Cyril Davies (feat. Alexis Korner) – The Legendary Cyril Davies Album (1970)

FrontCover1Cyril Davies (23 January 1932 – 7 January 1964) was an English blues musician, and one of the first blues harmonica players in England.

Born at St Mildred’s, 15 Hawthorn Drive, Willowbank, Denham, Buckinghamshire, he was the son of William Albert Davies, a labourer, and his wife Margaret Mary (née Jones). He had an elder brother named Glyn, and the family is believed to have come from Wales.

Cyril Davies began his career in the early 1950s first within Steve Lane’s Southern Stompers, then in 1955 formed an acoustic skiffle and blues group with Alexis Korner. He began as a banjo and 12-string guitar player before becoming a Chicago-style blues harmonica player after hearing Little Walter. Working by day as a panel beater, he ran an unsuccessful skiffle club before meeting Korner, then Davies and Korner opened a London Rhythm and Blues club “England’s Firstest and Bestest Skiffle Club”, later known as the “London Blues and Barrelhouse Club”. Popular with other musicians, the club hosted gigs by blues musicians such as Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Memphis Slim.

During this period Davies and Korner worked as session musicians, and often backed Ottilie Patterson during her featured set with husband Chris Barber’s band, using amplified instruments for the first time – which did not go down well with their blues purist audience and many fellow musicians. After closing the blues club, Davies and Korner went their separate ways, and, influenced by Muddy Waters electric sound, Davies formed his own electric blues band.

In 1961, Chris Barber recruited Davies and Korner to play harmonica and electric guitar in accompanying Barber’s band regularly at its Wednesday and Friday night sets at the Marquee Club, a popular London jazz club. This opportunity granted Davies and Korner some exposure to the London music scene, but the duo wished to focus more on blues and R&B. The two decided to found their own rhythm and blues group and, in a show of support, Barber offered them the intermission slot at the Marquee on Wednesday nights.


Korner supplied musicians for the rhythm sections, and Davies recruited Art Wood and Long John Baldry to be the vocalists. They named the group Blues Incorporated, and their initial performances at the Marquee were very well received. However, they realized the need for additional performance opportunities and, since most jazz and folk clubs in London were wary of electric guitars, Davies and Korner decided to found their own club at which they could perform. In 1962 they founded the Ealing Club, which featured performances by both Blues Incorporated and other Trad jazz outfits popular in England at the time. The club proved to be a popular sensation in the burgeoning R&B scene, and attracted such far-flung admirers and future stars as Mick Jagger and Eric Burdon. Jagger was in the audience for the second night at the club and got up to sing “Got My Mojo Working”.


In June 1962 they recorded R&B from the Marquee,[4] actually recorded in Decca Records’ studio. After touring the UK and headlining a residency at the Marquee,[2] by October 1962 there was musical tension in the band as some members wanted to play crowd pleasers like Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley songs while Cyril Davies and others members were blues purists who wanted to play what they saw as only genuine Chicago-style R&B.[5][6] Following his departure from Blues Incorporated in October 1962, Davies then formed the Cyril Davies All-Stars[7] in November 1962 and recorded five tracks for Pye Records, who had announced an R&B label featuring music imported from Davies’ favourite Chicago musicians (“Country Line Special”, “Chicago Calling”, “Preaching the Blues”, “Sweet Mary” and “Someday Baby”). The original line-up was largely recruited from Screaming Lord Sutch’s Savages, and featured both Long John Baldry and Davies on vocals to give Davies room to play harmonica. The band, later known simply as the All-Stars was subject to frequent personnel changes.


After contracting pleurisy in 1963, Davies began to drink heavily to assuage the pain while undergoing a heavy touring schedule. He died in January 1964,[9] after collapsing during an engagement at a night club on Eel Pie Island, Twickenham in London.[10] The official cause of death was given as endocarditis,[11] although leukaemia is often quoted. The core band was taken over by Long John Baldry and formed the basis of his ‘Hoochie Coochie Men’.

In October 2014 the compilation entitled Preachin’ The Blues: The Cyril Davies Memorial Album was finally released on GVC Records (GVC2040) in Great Britain. (by wikipedia)

Early in the morning of January 8th, 1964, I received a telephone call from John Martin: “I’m sorry to be the one who has to tell you this, John, but Cyril died last night.” Cyril had been taken to hospital at six in the evening and within five hours was dead. I just could not believe it – he had been ill for some months, that I knew, but the suddenness of his death threw me. Some days before, as we were crossing the footbridge from our old stamping ground Eel Pie Island, he had said something that flashed back into my mind at that moment. “You know, John, I think this will be the last time I’ll walk on this bridge”.

