green on lead guitar, John McVie on bass, Aynsley Dunbar on drums and John Almond on saxophone. Tracks 5, 7 and 13 feature the horn section of Alan Skidmore and Ray Warleigh. Peter Green sings lead vocals on “You Don’t Love Me” and “The Same Way”.

The album reached #8 on the UK album charts which is Mayall’s third biggest chart next to Bare Wires and Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton which reached #3 and #6, respectively.

The cover art and the original LP sleeve design are by Mayall. In 2003 and 2006 two different expanded versions of the album were released. (by wikipedia)

Eric Clapton is usually thought of as John Mayall’s most important right-hand man, but the case could also be made for his successor, Peter Green. The future Fleetwood Mac founder leaves a strong stamp on his only album with the Bluesbreakers, singing a few tracks and writing a couple, including the devastating instrumental “Supernatural.” JohnMayall01AGreen’s use of thick sustain on this track clearly pointed the way to his use of guitar riffs with elongated, slithery tones on Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross” and “Black Magic Woman,” as well as anticipating some aspects of Carlos Santana’s style. Mayall acquits himself fairly well on this mostly original set (with occasional guest horns), though some of the material is fairly mundane. Highlights include the uncharacteristically rambunctious “Leaping Christine” and the cover of Freddie King’s “Someday After a While (You’ll Be Sorry).” (by Richie Unterberger)

Recorded in October and November of the previous year, A Hard Road was released on the Decca label in February 1967. In addition to the leader on vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano, and organ, Green on guitar, John McVie (soon to contribute the third syllable to Fleetwood Mac) on bass, either Hughie Flint or Aynsley Dunbar on drums, this version of the Bluesbreakers also packed brass in its pocket. John Almond and Alan Skidmore added sax while Ray Warleigh contributed ‘wind instruments’.

A Hard Road is a solid sixties British blues album. Mayall’s vocals were never the slam-you-against-the-wall kind, but he truly sings with character. Eight of the fourteen tracks are Mayall originals with Green getting onto the scoreboard with two songs. Indeed, where this LP really flies is when Peter Green steps forward, as on the instrumental number “The Stumble” and his own “The Super-Natural”, two highlights. The latter piece Peter Green 1967is worth the price of admission alone. In fact the sustained opening note of “The Super-Natural” is worth the entry fee.

I like the echoing “Another kind of love” (another Mayall why-doesn’t-she-behave-properly-and-love-me-the-way-I-deserve song) where the saxes sing in the background and Green soars in the foreground. The sinewy R&B of “Leaping Christine” is foot-tappingly energetic and another highlight. And any blues album containing a cover of Elmore James “Dust my blues” is OK by me. This Bluesbreakers version really pops; fast, driving, committed to an absence of dust.

The cover painting, a wintery portrait of the band by John Mayall himself, fits perfectly with a bluesy English February; moody and downbeat.

This is British blues played with respect for the sources but keen to differentiate. On A Hard Road John Mayall and his band mostly succeed. Less than compulsive, perhaps, yet an entertaining listen. (Vinyl Connection)

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Personnel:
Aynsley Dunbar (drums)
Peter Green (guitar, vocals)
John Mayall (vocals, guitar, harmonica, keyboards)
John McVie (bass)
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John Almond (saxophone)
Hughie Flint (drums)
Alan Skidmore (saxophone)
Ray Warleigh (wind instruments)

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Tracklist:
01. A Hard Road (Mayall) 3.11
02. It’s Over (Mayall) 2.51
03. You Don’t Love Me (Cobbs) 2.51
04. The Stumble (King/Thompson) 2.54
05. Another Kinda Love (Mayall) 3.07
06. Hit The Highway (Mayall) 2.18
07. Leaping Christine (Mayall) 2.24
08. Dust My Blues (James) 2.51
09. There’s Always Work (Mayall) 1.38
10. The Same Way (Green) 2.12
11. The Supernatural (Green) 2.55
12. Top Of The Hill (Mayall) 2.41
13. Someday After Awhile (You’ll Be Sorry) (Mayall) 3.02
14. Living Alone (Mayall) 2.24

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Cuby & Blizzards – Groeten Uit Grollo (1967)

FrontCover1.jpgCuby + Blizzards, also known as Cuby & the Blizzards, were a Dutch blues group, founded in 1964 by vocalist Harry Muskee and guitarist Eelco Gelling. During the 1960s, the band’s mixture of sound, drawing upon a variety of genres which included blues and rock and roll, gave them a pioneering sound which was completely different from any other Dutch band in the same period. The spelling of the name varies, with ‘Cuby’ also written as ‘QB’ and the ampersand (&) also written as ‘and’ or ‘+’ and the ‘and’ sometimes left out. The spelling ‘Cuby + Blizzards’ was used on the first albums.

