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Mizar6

babydancing




Get this crazy baby off my head!

APOLOGIES

Sorry about not re-posting. I've an illness in my family, but I will reply to all ASAP. For the time being, my beautiful friend, Eva is helping me out. Thank you for your understanding...Paul

30.6.09

Dave Meniketti




Dave Meniketti - On The Blue Side - 1998 - Blue Moon Music

Like the Foghat "Return Of The Boogie Men" album on this blog, it's always great to hear artists you normally associate with heavy metal rock, geting back to the blues, and record albums like "On The Blue Side". This is a great album from Y&T's Dave Meniketti. He has written nine of the tracks here, and also covers three blues classics, "Man's World", "Loan Me a Dime", and "Parchman Farm". Although the album occasionally drifts into Dave's more heavy metal side, it never gets too overpowering, and remains essentially a very good blues rock album. Dave's guitar work is scintillating. Buy his "Meniketti" for more great blues rock.

TRACKS

Man's World - Brown, Newsome
Angel On My Shoulder
Can't Do Nothin' Right
Loan Me a Dime - Robinson
Until the Next Time
Just Coastin'
Bad Feeling
Say Goodbye
Parchman Farm - Allison
Take It Like A Man
Baby Blues
Mister Blister

All songs composed by Dave Meniketti, except where stated

MUSICIANS

Dave Meniketti - Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Multi Instruments
Myron Dove - Bass
Joe Heinemann - Keyboards
Jimmy DeGrasso - Drums
Ron Wikso - Percussion, Drums

REVIEW

Despite being best known as the guitar slinger for Bay Area pop metallists Y&T, Dave Meniketti has always had a fondness for the blues, as heard throughout his first-ever solo album, 2000s On the Blue Side. Although it's not new for a metal guitarist to rediscover their blues roots (Gary Moore successfully reinvented himself as a bluesmen in the early '90s), Meniketti gets to show off his blues chops throughout. Included is an album-opening cover of James Brown's "Man's World," while Meniketti does a pretty darn impressive Billy Gibbons impersonation on "Angel on my Shoulder." He pays tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan on "Just Coastin'," and pours out his heart and soul on "Until Next Time." Those who have Meniketti pegged as merely a heavy metal guitarist will certainly change their tune after hearing On the Blue Side. © Greg Prato, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

Dave Meniketti (born December 12, 1953) is a lead guitarist and singer/ songwriter for 70's/80's Hard rock/Blues/Heavy metal band Y&T. Dave Meniketti has also done two individual solo efforts, which are more blues-oriented, but is touring with Y&T on an off and on basis. Dave Meniketti was born and raised in Oakland, California where he has been an icon for guitar players worldwide and a San Francisco Bay Area vocal and guitar legend for over two decades. Perhaps it is the diversity of the artists that influenced him as a kid (Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane, Sammy Hagar, James Brown, Led Zeppelin) that is responsible for his varied expressions in both his singing and guitar playing. As the lead singer/lead guitarist with Bay Area Rockers Y&T, Meniketti has sold over 4 million records worldwide, recorded 17 albums and toured across the United States and around the world. His style has influenced some of the major stars in rock and over the years he's been asked to join many top bands including Ozzy Osbourne and Whitesnake. Secret Chiefs 3 and former Mr. Bungle guitarist Trey Spruance said in an interview with Kerrang! Magazine, 1991, that "... of course, I owe it [his guitar playing speed] all to Y&T. Dave Meniketti is my god." While Y&T took a break from recording and performing, Meniketti built his own recording studio in his home, and proceeded to record his first solo album titled ON THE BLUE SIDE which represented his passion for the blues. He would later release a follow up album simply titled, MENIKETTI.

29.6.09

Oli Brown




Oli Brown - Open Road - 2008 - Ruf

Still only 18 Oli Brown has already been on the road for nearly two years with his own band (Fred Hollis, bass; Simon Dring, drums) during which time they have gigged persistently all over the UK and twice toured in America. Along the way they have supported numerous blues stars such as Buddy Guy, Koko Taylor, Taj Mahal, Walter Trout and John Mayall & His Bluesbreakers. In February this year they were invited to the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis by the owner John Fry: the live performance they recorded for the online "Ardent Session" received 1.4 million hits in three weeks! "Young Oli oozes the Blues from every part of his being - in fact his enthusiasm is addictive. He's got a great vocal range and his intonation is superb. His guitar work has all the class of someone four times his age. The Blues isn't dead, it's in new hands." © Carol Borrington (Blues Matters).

