Get this crazy baby off my head!


Vinegar Joe

Vinegar Joe - Six Star Gypsies - 1993 - Edsel

Vinegar Joe, a very short lived British R&B/blues rock band in the early seventies, is noted for having Elkle Brooks and the late Robert Palmer among it's members. The band evolved from Dada, a­ nine piece Atlantic Records soul/jazz rock band with Robert Palmer, Elkie Brooks,and Jimmy Chambers among it's members. Robert Palmer, and Elkie Brooks both had previously unsuccessful solo careers. Manchester born, Elkie Brooks, had been singing and recording since the early sixties. She appeared on several tours with The Animals, Carl Perkins, The Nashville Teens, and once supported The Beatles on tour. She has long been one of the world's great soul/blues vocalists but somehow she was a latecomer to success. Gage had played with The Zephyrs, Geno Washington and The Ram Jam Band with some success. Vinegar Joe were a great live band, and played the Reading Rock Festival in 1972. Even though they recorded three critically acclaimed studio albums, Vinegar Joe, Rock And Roll Gypsies, and Six-Star General, they never made it big time in the record selling stakes. They dissolved VJ in 1973 and Palmer, Brooks and Hartley went on to achieve great success. This 1993 compilation album from Vinegar Joe is a selection of tracks from the 1972 album, "Rock & Roll Gypsies", and the 1973 album, "Six Star General". For some strange reason, it is reissued with the same front artwork as the 1973 "Six Star General"album . Slightly confusing, but totally irrelevant to the album's music content which is really good. There are thirteen great tracks here that should please any rock music lover. Boogie, soul, blues, R n B, and even a splash of country rock. A very talented band who could have been huge, but as stated earlier, they had great success individually, and will not be forgotten. Check out Elkie Brooks' "Live And Learn album" and Robert Palmer's brilliant "Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley" album featuring the late great Lowell George of Little Feat.


1 Charley's Horse - Gage, York
2 Rock & Roll Gypsies - Davis, Tillison
3 Falling - Palmer
4 It's Getting to the Point - Gage
5 Angel - Hendrix
6 No One Ever Do - Gage
7 Forgive Us - Palmer
8 Proud to Be (A Honky Woman) - Gage
9 Dream My Own Dreams - Palmer
10 Stay True to Yourself - York
11 Black Smoke from the Calumet - Gage
12 Talkin' 'Bout My Baby - Fraser
13 Fine Thing - Palmer


Elkie Brooks Vocals
Jim Mullen Guitar
John Woods Drums
Keef Hartley Drums
Mike Deacon Keyboards
Pete Gage Piano, Guitar, Producer
Pete Gavin Drums
Steve York Harmonica, Bass


A 13-song CD assembled from the best tracks off of Six Star General and Rock 'n' Roll Gypsies, the band's second and third albums, respectively. Elkie Brooks tries hard to be like a kind of white version of Tina Turner, and doesn't do badly, and the playing is first-rate; the band's rhythm section was always solid no matter who was in it, and Gage's guitar work was lithe and aggressive. The songs are all good, ranging from searing R&B to straight-ahead rock & roll, and the recordings provide a glimpse of the kind of surging, energetic performances that made their shows a major attraction — it's a pity there aren't any live tapes. © Bruce Eder, allmusic.com


Vinegar Joe might very easily have been Island Records' answer to the Allman Bros. or Wet Willie. A sextet formed out of a busted big-band rock outfit called Dada, they were brought together at the suggestion of Island founder Chris Blackwell. Elkie Brooks (vocals), Robert Palmer (vocals, guitar), Pete Gage (guitars, piano), and Steve York (bass, harmonica), were at the core of the group, with Tim Hinkley and then Mike Deacon on keyboards, and Conrad Isadore and Keef Hartley, and then John Woods and Pete Gavin on drums--the band cut three albums for between 1971 and 1973. Their live shows were well reviewed and attracted significant audiences in England, but this was never reflected in their record sales. They split up in 1973, with Robert Palmer becoming an international star as a pop-rock blue-eyed soul singer and Elkie Brooks a success as an MOR singer with Pete Gage as her arranger. © Bruce Eder, All Music Guide


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


Anonymous said...


Thanks too much for the Vinegar Joe. I was lookin' all over for these two albums,

Again, Thanks,

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

Cheers, K! Thanks for your welcome interest in A.O.O.F.C. TTU soon

Anonymous said...

I dont feel Elkie ever tried to be anybody, but herself. A great vocalist.

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

Hi! Anonymous. She's always been one of the best blues singers. Unfortunately, we don't hear enough of her these days. Thanks for comment, & please keep in touch

Anonymous said...

Hi, Elkie Brooks has an amazing voice.I recently bought one of her albums online, recorded in 2003" Shangri La "Some great stuff here !! I hope to get to see Elkie in concert this as I see she is touring the U.K.Always terrific live!!!!

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

Hi! Anonymous. "Shangri La". Haven't heard that one! Will look it up now. She's obviously a very popular lady, with a tremendous voice. I'm not crazy about her ballad stuff, but when she sings the blues, your hair would stand on end! I wish she'd play more concerts. Thanks for comment, and please keep in touch. TTU soon

Larnos said...

What an excellent blog. Although we have a lot in common musically - Steely Dan are my favourite band - there's so much here unknown to me. I don't suppose you have Rich Man's Woman by Elkie Brooks? I haven't heard it since the 70s & would love tohear it again. Keep up the good work.

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

Hi,Larnos. You're a friend for for life, if you like Steely Dan! I haven't got the album you mentioned by Elkie, but when I get it, I'll post it. Thanks for comment, and please keep in touch with me