The band’s first single, a blues-based track bearing similarities to The Pretty Things output, was “Stumble and Fall” in 1965. From the start, they were a big hit in the Netherlands. In 1967 they toured with Van Morrison (after he had left Them), recorded an album, Praise the Blues with U.S. blues musician Eddie Boyd and scored a hit with “Window of My Eyes”. That year, John Mayall stayed at their farm and the next year they regularly played with the ‘king of British blues’ Alexis Korner, who is featured on their album Live in Düsseldorf (1968).

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The line-up of the band changed regularly, but founders Harry Muskee and Eelco Gelling remained at the core of the band until 1976. Herman Brood was the pianist from early 1967 until mid-1969 (which kickstarted his career) and again in 1976. Also in 1976, Gelling left to join Golden Earring. Muskee then decided to drop the name C+B and to form the Harry Muskee Band. This band recorded one album before Muskee decided to leave the music business. In 1980 he formed the Muskee Gang with a line-up of Herman Deinum (bass guitar) and Hans la Faille (drums), who had both joined C+B in 1969, together with saxophonist Rudy van Dijk, Paul Smeenk (guitar) and Jeff Reynolds (trumpet).

In 1996 Cuby + Blizzards re-formed without Eelco Gelling, who was replaced by Erwin Java on guitar. In 2004 they went on a theater tour to honor John Lee Hooker. C+B came to an end when Harry Muskee died of cancer on 26 September 2011.

The band received an Edison award for their debut album Desolation. The song “Window of My Eyes” (a Top 10 hit in The Netherlands in 1968), was featured over the ending credits for the 2010 film The American. (by wikipedia)

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It’s 1964, Britain has got the Stones, the Beatles, the Animals and a truckload of other “blues”-bands. And Holland? The Dutch just got themselves Cuby & The Blizzards. Unlike so many little white blues bands in the mid-sixties, these guys actually know their stuff. In a few years time, they don’t just rock the proverbial boat a bit, they actually matter. When Van Morrisson calls it quits with Them, they back him up until he manages to get his solo-career going. Sometime during 1967, Eddie Boyd is touring Holland and Western Europe, and ends up with John Mayall staying at Harry “Cuby” Muskee’s farm in Grollo. This resulted in the 1967 album “Praise The Blues”.
Their other 1967 release was “Groeten Uit Grollo” (“Greetings From Grollo”). The latter record kicks off with a strong, full sound of early blues-rock, firmly planted in the Chicago blues and more importantly, the sound of John Lee Hooker. But this act was more then just overdriven guitars and a big amp-stack, and they aren’t afraid to show it. The band is tight, experienced for its youth, and the musicianship displayed here is only hinting to the greatness to come over the next four decades.

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Right from the moment the Blizzards were formed, they were a domestic hit, and this record shows very well why. These are white kids, grown up in relative security and wealth, yet they understand the blues the way John Mayall or Eric Clapton understand the blues. Subsequently, The Blizzards ended up being more or less to the Dutch blues scene what the Headhunters had been to the early post-war Chicago blues circuit. The music on this disc follows standard blues patterns, the chord changes are regular, the turn-arounds are basic and standard, but the entirety of its sound is something else.
Cuby can belt the blues, that’s obvious from the first cut.

