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What's On Your Mind?

30.4.09

Sean Costello




Sean Costello - Cuttin' In - 2000 - Landslide

In one of his final interviews Sean said: “All I’ve ever wanted to do was play the guitar well. I’ve been fortunate to be able to make a living doing it, and I plan to keep it up for the rest of my life". Tragically, Sean passed away in 2008, and never fulfilled his wishes. Sean was a great star in the making. Even during his short lifespan, he had gained recognition and respect as a great guitarist. When he released “Cuttin’ In” in 2000, Sean wasn’t even 20 years old, yet he already had a gold record to his credit. “Cuttin’ In” earned him great critical reviews, as well as a prestigious W. C. Handy Award nomination for ‘Best New Artist Debut.’ "Cuttin' In" also received a four and a half star review from the All Music Guide, and Blues Revue Magazine stated that, “Sean Costello blows in like a gust of fresh spring air!” The LA Weekly praised Sean's guitar player and said that “Costello is the real deal!” "Cuttin' In" is a great album by a then young 20 year old Philadelphian born bluesman. The album is mature. The songs are sung in a vocal style way beyond Sean's young age, and his understanding of the blues, as well as soul, and R&B was also highly developed for such a young guy. His guitar technique was wonderful. The album contains a wonderful range of material. It has Texas (Johnny “Guitar” Watson )influences, exotic Caribbean sounds (“Goombay Rock”, a track discovered by accident), and second-generation postwar Chicago artists (the worldly, tour-de-force cover of “Double Trouble” marked Sean's first attempt at recording a song by Otis Rush, who was a major influence on Sean. This album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy Sean's "Moanin' for Molasses", and "We Can Get Together" albums, and keep his memory alive. Sean plays some great guitar on Susan Tedeschi's "Just Won’t Burn" album. If you suffer from anxiety or depression, as Sean did, why not check out The Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Talk to Your Daughter Atkins, Lenoir 5:14
2 Cuttin' In Watson 2:53
3 Cold Cold Ground Costello, Linden 3:09
4 Mellow Chick Swing Williamson 2:08
5 I Want to Be Loved Dixon 2:19
6 Who's Been Cheatin' Who Clevland, Costello 2:50
7 Double Trouble Rush 7:37
8 Jumpin' Salty Costello 2:21
9 Goombay Rock Higgs 3:32
10 I Got Loaded Camille 2:51
11 Those Lonely, Lonely Nights Hing, Vincent 2:40
12 Close to You Dixon 4:10
13 Rub a Dub Williamson 4:02
14 Ah'w Baby Little Walter 3:59

MUSICIANS

Sean Costello Guitar, Vocals
Melvin Zachary Bass (Electric)
Dave Roth Bass (Upright)
Matt Wauchope Organ, Piano
Paul Linden, Piano, Harmonica,Vocals
Tim Gunther, Bill Edwards Drums (Snare)
Chris Uhler Percussion

REVIEW

This is Costello's second solo album, his first since his appearance on Susan Tedeschi's hit CD Just Won't Burn. Costello is only 20 years old, but his guitar work is in a completely different league from that of the other kid blues guitarists currently causing a fuss in bluesland. Costello comes from a remarkably well-informed place as a player. This is reflected not only in his guitar style, but also in the choice of material on Cuttin' In. He has a nice feel for jump blues, as we hear on his cover of Sonny Boy Williamson's "Mellow Chick Swing," and he can do the hard-edged Chicago blues with the requisite skill and fury — check out his Butterfield-esque original "Who's Been Cheatin' Who." The R&B influence has not eluded Costello either — his cover of Otis Rush's "Double Trouble" is handled with a soulful feel that belies his age. And Costello's not afraid to take a flyer, either, which brings us to the calypso funkiness of "Goombay Rock," a song worthy of the Squirrel Nut Zippers' attention. Costello the guitarist has snatched the key to the blues kingdom. His playing is shockingly deep for a 20-year-old. And his vocal work is nearly a match for his guitar chops; given time, that too will become very real. Of all the young blues lions out there brandishing their electric guitars, Costello is the one who's got his head and heart into the deep blues. © Philip Van Vleck, allmusic.com

ABOUT SEAN COSTELLO

Teen blues phenomenon Sean Costello was born and raised in Atlanta, receiving his first guitar for his ninth birthday. A primarily self-taught player, he initially gravitated toward hard rock but soon discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan, moving on from there to Howlin' Wolf; under the wing of local bluesman Felix Reyes, a 14-year-old Costello won the Beale Street Blues Society's talent award in 1994. Another contestant was Susan Tedeschi, and soon Costello began touring as her lead guitarist and stayed with her band for a couple years. He also provided guitar on Tedeschi's 1998 album, Just Won't Burn. Soon after leaving Tedeschi's band, Costello assembled backing outfit the Jivebombers — bassist Carl Shankle, keyboardist and harpist Paul Linden, and drummer Terrence Prather — and issued his debut album, Call the Cops, in 1996. After touring extensively and revamping his band by replacing Shankle with Melvin Zachary on bass and adding keyboardist Matt Wauchope, Costello released Cuttin' In in early 2000. The album was a success in the blues community, gaining him a W.C. Handy Award nomination for Best New Artist Debut. In 2001 Costello released his third album, Moanin' for Molasses, and further cemented his reputation as one of the best young blues guitarists on the scene. The self-titled Sean Costello was released on Artemis Records in 2004. Unfortunately, Artemis folded a few months later and the album — intended as Costello's breakthrough — never received the publicity it deserved. It would be four years before Costello would release another album with 2008's We Can Get Together. Sadly, on April 15, 2008, just two months after the release of that album and a day before his 29th birthday, Costello was found dead in a local Atlanta hotel room. A subsequent toxicology report found the cause of death to be a mixture of drugs including heroin. © Jason Ankeny, allmusic.com



BIO (Wikipedia)

Sean Costello (April 16, 1979 – April 15, 2008) was an American blues musician, renowned for his fiery guitar playing and soulful singing. He released five critically-acclaimed albums before his career was cut short by his sudden death at the age of 28. Tinsley Ellis called him ‘the most gifted young Blues guitarist on the scene... he was a triple threat on guitar, vocals and as a songwriter’. Costello mastered traditional blues guitar at an early age and began his career while still in high school. His records became increasingly eclectic as his career progressed. Born in Philadelphia, Costello moved to Atlanta at the age of 9. Obsessive about the guitar from a young age, he got hooked on the blues after buying Howlin’ Wolf's 'Rockin' Chair Album'. At 14 the young prodigy created a stir in a Memphis guitar shop, where an employee tipped his father off about a talent contest sponsored by the Beale Street Blues Society, which Costello duly entered and won. He formed his first band shortly after. At sixteen, Costello recorded his first album, Call The Cops (1996), already ‘displaying a flawless command of 1950s blues guitar’, in the words of music historian Tony Russell. His lead guitar work on Susan Tedeschi's gold-selling album, Just Won't Burn, (1998), subsequently brought him national exposure. Costello's band later toured as Tedeschi's backing group. "His playing is shockingly deep for a 20-year old", wrote the Allmusic guide of Costello's second album, Cuttin’ In (2000), which was nominated for a W. C. Handy Award for Best New Artist Debut. The follow-up, Moanin’ For Molasses, was equally well received; the Allmusic guide drew attention to Costello's "soulful voice" and his "ability to mesh blues, R&B and soul". "Passionate... distinctive and often compelling... Costello's vocals are most astonishing," reported Blues Revue Magazine. Costello honed his skills through almost constant performing, playing over 300 gigs a year and touring widely in the USA and Europe. His reputation as a brilliant live performer enabled him to play alongside blues luminaries such as B. B. King and Buddy Guy (Ma Rainey House benefit concert, Columbus, Georgia, June 1997), James Cotton (Cotton's 64th birthday concert in Memphis) and Hubert Sumlin (South by Southwest, Austin, Texas, March 2005). When not touring, Costello made a living playing small venues in his home town of Atlanta, Georgia, such as the Northside Tavern. Richard Rosenblatt, former President of Tone-Cool Records, recalls Costello's performances: As a guitarist he was astounding, but for Sean it was never about showing off monstrous chops or stroking his own ego. His playing always fit the song; he would work the tone and phrasing, sometimes with an economy of notes that let the empty spaces hang achingly for what seemed like hours. When he did take off on the occasional blazing run, he was the ultimate tightrope walker, flirting fearlessly with danger before bringing it all back home with the unlikeliest of phrases that was still, somehow, perfect. Through Amy Helm of Ollabelle, Costello met her father, Americana musician Levon Helm, formerly of The Band, whose eclecticism encouraged Costello to further develop his interests outside the blues: "he really blew it wide open for me. He’d play a Chuck Berry tune, then a blues, then a country tune or a rock number or whatever, and he didn’t even think twice about it.". Levon Helm and the members of Ollabelle were among the contributors to Costello’s fourth, self-titled album, recorded in New York with input from local musicians. With an eclectic set list, and arrangements reminiscent more of Memphis soul than Chicago blues, Sean Costello (2005) marked a departure from his earlier work. Costello’s guitar took a backseat to his voice, which by now "had acquired a ragged edge of considerable power" (Tony Russell). In 2007 Costello's playing on Nappy Brown's comeback album, Long Time Coming, was singled out for praise by the critics. The following year Costello released what was to be his last album, We Can Get Together, acclaimed by many as his best work. His guitar playing on this record was described variously as "incendiary", "searing", and "blistering red hot". Hal Horowitz of the Allmusic guide wrote the following: - "The material is so strong and the ensemble playing of his band so effortless that he doesn't need to distract attention from the songs with the extended soloing he is capable of... he establishes a greasy groove that weaves through each cut, connecting them even when the styles differ. While Costello is clearly inspired by the blues greats, many of whom he has covered on previous collections, he slants more to '70s Southern soul, rock, and R&B here, dousing these genres with a bucket load of swamp water and spearheaded by his whiskey-laced vocals. There's a thick, gooey atmospheric vibe that hangs over the album, gels its contents, and shows Costello to be a terrific singer and songwriter and guitar talent just hitting his peak". Sean Costello was found dead in his Atlanta hotel room on April 15, 2008. A medical report later determined that he died of an accidental drug overdose. Posthumously, Costello's family revealed that he had suffered from Bipolar disorder, and set up the Sean Costello Memorial Fund for Bipolar Research in his honor. Sean Costello has been nominated for two Blues Music Awards in the categories of Best Contemporary Blues Male Artist and Best Contemporary Blues Album for We Can Get Together. Winners will be announced on May 7, 2009.

