Brian Auger and The Trinity and Julie Driscoll – Streetnoise (1969)

FrontCover1Streetnoise is a 1969 album by Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger and the Trinity, originally released as a double LP.

It includes cover versions of The Doors’ “Light My Fire”, Nina Simone’s “Take Me To The Water”, Laura Nyro’s “Save the Country”, Miles Davis’ “All Blues”, Richie Havens’ “Indian Rope Man”, and “Let The Sunshine In” and “I Got Life” from the musical Hair. Driscoll covers this wide range of musical influences easily and with her highly emotive and distinctive vocals, and with Auger’s intense Hammond organ, the album is instrumentally interesting, too. (by wikipedia)

The final collaboration between singer Julie Driscoll (by that time dubbed as “The Face” by the British music weeklies) and Brian Auger’s Trinity was 1969’s Streetnoise — it was an association that had begun in 1966 with Steampacket, a band that also featured Rod Stewart and Long John Baldry. As a parting of the ways, however, it was Trinity’s finest moment. A double album featuring 16 tracks, more than half with vocals by Driscoll, the rest absolutely burning instrumentals by Trinity. (Auger on keyboards and vocals, Driscoll on acoustic guitar, Clive Thacker on drums, and Dave Ambrose on bass and guitars.) “Tropic of Capricorn,” an instrumental Auger original, kicks off in high gear.


It’s a knotty prog rock number that contains elements of Memphis R&B. it sounds better than it reads; it twists and turns around a minor key figure that explodes into solid, funky grit with Thacker double timing the band. Driscoll enters next with “Czechoslovakia,” a wide-open modal tune that hints at the kinds of music she would explore in the very near future on her debut 1969 and later, with future husband Keith Tippett. Broken melody lines and drones are the framework for Driscoll to climb over and soar above, and she does without faltering before she slides into the traditional gospel tune, “Take Me to the Water.” And this is how this record moves, from roiling progressive rock instrumentals and art songs, done rock style, to inspired readings of the hits of the day such as “Light My Fire,” “Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In)” from Hair, and one of most stirring readings ever of Laura Nyro’s “Save the Country” that closes the album. “Indian Rope Man,” is a burning, organ-driven churner that fuses Stax/Volt R&B funkiness with psychedelic rock and jazz syncopation.


Driscoll’s vocal is over the top; she’s deep into the body of the tune and wrings from it every ounce of emotion from it. Auger’s organ solo is a barnburner; reeling in the high register, he finds the turnarounds and offers his own counterpoint in the middle and lower one with fat chords. The rhythm section keeps the groove, funking it up one side and moving it out to the ledge until the coda. Another steaming rocker is “Ellis Island,” with it’s dueling Fender Rhodes and organ lines. it may be the finest instrumental on the album. “Looking in the Eye of the World” features Driscoll in rare form, singing in her voice’s lower register accompanied only by Auger’s piano on a blues moan worthy of Nina Simone. Streetnoise was a record that may have been informed by its era, but it certainly isn’t stuck there, especially in the 21st century. The music sounds as fresh and exciting as the day it was recorded. This is a must-have package for anyone interested in the development of Auger’s music that was to change immediately with the invention of the Oblivion Express, and also for those interested in Driscoll’s brave, innovative, and fascinating career as an improviser, who discovered entirely new ways of using the human voice. Streetnoise is brilliant. (by by Thom Jurek)

In other words: One of most important albums from the Sixties !


David “Lobs” Ambrose (bass, guitar, vocals)
Brian “Auge” Auger (keyboards, vocals)
Julie “Jools” Driscoll (vocals, guitar)
Clive “Toli” Thacker (drums, percussion)



01. Tropic Of Capricorn (Auger) 5.30
02. Czechoslovakia (Driscoll) 6.45
03. Take Me To The Water (Simone) 4.00
04. A Word About Colour (Driscoll) 1.35

05. Light My Fire (Densmore/Krieger/Manzarek/Morrison) 4.30
06. Indian Rope Man (Havens/Price/Roth) 3.00
07. When I Was Young (Traditional/Driscoll) 7.00
08. The Flesh Failures (Let the Sunshine In) (Rado/Ragni/MacDermot) 3.05

09. Ellis Island (Auger) 4.10
10. In Search Of The Sun (Ambrose) 4.25
11. Finally Found You Out (Auger) 4.15
12. Looking In The Eye Of The World (Auger) 5.05

13. Vauxhall To Lambeth Bridge (Driscoll) 6.30
14. All Blues (Davis/Brown) 5.40
15. I’ve Got Life (Rado/Ragni/MacDermot) 4.30
16. Save The Country (Nyro) 3,56




Brian Auger And The Trinity With Julie Driscoll – Open (1967)

LPFrontCover1.jpgFrom the outgrowth of Steampacket, a band that included not only Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll, but also a young Rod Stewart, came Auger and Driscoll’s collective effort that produced two albums. When Driscoll left in 1969 to pursue a solo career, Auger, drummer Clive Thacker, and bassist Dave Ambrose continued as Brian Auger & the Trinity. Open has been unfairly characterized as a kind of groove jazz rip, one that combines Wes Montgomery, Jimmy McGriff, and the rock sensibilities of the psychedelic era. Whatever. There are many tracks here, from deep grooved funky jazz to lilting ballads and greasy blues numbers and the skronky exotica number “Goodbye Jungle Telegraph.”