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The piano has a strong foundation in the band. Herman Brood (who was to go on to be one of the mainstays in Dutch pop-music and sadly committed suicide in 2001) knew his blues piano, and already shows that he could sing too.Cuby’s ability to write good lyrics shines through very strong here. His lyrics have hints towards the blues lyrics of the future, of today.From the first day on, Cuby & the Blizzards have drawn strongly on their main influence, the King of Boogie, John Lee Hooker. They honor him here with their own renditions of a couple of his sixties-cuts: “King Of The World” and “No Shoes”. Strictly speaking “Baby Please Don’t Go” could be in that list too, but to my ear they are tipping their hat to Lightnin’ Hopkins and Big Joe Williams more there then to Hooker. “The Big Bell” is of course an Eddie Boyd song.Cuby always has had his own philosophy of how to play John Lee Hooker’s work. He believes in giving it your own spin: you shouldn’t try to sound like the master, ‘cause you can’t. I’m not sure if I agree with him, but one thing I do know: Cuby’s renditions are certainly worthy. (blog.dnevnik.hr)

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Personnel:
Herman Brood (keyboards, vocals)
Eelco Gelling (guitar)
Hans Kinds (guitar)
Willy Middel (bass)
Harry Muskee (vocals, harmonica)
Hans Waterman (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Another Day, Another Road (Brood/Muskee) 1.54
02. The Big Bell (Boyd) 3.54
03. Somebody Will Know Someday (Gelling/Muskee) 6.56
04. So Many Roads (Muskee) 3.56
05. King Of The World (Hooker) 4.50
06. Baby Please Don’t Go (Williams) 1.41
07. No Shoes (Hooker) 4.35
08. Another Land (Gelling/Muskee) 4.35

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Harry “Cuby” Muskee (10 June 1941 – 26 September 2011)

Nine Below Zero – Don’t Point Your Finger (1981)

FrontCover1.JPGFor many discerning fans, Nine Below Zero far outpaced the Jam wannabes that doomed Britain’s so-called mod revival era. They even opened for the Who, whose favorite producer, Glyn Johns, oversaw this second A&M album. (Like other 1979-era revivalist bands, the group has re-formed on an intermittent basis.) Nine Below Zero show themselves as sharp players with plenty of hooks up their sleeves. Stix Burkey and Peter Clark whack out a disciplined rhythm attack without fussiness or flourishes, leaving the interplay to singer/harpist Mark Feltham and the main songwriter, lead guitarist Dennis “The Menace” Greaves. Greaves’ tunes successfully execute ’60s R&B toughness, yet are updated enough to grace a teen scooter fanatic’s good books. “One Way Street” is a punchy, doing-it-my-way anthem (“They told me to go by the book/But look at the time that it took”), while the roughhouse R&B of the title track and “Treat Her Right” come across like a speedier Yardbirds. The feel’s that close, but Greaves and cohorts have the skill to pull it off. The group expresses their bluesier side on “Ain’t Comin’ Back” and the slow-burning “Sugar Mama,” and also dips back into ’50s-style roots rave-ups with a credible cover of “Rockin’ Robin.”

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“Helen”‘s trebly poppiness offers another nice diversion, being a working stiff’s plea to his anxious wife (“You’re the one I’m thinking of/When I come home late from my job”). An unpretentious sense of humor also makes itself heard on the title track and “Liquor Lover,” which chides a girlfriend who’s too fond of the fizzy stuff (which is reminiscent of how Rockpile sent up overeating on their own “Knife and Fork”). Greaves’ quest for authenticity occasionally falls flat; “Three Times Enough” is as barely disguised a rewrite of “The Train Kept a-Rollin'” as you’ll ever hear. However, the group’s enthusiasm is contagious in all the right places, as typified by its anthemic closer, “You Can’t Please All the People All the Time.” Don’t let the revivalist tag stop you from putting this album in your collection. (by Ralph Heibutzki)

Wow! What a great album by Nine Below Zero … from the third generation of British R & B / Blues … !!!

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Personnel:
Stix Burkey (drums)
Peter Clark (bass)
Mark Feltham (harmonica, vocals)
Dennis Greaves (vocals, guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. One Way Street (Greaves) 3.42
02. Doghouse (Greaves/Turner) 2.20
03. Liquor Lover (Greaves/Turner) 2.50
04. Helen (Greaves) 3.40
05. Ain’t Comin’ Back (Greaves/Turner) 2.51
06. I Won’t Lie (Greaves) 3.40
07. Treat Her Right (Head) 2.22
08. Three Times Enough (Greaves/Burkey) 1.57
09. Sugar Mama (Burnett) 5.06
10. Don’t Point Your Finger At The Guitar Man (Greaves/Turner) 2.43
11. Rockin’ Robin (Thomas) 2.21
12. You Can’t Please All The People All The Time (Greaves) 5.18

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This is another item from the great greygoose collection … thanks a lot !

