Get this crazy baby off my head!


Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated

Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated - At the Cavern - 1964 - Oriole

This extremely rare album, released on Oriole in 1964 could be described as a big band effort, but the emphasis on the blues is still very strong, particularly on slow numbers like Hoochie Coochie Man and Whoa, Babe. The band is in top form, and the playing is relaxed and confident , very unusual when you consider that the Cavern was always packed out on nights like this and the temperature was often unbearably hot. The Cavern was very much a home venue for AK and Blues Inc., as the band had played there on a regular basis since their famous concert at the Beat Festival in Liverpool’s Stanley Stadium in 1963. The late Alexis Korner loved playing Liverpool, and was quoted as saying that “The people really listen to you there.The minute you set foot in The Cavern, you know it’s going to be a good session”. And if you listen to this great album, you'll know what he means. A great example of early sixties British R&B/Blues Rock. Check out the 1962 "R&B From The Marquee" album,the 1972 "Accidentally Born In New Orleans," release, and the great "CCS 1st" album from 1970.


Side 1
1. Overdrive (A.Korner)
2. Whoa Babe (A.Korner)
3. Everyday I Have The Blues (P.Chatman)
4. Hoochie Coochie Man (W.Dixon)

Side 2
5. Herbie's Tune (a.k.a. Dooji Wooji) (A.Korner)
6. Little Bitty Gal Blues (J.Turner)
7. Well All Right, OK, You Win (Wyche)
8. Kansas City (Lieber/Staller)


Alexis Korner: vocal (1,2,4,6), electric guitar, backing vocals (8)
Dave Castle: alto saxophone
Malcom Saul: organ
Vernon Bown: string bass
Mike Scott: drums
Herbie Goins: vocals (3,7,8)

Recorded at The Cavern in Liverpool on February 23, 1964. Produced by Geoff Frost


The group is still called Blues Incorporated, but without Cyril Davies or Long John Baldry, who were present on the first record. Recording at Liverpool's Cavern Club was more a gimmick than anything else, and the music is not as well made or exciting as the group's first album. This record shows Alexis Korner's more big-band type blues work, favoring horns. At the Cavern was a good album, but not one that was going to make much noise amid the work of the Rolling Stones, the Animals, or the Yardbirds. © Bruce Eder, allmusic.com

1964 Oriole LP liner notes by Unknown

No band could swing like this if it felt at all inhibited by its surroundings; that wild sound which has made Blues Inc. what it is could never come out so loud and clear if the whole place were not completely happy. From the slow blues like "Hoocie Coochie Man" and "Whoa, Babe", through to the jumping, up-tempo vocals by Herbie Goins on "All Right, O.K., You Win" and "Everyday I Have The Blues", everybody sounds relaxed and confident. Even the long instrumental, "Herbie's Tune” – dedicated to the band's brilliant American Blues Man, Herbie Goins – never seems to flag. And that really is saying something when you consider what the temperature at the Cavern can be on a really crowded night like this! If you want to know whether this was a really successful evening, just ask regular Cavern member what it is like when Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated plays there. The thing is that both Blues Incorporated and The Cavern have come a long way since they started in their widely separated areas. If, a couple of years ago, anyone had asked the people at The Cavern or Alexis Korner what they thought of one another, the answer, from both sides, would probably have been: "Who?" But, there you are, that is just the way in which times change. The oldest established R&B band in the business and the oldest established Beat Club eventually hat to come together and the result is to be found in this LP. Here are all the excitement, all the unexpected happenings of a live session, a stage performance which always captures the sort of atmosphere which no studio can recreate. Here is the small group with the biggest sound in the country, wailing and shouting the Blues in the freewheeling, uninhibited fashion which has contributed so much to its success over years. It could never sound like this in a studio! Here is just about the best audience in Britain – much too large to fit into a studio – urging the band on. One hears a lot said about "Audience Participation" and this is the classic example of what it should be. Under circumstanced like these, no group could give a really bad show, but there are few that could have given one as good. In the end it comes down to the fact that, in order to sell excitement, you must be excited by what you are doing. Blues Incorporated always are, which is the very reason why we wanted to record "Alexis Korner 'Live' At The Cavern". The Cavern, by now, must be just about the best known Beat Club in the world. Along with the late Star Club, in Hamburg, The Cavern has figured in more press statements, success stories and guides to the Beat Scene than most of us would care to count. But is this fame really justified? Unquestionably it is. The Cavern has launched more name groups than any other club in Britain. Ask Gerry and The Pacemakers, The Merseybeats, The Big Three and a host of others where they got their first big break and the answer is, almost invariably: "At The Cavern". But, under the guidance of Ray McFall, and the well-liked compere, Bob Wooler, the club has spread its wings to include R&B amongst its list of attractions, using both British and American artists. Sonny Boy Williamson, Charlie and Inez Fox, John Lee Hoocker, these are but three of the best-known American acts to have appeared there. And, among name British acts, none has proved more popular than Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated. Ever since Blues Incorporated made its sensational appearance at the 1963 Beat Festival in Liverpool's Stanley Stadium, Alexis and the boys have been making regular return visits to Liverpool and, in particular, to The Cavern. Whether it is the audiences which create the atmosphere, or the atmosphere which helps the audiences, the plain fact of the matter is that they love playing in Liverpool. "The people really listen to you, there". Says Alexis, "and they help you to play and sing your best. The minute you set foot in The Cavern, you know that it's going to be a good session. Everyone is so friendly, they just want to help you do your best". Now, The Cavern is a Beat Club, very strongly associated with pop market and this, you might think, could make life a little difficult for a semi-jazz based R&B band like Blues Incorporated. But, as you can hear on this great live LP, nothing could be further from the truth. © http://alexis-korner.net/notescavern.html