27.4.09

Golden Earring




Golden Earring - The Hole - 1986 - 21 Records

Good album from the seemingly immortal Golden Earring who originally formed in 1961 in The Netherlands, and are still hard rockin' around the world. They are best remembered for Radar Love, but check out their extensive catalogue and you will find some real gems. Rated by many music critics as one of GE's weaker albums, "The Hole" was not a big commercial success for the great band. It is not one of GE's great albums, but it is very much underrated, and it still has the great vibrancy of one of the world's greatest hard rock bands. At times, the mixing on the album sounds "unbalanced, but not enough to spoil your enjoyment of the music. Here is an imteresting quote about "The Hole" taken from The story of Golden Earring, written by Rinus Gerritsen in 2000, - "Around the time when we were busy with the album ‘The Hole’, our story started to get apocalyptic. Shell Schellekens started to go overboard in his attempts to find innovative new sounds and this was to be his last act for the Earring. The band was tired and looked worn out. When we were making the demos, everything still looked promising. There were some very good songs included, such as ‘Quiet Eyes’ and ‘Why Do I’". Read the full article at www.goldenearring.nl/biography. If you want to hear more Golden Earring, the band's "Something Heavy Going Down" album is @ GE/SHGD The great "Grab It for a Second" album is @ GE/GIFAS and Golden Earring's masterpiece, " Moontan" can be located @ GE/MOONTAN There is a brilliant acoustic live CD/DVD available called The Naked Truth , which will give you a great insight into this eternal band

TRACKS

A1 They Dance 5:20
A2 Quiet Eyes 4:12
A3 Save the Best for Later 5:23
A4 Have a Heart 4:06
A5 Love in Motion 3:50

B1 Jane Jane 5:00
B2 Jump and Run 6:30
B3 Why Do I 5:20
B4 A Shout in the Dark 5:36

All songs composed by Barry Hay, & George Kooymans , except "Jump and Run" by George Kooymans

MUSICIANS

Rinus Gerritsen - bass, keyboard
Barry Hay - vocals
George Kooymans - guitar, vocals
Robert Jan Stips - keyboard
Cesar Zuiderwijk - drums

Additional Musicians

Lisa Boray - background vocals
Loa Boray - background vocals
Wim Both - trumpet
Dionys Breukers - keyboard
Piet Dolder - trombone
Peter Kuyt - trumpet
Julya Lo'Ko - background vocals
Patty Paff - background vocals
Rudi Van Dijk - saxophone

SHORT BIO

Best known in the U.S. for its hard rock material, Golden Earring has been the most popular homegrown band in the Netherlands since the mid-'60s, when they were primarily a pop group. The group was founded by guitarist/vocalist George Kooymans and bassist/vocalist Rinus Gerritsen, then schoolboys, in 1961; several years and personnel shifts later, they had their first Dutch hit, "Please Go," and in 1968 hit the top of the Dutch charts for the first of many times with "Dong-Dong-Di-Ki-Di-Gi-Dong," a song that broadened their European appeal. By 1969, the rest of the lineup had stabilized, with lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Barry Hay and drummer Cesar Zuiderwijk. They experimented with their style for several years before settling on straightforward hard rock initially much like that of the Who, who invited them to open their 1972 European tour. Golden Earring signed to the Who's Track label, which released a compilation of Dutch singles, Hearing Earring, helping the group break through in England. 1974's Moontan LP spawned the single "Radar Love," a Dutch number one, U.K. Top Ten, and U.S. number thirteen hit. The group toured America opening for the Doobie Brothers and Santana, but the lack of a follow-up ensured that their popularity remained short-lived in America, even though they remained a top draw in Europe over the rest of the 1970s. 1982 saw a brief American comeback with the album Cut and the Top Ten single "Twilight Zone," but as before, Golden Earring could not sustain its momentum and faded away in the U.S. marketplace. All of Golden Earring's basic lineup has recorded as solo artists in Europe. "Radar Love" enjoyed a second round of popularity when pop-metal band White Lion covered the song in 1989. © Steve Huey, All Music Guide



BIO (Wikipedia)

Golden Earring is a Dutch Hard rock/pop group that was founded in 1961 in The Hague as the Golden Earrings (the 's' was later dropped). They had international chart success with the songs "Eight Miles High" in 1969, "Radar Love" in 1973, and "Twilight Zone" in 1982. In their home country, they had over 40 hits and made over 30 gold and platinum albums. Current members of Golden Earring are Barry Hay (vocals, guitar, flute and saxophone, member since 1968), George Kooymans (vocals and guitar, founder of band), Rinus Gerritsen (bass and keyboard, founding member), and Cesar Zuiderwijk (drums and percussion, member since 1970). Golden Earring was formed in 1961 in The Hague by 13-year-old George Kooymans and his 15-year-old neighbour, Rinus Gerritsen. Originally called The Tornados, the name was changed to Golden Earrings when they discovered that "The Tornados" was already in use. The name Golden Earrings was taken from a song, originally sung by Marlene Dietrich in 1947 and a hit for Peggy Lee in 1948, with which they opened their concerts. Initially a "teenybopper" band, Golden Earrings had their first chart success with their debut single Please Go, recorded in 1965. It reached number 9 on the music charts in the Netherlands. Unsatisfied with Dutch recording studios, the band's manager and co-discoverer Freddy Haayen arranged for the next single to be recorded at Pye Studios in London. The record cut at Pye, That Day, reached number two on the Dutch charts, having been prevented from rising to number one by The Beatles' "Michelle". In 1968, the band earned their first number one hit in the Netherlands with the pop song "Dong Dong Diki Diki Dong. This was followed by the success of their psychedelic album Eight Miles High, which featured an eighteen-minute version of the title track, itself a cover of The Byrds hit. The live version, which could last 45 minutes, was considered by some to be a highlight in their first and second American tours. Golden Earring embarked on their first major US tour in 1969 - 1970, and were among the first European bands to do so. Due to American influences, their music evolved towards hard rock, and they performed along with Led Zeppelin. Between 1969 and 1984, Golden Earring completed thirteen US tours. During this period, they performed as the opening act for Santana, The Doobie Brothers, Rush and .38 Special; and in the early seventies, when "Radar Love" was a hit, had KISS and Aerosmith as their opening act. They enjoyed a brief period of stardom but were unable to secure further chart success until 1982's "Twilight Zone", which was followed by "When the Lady Smiles" in 1984. After a rather disappointing reaction in the US to the latter, Golden Earring turned their focus towards Europe where they continue to attract standing-room-only crowds. Golden Earring has recorded over 30 gold and platinum albums and singles , and a number of artists like U2, White Lion, R.E.M. and Bryan Adams have covered their international hit and rock classic "Radar Love". In total, over 200 covers exist of this song. Golden Earring is known for powerful live performances, performing over 200 concerts a year,mainly in homecountry The Netherlands and occasionally in Belgium and Germany. Their energetic live performances have led to several live albums. Live, recorded at London's Rainbow Theater in 1977, 2nd Live, 1981, Something Heavy Going Down, 1984 (also released on DVD as Live from the Twilight Zone.) Last Blast of the Century, a live registration of their last concert of the 20th century, is available on both CD and DVD. Golden Earring has kept the same line-up since 1970. The band is the longest existing rock band in the world, as they were founded in 1961, one year before the Rolling Stones. While Golden Earring has almost faded from the international concert scene, they still maintain a core group of loyal fans, and their music is still played on US, Canadian, British, Australian and other radio stations. However a new American or European tour is something the band is undecided about, although their 2003 record Millbrook USA was recorded in Millbrook, New York state, at the studio of fellow-musician Frank Carillo, which indicates the band still have not lost touch with the US. Golden Earring was one of the first major European rock bands to tour the United States, in 1969. Golden Earring has released music worldwide and enjoyed brief superstar status in the Seventies when the single version of 'Radar Love', from the album 'Moontan' became a hit in both Europe and the USA. A non nude album cover was distributed for the North American release. Moontan itself was awarded a gold record in the US. The song 'Radar Love' has its own website http://www.radar-love.net.... On this site you will find 200 covers of this song which were voted "best car song ever" by readers of [USA Today] in 2005 and second best "greatest driving song" in a poll of [BBC]'s program "Top Gear", after "Don't Stop Me Now" from 'Queen'. George Kooymans wrote 'The Twilight Zone' in 1982 which brought Golden Earring a second international round of success. This song, was accompanied by one of the first rock videos, directed by Dick Maas. As MTV had just launched their music television channel in 1981, the airplay helped "Twilight Zone" secure a Top Ten hit in the States. When the Lady Smiles, from the album N.E.W.S., was the next international hit in 1984, again helped by a video, although it never became a hit in the US because the original video was banned from MTV due to nudity and the portrayal of the rape of a nun. A newly cut version of the clip failed to capture the true intentions of the director and Golden Earring, although When the Lady Smiles did make hit number 3 in Canada and became their fifth number one hit in their home country. When touring the United States in 1984, Golden Earring played the Great Arena of Six Flags Great Adventure on May 11, 1984 and were in the midst of their concert when the fire at the Haunted Castle at Six Flags Great Adventure began on the opposite side of the theme park, killing eight teenagers. Their best selling albums were Moontan of which over 1 million copies were sold worldwide, and the unplugged acoustic live CD/DVD The Naked Truth in 1992, which sold over 500,000 copies in the Netherlands alone and laid the foundation of their successful unplugged theater tours that started in 1992 and continue to date. This album was followed by Naked II, and the trilogy was completed in 2005 with Naked III Live at The Panama. Golden Earring celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2006 and has been performing almost continuously ever since 1961,and in the same line-up since 1970 making this band the oldest rock-band around.