John Mayall – Plays Mayall (1965)

FrontCover1.jpgJohn Mayall Plays John Mayall is the debut album by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, released in 1965, Decca LK 4680. This album was recorded live at Klooks Kleek on 7 December 1964. Roger Dean stated in an interview that they ran cables out of the window of the club to the Decca Studio about 100 yards away for this recording. (by wikipedia)

John Mayall’s debut album, recorded live in December 1964, is a little unjustly overlooked, as it was recorded shortly before the first of the famous guitarists schooled in the Bluesbreakers (Eric Clapton) joined the band. With Roger Dean on guitar (and the rhythm section who’d play on the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton album, bassist John McVie and drummer Hughie Flint), it has more of a rock/R&B feel, rather like the early Rolling Stones, than the purer bluesier material Mayall would usually stick to in his subsequent recordings. The record doesn’t suffer for this, however, moving along quite powerfully, and — unusually for a British R&B/blues band of the time — featuring almost nothing but original material, all penned by Mayall. Nigel Stanger’s saxophone adds interesting touches to a few tracks, the songs are quite good, and while Dean’s guitar and Mayall’s vocals aren’t on the same level as the best instrumentalists and singers in the British blues-rock movement, they’re satisfactory.

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[The 2006 U.K. expanded CD edition added five enjoyable cuts that round up everything else recorded by the pre-Eric Clapton version of the Bluesbreakers, including the 1964 single “Crawling Up a Hill”/”Mr. James”; the early 1965 single “Crocodile Walk”/”Blues City Shakedown”; and the February 1965 outtake “My Baby Is Sweeter,” which first showed up on the early-’70s British compilation Thru the Years. “Crawling Up a Hill” and “Crocodile Walk” also appear on the original John Mayall Plays John Mayall album in live performances, but the bonus track versions are entirely different studio recordings done for those non-LP singles, and are pretty good as well.] (by Richie Unterberger)

This album was the start of one of the finest British blues musicians ever … Mr. John Mayall !

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Personnel:
Roger Dean (guitar)
Hughie Flint (drums)
John Mayall (vocals, harmonica, keyboards, guitar)
John McVie (bass)
Nigel Stanger (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. Crawling Up A Hill (Mayall) 2.30
02. I Wanna Teach You Everything (Mayall) 3.17
03. When I’m Gone (Robinson) 3.27
04. I Need Your Love (Walter Spriggs/Willie Spriggs) 4.20
05. The Hoot Owl (Mayall) 2.39
06. R&B Time (including Night Train) (Forrest/Simpkins/Washington) + Lucille (Collins/Penniman) 2.24
07. Crocodile Walk (Mayall) 2.45
08. What’s The Matter With You (Mayall) 2.45
09. Doreen (Mayall) 3.08
10. Runaway (Mayall) 2.43
11. Heartache (Mayall) 3.17
12. Chicago Line (Mayall) 4.43
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13. Crawling Up A Hill (Single A side, May 1964) (Mayall) 2.18
14. Mr. James (Single B side, May 1964) (Mayall) 2.52
15. Crocodile Walk (Single A side, April 1965) (Mayall) 2.16
16. Blues City Shakedown (Single B side, April 1965) (Mayall) 2.25
17. My Baby Is Sweeter (originally released on compilation ” Thru the Years ” in October 1971.) (Dixon) 3.00

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Steamhammer – Same (Reflection) (1969)

LPFrontCover1.jpgSteamhammer was an English blues rock band from Worthing, England, whose origins were with the blues. The band was founded in 1968 by Martin Quittenton (guitar) and Kieran White (vocals, guitar, harmonica). The first stable line-up consisted of Quittenton, White, Martin Pugh (guitar), Steve Davy (bass), and Michael Rushton (drums).

