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18.12.08

The Blues Band




The Blues Band - Ready - 1980 - Baton Productions Ltd. (Sweden)

In 1979 Paul Jones, ex UK band Manfred Mann, was working as an actor in London’s West End , and playing a few harmonica sessions as a day job.. He missed playing the Blues, and contacted his old Manfred Mann buddy, Tom McGuinness, with the idea of forming a part-time blues band that could gig around London’s pubs for fun and some badly needed spare cash. Jones and McGuinness also managed to get drummer, Hughie Flint who had played with John Mayall. Tom McGuinness and Hughie Flint had been mainstays of McGuinness Flint, the popular seventies British rock band. Dave Kelly, a good vocalist, and bottleneck guitar player with The John Dummer Blues Band was at a loose end at the time, and joined the band with bass player, Gary Fletcher, a friend of Dave Kelly, who incidentally was the brother of the amazing blues singer, Jo Ann Kelly. The Blues Band are still playing the occasional gig today. They are a bunch of very experienced musicians who have undergone numerous personnel changes, and still play the blues with the best of them. This is a great album, with some well written songs by Paul Jones and Stonebridge/McGuinness, along with other great British songsters/players, but there are also some great covers of songs by Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Ray Charles. Speaking of Ray Charles, it is worth buying The Blues Band's great tribute album to the genius of soul, " Thank You Brother Ray" and try and listen to the band's great "Live at the BBC" album.

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

A1 Twenty Nine Ways - Willie Dixon
A2 Find Yourself Another Fool - Stonebridge/McGuinness
A3 Noah Lewis Blues - Paul Jones
A4 Hallelujah I Love Her So - Ray Charles
Piano - Geraint Watkins
A5 Treat Her Right - Roy Head
A6 Lonely Avenue - Doc Pomus
Backing Vocals - Paulettes, The

B1 I'm Ready - McKinley Morganfield
B2 Green Stuff - Gary Fletcher
B3 Hey Hey Little Girl - Stonebridge/McGuinness
B4 Can't Hold On - Paul Jones
B5 Sus Blues - Dave Kelly
B6 The Cat - The Blues Band

N.B: There are various issues of this album. Some Arista editions of the album replace Track A5 "Treat Her Right" with "Maggie's Farm" . The album has also been included on a 2 CD set (Two LP's on 2 CD's) called "Blues Band Bootleg/Ready" with 14 tracks. The album posted here is the 1980 Swedish LP version on the Baton Productions Ltd label

BAND

Paul Jones - vocals, harmonica
Dave Kelly - vocals, slide guitar
Gary Fletcher - bass, background vocals
Hughie Flint - drums, percussion
Tom McGuinness - guitar, background vocals
Ian Stewart - piano

BIO (Wikipedia)

The Blues Band were formed in Britain in 1979 by Paul Jones, former lead vocalist and harmonica player with Manfred Mann in the 1960s, and vocalist/slide guitarist Dave Kelly, who had formerly played with the John Dummer Blues Band, Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker among others. Also in the band’s first line-up were bassist Gary Fletcher, Jones’s former Manfred Mann colleague, guitarist Tom McGuinness, and drummer Hughie Flint, the two latter having been the mainstay of McGuinness Flint. They originally got together just for fun, but in the process stayed together far longer than any of their previous groups had ever managed to do. Their first album, The Official Blues Band Bootleg Album, a mixture of blues standards and original songs – notably the Jones-McGuinness composition "Come On In", and their long-standing stage favourite "Flatfoot Sam" - initially attracted no interest from major record companies, so they pressed a limited run of 3,000 themselves, hand-stamped their logo on the cardboard sleeve, and signed them all. After unqualified endorsement from BBC Radio 1 presenter Simon Bates and others, media interest resulted in a recording contract with Arista Records, who gave the album an official release. In 1982 Flint left, and was replaced by former Family drummer Rob Townsend. They briefly disbanded later that year after recording a live album, Bye Bye Blues, released in 1983, but reformed soon afterwards. They have remained a constant factor on the music scene ever since, unfazed by lack of chart success (after the first few years, as demonstrated below), happy to combine a regular schedule of touring and recording around their other commitments. More recent albums include Back For More, Homage, Brassed Up, Wire Less, Fat City, and Thank You Brother Ray, the last being a set of cover versions of Ray Charles songs, recorded as a tribute. Jones, McGuinness and Townsend are also members of The Manfreds, a virtual reincarnation of Manfred Mann, though because of the non-participation of the eponymous keyboard player of the 1960s outfit, legal reasons and courtesies require them to assume the name 'Manfreds'. Jones and Kelly sometimes play gigs as a duo, and Kelly performs with The Dave Kelly Band (generally The Blues Band without Jones). As the band themselves often joke, "The music industry doesn’t bother us and we don’t bother them."

SHORT BIO

England's the Blues Band is led by ex-Manfred Mann vocalist Paul Jones and guitarist/vocalist Dave Kelly, who, before forming the group in 1979, had been a member of the John Dummer Blues Band and issued several solo recordings on his own (Kelly had also received praise for his playing by such blues legends as Howlin' Wolf and John Lee Hooker). After hooking up with friend/bassist Gary Fletcher, the seeds for the Blues Band were sown, resulting in countless albums (including such titles as 1980's Official Bootleg Album and Ready, 1981's Itchy Feet, 1982's Brand Loyalty which featured new member ex-Family drummer Rob Townsend, 1983's Bye Bye Blues, 1986's These Kind of Blues, 1989's Back for More, 1991's Fat City, 1993's Homage, and 1995's Wire Less, among others). In addition, Kelly formed the Dave Kelly Band in the mid-'80s (issuing four albums), penned music for commercials and such projects as BBC TV's King of the Ghetto and The Comic Strip Presents Strike!, has been voted Best Acoustic Artist by BBC polls throughout the '90s, and is an honorary patron of the London Guitar College with Hank Marvin. © Greg Prato, All Music Guide