Great new blues with a twist. Check for future releases from this band.

TRACKS

1.Psycho
2.Open Road
3.Stone Cold (Roxanne)
4.Can't Get Next To You
5.Shade Of Grey
6.All The Kings Horses
7.Black Betty
8.Missing You
9.New Groove
10.Played By The Devil
11.Complicated

BAND

Oli Brown - guitar, vocals
Fredy Hollis - bass, backing vocals
Simon Dring - drums, backing vocals

REVIEW

It's been a long time coming but in Oli Brown the UK has potentially a new talent capable of filling the rock blues niche. At barely 18, Oli has already made huge strides, coming from seemingly nowhere to pick up a guitar at 16 and turn pro barely a year later. And while 'Open Road' may not be the greatest debut album to hit the racks in a decade, there's enough strong funky grooves at play and an engaging edgy guitar style that grows in confidence as the set progresses to suggest that there's plenty more good music to come. Perhaps the most notable thing to mention is that unlike many of his American contemporaries Oli's approach is governed by finding the right groove with which to develop his musical ideas rather than the million notes a minute approach. Sure there are some crisp solos here but the songs remain the key element in the mix. And while some of the lyrics such as 'Psycho' for example, might seem a little forced for an 18 year old, it's refreshing to fi nd such a young man in a lyric led funky mode. The album opens with a neat slice of funk complete with a lovely tone, and he overcomes a few nervous flutters to develop an increasingly confident style. Oli makes good use of some basic dynamics and uses his voice to good effect on 'Roxanne' before a fine stab at The Temptations 'Can't Get Next To You'. In some respects 'Open Road' seems to be an album of two halves with both Oli and his rhythm section overcoming some early studio claustrophobia to find their feet on the impressive 'All The Kings Horses' which benefits from a fatter sound courtesy of Govert Van Der Kolm's B3 organ. The more relaxed approach on the track is offset by Oli's playing which burns with some real intensity as he almost imperceptibly ups the tempo of the song. On the equally impressive drifting blues 'Missing You' he finds a deep tone to carve out a mellow mood with a contrasting edgy solo, before heading into the live favourite 'New Groove', a languid shuffle which translate well into the studio setting. And by the penultimate track 'Played By the Devil', one of three band penned efforts, you can almost feel the band growing in confidence as they swing things up. Overall Oli just about pulls things off, though you can't help but think that everyone is in such a rush to bring on a new talent, that had this been a few years ago, he would have continued his busy road work and perhaps accumulated a few more songs and then finally teamed up with a producer who could bring his experience to bear on the best of the raw material. As it is, that may still happen in due course and until then this album is an exciting calling card from an exciting18 year old talent who fulfils his huge potential in parts ***1/2 Review © Pete Feenstra, www.getreadytorock.com

RELEASE NOTES

The great British blues players, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton and Peter Green among others, conquered the world in the early sixties, - appearing to leave unequivocal magic in their wake. There have been times since, when it was hard to see anything like a credible follow-up to these legends. If you ever worried for the future of the blues, then fret no longer. Oli Brown is the real deal, ready to carry the torch of British Blues in the 21st century, taking inspiration from today's contemporary bluesmen like Aynsley Lister. Already paying his dues, Oli has shared a stage with giants Koko Taylor, Walter Trout, John Mayall and Buddy Guy. Open Road will take you on a journey through Blues City, where the musical architecture is splendidly diverse - sublime use of light and shade is Oli's speciality, a gift so rare, it is easy to see that the new generation of the blues is in safe hands. Taking a trip down this open road will enable you to feel more than just the wind in your hair - you'll feel the destiny of the blues for a modern age. © Ruf Records