The first version of Steamhammer acted as backing band for Freddie King on two of his tours of England between 1968–1969. Like many of their peers, the band experimented with instrumental passages, introspective lyrics, and ultrasonic guitar effects, along with folk, jazz and classical influences. After playing in English pubs in the late 1960s, Steamhammer’s self-titled album Steamhammer (aka Reflection) debuted on Columbia Records in 1968, featuring their single, “Junior’s Wailing,” and including covers of “You’ll Never Know” by B. B. King and “Twenty Four Hours” by Eddie Boyd as well as original songs by White, Quittenton, and Pugh. Session musicians Harold McNair (flute) and Pete Sears (piano) also played on the album. While the album was not commercially successful, the band’s sound became popular live, especially in West Germany. In the summer of 1969, Quittenton and Rushton left the band, and Steve Jolliffe (saxophone, flute) and Mick Bradley (drums) joined the band.

Live

The second version of the band recorded the album Mk II, released in 1969. It consisted entirely of original songs, and the musical style had more jazz and progressive rock influences. Jolliffe left the band in 1970. The remaining band members recorded the album Mountains, which was released in 1970. This album included a cover of “Riding on the L & N” by Lionel Hampton and seven original songs.

In 1971, Davy left the band, and Louis Cennamo (bass) (formerly of the original line-up of Renaissance) was recruited as his replacement.[3][4] After a European tour in the summer of 1971, White left the band, and the remaining trio of Pugh, Bradley and Cennamo began recording a new album. This line-up, along with guest vocalist Garth Watt-Roy (of Fuzzy Duck), recorded the album “Speech” – which was released in 1972. It consisted of three long, mostly instrumental songs, in a heavier progressive-rock vein than the basic blues and jazz/folk influences of their previous albums. The genesis of Armageddon began with this final Steamhammer album, with production assistance by ex-Yardbird and Renaissance frontman, Keith Relf (who also contributed background vocals here – along with his sister, Jane Relf).

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Bradley died of undiagnosed leukemia on 8 February 1972, aged 25. A memorial concert took place at London’s Marquee Club on 14 March that year, with appearances by fellow bands Atomic Rooster, Beggars Opera, If, and Gringo. Steamhammer carried on for a while with a new drummer, John Lingwood, and lead singer, Ian Ellis (ex-Clouds). The new line-up debuted at London’s Imperial College on 3 May, followed by a European tour in May and UK tour in June with American vocalist/guitarist Bruce Michael Paine replacing Ellis. In June 1973, it was announced that they would now perform as Axis, playing their first gig under that name at the Marquee on 15 June. Quittenton rejoined, but the band split towards the end of 1973.

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Steamhammer (aka Reflection) was the debut album issued in 1969 by the British blues-rock band Steamhammer. Steamhammer was chosen as legendary blues guitarist Freddy King’s backing band whenever he toured England. The musicians in the band were Martin Quittenton (guitar), Kieran White (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Martin Pugh (guitar), Steve Davy (bass), and Michael Rushton (drums). The album includes classic blues numbers by B.B. King (“You’ll Never Know”) and Eddie Boyd (“Twenty-four Hours”), as well as compositions by band members White, Quittenton, and Pugh. The session musicians Harold McNair (flute) and Pete Sears (piano) also appear on the album.

Already in 1970 the song “Junior’s Wailing” was recorded by Status Quo on their album Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon. (by wikipedia)

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Reflection is also-ran late-’60s British blues-rock, with more rock-oriented takes on the kind of approach used by heroes Freddie King and B.B. King. B.B. King’s “You’ll Never Know,” in fact, is covered here, though most of the material was penned by the band. Steamhammer doesn’t put much of an original spin on its sources, or on the British blues-rock form, though this is competent and does generally have a moodier, more downbeat feel than most of the band’s competition in the genre. The expressive qualities of Kieran White’s voice, though, are limited, as though he’s being pinched by something that keeps him from letting go too much. The best moments come when they venture just a little outside of the ordinary U.K. blues-rock model, particularly when Harold McNair adds some jazzy flute; “Down the Highway” sounds a little close to some of early Jethro Tull. Future Jefferson Starship member Pete Sears plays session piano. The 2002 CD reissue on Akarma adds two bonus tracks from 1969 singles, “Windmill” and “Autumn Song,” which are more explicit forays into the more melodic jazz-blues-rock direction mined by the likes of Jethro Tull, Colosseum, and Davy Graham in the late ’60s, again with prominent flute. (by Richie Unterberger)

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I add three more songs, recorded live at the BBC Maida Vale Studio 4, London, UK; February 4, 1970 (“Rhythm & Blues” programme). This is a very good radio broadcast (mono). Broadcast on BBC World Service radio and presented by Alexis Korner !