As it happened, that particular evening at the Island was to be his last public appearance.


The first time I ever met Cyril Davies was a few weeks before the earliest tracks on this album were recorded. I was only a young kid just out of school at that time, just playing guitar and singing a little and very much in love with the blues. Although I had been listening to records by Bill Broonzy, and Muddy Waters among others since I was twelve, I had never heard English people playing and singing the blues until the evening I walked into the Roundhouse (the pub in Soho, not Arnold Wesker’s ex-railway turntable shed) and heard Cyril and Alexis Korner. I used to go every Thursday evening and they would invite me to join them on the piece of lino between the piano and the bar, which served as the bandstand, encouraging me in my desire to be part of the blues scene. Those were great days, because apart from Cyril, Alex and myself performing, there were visits to the club by Big Bill, Muddy, Memphis Slim, Otis Spann, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and Derroll Adams and many more.

Of course, Cyril was better known then as a twelve-string guitarist than as a harmonica player. But later, in the days of the “Blues Incorporated” and the All Stars”, he never played guitar on stage, so naturally became absolutely identified with harmonica. I have always thought it a great pity that his guitar playing was never utilized on his recordings for Decca and Pye. However, this situation can now be rectified as we listen to this collection of memorable recordings thanks to Doug Dobell.


As I listen, I look back and think of the little black Alsatian Uschi (still alive and well and monstrous in Kent) that he gave me from the litter of his scrapyard watchdog Kim. The entire barful of dockers on Teesside for whom he bought drinks all night. The inimitable way he curbed a tribal civil war in the back of a Timpson’s coach outside Middlesbrough Infirmary. My sudden arrival back to sobriety one night in Burslem with a well-aimed harmonica hurled at my head from the stage. But there’s not enough room on this sleeve to tell it all. Perhaps Doug might let me record an album one day so that I can tell you the WHOLE story of the Legendary Cyril Davies. (by Long John Baldry, taken from the originaL liner notes)

It´s time to honour Cyril Davies, one of the first blues man in UK. Listn !


Cyril Davies (guitar, vocals, harmonica)
Jeff Bradford (mandolin, kazoo, guitar on 06. + 12.)
Mike Collins (washboard on 02., 10. + 11)
Alexis Korner (guitar, mandolin, vocals on 02., 03., 05., 08. – 11.
Terry Plant (bass on 02., 05., 10. + 11.)
Lisa Turner (banjo, vocals on 06 . + 12.)
Reg Turner (jug on 06. + 12.)


01 Leaving Blues (Ledbetter) 3.15
02- Roundhouse Stomp (Johnson) 2.53
03. Rotten Break (Taylor) 3.48
04. K.C. Moan (Blackman) 2.54
05. Skip To My Lou (Traditional) 1.54
06. It’s The Same Old Thing (Shade) 2.19
07. Alberta (Leadbelly) 2.43
08. Hesitation Blues (Handy) 2.29
09. Ella Speed (Traditional) 2.58
10. Good Morning (Leadbelly) 2.36
11. Boll Weevil (Brownwell) 3.25
12. Short Legs Shuffle (Bradford) 2.34





Davy Graham with Alexis Korner – 34 A.D. (1962)

OriginalFrontCover1Davy Graham’s debut EP was released in 1962, consisting of three acoustic guitar instrumentals. The first of these, “Angie” (written when he was only 19), is the one tune that Graham is best remembered for to this day, and with it he is often credited as single-handedly inventing the idea of the folk guitar instrumental (though John Fahey was doing something similar in America at the time). The legacy of this one song is vast, as it inspired a whole generation of acoustic guitarists (it was covered by Bert Jansch, Paul Simon and many others).

The title track “3/4 AD” was a duet with Alexis Korner, also on guitar, who helped discover Graham and organize this first recording. Korner also wrote the sleeve notes which praised Graham highly and called him “a genuinely gifted guitarist who rightly refuses to let himself be fenced into one field of music.” Stylistically, the EP could be comfortably called folk music, but there are strong shades of blues, jazz, and perhaps more in his playing. Indeed Graham never felt he had to be confined to one genre, and with his later releases he explored well outside the boundaries of folk music. Even from this early release it is obvious that he had to be one of the best acoustic guitarists of his age… and this was just the beginning! (by stuckinthepast,blogspot)

Alexis KornerExperiment, per se, has only a limited value. What is of importance is the confirmation of an emotionally valid step forward in music. Musicians or singers have to be fiercely aware of the ‘rightness’ in their music in order to make it last. They may appear to be reticent or shy but, in their private selves, they must be sure.