Buddy Guy




Buddy Guy - Jammin' Blues Electric and Acoustic - 2003 - BMG Special Products

The legendary Louisiana Bluesman, Buddy Guy's songs have been covered by Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jack Bruce, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, John Mayall, Led Zeppelin, and countless others. Buddy made a huge impression on the young Jimi Hendrix. Many of the blues artists on this blog have been influenced by Buddy Guy, and many of the great blue and blues rock artists include Buddy's songs on their albums. Ironically, Buddy Guy has been inclined to cover other artists songs, and the album here is a great example of that. Bill Dahl from allmusic made the comment, - "A Buddy Guy concert can sometimes be a frustrating experience. He'll be in the middle of something downright hair-raising, only to break it off abruptly in midsong, or he'll ignore his own massive songbook in order to offer imitations of Clapton, Vaughan, and Hendrix". Here's an important quote from Wikipedia concerning Buddy Guy, - [ Buddy Guy has been called the bridge between the blues and rock and roll. He is one of the historic links between Chicago electric blues pioneers Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf and popular musicians like Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Jimmy Page as well as later revivalists like Stevie Ray Vaughan. This was what Stevie Ray Vaughan meant when he said, "Without Buddy Guy, there would be no Stevie Ray Vaughan." Even Guitarist magazine observed: Without Buddy Guy, the blues, not to mention rock as we know it, might be a heckuva lot less interesting today. Take the blues out of contemporary rock music—or pop, jazz and funk for that matter—and what you have left is a wholly spineless affair. A tasteless stew. Makes you shudder to think about it... ] Many of you will already have the tracks on this live compilation album,as they have all appeared on various other albums. However, it's still a thrill to listen to all these classic tracks in one collection from this legendary Blues king. If you're not too familiar with the great man's music, listen to his "Damn Right, I've Got the Blues" or his "Stone Crazy" albums. Magical stuff !

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 I've Got My Eyes on You - Dixon, Guy 4:11
2 Talk to Me Baby - James 3:55
3 First Time I Met the Blues - Montgomery 6:50
4 Let Me Love You Baby - Dixon 5:39
5 My Time After Awhile - Badger, Feinberg, Geddins 7:40
6 I've Been There - Guy 8:39
7 That's All Right - Rogers 3:37
8 Hoochie Coochie Man - Dixon 5:34
9 Key to the Highway - Broonzy, Segar 4:30
10 Hoodoo Man Blues - Wells, Williamson 6:33



BIO

He's Chicago's blues king today, ruling his domain just as his idol and mentor Muddy Waters did before him. Yet there was a time, and not all that long ago either, when Buddy Guy couldn't even negotiate a decent record deal. Times sure have changed for the better — Guy's first three albums for Silvertone in the '90s all earned Grammys. Eric Clapton unabashedly calls Buddy Guy his favorite blues axeman, and so do a great many adoring fans worldwide. High-energy guitar histrionics and boundless on-stage energy have always been Guy trademarks, along with a tortured vocal style that's nearly as distinctive as his incendiary rapid-fire fretwork. He's come a long way from his beginnings on the 1950s Baton Rouge blues scene — at his first gigs with bandleader "Big Poppa" John Tilley, the young guitarist had to chug a stomach-jolting concoction of Dr. Tichenor's antiseptic and wine to ward off an advanced case of stage fright. But by the time he joined harpist Raful Neal's band, Guy had conquered his nervousness. Guy journeyed to Chicago in 1957, ready to take the town by storm. But times were tough initially, until he turned up the juice as a showman (much as another of his early idols, Guitar Slim, had back home). It didn't take long after that for the new kid in town to establish himself. He hung with the city's blues elite: Freddy King, Muddy Waters, Otis Rush, and Magic Sam, who introduced Buddy Guy to Cobra Records boss Eli Toscano. Two searing 1958 singles for Cobra's Artistic subsidiary were the result: "This Is the End" and "Try to Quit You Baby" exhibited more than a trace of B.B. King influence, while "You Sure Can't Do" was an unabashed homage to Guitar Slim. Willie Dixon produced the sides. When Cobra folded, Guy wisely followed Rush over to Chess. With the issue of his first Chess single in 1960, Guy was no longer aurally indebted to anybody. "First Time I Met the Blues" and its follow-up, "Broken Hearted Blues," were fiery, tortured slow blues brilliantly showcasing Guy's whammy-bar-enriched guitar and shrieking, hellhound-on-his-trail vocals. Although he's often complained that Leonard Chess wouldn't allow him to turn up his guitar loud enough, the claim doesn't wash: Guy's 1960-1967 Chess catalog remains his most satisfying body of work. A shuffling "Let Me Love You Baby," the impassioned downbeat items "Ten Years Ago," "Stone Crazy," "My Time After Awhile," and "Leave My Girl Alone," and a bouncy "No Lie" rate with the hottest blues waxings of the '60s. While at Chess, Guy worked long and hard as a session guitarist, getting his licks in on sides by Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, and Koko Taylor (on her hit "Wang Dang Doodle"). Upon leaving Chess in 1967, Guy went to Vanguard. His first LP for the firm, A Man and the Blues, followed in the same immaculate vein as his Chess work and contained the rocking "Mary Had a Little Lamb," but This Is Buddy Guy and Hold That Plane! proved somewhat less consistent. Guy and harpist Junior Wells had long been friends and played around Chicago together (Guy supplied the guitar work on Wells' seminal 1965 Delmark set Hoodoo Man Blues, initially billed as "Friendly Chap" because of his Chess contract); they recorded together for Blue Thumb in 1969 as Buddy and the Juniors (pianist Junior Mance being the other Junior) and Atlantic in 1970 (sessions co-produced by Eric Clapton and Tom Dowd), and 1972 for the solid album Buddy Guy & Junior Wells Play the Blues. Buddy and Junior toured together throughout the '70s, their playful repartee immortalized on Drinkin' TNT 'n' Smokin' Dynamite, a live set cut at the 1974 Montreux Jazz Festival. Guy's reputation among rock guitar gods such as Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughan was unsurpassed, but prior to his Grammy-winning 1991 Silvertone disc Damn Right, I've Got the Blues, he amazingly hadn't issued a domestic album in a decade. That's when the Buddy Guy bandwagon really picked up steam — he began selling out auditoriums and turning up on network television (David Letterman, Jay Leno, etc.). Feels Like Rain, his 1993 encore, was a huge letdown artistically, unless one enjoys the twisted concept of having one of the world's top bluesmen duet with country hat act Travis Tritt and hopelessly overwrought rock singer Paul Rodgers. By comparison, 1994's Slippin' In, produced by Eddie Kramer, was a major step back in the right direction, with no hideous duets and a preponderance of genuine blues excursions. Last Time Around: Live at Legends, an acoustic outing with longtime partner Junior Wells followed in 1998. In 2001, Guy switched gears and went to Mississippi for a recording of the type of modal juke-joint blues favored by Junior Kimbrough, R.L. Burnside, and the Fat Possum crew. The result was Sweet Tea: arguably one of his finest albums and yet a complete anomaly in his catalog. Oddly enough, he chose to follow that up with Blues Singer in 2003, another completely acoustic effort that won a Grammy. For 2005's Bring 'Em In, it was back to the same template as his first albums for Silvertone, with polished production and a handful of guest stars. Skin Deep appeared in 2008 and featured guest spots by Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks, Eric Clapton, and Robert Randolph. A Buddy Guy concert can sometimes be a frustrating experience. He'll be in the middle of something downright hair-raising, only to break it off abruptly in midsong, or he'll ignore his own massive songbook in order to offer imitations of Clapton, Vaughan, and Hendrix. But Guy, whose club remains the most successful blues joint in Chicago (you'll likely find him sitting at the bar whenever he's in town), is without a doubt the Windy City's reigning blues artist — and he rules benevolently. © Bill Dahl, allmusic.com

Karate




Karate - Some Boots - 2002 - Southern Records

In Karate's decade of performing and recording they refined their sound to a streamlined rock hybrid that was hard to pin down, and they slowly but surely forged a unique sonic identity that was all their own. The band's beginnings in the early-90's Boston indie scene, their love for improvised music and classic rock, and their adherence to the DIY punk ethos of their youth made them freaks in any scene, defying classification with their strange fusion of punk, blues, jazz and rock. 595 shows after Karate first stepped on stage together, Geoff Farina, Jeff Goddard and Gavin McCarthy sadly ended their 12-year run in the summer of 2005. © www.southern.com

Karate were a very underrated and often misunderstood band. "Some Boots" could be classified as a jazz album recorded for a rock audience. The album has received some very poor reviews. Most of the criticicisms point to lack of "hooks", aimless musical excursions, overlong tracks, and pretentious lyrics. The problem with "Some Boots", if it is a problem, is that it is more rock than jazz which is a change from their previous albums. The album did not contain enough rocking elements to satisfy many rock critics. Similarly, jazz critics found it difficult to accept the moderation in Karate's jazz style which had been present on albums like "In Place Of Real Insight". Karate's roots are undoubtedly jazz based, and regardless of the poor reviews, the album is full of wonderful, subtle, understated jazzy-chords, great vocals from Geoff Farina, and brilliant songs. Karate were a great band, and would have improved, a band who are to be admired for "doing their own thing" and not bowing to commercial pressure. "Some Boots" is an album to be savoured, and is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. For another great band who also have their fair share of critics, but who constantly retain their uncommercial musical credibility, listen to the brilliant "Hats" album by the somewhat enigmatic Blue Nile. Buy Karate's superb 1997 "In Place Of Real Insight" album, and listen to their post break-up live 595' album. Geoff Farina's "Blobscape" album is also an excellent jazz based album.