Auger may not have been as gifted an organist as Alan Price technically, but he could more than hold his own on the Hammond B-3 (as evidenced by the first two tracks here which are instrumentals, “In And Out” and “Isola Nate”). He was also able to pull more sounds out of the instrument than any of his peers. Auger wasn’t much of a vocalist, but he could dig deep and get the emotion out of a song — especially in a funky number like “Black Cat,” which featured a killer though uncredited studio horn section.


Driscoll’s contributions are all on the second half of the album, beginning with the shuffling choogle of Lowell Fulsom’s “Tramp,” continuing through a moving reading of Pops Staples’ “Why (Am I Treated So Bad),” two Auger originals, and concluding in a reading of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch” that single-handedly established her reputation as a vocalist of great interpretative ability and emotional dexterity. Almost eight minutes in length, it is the perfect interplay for the quartet with its dark, smoky swirling energy and extant soul groove, and capos the album on a high note, making it a delightful precursor to the classic Streetnoise which was to follow. (by Thom Jurek)


The debut LP from the team of Julie Driscoll (vocal) and Brian Auger & the Trinity’s (organ/vocals) — took less than six hours to complete. Under the care and watchful eye of legendary producer Giorgio Gomelsky, the ten performances were essentially cut live at Chappell Studios, London, in front of a small group of friends attending the sessions, who are audible between tracks. They took the novel approach of having Auger and company on one side, with Driscoll joining in for the second. An obvious influence on Auger’s keyboarding, if not choice for material, is the legendary Jimmy Smith (organ).


Auger commences his section with an inspired reading of Wes Montgomery’s limber “In and Out.” His ostentatious original rave-up “Black Cat” kicks off with a full frontal brass-fuelled blast, recalling the Miracles’ Motown classic “Going to a Go-Go” before Auger launches into his (thankfully) one-off vocal. Granted, his singing isn’t as incendiary as his playing, but it does give him the rare opportunity to pull double duty. For a direct contrast, the lovely and languid “Lament for Miss Baker” is a pining, introspective acoustic piano outing. While conspicuous when compared to the majority of Open, it is an apt illustration of Auger’s remarkable sensitivity and stylistic diversity. The tribal vibe of “Goodbye Jungle Telegraph” flows freely as the driving percussive rhythm is similar — if not a foreshadowing — of Ginger Baker’s excursions with Fela Kuti. Especially the definite undercurrents of the early-’60s Afro-Cuban pop scene.


Driscoll’s selections are observant of her distinct phrasing and full-bodied persona, ranging from the soulful lead on the remake of Lowell Fulson’s “Tramp” to the intricate jazz changes peppered throughout the unhurried “Why (Am I Treated So Bad).” She’s arguably at her peak, however, on the noir and trippy cover of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch.” More accurately, the pair are at their collective peak with an intensity that ebbs and flows over the simmering and meditative support. The four bonuses are of particular interest as they include a newly unearthed pulsating, up-tempo Felix Pappalardi composition titled “I’ve Gotta Go Now” circa 1967, as well as their incendiary overhaul of Bob Dylan’s “This Wheel’s on Fire” — which was a Top Five U.K. single — David Ackles’ lonesome “Road to Cairo” and the Franklin Sisters’ (as in Aretha, Carolyn and Erma) “Save Me.” The remastered audio bests all previous incarnations, while the dozen-panel liner insert contains lots of memorabilia eye candy surrounding an essay from Mojo Magazine’s Lois Wilson. (by Lindsay Planer)


David Ambrose (bass)
Brian Auger (keboards, vocals)
Gary Boyle (guitar)
Julie Driscoll (vocals)
Clive Thacker (drums)
unknown horn section


01. In And Out (Montgomery) 3.22
02. Isola Natale (Auger) 5.17
03. Black Cat (Auger) 3.25
04. Lament For Miss Baker (Auger) 2.41
05. Goodbye Jungle Telegraph (Auger) 6.20
06. Tramp (McCracklin/Fulsom) 4.16
07. Why (Am I Treated So Bad) (The Staple Singers) 3.38
08. A Kind Of Love In (Auger/Driscoll) 2.36
09. Break It Up (Auger/Sutton) 3.05
10. Season Of The Witch (Leitch) 8.00
11. I’ve Gotta Go Now (Pappalardi) 4.12
12 Save Me (Ousley/Franklin) 4.03
13 This Wheel’s On Fire (Dylan/Danko) 5.20
14 Road To Cairo (Ackles) 3.30




US front + back cover