In 1969 the British Blues boom was over, but Steamhammer was one of the last bands of this genre … and they was one of the finest bands of this boom … Listen carefully !

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Frontcover of the bootleg with the three BBC tracks

Personnel:
Steve Davy (bass)
Martin Pugh (lead guitar)
Martin Quittenton (guitar)
Michael Rushton (drums)
Kieran White (vocals, harmonica)
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Mick Bradley (drums on 14. – 16.)
Harold McNair (flute)
Pete Sears (piano)

LPBooklet

Tracklist:
01. Water (Part One) (Quittenton/Pugh) 0.57
02. Junior’s Wailing (White/Pugh) 3.22
03. Lost You Too (Quittenton/White) 3.32
04. She Is The Fire (Quittenton/White) 3.31
05. You’ll Never Know (King) 3:27
06. Even The Clock (Quittenton/White/Graham) 4.12
07. Down The Highway (Quittenton/White) 4.34
08. On Your Road (White) 2.55
09. Twenty-Four Hours (Boyd) 7.32
10. When All Your Friends Are Gone (Quittenton/White) 3.53
11. Water (Part Two) (Quittenton/Pugh) 1.49
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12. Windmill (Quittenton/White) 4.24
13. Autumn Song (White/Joliffe) 4.05
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live at the BBC (recorded February 4, 1970)
14. Junior’s Wailing (White/Pugh) 2.38
15. On The Tide (unknown) 5.02
16. Another Travelling Tune (White/Pugh) 4.40

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LPFront+BackCover

Fleetwood Mac – Blues Jam In Chicago (1969/2004)

FrontCover1.jpgBlues Jam at Chess/Fleetwood Mac In Chicago/Blues Jam In Chicago Vols. 1 & 2 was the result of a recording session in early 1969, at Chess Records in Chicago (home to Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, et al.) with Fleetwood Mac, then a young British blues band, and a number of famous Chicago Blues artists from whom they drew inspiration. (by wikipedia)

This set, recorded at Chess Record’s Ter-Mar complex in Chicago, pairs Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac with some of the Windy City’s blues legends including Willie Dixon, Otis Spann, Buddy Guy, and David “Honeyboy” Edwards. Put together on short notice, and recorded in one day, the sessions have something of a ramshackle feel, but the energy of the performances transcends any shortcomings on this date. Dixon oversaw the proceedings, and can be heard during the between-song banter giving directions and chastising Walter “Shakey” Horton for missing his cues.

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Since the Peter Green-led Fleetwood Mac was so directly influenced by Chicago blues, the session acts as a kind of stylistic homecoming for the band. Bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood contribute driving rhythms while guitarists Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer lend both rhythms and the occasional lead. Green’s stunningly fluid guitar work is at the fore, as usual. But the real treat is picking out the Chess players–Otis Spann’s piano on “I Got the Blues,” J.T. Brown’s tenor sax on Elmore James’s “I Can’t Hold Out,” or Guy and Edwards, who go toe-to-toe with Green on “Red Hot Jam,” one of the session’s indisputable highlights.

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Like VOL. 1, BLUES JAM IN CHICAGO VOL. 2 documents collaborations between some of Chess Records’ most prominent bluesmen and the late-1960s version of Fleetwood Mac (the blues-rock power outfit, as opposed to the commercially successful soft-rock incarnation from the ’70s). Given that the Peter Green-led Fleetwood Mac was already deeply rooted in Chicago blues, the project proved to be a natural for the group, with Green’s blues-drenched leads and the chops of Mick Fleetwood (drums), John McVie (bass), Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer (guitars) providing a perfect framework for contributions by Willie Dixon, Otis Spann, and David “Honeyboy” Edwards, among others.