TRACKS

1 Original Spies (6:38)
2 First Release (7:43)
3 Ice Or Ground (6:17)
4 South (7:46)
5 In Hundreds (7:11)
6 Airport (4:43)
7 Baby Teeth (5:48)
8 Corduroy (8:44) [On CD issue only]
9 Remain Relaxed (3:11)

All songs composed by Geoff Farina

BAND

Bass - Jeffrey Goddard
Drums - Gavin McCarthy
Guitar, Vocals - Geoff Farina

REVIEWS

Critics have been falling over themselves with praise for this trio since they came on the scene in the mid-'90s. The two things that really stand out are Geoff Farina's voice, which will drive you crazy trying to figure out who it reminds you of (it's Robert Smith, by the way, circa Boys Don't Cry), and the long — sometimes extremely long — guitar solos, which are rarely anything to get all that excited about. Granted, the wah-wah stuff on "Airport" is lots of fun (and also fully two minutes shorter than the average track length of six minutes and 45 seconds), and on "In Hundred" the band generates a spare, spiky groove that would almost sound like Gang of Four if it were just a little bit funkier. But most of this stuff just sounds too long and the method of using automatic writing as a method of lyric generation seems unconvincing (sample lines: "The nucleus of stress chooses dust in the end," "Gone is gone from Diskovery piles," "Salt stains saturate feet for the reason you are walking where you are walking to"). Maybe if there were a couple of good hooks on this album that sin could be forgiven. © Rick Anderson, allmusic.com

In some ways, Karate’s fifth album revisits previous musical themes and, due to the inherent understanding that develops over time between such collaborative musicians, updates and improves on what has gone before. Less jazz-heavy overall than 2000’s ‘Unsolved’, vocalist/guitarist Geoff Farina mixes and melds a variety of styles to keep the listener on his toes. On opener Original Spies he begins with some funky chords and towards the end of the extended solo, introduces some great dub moments, recalling the Rolling Stones early ‘80s flirtation with the genre. Between these he pulls out some heavy single-note riffing, tremelo arm controlled feedback and classic blues-rock licks. The song also features one of his most assured vocal performances and customarily visual imagery. “I too want change,” he proclaims, “I’m not talking about faith; I will pay for evidence of the numbness and pain of anyone with guns, the money or planes.” Farina remains one of contemporary music’s most lucid lyricists, throwing out tongue-twisting lines like he does shapes from his guitar. The result is often compelling and involving, and, as with the ‘chorus’ of Original Spies, carries a hefty emotional punch – “With trusty foresight will the sun still rise? / Will strained new days, saturated with strange / Contain your relocated slang and those incredible eyes?” On First Release Farina mourns the passing of a golden age and the music that provided its soundtrack. “Come’s still around but the band doesn’t play… / When I’m alone I want to feel like a kid getting stoned / Only to keep things a little more clear / Just to be able to hold on to a simple idea.” His lyrics here are reminiscent of the intimate four-track musings of his first solo album, ‘Usonian Dream Sequence’ and more conventionally narrative than much of his work. I’m reliably informed that Ice or Ground? details a ‘dialogue between two long-time political activists who challenge each others’ ideals by responding to Newt Gingrich’s recent sentiment that Afghan citizens will be thankful to the United States Government because the (then-) ensuing war will surely result in indoor plumbing for most of Middle Asia’ (thanks to the press release for that). What I can say with some certainty is that Stevie Ray Vaughan would be proud of the boy Farina’s chops on this. The laid-back South is a rumination on “lazy angels” over caressed cymbals and jazz shapes, and In Hundreds sees a return to a more aggressive, almost math-rock structure. With soul of course. One of the album’s shortest tracks, Airport is classic latter-day Karate, jazzy guitar (the solo avec wah-wah), Jeff Goddard’s loping bass line and Gavin McCarthy’s immaculate drum patterns, perfectly matched. McCarthy is superb on the following Baby Teeth too, hi-hat intro giving way to around-the-kit rolls and fills, punctuated with ‘choked’ cymbals, Farina back on wah-wah duty and linking it to the previous song lyrically too – “I miss them as much as they miss me” from Airport reworked as “I am missed. You are missed.” The album’s longest cut, Corduroy, takes its time, meandering guitar figures and lazy ascending/descending chords drift on barely audible percussion before a snapped snare and a spiteful, tremelo-friendly solo from Farina break the spell midway through its 8:44 duration. To close, the band choose their shortest song of the set, Remain Relaxed a soothing three minute ballad set “on Autumn’s edge out near the woods,” with an elegant guitar break as clear and crisp as the November air. It’s a subdued ending to as varied and intense an album as Karate have thus far produced; they remain a unique voice within the ‘indie-rock’ realm they find themselves conveniently bound to. © Matt Dornan, CWAS #11 - Autumn 2002, Comes With A Smile, http://cwas.hinah.com/review/?id=454

I guess I have already over-used the picture of “perfect music for lazy afternoons” but to me Karate have always been the epitomization of that feeling. And they do it once again. Soft chords over intricate drum and bass-textures that move along the outlines of both emo-pop and jazz, interwoven with accurate descriptions of “lonely afternoons” in an intriguing singing-speaking style. Perfect. As usual. Karate have changed ever so slightly again, following their own way, carefully carving out their very own piece of music and everybody who has heard one album by the band, will definitely want to listen to all of them. Because they have now reached a point, where it has become clear that their target is jazz, which makes an interesting mixture if you take into account that their starting point was emo-pop. Well, as far as guitar-chords and –solos, structure and atmosphere are concerned, Karate have always gone their very own way and were always easily identified against the large backdrop of other emo-pop-bands (and there are millions of them) by their emotional integrity, their complexity and the distinctive singing, guitar playing and songwriting of Geoff Farina. Actually, I think it is quite unfair to reduce Karate to the obvious genius of Geoff Farina alone, because Jeffrey Goddard and Gavin McCarthy have over the years evolved into a highly versatile, encompassing rhythm-group that can easily hold up to the high jazz-aspirations of the front man Farina. Eventually, even pop-music is a team-sport. Check the track “In Hundreds” if you want to hear some complicated technical playing that is still close to the listener. One thing that has changed obviously from the last albums is that there are more stroked chords during the verses and refrains, while Farina plays more “straight” solos with drawn-out, bended strings, long notes in the in-betweens, where he uses some distortion and even feedbacks (slightly some times). Without losing any of that laid back dynamics and tension (laid back tension? Think of intricate and intriguing…). Another important thing is that the lyrics have risen in importance. They are beautiful to read as thoughts that come on lonely afternoons and dawns thinking about lost loves and broken relationships. Bittersweet outlines of sad dime-novels with a lot of autumns, green grass, looking out the windows but without ever getting as pathetic or childlike stupid as with most emo-diary-bands, because, as I have mentioned before, Karate own a lot of integrity regarding this part of the emotional spectrum. And actually a lot better to read and digest from a literary point of view. Karate are an example of the beauty of understatement. This band is not right in your face, as so many punk and alternative bands are. They keep a low profile, do their own thing and produce some of the best records and most beautiful music around. I don’t think that they have a certain master plan of remaining a “well known secret”, but because most people only listen to those who scream the loudest, that is just the place that fits them best. (Actually, if you are one of those, who only listen to the ones who scream the loudest, how the heck did you ever find this website?). And I hope they’ll keep on for a long time. © www.southern.com, 10/2002

ABOUT KARATE

In their decade-plus career, Boston-based band Karate built a solid catalog of music and a respectable fan base with their experimental style of indie rock. Called everything from post-rock to jazzy, indie rock, Karate's sound was often based around loose, hushed and subtle, jamming jazz style arrangements filtered through cerebral and cathartic rock style. Comparisons to other underground bands like Codeine and Slint were often strewn upon then band from 1993 to 2005, when they disbanded, but Karate did form out their own small niche in indie rock. "I think our little niche is a hard-won territory. We're not the most instantly cool band, so saying you're a Karate fan is probably like bragging about being in the debate club in high school," Karate singer Geoff Farina told Splendid. Attendees of the Berklee College of Music, the post-rock band Karate formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1993. Singer and guitarist Geoff Farina paid his way through college (he also attended the University of Massachusetts) by playing bass in jazz bands. He met up with fellow student Gavin McCarthy who had played in various jazz combos and pop bands including The Swirlies. The two formed Karate in 1993 with bassist Eamonn Vitt and released their debut single in 1994. They signed a deal with indie label Southern and put out their first album, titled Karate in 1996. Just before its release, Vitt decided to move to guitar so Farina's roommate Jeff Goddard joined in on bass. Goddard, who studied jazz at Berklee and attended the New England Conservatory of music, had played in various punk bands including Moving Targets. In Karate, the band was attempting to form its own sound of jazz-influenced guitar playing set to indie rock melodies. "Part of it is trying to have an identity musically," Farina told the Metro Times. "We've all had formal music training and a lot of experience in the rock world where there's a whole other language of playing; I don't think either language is sufficient. We want to use the language available to formally address the music to each other. But, on the other hand, we don't just want to work within those stringent boundaries. We don't want to be a rock or fusion group that pushes clichés. I discover elements that I want, and add them to my acumen, then disregard the rest." As Farina told Punk Rock Academy, Karate never sat down to decide what they would sound like. "I don't think we ever even once talked about a concept of a sound in a serious way. It just worked out the way it worked out. I think we all like a lot of obscure music, and we don't necessarily like the same things. I know I don't want to be in a super punk rock band or a super slow Swervedriver band. I just know that I like what we play." In 1997, Karate released their second album, In Place of Real Insight, while Farina also started a solo career with his debut record Usonian Dream Sequence. The following year, Karate put out the stunning album The Bed is In the Ocean, which NME described as, "...explorations into pensive, slow-burning jazzcore and stream of subconsiousness prose. And, as always, it's a beautiful trek." The band toured relentlessly for their new album for the next two years. In 2000, Farina put out his sophomore solo record, Reverse Eclipse, and Karate's Unsolved hit shelves. While on tour for Unsolved, Karate began to pen songs for a new album that wouldn't be recorded until touring ceased. In 2002, the band released Some Boots. Karate's sound often relied on loose structures and drawn out guitar solos, and as Farina told Omaha Weekly, all those solos were improvised in the studio. "When we recorded, I did five guitar solos for each songs. It's a big part of what we do, but they're also structured-we know exactly where to start and stop," he said. Delusions of Adequacy noted the band's growth on Some Boots. "...Some Boots shows a band that's growing more confident with their style. The songs are longer, more jamming, while Farina's free-flowing guitar is given the range to spiral and flow." Karate continued on a never-ending tour schedule after the release of Some Boots. To the band, playing live was just as important as releasing albums. According to Farina, it's also how many of the songs that will eventually be recorded get honed. "Something I like about being in this band something I think is different from a lot of bands is we're just totally focused on playing live and doing a lot of shows..." Farina told Punk Rock Academy. "I think you can never really know a song really well until you play it live a ton..." When the band returned home to Boston after an exhaustive tour, they laid down tracks for a new album before taking a much-needed break from for about nine months in 2003. Not only were their band and personal relationships straining, it was taking a toll on their health. "I think we all just needed a break and I actually got pretty sick towards the end of it so I needed it health-wise," Farina admitted to Tweed Magazine. In 2004 Southern released Pockets, which Farina claimed had some of Karate's shortest songs to date. With Vitt gone from guitar, Codeine guitarist Chris Brokaw joined the band on a few tracks and joined them for their 2004 tour. "I think the thing with Pockets is that we've never made a record where we've finished ideas. And that's what I feel like we did with this record," Farina told Tweed. The album received positive press including a top-notch review from CNN.com who called it the best songs of their career; "Pockets is a companion for the thinking man and woman. A beautiful blend of blues, jazz, and post-rock that is at times meandering and achingly beautiful, other times upbeat and, well, groovy." Actually recorded before Pockets, but not released until 2005, Karate's final release was actually an EP of covers. Konkurrent Records special imprint In the Fishtank asked Karate to record an EP for their In the Fishtank project that put a band in a studio for two days and recorded the output. Karate chose to their post-rock spin on songs by artists like The Band, The Minutemen, and Billie Holiday. After playing their last gig on July 10, 2005 in Rome, and shortly after the record came out, in a post on Farina's official website, he announced that Karate had broken up. He stated, "I could no longer continue with the band for a number of personal reasons, the most important of which is that I have developed hearing problems from many years of dangerously loud stage sound." After seeing a specialist and attempting to continue to work with Karate, Farina decided he couldn't play with Karate anymore, but would continue to work on his own music and possibly start a new band. © Shannon McCarthy, © 2009 Net Industries - All Rights Reserved