Most good performers are, to a large extent, self-centred. They do not have to be rude, arrogant or offhand – neither do they have to be bland and ingratiating. They may be incredibly weak in many respects, but they are firm in their music. These statements apply to both Davy and me.

Davy Graham is just over 21. He is a genuinely gifted guitarist who rightly, refuses to let himself be fenced into one field of music. The great traditional folk banjo and guitar pickers have influenced his playing. Josh White, who can hardly be fitted into this category, has also exerted considerable influence. But then, so have the great modern jazz players. The fierce belief of good Gospel groups, the great blues singers, all have influenced him as have the Baroque composers.

At times he has wanted to take up other instruments because he wanted the extra sound. Fortunately, he has always been too lazy to do anything about it, with the result that he has been forced to make these sounds on guitar. So something new emerges. He gets a chance to work out his ideas at Nick’s diner, in Fulham, where he works several nights a week. He has also played the streets of Paris and had it rough – and, in his way, he has had it good, with a crowd of worshipful fans sitting at his feet. What he has learned is that, to keep his music alive, he needs to play in front of audiences; he needs to communicate.

His approach to a tune seems to be basically through the tune itself. Both ‘Angi’ – Baroque or Modern Jazz Quartet influenced – and his ‘Train Blues’ – a piece of pure rhythmic impressionism – testify to this. This approach is probably why Davy is best as a soloist. Yet one of Davy’s most telling performances is in our duet, 3/4 A.D. (The title is derived from the time signature and our respective initials). Inspired by Miles Davis’ ‘Kind Of Blue’ and Charles Mingus’ ‘Better Git It In Your Soul’, with a definite bow towards Jimmy Giuffre in the second theme, it is simply the Blues. It is not folk, it is not jazz; it is just music the way we feel it when we are playing together.

Davy Graham

There is a lovely swoop at the beginning of Davy’s opening solo. It is completely Davy, playing you will notice, harmonies rather than single-note lines, sinuous but expansive. Then a complete change in the next chorus. That is me. A hammering, shouting gospel approach which I could never get rid of, even if I wanted to. In the second theme, the solo work is all Davy.

The solo voice, treble first, then bass, in the last two choruses, is by me. It is just the way it happened to work out. We certainly would not play it exactly the same way again; it was an experiment which we may never repeat. It was however an experiment which we ‘know’ was right. (taken from the original liner-notes, written by Alxis Korner)

The recording was made by Bill Leader at his home, ‘North Villas’ London in April 1961.Released in April 1962

Alternate frontcovers:

Davy Graham (guitar)
Alexis Korner (guitar on 03.)

01. Angi (Graham) 2.29
02. Davy’s Train Blues (Graham) 3.03
03. 3/4 A.D. (Korner/Graham) 4.40




Alexis Korner – Eat A Little Rhythm And Blues (VHS rip) (1988)

frontcoverAlexis Korner (born Alexis Andrew Nicholas Koerner, 19 April 1928 in Paris, France – died 1 January 1984 in Westminster, Central London), was an English blues musician, born to an Austrian father and Greek mother.

Korner is probably best remembered as a networker and blues historian, although he was a proficient guitarist and a distinctive (if not accomplished) vocalist. Often referred to as “the Father of British Blues”, Korner was instrumental in bringing together various English blues musicians.

In 1961, Korner and Davies formed Blues Incorporated, initially a loose-knit group of musicians with a shared love of electric blues and R&B music. The group included, at various times, such influential musicians as Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Graham Bond, Danny Thompson and Dick Heckstall-Smith. It also attracted a wider crowd of mostly younger fans, some of whom occasionally performed with the group, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Rod Stewart, John Mayall and Jimmy Page.

In 1970 Korner and Peter Thorup formed a big band ensemble, C.C.S. – short for The Collective Consciousness Society – which had several hit singles produced by Mickie Most, including a version of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” which was used as the theme for BBC’s Top Of The Pops for several years. This was the period of Korner’s greatest commercial success in the UK.

In 1973, he formed another group, Snape, with Boz Burrell, Mel Collins, and Ian Wallace, previously together in King Crimson. Korner also played on B.B. King’s Supersession album, and cut his own, similar album, Get Off My Cloud, with Keith Richards, Peter Frampton, Nicky Hopkins, and members of Joe Cocker’s Grease Band.

In the mid 1970s, while touring Germany, he established an intensive working relationship with bassist Colin Hodgkinson who played for the support act Back Door. They would continue to collaborate until the end.