BIO

In 2006 Oli Brown was told by Carl Gustafson from the American Blues band Blinddog Smokin' that he should form his own band in his own name - this was the birth of The Oli Brown Band. Towards the end of 2006, whilst playing at jam sessions in Norwich, Oli met drummer Simon Dring whom he really admired and asked if he would be prepared to join the band. Oli's next task was to find a bass player. Luckily, Simon knew of a talented bassist and recommended that Oli give Fredy Hollis a call. January 2007 saw Oli, Simon and Fredy start rehearsals, and March 1 saw The Oli Brown Band perform their first gig at The Walnut Tree Shades in Norwich. After that first gig, the rest of 2007 saw the band playing up and down the country. One of the highlights was recording a live session for BBC Radio 2 (at Maida Vale studios) for the Paul Jones Blues Show which was transmitted 14 May 2007. Other highlights included supporting acts like Walter Trout, Aynsley Lister, Devon Allman, Ian Parker, as well as performances for various local radio stations. 2008 was an exciting and extremely busy year: In January Oli signed to Ruf Records and went to Germany (with Fredy and Simon of course) to record his first Ruf Records album, titled "Open Road", it was released in June and received great reviews. In February, whilst in America, The Oli Brown Band were invited to record at the legendary Ardent Studios in Memphis, by John Fry himself. (Ardent Studios have been involved with the recording of albums by artists such as REM, The White Stripes, Led Zeppelin, Isaac Hayes, ZZ Top, the list goes on and on) Oli and the band recorded a couple of tracks and then performed a live session for "The Ardent Sessions". The hits on the website for The Oli Brown Band set was over 1.4 million in three weeks. Oli went back to the States for the month of August 2008 and was performing with Blinddog Smokin, Sherman Robertson, Miss Blues, Billy Branch and did his own Oli Brown set too! The Oli Brown Band just gets stronger and stronger, securing support slots in 2008 with artist such as Jon Cleary, Johnny Winter, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robben Ford, Walter Trout and Devon Allman, as well as headlining their own gigs. These gigs saw them playing in larger venues and increasing their rapidly growing fan base. 2009 saw The Oli Brown Band carry out their first major UK tour. This was the OPEN ROAD Tour, presented by HMV in association with Rhino Agency. The rest of 2009 sees the band perfoming at various festivals both in and out of the UK and ending with a further UK Tour. If you have not see The Oli Brown Band live, please check out the gigs page and book yourself into one - you will NOT be disappointed. © www.oliselectricblues.co.uk/index2.html

MORE ABOUT OLI BROWN

Oli has played guitar since the age of 12. His first main guitar playing influence was Jimi Hendrix. The Blues initially was a genre of music for him to solo over and he didn’t take the time to really understand its meaning, but, in 2005, when invited to the States to guest with American Blues band Blinddog Smokin’, that all changed. Carl Gustafson (who initially invited him to the States) and the rest of Blinddog, took time out of their busy touring schedule to explain some of the history and meaning of the Blues. Whilst with this American band Oli also learnt more about stage performance, soloing , timing. Oli has been back to the States on numerous occasions to be with Carl and the band and all these trips have helped develop Oli's writing, singing and playing to produce a consummate performer. The America tours each summer with Blinddog Smokin' has seen Oli open for artists such as Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Delbert McClinton, Koko Taylor, Eric Sardinas and many others. In England. Oli has had the pleasure of playing alongside Walter Trout, Robben Ford, Devon Allman and many other great artists, including the legendary Godfather of British Blues John Mayall ! Oli has many guitar heroes that have influenced his playing, far too many to name them all, but they include Chris Cain, Albert Collins, Freddie King, B.B. King, Albert King, Hollywood Fats, Hendrix, Stevie Ray etc the list goes on. Oli's other musical influences include Tom Waits, Jon Cleary, Jonny Lang, The Big Pill and Psychedelic Zombies. This is a full-time career for Oli and his education now comes from life on the road and the people he meets along the way. © www.oliselectricblues.co.uk/oli_brown.html

Supertramp




Supertramp - King Biscuit Flower Hour 1977 - 1998 - Unof.

A great English rock band in the tradition of 10cc, The Kinks, etc., with strong and intelligent songs, composed mainly by Roger Hodgson, and Rick Davies. The band released some very good albums in the mid '70s, like "Crime of the Century" and "Crisis? What Crisis?", and the brilliant quadruple platinum "Breakfast In America" album. This concert was recorded on 5/2/77 at The Royal Alber Hall, London, as part of Supertramp's "Even in the Quietest Moments" tour. It's from an FM source. King Biscuit was a syndicated show used by many different radio stations. Wikipedia notes that "The concerts were usually recorded with a mobile recording truck, then mixed and edited for broadcast on the show within a few weeks. In the 1970s, the show was sent to participating radio stations on reel-to-reel tape." Many of these broadcasts were officialy released. Sound quality can vary, as many of the "unofficial" recordings have not been sonically enhanced.

