Get this crazy baby off my head!



Steamhammer - Steamhammer (a.k.a. Reflection) - 1969 - CBS UK [This was first pressing of LP]

Recorded in 1969, this self titled debut album was also released as "Reflection." It's a bluesy progressive rock recording with acid guitar, harmonica and great vocals. This is a very good album from one of the best bands from the late sixties British blues rock groups, and it would be worthwhile checking out their other three albums. For a similar sound, check out albums by Savoy Brown.


The self-titled debut from Steamhammer has been issued under a number of titles -- the most famous of which is Reflection (1969) -- all of them including an identical track list and in essence, are one and the same. The numerous and short-lived incarnations of the band began on this long player and spilled over onto a subsequent 7" single with an edit of "Junior's Wailing" b/w the non-LP track "Windmill". [Note: Interested parties can find both cuts among the "bonus tracks" on the CD reissue of MK II (1969).] For these sides Steamhammer features the talents of: Kieran White (vocals/harmonica/acoustic guitar), Martin Pugh (lead guitar) Martin Quittenton (guitar), Steve Davey (bass) and Michael Rushton (drums). Like Chicken Shack, Fleetwood Mac, Cream, Ten Years After and a plethora of other late ‘60s British rock groups, Steamhammer had been influenced by the mostly American-made R&B. However, a conspicuously high ratio of original material separated them from many of their more prominent contemporaries. They also included a few somewhat obligatory covers, such as the seven-plus minute workout on Eddie Boyd's "Twenty-Four Hours" as well as a high and mighty rendition of B.B. King's "You'll Never Know". Other standout sides come from within the band and include the trippy and slightly progressive "Even The Clock" as well as the jazzy syncopation of "Down the Highway" -- with Harold McNair (flute) of Donovan fame making some notable contributions to the latter. The previously mentioned "Junior's Wailing" should not be missed as it sports a heavy-duty and otherwise propulsive blues shuffle. Every subsequent Steamhammer long player was accompanied by a personnel change that yielded a tremendous stylistic vacillation from release to release. Their subsequent effort, MK II, would venture farther out into a progressive and jazz-fusion style akin to that of Egg or Gong than to the electric blues-based heavy metal found on this platter. © Lindsay Planer, All Music Guide


1. Water (Part One) (Quittenton/Pugh)
2. Junior's Wailing (White/Pugh)
3. Lost You Too (Quittenton/White)
4. She Is The Fire (Quittenton/White)
5. You'll Never Know (B.B. King)
6. Even The Clock (Quittenton/White/Graham)
7. Down The Highway (Quittenton/White)
8. On Your Road (White)
9. Twenty-Four Hours (Boyd)
10. When All Your Friends Are Gone (Quittenton/White)
11. Water (Part 2) (Quittenton/Pugh)


Martin Quittenton - guitar
Kieran White - vocals, guitar, harmonica
Martin Pugh - guitar
Steve Davy - bass
Michael Rushton - drums
Guest musician B.B. King played guitar on "You'll Never Know"


Steve Jollife - saxophone, flute
Mick Bradley - drums
Louis Cennamo - bass

BIO (Courtesy of "Christian Graf - Rock Music Lexikon", Verlag Taurus Press, Hamburg. Edited by Alex Gitlin. From the CD reissue of "Mk II", Repertoire, REP 4236-WY)

The extraordinary blues-rock band ‘Steamhammer’ was formed at the end of 1968 in Worthing, England. Martin Quittenton (guitar) and Kieran White (vocals, guitar, harmonica) came out of the British folk circuit. Quittenton had worked together with the Liverpool Scene and, like the other members Martin Pugh (guitar), Steve Davy (bass) and Michael Rushton (drums), had played with numerous R&B groups. Blues hero Freddie King ordered Steamhammer as his backing band on tour through Great Britain. Come Spring time, 1969, they signed a record contract with CBS. The first album, "Steamhammer", was a mixture of classic blues by B.B.King and Eddie Boyd and modern blues written by White and Quittenton with the help of Pugh. At the end of the British blues boom, only a few hardcore fans took interest on the finest lyrical blues-rock statement of the century. Not selling as many records as they'd hoped to, Steamhammer nevertheless became a top European open-air attraction, mainly due to their brilliant live performance. For over two hours each night they would indulge in wide excursions in instrumental improvisations, embodied by the impressive guitar riffage of Martin Pugh and the sensitive harmonica of Kieran White. In the summer of 1969, Quittenton left the band, followed by drummer Michael Rushton. They were replaced by Steve Jollife (saxaphone, flute) and Mick Bradley. Jollife's feel for precise arrangements and jazz influences especially inspired the recording of Steamhammer's second, "Mk II", album. Overstepping the boundaries of traditional blues forms, they unleashed their own musical creativity and imagination without resorting to any technical trickery. These highly professional and creative musicians performed many live shows at various festivals in Scandinavia, West Germany and the Netherlands. On the continent, it turned out, they had become more popular than in England. In the summer of 1970, Steamhammer recorded their "definitive album" (rock session), called "Mountains", as a quartet. White, Pugh, Davy and Bradley were really working as a team and offering electrified white urban blues of highest quality. The live cut, "Riding On The L&N", is one of the highlights of the "Mountains" album, which contains straight-ahead blues numbers with a healthy dose of rock'n'roll. It was only with the release of this album that Steamhammer began to be noticed by the rock world. After the Altamont and Fehmarn fiascos, the era of open-air events of such calibre was ended at least for quite a while. In the late summer of that same year, Steamhammer toured for the last time in Germany and the Benelux. The following autumn, the line-up changed again. Only Pugh and Bradley stayed together and engaged ex-‘Renaissance’ member Louis Cennamo (bass) for the recording of one more album. "Speech" was recorded in the winter of 1971 and released in the beginning of 1972. By that time, Steamhammer had ceased to exist. "Speech" was a disappointing, partly chaotic album, and the negative reception of the record led to the end of the group's popularity. Mick Bradley died in February 1972 of leukaemia. Kieran White released a solo LP, "Open Door", in 1975 and Martin Pugh and Louis Cennamo put together a cult band Armageddon (with Keith Relf on vocals), which released only one album.
Junior's Wailing/Windmill (1969)
Autumn Song/Blues For Passing People (1969)
Steamhammer, A.K.A Reflection (1969)
MK II (1969)
Mountains (1970)
Speech (1971)


A.O.O.F.C said...


snowmonkey said...

Thanks for the share!

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hey,snowmonkey! Thanks a million. Keep on rockin' & keep in touch