In the 1970s Korner’s main career was in broadcasting. In 1973 he presented a six part documentary for the BBC, The Rolling Stones Story, and in 1977 he established a weekly blues and soul show on Radio 1, which ran until 1981. He also used his gravelly voice to great effect as an advertising voice over artist.

In 1978, for Korner’s 50th birthday, an all-star concert was held featuring many of his friends mentioned above, as well as Eric Clapton, Paul Jones, Chris Farlowe, Zoot Money and other friends, which was later released as The Party Album, and as a video.

And here´s the video, including interviews with Alexis Korner, Paul Jones and Zoot Money.
















What a hell of a party … with such fine musicians … and I will present the official “Party” double album in this blog very soon … And please don´t forget: this is a VHS rip …


Eric Clapton (guitar)
Mel Collins (saxophone)
Chris Farlowe (vocals)
Neil Ford (guitar)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone)
Colin Hodgkinson (bass, vocals)
Paul Jones (harmonica)
Alexis Korner (guitar, vocals)
Zoot Money (keyboards, vocals)
Dick Morrissey (saxophone)
Duffy Power (harmonica)
Stu Speer (drums)
John Surman (saxophone)
Art Themen (saxophone)
Mike Zwerin (trombone)


01. Louisiana Blues (Traditional)  4.00
02. Whole Mess Of Blues (Pomus/Shuman) 5.41
03. Linin’ Track (Traditional) 3.14
04. Blue Monday (Domino/Bartholomew) 3.02
05. Skipping (Korner) 3.10
06. Spoonful (Dixon) 6.42
07. Finkles Cafe (Korner) / Dooji Wooji (Ellington) 9.43
08. Got To Get You Off My Mind (Burke/Burke/Moore) 6.27
09. Stormy Monday (Walker) 9.00
10. Hi-Heel Sneakers (Higginbotham) 6.20




Various Artists – Raw Blues (1967)

FrontCover1From this modest beginning Mike Vernon was eventually able to lure several ‘name’ Stateside blues men to ‘The Supreme Record Company’s’ then head offices on London’s Albert Embankment, for the purpose of inking a recording contract, and thereafter driving them to West Hampstead — Decca’s studio complex. Simultaneously, his was the influence which convinced some of Britain’s finest home-grown exponents of the genre to follow a similar course.

This package, aptly titled Raw Blues, was assembled by Mike and issued on Decca’s subsidiary ‘Ace Of Clubs’ label in January 1967 (ACL (Mono)/SCL (Stereo) 1220). An intriguing collection of artifacts, its wetter of big name participants may now be appreciated through the sophisticated medium of sound which is a compact disc. The technology may be smoother these days, but the blues remain as raw as ever…

A few details about the contents and its protagonists wouldn’t go amiss: Bom Jackson, Mississippi, on 21 st March 1930, Otis Spann shared his parents affections with two brothers and two sisters. Product of a musically inclined family, his father Frank Euston Spann played piano and mother Josephine was formerly a guitarist with Memphis Minnie, a top vocalist who knew a good picker when she heard one, having married another Jackson six-string resident, Joe McCoy (Kansas Joe). Mot surprisingly, Otis took to music like a duck to water, adopting piano as his chosen Instrument Largely self-taught, in later life he always acknowledged the influence Big Maceo Merriweather had upon his style. Gaining confidence as a result of forming a small band with some other local juveniles, when he heard about a neighbourhood talent competition happening at the Alamo Theatre he entered and won — as a singer — performing Coot Davis’ Four O’clock Blues.

CurtisJonesCurtis Jones

With the passing years he pursued medical studies at Jackson’s Campbell College in the hope of becoming a doctor. When not buried in textbooks, he displayed a sporting prowess at boxing and football, briefly even turning professional at the latter. Between 1946 and ’51 the U.S. Army called upon his time, but after discharge he relinquished all thoughts of any other occupation than music and moved to Chicago. The rest of the family had domiciled themselves there two years earlier, when mother died. Swiftly contacted by Muddy Waters, Otis joined the great guitarist/vocalist and stayed with his outfit for many years thereafter, although between 1952 and the time of this recording he’d also supplied studio accompaniment for such legends as Chuck Berry, Howlin’ Wolf, Bo Diddley and Lowell Fulson.