SHORT BIO

Karate began in Boston. Geoff Farina (vocals, guitar), Eamonn Witt (bass), and Gavin Mcarthy (drums) formed the post-rock combo in 1993, and within a year had issued the "Death Kit" 7". "The Schwinn" followed a year later; bassist Jeff Goddard also joined up at this point, with Witt moving to second guitar. The band's eponymous full-length also appeared from Southern, and Karate toured aggressively, appearing both domestically and in Europe. In 1997, Witt departed, while Farina, Mcarthy, and Goddard released In Place of Real Insight. The Bed Is in the Ocean followed quickly after. By this point, the group had refined its sound, removing the choppy, indie/emo elements in favor of a more disciplined approach that emphasized its jazz influence. Unsolved dropped in 2000, followed by the Cancel/Sing EP a year later. The latter featured two extended pieces that were the strongest example yet of Karate's measure, yet very humanistic post-rock. Southern issued Some Boots in 2002, and after another round of live dates began work on a new, eight-song release. [Concurrent to Farina's work with Karate was the Secret Stars, his music and community-building project with artist Jodi Buonanno.] © Johnny Loftus, allmusic.com



BIO (Wikipedia)

Karate was an American indie jazz band. The band was formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1993 by Geoff Farina, Eamonn Vitt and Gavin McCarthy. In 1995, Jeff Goddard joined the band as bass player, and Vitt moved to second guitar. Vitt departed Karate to pursue a medical career in 1997. Farina developed hearing problems due to twelve years of performance with Karate and was forced to disband the group in July 2005. Their final show was played in Rome, Italy, on July 10, 2005. Their music was primarily released on Southern Records. In 2007, the former band members decided to release a live album 595'. Often, Karate was sent live material from their own performances (often from sound technicians). This happened also after their performance on May 5th at Stuk, Leuven, Belgium. Karate was so astonished by the quality of the recording they decided to release this "posthumous" live album.

26.4.09

Various Artists - The Songs Of Willie Dixon (Willie Dixon related)




Various Artists - The Songs Of Willie Dixon - 1999 - Telarc

The Songs of Willie Dixon finds a number of mostly contemporary blues practitioners paying tribute to the legendary composer/bassist. Of course, it isn't difficult to pick quality material out of Dixon's catalog, so the collection will sink or swim with the performances. And, for the most part, they're pretty good, with some interesting, modern recastings of the... More original arrangements. Although there are some misfires, it isn't for lack of commitment, falling more into the valiant-attempt category; plus, the vast majority of the songs are successful. Some of the highlights are provided by Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Tab Benoit, Kenny Neal, Eddie Shaw, and Deborah Coleman. © Steve Huey, All Music Guide

The late Mississippi born Blues giant, Willie Dixon has influenced countless Blues and Blues Rock artists. Hardly a day goes by without somebody releasing an album containing a song written by the great man. Songs like"My Babe", "Back Door Man", "Crazy For My Baby", "I Just Want to Make Love to You", "Little Red Rooster", "You Shook Me", "I Can't Quit You Baby", "You Need Love", and many, many more have been covered by any blues artist you can think of. His ""Hoochie Coochie Man"has been covered by every modern day blues artist. At one time Willie sued Led Zeppelin over the alleged resemblance of Zep's "Whole Lotta Love" to Willie's "You Need Love". The great Jack Bruce told Goldmine how thrilled he was when Dixon offered him encouragement about Cream's version of "Spoonful." "It was as a writer that Willie Dixon most influenced music--and me," Bruce noted. "His incredible ability to tap in to the whole world's consciousness made it possible for him to write songs that will never die." Willie Dixon has got to be one of the most important figures in the history of The Blues, and a colossus of Chicago Blues. His songs will be played until "kingdom come". It is not easy to do justice to many of Willie Dixon's great songs, but when you get a group of artists like John Mooney, Tab Benoit, Kenny Neal, Sonny Landreth, Ronnie Earl, Deborah Coleman, and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown to perform Willie Dixon's songs, the result is nothing less than superb. This tribute album is HR by A.O.O.F.C. If you want to hear more of Willie Dixon, then buy his masterpiece album from 1973, "Catalyst".

TRACKS / PERFORMERS

1. Spoonful - Doug Wainoris
2. When the Lights Go Out - John Mooney
3. Do Me Right - Eddie Kirkland
4. Mellow Down Easy - Tab Benoit
5. Bring It on Home - Kenny Neal
6. I Ain't Superstitious - Eddie Shaw
7. Crazy For My Baby - Christine Ohlman/Sonny Landreth
8. Wang Dang Doodle - John Ellison/Christine Ohlman
9. Same Thing, The - Willie Smith
10. Shakin' the Shack - Jerry Portnoy/David Maxwell
11. My Love Will Never Die - Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson/Ronnie Earl
12. Good Understanding - Deborah Coleman
13. If the Sea Was Whiskey - Doug Wainoris
14. I Just Want to Make Love to You - Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown

All songs composed by Willie Dixon, except "If the Sea Was Whiskey" by Leonard Caston, and Willie Dixon

MUSICIANS

Doug Wainoris - Guitar, Vocal
Jerry Portnoy - Harmonica
David Maxwell - Piano
Eddie Shaw - Saxophone, Vocal
Calvin Jones - Bass
Willie Smith - Drums, Vocal
Special Guests are listed under "TRACKS / PERFORMERS"



WILLIE DIXON'S BIO

Willie Dixon's life and work was virtually an embodiment of the progress of the blues, from an accidental creation of the descendants of freed slaves to a recognized and vital part of America's musical heritage. That Dixon was one of the first professional blues songwriters to benefit in a serious, material way — and that he had to fight to do it — from his work also made him an important symbol of the injustice that still informs the music industry, even at the end of the 20th century. A producer, songwriter, bassist, and singer, he helped Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, and others find their most commercially successful voices. By the time he was a teenager, Dixon was writing songs and selling copies to the local bands. He also studied music with a local carpenter, Theo Phelps, who taught him about harmony singing. With his bass voice, Dixon later joined a group organized by Phelps, the Union Jubilee Singers, who appeared on local radio. Dixon eventually made his way to Chicago, where he won the Illinois State Golden Gloves Heavyweight Championship. He might have been a successful boxer, but he turned to music instead, thanks to Leonard "Baby Doo" Caston, a guitarist who had seen Dixon at the gym where he worked out and occasionally sang with him. The two formed a duo playing on street corners, and later Dixon took up the bass as an instrument. They later formed a group, the Five Breezes, who recorded for the Bluebird label. The group's success was halted, however, when Dixon refused induction into the armed forces as a conscientious objector. Dixon was eventually freed after a year, and formed another group, the Four Jumps of Jive. In 1945, however, Dixon was back working with Caston in a group called the Big Three Trio, with guitarist Bernardo Dennis (later replaced by Ollie Crawford). During this period, Dixon would occasionally appear as a bassist at late-night jam sessions featuring members of the growing blues community, including Muddy Waters. Later on when the Chess brothers — who owned a club where Dixon occasionally played — began a new record label, Aristocrat (later Chess), they hired him, initially as a bassist on a 1948 session for Robert Nighthawk. The Chess brothers liked Dixon's playing, and his skills as a songwriter and arranger, and during the next two years he was working regularly for the Chess brothers. He got to record some of his own material, but generally Dixon was seldom featured as an artist at any of these sessions. Dixon's real recognition as a songwriter began with Muddy Waters' recording of "Hoochie Coochie Man." The success of that single, "Evil" by Howlin' Wolf, and "My Babe" by Little Walter saw Dixon established as Chess' most reliable tunesmith, and the Chess brothers continually pushed Dixon's songs on their artists. In addition to writing songs, Dixon continued as bassist and recording manager of many of the Chess label's recording sessions, including those by Lowell Fulson, Bo Diddley, and Otis Rush. Dixon's remuneration for all of this work, including the songwriting, was minimal — he was barely able to support his rapidly growing family on the 100 dollars a week that the Chess brothers were giving him, and a short stint with the rival Cobra label at the end of the '50s didn't help him much. During the mid-'60s, Chess gradually phased out Dixon's bass work, in favor of electric bass, thus reducing his presence at many of the sessions. At the same time, a European concert promoter named Horst Lippmann had begun a series of shows called the American Folk-Blues Festival, for which he would bring some of the top blues players in America over to tour the continent. Dixon ended up organizing the musical side of these shows for the first decade or more, recording on his own as well and earning a good deal more money than he was seeing from his work for Chess. At the same time, he began to see a growing interest in his songwriting from the British rock bands that he saw while in London — his music was getting covered regularly by artists like the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds, and when he visited England, he even found himself cajoled into presenting his newest songs to their managements. Back at Chess, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters continued to perform Dixon's songs, as did newer artists such as Koko Taylor, who had her own hit with "Wang Dang Doodle." Gradually, however, after the mid-'60s, Dixon saw his relationship with Chess Records come to a halt. Partly this was a result of time — the passing of artists such as Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson reduced the label's roster of older performers, with whom he had worked for years, and the company's experiments with more rock-oriented sounds (especially on the "Cadet Concept" imprint) took it's output in a direction to which Dixon couldn't contribute. And the death of Leonard Chess in the fall of 1969 and the subsequent sale of the company brought about the end of Dixon's relationship to the company. By the end of the 1960s, Dixon was eager to try his hand as a performer again, a career that had been interrupted when he'd gone to work for Chess as a producer. He recorded an album of his best-known songs, I Am the Blues, for Columbia Records, and organized a touring band, the Chicago Blues All Stars, to play concerts in Europe. Suddenly, in his fifties, he began making a major name for himself on-stage for the first time in his career. Around this time, Dixon began to have grave doubts about the nature of the songwriting contract that he had with Chess' publishing arm, Arc Music. He was seeing precious little money from songwriting, despite the recording of hit versions of such Dixon songs as "Spoonful" by Cream. He had never seen as much money as he was entitled to as a songwriter, but during the 1970s he began to understand just how much money he'd been deprived of, by design or just plain negligence on the part of the publisher doing its job on his behalf. Arc Music had sued Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement over "Bring It on Home" on Led Zeppelin II, saying that it was Dixon's song, and won a settlement that Dixon never saw any part of until his manager did an audit of Arc's accounts. Dixon and Muddy Waters would later file suit against Arc Music to recover royalties and the ownership of their copyrights. Additionally, many years later Dixon brought suit against Led Zeppelin for copyright infringement over "Whole Lotta Love" and its resemblance to Dixon's "You Need Love." Both cases resulted in out-of-court settlements that were generous to the songwriter. The 1980s saw Dixon as the last survivor of the Chess blues stable and he began working with various organizations to help secure song copyrights on behalf of blues songwriters who, like himself, had been deprived of revenue during previous decades. In 1988, Dixon became the first producer/songwriter to be honored with a boxed set collection, when MCA Records released Willie Dixon: The Chess Box, which included several rare Dixon sides as well as the most famous recordings of his songs by Chess' stars. The following year, Dixon published I Am the Blues (Da Capo Press), his autobiography, written in association with Don Snowden. Dixon continued performing, and was also called in as a producer on movie soundtracks such as Gingerale Afternoon and La Bamba, producing the work of his old stablemate Bo Diddley. By that time, Dixon was regarded as something of an elder statesman, composer, and spokesperson of American blues. Dixon eventually began suffering from increasingly poor health, and lost a leg to diabetes. He died peacefully in his sleep early in 1992. © Bruce Eder, allmusic.com