TRACKS

1 Intro - Radio Voiceover (0:51)
2 Give A Little Bit (4:17)
3 Bloody Well Right (6:47)
4 Sister Moonshine (5:49)
5 From Now On (6:46)
6 Hide In Your Shell (7:31)
7 Poor Boy (5:03)
8 Dreamer (3:21)
9 Fool's Overture (11:04)

Nearly all Supertramp songs were credited to Davies and Hodgson, but, usually, the person you hear singing the song is the person who wrote it.Roger Hodgson is the main writer of well known hits such as "The Logical Song", "Dreamer", "Give A Little Bit", "Breakfast in America", "It's Raining Again", "and Take the Long Way Home"

BAND

Roger Hodgson - Vocals, Piano, Guitars, Keyboards
Rick Davies - Vocals, Piano, Harmonica, Keyboards, Melodica
Dougie Thomson - Bass
Bob Siebenberg - Drums, Percussion
John Helliwell - Saxophone, Woodwinds, Backing Vocal, Keyboards, Melodica

Judy Collins




Judy Collins - Sings Lennon & McCartney - 2007 - Wildflower

There are thousands of albums covering Lennon & McCartney songs. The classic songs of The Beatles have been adapted to suit every musical genre. The Beatles composed Blues, hard rock, ballads, and touched on the Avant Garde with songs like "I Am The Walrus", and "Strawberry Fields Forever". Yet, in the main, many of Lennon and McCartney and George Harrison songs will be mostly remembered for their beautiful melodies. It is amazing that The Beatles lifespan was a mere eight years, but in that time they turned out many, many classic songs, and are up there with great composers of the past like Irving Berlin, and Cole Porter. As regards the Beatle's reputation as modern composers, there is no need to elaborate. Many music polls have constantly nominated Lennon & McCartney as the "greatest composers of all time". Songs like ."Yesterday", ."Blackbird", ."Penny Lane", and ."When I'm Sixty Four" are some of the classic melodic Beatle songs that will live forever, and these are the songs that Judy Collins covers here in her pure, gorgeous voice, the voice of a nightingale. All the song here have a beautiful graceful subtlety, so typical of Judy Collins' unique voice. Listen to Judy's great "Maid of Constant Sorrow, " and "Judy Sings Dylan... Just Like a Woman" albums. It is also worth hearing Judy's beautiful "In My Life" album, with covers of songs like Randy Newman's classic "I Think It's Going to Rain Today", Leonard Cohen's glorious "Suzanne", and Dylan's "Tom Thumb's Blues". Wikipedia notes that "Collins' version of the song "Suzanne" is considered to be the recording that first introduced Leonard Cohen's music to a wide audience". There is info on Judy's "Judy Collins' Fifth Album" @ JUDCOL/5thALB and you can find Judy's "Wildflowers" album @ JUDCOL/WFLWRS

TRACKS

1."And I Love Her" - 2:58
2."Blackbird" - 2:28
3."Golden Slumbers" - 3:40
4."Penny Lane" - 2:55
5."Norwegian Wood" - 2:52
6."When I'm Sixty Four" - 2:41
7."Good Day Sunshine" - 2:28
8."Hey Jude" - 4:28
9."We Can Work It Out" - 2:23
10."Yesterday" - 2:26
11."I'll Follow the Sun" - 2:11
12."Long & Winding Road" - 3:19

All songs composed by John Lennon, & Paul McCartney

MUSICIANS

Judy Collins - Lead Vocals, Korg
Hugh McCracken - Acoustic Guitar, Guitar
Larry Campbell - Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin
Tony Levin - Bass
Russell Walden - Organ, Piano, Keyboards, fender rhodes, Orchestral Keyboards
Christian Lohr - Organ, Harmonica, Harmonium, Mellotron, Vibes, Mini Moog, Glass
Tony Beard - Percussion, Drums
Mary Wooten, Erik Friedlander - Cello
Taylor Brenner, Paul Rolnick, Margaret Dorn, Angela Cappelli - Background Vocals