Visiting Britain in May 1964 for a tour, our subject recorded an acclaimed Decca LP: The Blues Of Otis Spann (LK 4615). Included here are the four additional cuts from that London session of May 4th: Pretty Girls Everywhere (a), My Home In The Desert and the McKinley Morganfield (alias Muddy Waters) duo Country Boy and You’re Gonna Need My Help. Personnel: Otis Spann (Vocal, Piano); ‘Brother’ (Guitar); Ransom K nowli ng (Bass); Little Willie Smith (Drums); add Eric Clapton (Gtr.) on (a) only. Further south in New Orleans, seaport metropolis of Louisiana, on Independence Day 1910, was bom William Thomas ‘Champion Jack’ Dupree. His father was French, while mother was a descendant of the Cherokee Indian tribe.

Tragically, both were killed when the family home burnt down during his seventh year. After spending the next seven cooped up in an institution he ran away, but not before he’d mastered the basics of singing and playing piano. Thereafter he maintained his existence by thumping the untuned pianos of seedy dubs and houses of ill-repute, acquiring the technique known as’ Barrelhouse’ playing thanks to prominent exponent of the art Willie Hall, otherwise billed as Drive ’em Down.

ChampionJackDupreeChampion Jack Dupree

The Depression found our subject attempting to make ends meet by taking up boxing—whence ‘Champion Jack’ — but by the mid-Thirties he’d joined forces with Cotton Club keyboarder Leroy Carr. Upon the tatter’s early death Jack was offered the unfortunate vacancy, which he accepted. In 1940 the Okeh label added him to their roster; it was the first of a multitude of labels great and small to do so over the next thirty years, including King — where he notched a big hit on the R ‘ n’ B charts, Walkingthe Blues, in 1955-and Atlantic.

As blues music gained European popularity through the Fifties, many big names were lured from America to tour and occasionally record as a bonus. Big Bill Broonzy was instrumental in persuading Dupree to take the plunge, and he liked it so much that by 1960 he’d married an English giri half his age and settled in Zurich, Switzerland.  From here he was able to commute around Europe, finding appreciative audiences for his set which at that time still included some dance routines — early in his career he’d worked in vaudeville performing the tap variety.

By 1965 he was living in and working out of Denmark’s capital, and the following February Mike Vernon signed him to a three album deal for Decca. The first of these, From New Orleans To Chicago (LK 4747), hit the shops in April, and included here are the two tracks from those sessions which were omitted through lack of space: Calcutta Blues (a) and the Eddie Boyd penned 24 Hours. Backed by an all-star British group, Now deservedly billed as ‘The Father Of British Blues’, John Mayall is rightly predominant on this collection. As one of the handful of pioneers responsible for popularizing the style in the U.K., his contribution cannot be overstated.

The Bluesbreakers became a veritable ‘nursery’ for so many future stars in their formative years, and amongst the home grown contingent on display here are some of the finest. Of his two solo billings, the impassioned Burn Out Your Blind Eyes and Milkman Strut, this second title prevailed, according to Vernon’s original album sleeve note, when the daily delivery to the studios saw the dairy employee wander in midway through a ‘take’, deposit his crate, and nonchalantly walk out slamming the door behind him…

OtisSpannOtis Spann

Of John’s pairing with organist Steve Anglo, it may now be revealed that for Anglo read Winwood. Owing to contractual obligations elsewhere he could not appear under his true identity when the album was published. Rhythm section duties on Long Night belonged to then Bluesbreakers’ members John McVie (Bass) and drummer Aynsley Dunbar.

The Mayall and Clapton liaisons here, John’s Lonely Years and Eric’s instrumental Bernard Jenkins, were cut at Mike’s instigation and originally issued as a back-to-back limited edition 45 on his own Purdah label. Dating from the period between the players’ joint collaborations under contract to firstly Andrew Oldhams Immediate company and then Decca, (Bluesbreakers era), both were committed through a single microphone in the middle of the capital’s Wessex Studios in Soho, hence the unusual sound.

At the time of its taping, Peter Green had recently been recruited to the Mayall ranks as Eric’s axe wielding replacement. On his own composition, Evil Woman Blues, he displayed a mature prowess at both playing and singing despite his relative lack of experience. In time, of course, he formed Fleetwood Mac, but that’s another story… Legendary purveyors of the blues from both sides of the Atlantic are gathered together in this one historical little collocation. We all owe grateful thanks to Mike Vernon for making it possible. Why wait? Just play on… (by John Tracy)

What a line-up !!!