25.4.09

Highway




Highway - Highway - 1975 - Private Pressing

This all original album was recorded in 1975 at Westminster Studio, outside Fort Dodge, Iowa. Only 500 copies were issued and released. In 1985, Highway guitarist Steve Murphy got a call from a collector in the Chicago area, who showed genuine interest in this rare album. In fact, Steve Murphy has received worldwide queries about the album. The album has received legendary status, as it has been "bootlegged" in a limited edition of 300. The boot looks very much like the original private pressing, but it was not made using any master tapes, and the song writing and musician credits do not appear on the album sleeve. Eventually the album was re-released officially on CD with four bonus tracks. This is the edition posted here. The history of the band began in 1965 when two Fairmont bands, The Pacers and The Corvairs, formed The Epicureans who evolved into Highway. Today, The Murphy Brothers Band has become the latest formation of Highway. Check out a great visual HISTORY OF THE BAND , and consider buying a Murphy Brothers Band album. The s/t Highway album is a great example of American mid seventies heavy guitar based blues rock, by a talented guitar orientated trio. Music as good as this is a rarity nowadays.

SIDE 1

TOO MANY CHANGES
LOOK AWAY
PEGASUS
SEEMS TO ME
IT WON'T LAST LONG *
DAYS GO BY *

SIDE 2

BRIGHT SIDE
MEADOW
SLIP AWAY
TOMORROW
LADY LUCK *
MY MUSIC *

All songs composed by Steve Murphy. Tracks marked * were not included on original 1975 Limited Edition vinyl LP release



BAND

Steve Murphy - Guitar
Eric Bannister - Bass
Dan Cammarata - Drums

Broken Glass




Broken Glass - Broken Glass - 1975 - Capitol

The only album recorded by this 70s psych/blues rock band which was founded by Stan Webb of Chicken Shack. It was a one-off project , and included three classy guitarists, Stan Webb, Miller Anderson, and Robbie Blunt.

TRACKS

Standing On The Border
It's Alright
Keep Your Love
Can't Keep You Satisfied
Jersey Lightening
It's Evil
Ain't No Magic
Crying Smiling
Take The Water
Broken Glass

BAND

Stan Webb - Guitar/Vocals
Robbie Blunt - Guitar/Vocals
Miller Anderson - Guitar
Tony Ashton - Keyboards
Rob Rawlinson - Bass
Mac Poole - Dru

23.4.09

Henry Cow




Henry Cow - Western Culture - 1979 - Celluloid

Right, it's not "rock"-- it's modern chamber music utilizing "Rock" instruments, namely guitar-organ-drums, as well as brass and woodwinds of varying couth. It's jarring without valorizing the random, the way this group always is at its best, and it eschews the highbrow vocalizing favored by this group at its worst. I don't know much about chamber music, but I know what I like--"rock" instruments. A- © Robert Christgau, www.robertchristgau.com

Henry Cow were one of the most significant British progressive-rock groups of the 1970s, and band members went on to important solo careers. Virtually ignored by the press and by rock music publications, because their albums were never commercial, and never produced chart material . In reality, they are one of the most important progressive-rock groups of all time and changed the face of modern rock music. Classified as a Canterbury Rock band like Caravan, Soft Machine, Hatfield And The North, Slapp Happy, and many others, they produced some of the most innovative, original, and inventive music ever heard. "Western Culture" is a perfect example of this genre. N.B: Album is available on CD with four bonus tracks, "Untitled" (silence only), "Viva Pa Ubu" (Hodgkinson), "Look Back (alt)" (Cooper), and "Slice" (Cooper). Check out the Slapp Happy / Henry Cow "Desperate Straights" album @ SL&HC/DS and the Slapp Happy & Faust brilliant "Acnalbasac Noom" recording @ SL&F/AN Don't forget to listen to Hatfield And The North's "The Rotters Club" album which is one of the 1970's great Canterbury/Progressive Rock albums.

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

A1 Industry - Tim Hodgkinson (6:58)
A2 The Decay Of Cities - Tim Hodgkinson (6:55)
A3 On The Raft - Tim Hodgkinson (4:01)

B1 Falling Away - Lindsay Cooper (7:38)
B2 Gretels Tale - Lindsay Cooper (3:58)
B3 Look Back - Lindsay Cooper(1:19)
B4 1/2 The Sky - Lindsay Cooper , Tim Hodgkinson (5:14)

MUSICIANS

Saxophone [Soprano], Acoustic Guitar, Guitar [Electric], Bass - Fred Frith
Bassoon, Oboe, Saxophone [Soprano, Sopranino], Tape - Lindsay Cooper
Piano, Trumpet, Drums, Electronic Drums, Noises - Chris Cutler
Hawaiian Guitar, Piano, Organ, Clarinet, Saxophone [Alto] - Tim Hodgkinson
Trombone, Violin - Annemarie Roelofs
Piano - Irene Schweizer
Bass - Georgie Born

REVIEWS

...exhausting, sometimes jaw droppingly gorgeous and occasionally very scary... While most 70s progressive rockers had their noses stuck deep in the works of Herman Hesse or Tolkien and spent their time copping licks from Ravel or Mussorgsky, the members of Henry Cow were reading Marx, Mao and Walter Benjamin and preferred Varese, Cage or Sun Ra for inspiration. One of the first signings to Virgin records in 1973, the Cow were responsible for some of the most dazzlingly complex rock ever recorded, merging British psychedelia, free improvisation and modern classical with a healthy dose of revolutionary polemic. The band gained a reputation for immense seriousness depite their occasional sly Dadaist humour, though to be fair there pobably weren't many fart jokes in the Henry Cow tour bus. Western Culture was recorded in 1978 some time after their difficult split with Virgin, and was made in the knowledge that the group was to fold afterwards (a previous attempt at recording had failed a few months earlier). Though these were obviously tricky times for all concerned, you wouldn't know it from the music on this CD, which is some of their finest and dispatched with awesome precision and economy. Compositional duties are split between saxophonist/keyboardist Tim Hodgkinson and bassoonist Lindsay Cooper (possibly the only ever fulltime bassoonist in a rock band). Their dense, cerebral compositions are restless, angular affairs with nervy, timeshifting rhythmic dexterity from drummer Chris Cutler (who has to be one of the finest, most inventive drummers this country has ever produced) and guitarist Fred Frith (doubling on bass). Frith is superb, switching from fuzzed out, oblique rockisms to querulous Derek Bailey acoustic scrabble ("The Decay of Cities") and occupying a few thousand points inbetween. There are no pointless displays of prog virtuosity though; despite the sometimes bewildering complexity of the music, not a note is wasted throughout. Guest pianist Irene Schweizer provides a spot of free jazz fire on Coopers doleful "Gretel's Tale", while Anne Marie Roeloffs's trombone and violin add extra textural grit. The most affecting track is "Half the Sky", where lush chords underpin Friths Frippish glides and Hodgkinsons chattering alto sax, eventually breaking out into an almost klezmer-esque melody over Cutler's tumbling percussives. Three extra tracks round off this long unavailable re-issue including "Viva Pa Ubu" (featuring former vocalist Dagmar Krause, here uncredited) and the all too short cut and thrust of "Slice". Exhausting, sometimes jaw droppingly gorgeous and occasionally very scary, Western Culture is a fitting testament to possibly the most progressive of all English rock bands. Bless 'em. © Peter Marsh 2002-11-20, www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/5zf9

The group's fourth and final studio LP, Western Culture remained for a long time Henry Cow's hidden treasure. Two factors were instrumental to its occultation (and one more than the other): first, it was not released by Virgin like the other ones; second, it did not have the "sock" artwork common to its brothers. Obscurity aside, Western Culture remains one of the group's strongest efforts in the lines of composition, especially since the unit was literally torn apart at the time. Side one consists of a suite in three parts, "History & Prospects," written by Tim Hodgkinson. The opener, "Industry," stands as one of Henry Cow's finest achievements, the angular melody played on a cheap electric organ hitting you in the face so hard it makes an imprint in your brains. Side two features another suite, this one in four parts and by Lindsay Cooper. While Hodgkinson's music leans toward rock, energy, and deconstruction, her writing embraced more contemporary classical idioms. Filled with contrasting textures and delicate complicated melodies, these pieces showcased another aspect of the group's sound while foretelling her later works. Swiss pianist Irène Schweizer performed a cadenza of sorts in "Gretel's Tale." © François Couture, allmusic.com