BIO (Wikipedia)

Blues Incorporated were a British R&B band in the early 1960s, which were led by Alexis Korner and which featured at various times such musicians as Jack Bruce, Charlie Watts, Terry Cox, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Danny Thompson, Graham Bond, Cyril Davies, Malcolm Cecil and Dick Heckstall-Smith. Although never very successful commercially, they was extremely influential on the development of British rock music in the 1960s and later. Korner (1928-1984) was a member of Chris Barber's Jazz Band in the 1950s, and met up with Cyril Davies (1932-1964) who shared his passion for American blues. In 1954 they teamed up as a duo, began playing blues in London clubs, and opened their own club, the London Blues and Barrelhouse Club, where they featured visiting bluesmen from America. The club embraced aspiring young musicians, including in its early days Charlie Watts, Long John Baldry, and Jack Bruce. In 1961 Korner and Davies formed Blues Incorporated, the first amplified R&B band in Britain, and brought in singer Baldry (sometimes replaced by Art Wood), drummer Watts, bassist Bruce, and saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith. They secured a residency at the Marquee Club, which brought them to the attention of record producer and promoter Jack Good. He arranged a recording contract with Decca Records which resulted in the LP R&B from the Marquee. The album, released in late 1962, was actually recorded in the Decca studio rather than the club, and featured Baldry as lead singer and songs by Muddy Waters, Jimmy Witherspoon and Leroy Carr. Also in 1962, Korner and Davies established a regular "Rhythm and Blues Night" at the Ealing Jazz Club. This brought together many more fans of blues and R&B music, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Rod Stewart, Paul Jones, John Mayall, Zoot Money and Jimmy Page, some of whom would occasionally sit in on Blues Incorporated performances. Blues Incorporated was conceived as an informal "band"; its membership was intended to be fluid. Watts left the group around this time, and successfully suggested Ginger Baker as his replacement. Early in 1963, Davies disagreed with Korner's intention to add a brass section to the band and turn more towards jazz than blues. Joined by Baldry, he left to form his own group, Cyril Davies' All Stars, and was replaced in Blues Incorporated by Graham Bond. Blues Incorporated found a new residency at the Flamingo club, but shortly afterwards Bond, Bruce and Baker also left to form a new organ-based group, the Graham Bond Organisation. Blues Incorporated concentrated on their live work rather than making commercial recordings. The group only released two singles on Parlophone, "I Need Your Loving / Please Please Please" (1963) and "Little Baby" / "Roberta" (1964), followed by one on Fontana, "River's Invitation" / "Every Day I Have The Blues". In 1964, they released the LPs At The Cavern and Red Hot From Alex, with American Herbie Goins as lead singer, and Danny Thompson, later of Pentangle, on bass. By the time of the group's last album Sky High, credited to Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated in 1965, the group included Duffy Power on vocals. Korner finally dissolved the group in 1966.