Eric ClaptonEric Clapton, 1966

Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals)
Jack Fallon (bass)
Aynsley Dunbar (drums)
Champion Jack Dupree (piano, vocals)
Peter Green (guitar, vocals)
Keef Hartley (drums)
Curtis Jones (piano, vocals)
Ransom Knowling -(bass)
Alexis Korner (guitar)
John Mayall (guitar, harmonica, piano, vocals)
John Mcvie (bass)
Malcolm Pool (bass)
Little Willie Smith (drums)
Otis Spann (piano, vocals)
Eddie Taylor (drums)
Steve “Anglo” Winwood (organ)


01. Otis Spann: Pretty Girls Everywhere (Church/Williams) 2.57
02. John Mayall: Burn Out Your Blind Eyes (Mayall) 3.00
03. Champion Jack Dupree: Calcutta Blues (Unknown) 4.00
04. John Mayall & Steve Anglo: Long Night (Mayall,/Anglo) 2.04
05. Otis Spann: Country Boy (Morganfiled) 3.34
06. Curtis Jones: You Got Good Business (Jones) 3.23
07. John Mayall & Eric Clapton: Lonely Years (Mayall) 3.21
08. Peter Green & John Mayall: Evil Woman Blues (Green) 4.04
09. Otis Spann: My Home In The Desert (Unknown) 4.20
10. John Mayall: Milkman Strut (Mayall) 2.26
11. Champion Jack Dupree: 24 Hours (Boyd) 4.07
12. Curtis Jones: Roll Me Over (Jones) 2.38
13. John Mayall & Eric Clapton: Bernard Jenkins (Clapton) 3.50
14. Otis Spann: You Gonna Need My Help (Morganfield) 3.25


Alexis Korner – Audimax Hamburg (1969)

FrontCover1This is another “Riffmaster” rip from an old tape I got 30 years ago.

It´s a broadcast recording of an exciting performance by Alexis Korner and Peter Thorup feat a very young Colin Hodgkinson (pre- Back Door) and Ray Warleight (He has played and recorded with major figures and bands of the UK jazz and blues scene, including Mike Oldfield, Alexis Korner, Tubby Hayes, Humphrey Lyttelton, Terry Smith, Ronnie Scott, Long John Baldry, Nick Drake, Charlie Watts, John Mayall, Allan Holdsworth, Soft Machine, Georgie Fame, Mike Westbrook, Dick Morrissey and Kenny Wheeler, as well as accompanying visiting major foreign artists such as Champion Jack Dupree)

As we all know, Alexis Korner (19 April 1928 – 1 January 1984) was a British blues musician who has sometimes been referred to as “a founding father of British blues”.. He was a major influence on the sound of the British music scene in the 1960s.

And he had a very unique style to play the blues. Listen to this rare recordings and enjoy Alexis Korner & friends …

Recorded live at the Audimax, Hamburg/Germany, December 09, 1969

Colin Hodgkinson (bass, vocals)
Alexis Korner (guitar, vocals)
Peter Thorup (guitar, vocals)
Ray Warleight (saxophone, vocals)

01. Polly Put the Kettle On (Traditional/Williamson) 1.44
02. Little Sister (unknown)4.45
03. Mary Open The Door (Powell) 5.33
04. Make Up Your Mind (unknown) 4.32
05. Down The Road Ago (unknown) 3.43
06. Evil Woman (Voodoo Queen) (unknown) 4.28
07. Mighty Mighty Spade (Mayfield) 4.16
08. Rivers Invitation (Mayfield) 4.28
09. Right Rosie (unknown)  12.51
10. Rock Me Baby (incomplete) (Broonzy) 0.27


Alexis Korner – Live In Paris (1988)

FrontCover1 Korner working acoustically in the company of another guitarist (who plays electric) and bassist in Paris in 1980. The crowd is largely folkie restrained as Korner delivers a laid-back performance of standards like “Blue Monday,” “Key to the Highway,” “Sweet Home Chicago,” “I Got My Mojo Working,” and “Working in the Coalmine” with several of his originals fleshing things out.

The recording quality is good and Korner and company turn in an enjoyable — and very British — set of blues and R&B in the grand old tradition. (by Cub Koda)

Recorded “live” at La Chapelle des Lombards, Paris in March 1980 (01. – 10.)

Recorded at Pebble Beach Studio, Worthing in October 1976 (11. + 12.)