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Green and company bring an edge to the proceedings, playing with the kind of muscle and unbridled energy associated with rock music. Interestingly, VOL. 2 has greater variety in the lineup than VOL. 1, with Dixon substituting on bass for McVie on a number of tracks, along with much swapping of vocal duties. This last fact gives the second installment the edge over the first, with Edwards singing on his own tunes (“Honey Boy Blues” is a highlight), and the inimitable Spann singing “Someday Soon Baby” and “Hungry Country Girl.” This is one of the finer snapshots of British blues-rock meeting its source. (by allmusic)

This album is not only a highlight in the career of the early Fleetwood Mac, but in the history of Blues …

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Alternate frontcover

Personnel:
Mick Fleetwood (drums)
Peter Green (vocals, guitar)
John McVie (bass)
Danny Kirwan (vocals, guitar)

Jeremy Spencer (vocals, guitar, slide guitar)
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J. T. Brown (saxophone)
Willie Dixon (bass)
David “Honeyboy” Edwards (guitar)
Buddy Guy (guitar)
Walter “Shakey” Horton (harmonica)
S.P. Leary (drums)
Otis Spann (vocals, piano)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Watch Out (Green) 4.20
02. Ooh Baby (Burnett) 4.06
03. South Indiana (take 1) (Horton) 3.21
04. South Indiana (take 2) (Horton) 3.47
05. Last Night (Jacobs) 5.01
06. Red Hot Jam (take 1 with studio talk) (Green) 5.55
07. Red Hot Jam (take 2 – master version) (Green) 6.02
08. I’m Worried (Green) 3.47
09. I Held My Baby Last Night (James/Taub) 5.16
10. Madison Blues (James) 4.56
11. I Can’t Hold Out (James) 4.49
12. Bobby’s Rock (previously unreleased) (James) 4.00
13. I Need Your Love (John Jr.) 4.32
14. Horton’s Boogie Woogie (take 1 with studio chatter – previously unreleased) (Horton) 3.37
15. I Got The Blues (master version with previously unreleased false start) (Horton) 4.55

CD 2:
01. World’s In A Tangle (Rogers) 5.26
02. Talk With You (Kirwan) 3.28
03. Like It This Way (Kirwan) 4.25
04. Someday Soon Baby (Spann) 7.37
05. Hungry Country Girl (Spann) 5.47
06. Black Jack Blues (Brown) 5.08
07. Everyday I Have The Blues (Slim) 4.55
08. Rockin’ Boogie (Spencer) 3.58
09. My Baby’s Gone (Edwards) 4.04
10. Sugar Mama (take 1 – previously unreleased) (Traditional) 0.49
11. Sugar Mama” (take 2 – master version) (Traditional) 6.08
12. Homework (Clark/Perkins/Rush) 3.21
13. Honey Boy Blues (previously unreleased) (Edwards) 2.20
14. I Need Your Love (take 1 – previously unreleased) (Rogers) 2.15
15. Horton’s Boogie Woogie (take 2 – previously unreleased) (Horton) 3.40
16. Have A Good Time (previously unreleased) (Horton) 4.55
17. That’s Wrong (previously unreleased) (Horton) 4.13
18. Rock Me Baby (previously unreleased) (Jackson) 3.25

Label

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British Blues Review Nr. 1 (April 1988)

FrontCoverIn the 80´s the “British Blues Net” was founded by Robert Bravington and GrahamVickery (better known as Shakey Vick) Many years later the archives of the “British Blues Net” became a part of the “British Blues Archive”.
This archive includes the “British Blues Review”, the official journal of the “British Blues Net”.

The British Blues Archive (BBA) was set up by Peter Harvie and Stevie King in 2011 and is the only archive which concentrates upon British Blues, that great music that means so much to so many people.  The archive documents the history, musicians, the venues and the instruments that make up British Blues. Eventually everything will be on this website for everyone to see but it will take many years. We will get there with the help of fellow musicians and enthusiasts.

And here´s the very first issue auf the British Blues Review from April 1988.

For all enthusiast (like me), who live the British Blues Scene …

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The backpage pages of this issue

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