Alexis Korner (19 April 1928 - 1 January 1984), born Alexis Andrew Nicholas Koerner, was a pioneering blues musician and broadcaster who has sometimes been referred to as "the 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. Alexis Korner was born in Paris to an Austrian father and Greek mother, and spent his childhood in France, Switzerland, and North Africa. He arrived in London in 1940 at the start of the Second World War. One memory of his youth was listening to a record by Jimmy Yancey during a German air raid. He said, "From then on all I wanted to do was play the blues." After the war, he played piano and guitar, and in 1949 joined Chris Barber's Jazz Band where he met blues harmonica player Cyril Davies. They started playing together as a duo, formed the influential London Blues and Barrelhouse Club in 1955, and made their first record together in 1957. Korner brought many American blues artists, previously unknown in England, to perform. Although he himself was a blues purist - Korner criticised better-known British blues musicians, during the blues boom of the late '60s, for their blind adherence to Chicago blues, as if the music came in no other form - he liked to surround himself with jazz musicians and often performed with a horn section drawn from a pool which included, among others, saxophone players Art Themen, Mel Collins, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Dick Morrissey, John Surman and trombonist Mike Zwerin. In the 1960s Korner began a media career, initially as a show business interviewer and then on ITV's Five O'Clock Club, a children's TV show. He also wrote about blues for the music papers, and continued his performing career especially in Europe. Apart from discovering various English musicians Korner also introduced foreign artists, such as German Wolfgang Michels, to a larger audience. Korner also wrote the liner notes for Michels' group Percewood's Onagram first album in 1969. While touring Scandinavia he first joined forces with singer Peter Thorup, together forming the band New Church, who were one of the support bands at the Rolling Stones Free Concert at Hyde Park on 5 July 1969. It is said that Jimmy Page found out about a new singer, Robert Plant, who had been jamming with Korner, who wondered why Plant had not yet been discovered. Plant, Korner, and Steve Miller were in the process of recording a full album with Plant on vocals until Page had asked him to join "the New Yardbirds", aka Led Zeppelin. Only two songs are in circulation from these recordings: "Steal Away" and "Operator". In 1970 Korner and 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. Another instrumental called Brother was used as the theme to the Radio 1 Top 20 when Tom Browne presented the programme in the early 1970s. 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 unique 6-part documentary on BBC Radio 1, 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. In 1981, he joined another "supergroup", Rocket 88, a project led by Ian Stewart based around boogie-woogie keyboard players, which featured a rhythm section comprising Jack Bruce and Charlie Watts, among others, as well as a horn section. They toured Europe and released an album on Atlantic Records. Alexis Korner, a lifelong chain smoker, died of lung cancer in London on January 1, 1984, aged 55.


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


xpto4545 said...

Thanks !!! This is amazingly good stuff.
It's a pity that the great late Dick Heckstall-Smith wasn't playing on this one.
Cheers. Mario

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

Hi, Mario. Thanks for comments. Some of Dick's best work was with Colosseum. Keep in touch

xpto4545 said...

Yes, A.O.O.F.C., you are right. Dick's most celebrated gems are with Colosseum. However, he was an eclectic, universal bluesman. I made a search on "Heckstall" in your own blog and it confirmed this.
If I may dare to point you to different connections (and of course I'm sure you know them) I would suggest the works of D.H-S with John Mayall on "Diary of a Band, vol.1" (better than vol.2) and the very precious only self-named album that Dick Heckstall-Smith made ("A Story Ended") where you can find Chris Farlowe in his finest hour, singing "The Pirate's Dream".

Cheers. Long Live the Blues !!

(On a sidenote, I am subscribing to the follow-up comments of my posts but I am not receiving any emails. Are they being blocked in your settings ?? Thanks.)