 HodgkinsonKornerColin Hodgkinson: & Alexis Korner

Colin Hodgkinson (bass, vocals on 01., 02., 04., 06. + 09)
Alexis Korner (guitar, vocals)
Derek Austin (synmthesizer on 11. + 12.)
Adam Sieff (guitar, bass on 11. + 12)

AlternateFrontCoverAlternate frontcover

01. Blue Monday (Bartholomew/Domino) 2.13
02. Key To The Highway (Broonzy/Segar) 4.42
03. Catcote Rag (Aspery/Hodgkinson) 3.28
04. Phonograph Blues (Johnson) 3.22
05. Little Bitty Gal Blues (Turner) 4.43
06. Sweet Home Chicago (Johnson) 3.50
07. Cherry Red (Turner/Johnson) 3.05
08. I Got My Mojo Working (foster) 4.15
09. Gospelship (Traditional) 3.30
10. Geneva (Traditional) 4.14
11. Working In The Coalmine (Dorsey/Toussaint) 3.26
12. Flocking With You (Turner) 3.55



Alexis Korner – The BBC Radio Sessions (1994)

FrontCover1The best was to introduce this wonderful album is to print the original liner-notes:

“Alexis Korner was an inspirational figure in the history of British ‘roots’ music for nearly thirty years from the earliest days of the blues scene in this country to his untimely death in 1984. He was a pioneer in every sense of the word; with Cyril Davies he opened the first blues club in Britain, formed the first white blues band in the world, gave the first major public platform to the Rolling Stones, Robert Plant and Free and through his broadcasting was the first to present ‘world music’ to the public at large before anybody had heard the expression.

But he was a musician in his own right; guitarist, vocalist and writer. He caused great music to be played, but by his own admission was technically limited and it was a constant source of frustration for him not to be able to translate from head to hands as well as he would have liked. Even so, I for one think his acoustic guitar playing and vocalisation during his later years remain under-rated.

Yet, whatever was going on in his head and hands, what he never lacked for was heart. His commitment to the playing of music was absolute and total to the point of obsession – an enthusiasm and energy which infected countless musicians from old school mates who he might encourage with his own amateur efforts to major stars in the throes of re-thinking their careers, like Brian Jones who wanted Alexis to join him in his first post-Stones venture, which of course sadly never materialised.

ConcertAdFor Alexis, one of the most important aspects of his music was immediacy and improvisation – however constant a song may have been in his repertoire like Rock Me, he never played it the same way twice, thus he was never comfortable in the studio. His milieu was charming an audience and/or doing live recordings which is why this collection catches Alexis in his element. Note, too, the broad church of influences spread across the twenty-year span of these track; country blues, free jazz, rock, big band blues, gospel and soul. Although tagged as a blues musician, Alexis had no time for the purists who tried to restrict a definition of modern blues to the electrified delta sounds of Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. For him the blues was “everything from Louis Jordan to Martha and The Vandellas” – freedom from constraint and studied eclecticism were his watchwords.

Born in Paris on April 19th, 1928 of Austrian and Greek parents, Alexis grew up in an environment dominated by business and European High Culture from which he rebelled in his early teens by falling in love with its complete antithesis – blues and jazz – and in particular the music of boogie woogie maestro Jimmy Yancey.

Alexis Korner, Cyril Davies and Charlie Watts at the Ealing Club

Coming through some troubled school days and an attempt by his uncle to get him into the family shipping business, Alexis began playing blues guitar in Chris Barber’s band while working his way through a string of jobs including an A&R man for Tempo Records and a BBC studio manager. Backing Ottilie Paterson in Chris’ band, Alexis met a feisty panel beater, Cyril Davies, one of the finest blues harp players this country ever produced. Together they ran a skiffle club in Wardour Street, but when the music was at the height of its fashion, they perversely (thank God) closed it down in 1955, re-opening the venue as the Blues & Barrelhouse Club. It was the first stop for all the visiting American blues players who came in the 1950s and early 1960s including Broonzy, Waters, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, many of whom stayed with Alexis and his family.

In 1962, Alexis and Cyril decided to form a band – Blues Incorporated. Going electric had them kicked out of their Wardour Street home and they opened up downstairs at the ABC tearooms in Ealing on 17th March 1962. Word spread and they were soon back in the West End packing out the Marquee Club.

The first track on this collection of re-discovered BBC Radio sessions, Everything She Needs, features both Cyril and Long John Baldry with a ‘Got My Mojo Working’ feel that was right up Cyril’s alley – apart from the sax of Dick Heckstall-Smith which Cyril hated. Alexis’ desire to have a jazz band playing the blues rather than the Chicago blues band that Cyril wanted let to a parting of the ways.