At the end of the day, perhaps it comes down to the argument of escapism versus elitism. It's been so long since prog was a popular genre that the argument over its relevance has seemingly been left by the wayside. However, there are several attitudes we take for granted today that may never have existed outside of the general pop-critic population, but seem to have been perpetuated over the past thirty years to the point of being distorted and disproportionately trusted. Ultimately, that there is a humbly active prog scene today (check the cults of oddly named groups such as Spock's Beard or the Flower Kings if you're in doubt) might be the funniest anti-climax in rock. Allow me to shoot down some stereotypes: "Prog is pretentious and bloated." Yes, and Emerson, Lake and Palmer are often cited as the prime examples. While I can't defend a couple of those later 70s Yes albums, and the insane clown affair that is Pictures at an Exhibition, I will say that at their worst, these bands never approached the bombast of the slightest Sex Pistols or Stooges album. "Only Dungeons & Dragons nerds listen to prog." This idea may stem from prog's often-whimsical subject matter or mythical album covers, though I have to say that I've never heard a prog tune about the King of Carrot Flowers. Prog doesn't rock." Despite the superficiality of these kinds of criticisms, many of the original bands took them to heart, and by 1977 or so, most of them had receded into crass commercialism, or were forced out of the music business entirely due to changing trends. The ones that lived on were generally one of two ilks. The first was the style chameleon: Yes and Genesis are the two most famous examples, with the latter band going so far as to allow their frontman to lead them into the worst regions of MOR banality. The second type was the far more interesting proposition: bands that graduated from prog into even stranger realms. Henry Cow was this type of band, and what follows may change your perception of prog forever. Henry Cow was founded at Cambridge University, England by guitarist Fred Frith and keyboardist/reed player Tim Hodgkinson. Percussionist Chris Cutler joined in 1971, by which time the band had settled into a regular unit. A diverse mix of influences (Zappa, modern classical composition, free jazz, etc.), along with the natural creativity and intelligence of the group members (most had finished their college degrees before Leg End was released in 1973), spawned a sound unlike any contemporary prog band. They were one of Virgin Records' first acts, and made their first tour with relative "superstars" Faust (and would later tour with Captain Beefheart)-- all of this during the heyday of "symphonic" prog bands like Yes and Genesis. Henry Cow's sound always seemed to me a direct response to what was popularly passing as experimental music during their time. Where a band like Gentle Giant (one of the more compositionally complex prog bands) would take classical counterpoint and color it with rock groove and volume, the Cow would remove color altogether, opting for sheer intensity through concept (often manifested in Marxist political statements) and relentlessly dry arrangements. It wasn't enough that their tunes sounded like boisterous Schoenberg etudes, but they usually featured chamber classical instruments such as oboe, bassoon, clarinet and violin. And, where a typical prog band would have used this to evoke the Romanticism of composers like Brahms or Strauss, Cow laid all their cards on the table by naming themselves after the experimental American composer Henry Cowell. They seemed very intent on opposing (Cutler would later even initiate the musical collective Rock In Opposition) any stereotype one might throw at them. I must admit this has always colored my perception of the band. If Yes were the double coconut-fudge of rock, perhaps best for escapist fantasies, then Henry Cow were certainly wheat germ. It's not that they weren't cool in their way, but there's a not-so-subtle academic aftertaste to much of their music for me. Western Culture was their final record, and is probably the most overtly influenced by modern classical composition. It's not very hard to hear why this music is important, in the sense that it lays the groundwork for a whole school of avant-rock and prog that doesn't cause cavities. My caveat would be one of aesthetics, because if you're looking for a party, you'd best dig out "Long Distance Runaround" instead. By the time Western Culture was released in 1979, the group was mostly separated. Cutler and Frith would soon form the excellent Art Bears with Dagmar Krause (who had performed with Cow during several occasions), and Hodgkinson and reedist Lindsay Cooper wrote the pieces on this album exclusively. "Industry" begins things with a brain-freeze, as the opening organ screech gives way to dissonant guitar and hacking drums. Hyper-rhythmic figures (but certainly not "beats"), accentuated by stinging guitar and angular violin lines, suggest quite well whatever inhuman, technological madness the title implies. There are no vocals anywhere on the album, so the difficult melodies rely on the arrangers' skill with voicing in order to stand out. Now, if all of this sounds a bit technical, rest assured, that's probably appropriate. "The Decay of Cities" brings in familiar sonorities with Frith's rather gorgeous acoustic guitar exposition. All of the players were unsung in the grand scheme of prog, though Frith was arguably the most important element for this group if only because he brought a much needed touch of the "real world" to the music. After the intro, an ominous trombone and piano duet ensues, and Frith reenters with guitar figures at once Asian and Cageian. There are some very clever things happening here, with kinetic trading of figures by percussion, guitar, piano and winds. Later on, saxophone carries the tune, sounding like a cross between an intense, somber jazz balladeer and flighty, post-Ornette bopper. Cooper's first piece, "Falling Away," opens with a chorus of woodwinds, similar to some of Zappa's classical/jazz fusion experiments of the early 70s. This reference is short lived, as the band bangs through with drums and a mad ostinato line that reminds me of their Belgian brethren Univers Zero (another classically minded band, who were somehow even more deadly serious than the Cow). This leads to some of the most intense stuff on the record, as themes fly by at breakneck pace, while Cutler never stops pounding his kit (and still never actually playing beats). "Coretels Tale" is more of the same, with enhanced moodiness via creepy flutes, and some nicely Cecil Taylor-esque piano playing. The original Western Culture closes with "1/2 the Sky" (though the reissue includes three more tunes, including a tribute to one of Cutler's favorites, Pere Ubu). Still no rest for weary ears, though I must say that I've always been impressed at Henry Cow's purity of vision. Whatever you want to say of prog, even on the experimental end, bands that remain true to their original spirit are rare enough that I respect these musicians based merely on principal. Of course, all of the individuals involved here would go on to very interesting careers in any number of odd settings, and I would be remiss if I didn't point out that even twenty years later they are more interesting than the majority of current experimental rock groups. So they're not as "entertaining" (or as easy to poke fun at) as Yes, or as cool to name drop as Can or Faust, but Henry Cow were as original an act as ever played "rock," and will probably continue to challenge listeners for as long as their work remains available. © Dominique Leone, March 21, 2002, © 2009 Pitchfork Media Inc. All rights reserved

ABOUT HENRY COW

The progressive-rock genre spawned many groups who became top-grossing arena acts — Pink Floyd and Genesis are two — as well as many who progressed right into obscurity. Henry Cow was one of the best-known and most widely traveled English bands of the progressive era (though only a cult-favorite in the U.S.), and their music has aged amazingly well over the last 20 years due to diverse influences (Oliver Messiaen, Kurt Weill, Frank Zappa, and Soft Machine were a few) and uncompromising creativity. The group functioned more or less as a collective, with a true group identity that changed from album to album as members came and went. This turnover was one factor in the consistent vitality of Henry Cow; another was the dedicated core of the band, a serious, politicized trio whose interest in improvisation served to leaven the complexity they supplied as primary writers. Tim Hodgkinson played keyboards and reeds; Chris Cutler (later of Pere Ubu) played drums, Fred Frith provided a variety of instruments, specializing in strings (the guitar in particular); all of them sang. The three appear on all of the Henry Cow albums recorded between 1973 and 1978. Other longtime members included multi-reedist Lindsay Cooper, bassist John Greaves, and German singer Dagmar Krause, who worked with Frith and Cutler in the spinoff Art Bears band and later recorded bilingual renditions of songs by Brecht & Weill. Together, their sound was so mercurial and daring that they had few imitators, even though they inspired many on both sides of the Atlantic with a blend of spontaneity, intricate structures, philosophy, and humor that has endured and transcended the "progressive" tag. Since the demise of Henry Cow, its members have continued in creative directions, mostly working in Europe with rock-based or improvising ensembles. Over the years they have reunited in various units, with resultant recordings being distributed worldwide through the Recommended Records network spearheaded by active improviser Chris Cutler. © Myles Boisen, allmusic.com

Tony Joe White




Tony Joe White - Home Made Ice Cream - 1973 - Warner Bros.

"Home Made Ice Cream" could loosely be described as "country rock". There are lines to be drawn between "country", "country & western", and "country rock" and these lines are not easily drawn. Some of the great seventies albums were classified as "country rock", and included artists like the Eagles, Allman Brothers, and Poco. Even Steely Dan's "Pearl Of The Quarter" track from their classic "Countdown To Ecstasy" album had a distinct counrty sound. However the bands mentioned also incorporated strong rock elements into their music. When we talk about "country & western" music, we usually generally associate it with the Nashville sounds of Patsy Cline, Charlie Rich, etc. Pure "country" music is much more difficult to define, and contains elements of early American bluegrass, gospel, folk, and can be traced back to countries like Ireland, and Scotland. Check Wikipedia for a more comprehensive insight into the derivations of these musical genres. The point here is that Tony Joe White's "Home Made Ice Cream" album contains all these "country" genres, and his somgs are womderful examples of the early seventies non-commercial "country" soumd. The album is influemced by Tony Joe White's Louisiana blues, soul, gospel, and cajun roots, and contains eleven well written songs, all well played by good musicians who obviously love their music. This album demonstrates the authentic side of Southern homespun "country" music and is really enjoyable. Good laid back "swamp rock" music by a great artist. The great John Fogerty is another artist who has given "country" music a new meaning. Check out his great "Centerfield" and "Deja Vu (All Over Again)" albums. It is also worth hearing Tony Joe White's "Train I'm On" album. Read the story of Tony Joe White's life @ TJW/BIO

TRACKS

A1 Saturday Night In Oak Grove Louisiana
A2 For Ol' Time Sake
A3 I Want Love ('Tween You & Me)
A4 Homemade Ice Cream
A5 Ol'Mother Earth
A6 Lazy

B1 California On My Mind
B2 Backwoods Preacher Man
B3 Takin' The Midnight Train
B4 No News Is Good News
B5 Did Somebody Make A Fool Out Of You