(Night Time Is) The Right Time brings together a classic Blues Inc. line-up of Alexis with Jack Bruce, pianist Keith Scott, Dick Heckstall-Smith and Cyril Davies on harmonica. By the time of Overdrive and Please, Please, Please, the line-up had changed entirely with a new rhythm section of Terry Cox and Danny Thompson and the superb vocals of Herbie Goins tackling James Brown’s gospel hit. The next seven tracks spanning 1965-66 saw Alexis in a period of re-evaluation culminating in his decision to disband Blues Inc. as the British Jazz audience dwindled to nothing in the face of rock. The three jazz instrumentals, Back At The Chicken Shack by Jimmy Smith, Mingus’ Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting and Alexis’ tribute to Monk and Ellington, Blue Mink, show Alexis at his most ambitious while Trouble In Mind, Bill Broonzy’s When Will I Be Called A Man (sung here by Jimmy Witherspoon), Going Down Slow and Rock Me were more to the punters’ taste and invariably the more successful.

For two years, Alexis became a solo artist sharing the stage with many permutations of musicians most notably Robert Plant in the earliest days of his career and here on Louisiana Blues with Victor Brox and a compelling range of slide guitar and violin for maximum swap effect. The ghost of Big Bill Broonzy looms up again on Stump Blues and then Jesus Is Just Alright With Me sees an abrupt of tempo to the powerful gospel sound of his short-lived band New Church with Danish singer Peter Thorup. Thorup re-appears on Looking For Fun, performed by Snape, Alexis’ only out-and-out rock venture named most appropriately (considering the legendary hedonism of this band) after the evil dare game played by musicians on the road – Something Nasty ‘Appens Every Day.

Take a deep breath for my favourite track on this collection, Alexis’ fiery version of Little Brother Montgomery’s Vicksburg Blues – who said he couldn’t play? From the same July 1973 session comes the sensuous and subtle Love Is Gonna Go, written by Britain’s most under-rated singer, Duffy Power.

We then leap to 1983 and some of Alexis’ last live recordings: two good-time ensemble pieces with assorted friends showing Alexis’ deep love of soul, Sam Coocke’s Bring It On Home (To Me) and The Drifter’ Money Honey and the horribly prescient How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live as the closer.

He was taken ill around October 1983 and died on New Year’s Day 1984. A rolling Stone article from 1971 was headlined ‘Alexis Korner, Father Of Us All’, and when he died many inside the music business felt they had lost one of the family. Listen and enjoy and if you missed any tracks reading his deathless prose, go back and start again.” (by Harry Shapiro)

What more ca bei said: You´ll hear “a founding father of British Blues”. A major influence on the sound of the British music scene in the 1960s, Korner was instrumental in bringing together various English blues musicians (see booklet)

Alexis Korner (vocas, guitar)
Charlie Watts (drums) – Jack Bruce (bass) – Keith Scott (piano) – Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone) – Cyril Davies (harmonica) – Long John Baldry (vocals) – Ronnie Jones (vocals) – Terry Cox (drums) – Danny Thompson (bass) – Ray Warleigh (saxophone) – Herbie Goins (vocals) – Chris Pyne (trombone) – Bernie George (saxophone) – Brian Auger (organ) – Mike Pyne (piano) – Jimmy Witherspoon (vocals) – Victor Brox (violin) – Peter Thorup (guitar, vocals) – Nick South (bass) – Sappho Korner (percussion, vocals) – Ian Wallace (drums) – Boz Burrell (bass) – Mel Collins (saxophone, flute) – Bill Wyman (bass) – Nico Korner (guitar) – Georgie Fame (organ, vocals) – Ruby Turner (vocals) – Jacki Graham (vocals) – John Pickard (brass) – Willie Garnet (brass)

01. Everything She Needs (Unknown) (1962) 2.22
02. (Night Time Is) The Right Time (Carr/Sykes) (1962) 4.21
03. Overdrive (Unknown) (1964) 2,25
04. Please, Please, Please (Brown/Terry) (1964) 2.51
05. Back At The Chicken Shack (Instrumental) (Smith) (1965) 3.55
06. Trouble In Mind (Jones) (1965) 3.43
07. When Will I Be Called A Man (Broonzy) (1966) 2.18
08. Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting (Instrumental) (Mingus) (1966) 3.36
09. Going Down Slow (Oden) (1966) 1.40
10. Blue Mink (Instrumental) (Korner) (1966) 2.53
11. Rock Me (Jackson) (1966) 3.25
12. Louisiana Blues (Morganfield) (1967) 3.13
13. Stump Blues (Broonzy) (1969) 3.35
14. Jesus Is Just Alright With Me (Reynolds) (1969) 2.56
15. Looking For Fun (Unknown) (1973) 4.04
16. Vicksburg Blues (Montgomery) (1973) 4.52
17. Love Is Gonna Go (Korner) (1973) 4.18
18. Bring It On Home (To Me) (Dixon) (1983) 4.13
19. Money Honey (Stone) (1983) 4.46
20. How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live (Reed) (1983) 2.31