All songs composed by Tony Joe White

MUSICIANS

Reggie Young - guitar
Kenny Malone - drums
David Briggs - piano, organ
Tony Joe White - vocals, guitar, harmonica
Norbert Putman - bass guitar

REVIEW

In 1973, the year singer-songwriter and guitarist Tony Joe White recorded his third solo album, country music was on the cusp of moving permanently into the mainstream of American pop music. Charlie Rich’s Behind Closed Doors came out the same year, the duet of George Jones and Tammy Wynette was making headway on the charts and Willie Nelson was just a few years away from becoming the public face of the genre. Homemade Ice Cream never made the splash any of the above did, partly because White’s sound is too modest, and partly because it doesn’t try to straighten out the tangled roots of country music, roots that feed on mountain music, early American folk, jazz and early R’n’B. In these 11 originals, the born-and-bred Louisiana native shows he's comfortable with both the White southern gospel his musical family probably played and the blues of Jimmy Reed and Lightnin’ Hopkins, two of his first inspirations. White uses a quartet of musicians - guitarist Reggie Young, organist David Briggs, bassist Norbert Putnam and drummer Kenny Malone – that bring out the soulful strut and stomping blues of these songs. On “No News is Good News,” White’s funked-up wah riffing, backed by Briggs’ chunky organ, is reminiscent of another swamp-funk unit from the Louisiana, the Meters. “Backwoods Preacher Man” celebrates a gospel country preacher with greasy slide guitar and a heavy low-end. On such pieces, White sounds as much like a soul singer as a good ol’ country boy, never climbing out of a husky bass-baritone range. With no adjusting, the dusky grind of “Did Somebody Make a Fool Out of You” could be covered by such deep-throated soul masters as Solomon Burke and Isaac Hayes. He laces his velvety shudders on “Taking the Midnite Train” with powerful sensual ambiguity, as much sexual as it is sentimental. In other places, White reflects other influences from Country’s melting pot. “Ol’ Mother Earth” and “California On My Mind” float on the easy breeze of folk-rock. “For Ol’ Times Sake” is just a string section and choir away from pure Nashville pop. And of course, nostalgia, one of Country’s favorite moods, crops up repeatedly. The instrumental title track, with the bleary buzz of White’s harmonica, tugs the listener backwards to an idyllic childhood sweetness. The boogie of “Saturday Nite in Oak Grove, Louisiana” reminiscences about "going to town and circling the Dairy Queen to see who is hanging out" and pick-up trucks with fiberglass mufflers. “Lazy,” which celebrates fishing and the liberation it bestows, brings the album full circle. The song rocks dreamily, a porch-swing blues White could most likely write in his sleep. Intentionally or not, White sums up Country music’s complicated, mongrel origins in just a few simple songs. © Matthew Wuethrich, © 2002-2005 Dusted Magazine. All Rights Reserved



BIO (Wikipedia)

Tony Joe White (born July 23, 1943, Oak Grove, Louisiana) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist best known for his 1969 hit "Polk Salad Annie", and for "Rainy Night in Georgia" which he wrote but was firstly made popular by Brook Benton, and "Steamy Windows" - a hit for Tina Turner in 1989. "Polk Salad Annie" was also recorded by Elvis Presley and Tom Jones. Nicknamed "the Swamp Fox" in France (according to a European documentary),he is regarded as an original exponent of the sub-genre swamp rock. His songs have been recorded by at least 60 major artists. Tony Joe White was born one of seven children and raised on a cotton farm near the small town of Oak Grove, Louisiana.. When Tony Joe was 16, Charles, the oldest of the White children, brought home a Lightnin' Hopkins album and started teaching blues guitar to his younger brother. As a child he listened not only to local bluesmen and country singers but also to the distinctive cajun music of Louisiana, a hybrid of traditional musical styles introduced by French-Canadian settlers at the turn of the nineteenth century. White began performing at school dances, and after graduating, started playing in night clubs in Louisiana and Texas. He formed his first band, 'Tony White & His Combo', while still in his teens. The three youngsters (Tony Joe White, 20, Robert McGuffey, 19 and Jim Griffith, 22) played a night club in Kingsville,Tx for an uninterrupted engagement of eight months (six nights a week) in 1964. 'Tony White & His Combo' was followed by 'Tony Joe And The Mojos' and 'Tony's Twilights' and for the next seven years White worked the small clubs of the South before deciding to embark on a solo career singing his own compositions. In 1967 White signed to Monument Records which operated from a recording studio in the Nashville suburb of Hendersonville, Tennessee, and produced a variety of sounds, including Rock and Roll, Country and Western, and Rhythm and Blues. Billy Swan was his producer. Over the next three years White released four singles with no commercial success stateside (although "Soul Francisco" was a hit in France). "Polk Salad Annie" had been released for nine months and written off as a failure by his record label when it finally entered the U.S. charts in July 1969. It climbed into the Top Ten by early August eventually reaching No. 8. It was the biggest hit Tony Joe White ever had. White's first album, 1969's Black and White, was recorded with Muscle Shoals musicians David Briggs, Norbert Putnam, and Jerry Carrigan, and featured "Willie and Laura Mae Jones" and "Polk Salad Annie", along with covers of Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman". Three more singles quickly followed, all minor hits, and White toured with Steppenwolf, Sly and the Family Stone, Creedence Clearwater Revival and other big rock acts of the 1970s, playing in France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and England. In 1973 Tony Joe White appeared in the film Catch My Soul, a rock-opera adaption of Shakespeare's Othello. It was directed by Patrick McGoohan and produced in the UK by Richard Rosenbloom and Jack Good. The cast included Richie Havens, Season Hubley, Susan Tyrrell, Bonnie Bramlett, Lance LeGault, Delaney Bramlett and Family Lotus. Tony Joe White played and sang four and composed seven songs for the musical. In late September 1973, White was recruited by record producer Huey Meaux to sit in on the legendary Memphis sessions that became the landmark Southern Roots album of Jerry Lee Lewis. By all accounts, these sessions were a three-day, around the clock party, which not only reunited the original MGs (Steve Cropper, Donald "Duck" Dunn and Al Jackson Jr. of Booker T. and the MGs fame) for the first time in three years, but also featured Carl Perkins, Mark Lindsay (of Paul Revere and the Raiders), and Wayne Jackson plus The Memphis Horns. Between 1976 and 1983 White released three more albums, each on a different label. Trying to combine his own swamp-rock sound with the at the time popular disco music, the results were disappointing and White gave up his career as a singer on concentrated on writing songs. In 1989 Tony Joe White produced Tina Turner's "Foreign Affair album". Playing a variety of instruments on the album, he also wrote four songs, including the title song and the hit single Steamy Windows. As a result of this he became managed by Roger Davis, who was Tina Turner's Manager at the time, and he obtained a new contract with Polydor. The resulting album; 1991's "Closer to the Truth" was a commercial success and put White back in the spotlight. He released two more albums for Polydor; "The Path of a Decent Groove" and "Lake Placid Blues" which was co-produced by Roger Davis. In the '90's White toured Germany and France with Joe Cocker and Eric Clapton and in 1992 he played the Montreux Festival. In 2000, Hip-O Records released "One Hot July" in the U.S., giving White his first new major-label domestic release in 17 years. The critically acclaimed "The Beginning" appeared on Swamp Records in 2001, followed by "Heroines", featuring several duets with female vocalists including Jessi Colter, Shelby Lynne, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, and Michelle White, from Sanctuary in 2004, and a live Austin City Limits concert, "Live from Austin, TX", from New West Records in 2006. In 2007 White released another live recording, "Take Home the Swamp", as well as the compilation "Introduction to Tony Joe White". One of his more recent performances was on 14 July 2006 in Magny-Cours, France, as a warm-up act for Roger Waters' Dark Side of the Moon concert. White's album entitled Uncovered was released in September 2006 and featured collaborations with Mark Knopfler, Michael McDonald, Eric Clapton, Waylon Jennings and J. J. Cale. Rory Gallagher did a cover of White's song "As The Crow Flies" on his live album, Irish Tour. Southern Culture On The Skids paid tribute to White in their 1996 song "Voodoo Cadillac" with the first stanza lyric: "Come on baby, take a ride with me / Up the Mississippi, down to New Orleans / Tuck and roll, FM stereo / Got some Tony Joe White on my radio." In 2005 UK blues singer Elkie Brooks covered White's "Out Of The Rain", releasing it as a single and featuring it on her album Electric Lady. The version is now a staple of Elkie's repertoire. Coincidentally Brooks had recorded an old number of White's, "Aspen, Colorado" with her first rock band, 'Dada' in 1970. The following is an incomplete list of artists who have covered Tony Joe White songs: Wendel Adkins, Chet Atkins, John Anderson, The Animals, Long John Baldry, Brook Benton, Eric Burden, Solomon Burke, Ace Canon, Clarence Carter, Ray Charles, Joe Cocker, Mark Collee, Jessi Colter, Rita Coolidge, Randy Crawford, Clifford Curry, Climax Blues Band, Dada, Joe Dassin, David Dee, Donnie Fritts, Rory Gallagher, Amos Garret, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Johnny Hallyday, Andy Hamilton, Johnny Hammond, Emmylou Harris, Isaac Hayes Movement, Roy Head, Levon Helm, Richie Holmes, John Holt, Chuck Jackson, Etta James, Jason & the Scorchers, Waylon Jennings, Rodney Jones, Tom Jones, Patricia Kaas, Jim Kahr, B.B. King, Kris Kristofferson, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Sleepy LaBeef, Light Of Darkness, Delbert McClinton, Freddie North, Herbie Mann, Dutch Mason, John Mayal, Freddie North, Roy Orbison, Christine Perfect, The Persuasions, Wilson Pickett, Jimmy Powell, Elvis Presley, Boots Randolf, Jerry Reed, Charlie Rich, Nelson Riddle, Billy Lee Riley, Johnny Rivers, Otis Rush, Earl Scruggs, Troy Seals, Ronnie Sessions, Joe Simon, Dusty Springfield, Candi Staton, Amii Stewart, Betty Swan, The Jazz Crusaders, BJ Thomas, Irma Thomas, Nicky Thomas, Little Tony, Tina Turner, Conway Twitty, Sam Moore, Kenny Vernon, Jacky Ward, Great White, Wild Cherry, Hank Williams Jr, Bluesboy Willie, David Wills, Nancy Wilson, Philippe Winling, Link Wray, Paul Young, Zetterberg & Co.