SHORT BIO

Judy Collins was one of the major interpretive folksingers of the '60s. A child prodigy at classical piano, she turned to folk music at the age of 15 and released her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, in 1961 when she was 22. That album and its follow-up, The Golden Apples of the Sun, consisted of traditional folk material, with Collins's pure, sweet soprano accompanied by her acoustic guitar playing. By the time of Judy Collins #3, she had begun to turn to contemporary material and to add other musicians. (Jim, later Roger, McGuinn tried out his first arrangements of "The Bells of Rhymney" and "Turn, Turn, Turn" on this album, before using them with The Byrds.) Collins's musical horizons were expanded further by 1966 and the release of In My Life, which added theater music to her repertoire and introduced her audience to the writing of Leonard Cohen; it was one of her six albums to go gold. Her first gold-seller, however, was 1967's Wildflowers, which contained her hit version of "Both Sides Now" by the then-little-known songwriter Joni Mitchell. By the '70s, Collins had come to be identified as much as an art song singer as a folksinger and had also begun to make a mark with her original compositions. Her best-known performances cover a wide stylistic range: the traditional gospel song "Amazing Grace," the Stephen Sondheim Broadway ballad "Send in the Clowns," and such songs of her own as "My Father" and "Born to the Breed." Collins recorded less frequently after the end of her 23-year association with Elektra Records in 1984, though she made two albums for Gold Castle. In 1990, she signed to Columbia Records and released Fires of Eden, her 23rd album. A move to Geffen preceded the 1993 release of Judy Sings Dylan...Just Like a Woman; Shameless followed on Atlantic in 1994. Six years later, Collins released All on a Wintry Night. © William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide



MORE ABOUT THE ARTIST

Judy Collins has thrilled audiences worldwide with her unique blend of interpretative folksongs and contemporary themes. Her impressive career has spanned more than 40 years. At 13, Judy Collins made her public debut performing Mozart's "Concerto for Two Pianos" but it was the music of such artists as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, as well as the traditional songs of the folk revival, that sparked Judy Collins' love of lyrics. She soon moved away from the classical piano and began her lifelong love with the guitar. In 1961, Judy Collins released her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow, at the age of 22 and began a thirty-five year association with Jac Holzman and Elektra Records. Judy Collins is also noted for her rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" on her classic 1967 album, Wildflowers. "Both Sides Now" has since been entered into the Grammy's Hall of Fame. Winning "Song of the Year" at the 1975 Grammy's Awards show was Judy's version of "Send in the Clowns," a ballad written by Stephen Sondheim for the Broadway musical "A Little Night Music." Released on September 29th, Judy's new book, Sanity and Grace, A Journey of Suicide, Survival and Strength, is a deeply moving memoir, focusing on the death of her only son and the healing process following the tragedy. The book speaks to all who have endured the sorrow of losing a loved one before their time. In the depths of her suffering, Judy found relief by reaching out to others for help and support. Now, she extends her hand to comfort other survivors whose lives have been affected by similar tragedy. In a recent appearance on ABC's Good Morning America, Judy performed "Wings of Angels," the heartbreaking ballad that she wrote about the loss of her son. The song is currently available on the newly released Judy Collins Wildflower Festival CD and DVD, which also feature guest artists Arlo Guthrie, Tom Rush and Eric Andersen. This extraordinary concert was filmed at the famed Humphrey's By the Bay in San Diego, CA. The concert was the culmination of a 25 city national tour. Judy Collins continues to create music of hope and healing that lights up the world and speaks to the heart. © HDtracks 2007 - 2008

28.6.09

Climax Blues Band




Climax Blues Band - FM Live - 1973 - Sire

Recorded live in 1973 at the Academy of Music in New York and broadcast live on WNEW-FM radio. Climax Blues Band were a very underrated 70s English blues band. CBB was usually the opening act for bands of far lesser talentt. CBB released many albums during their career, but this live album demonstrates CBB doing what they did best - playing live in front of a live audience. "FM Live" has a few brilliantly played originals and also superb covers of Willie Dixon's classic "Seventh Son," and Jimmy Reed's "Goin' to New York". The album concludes with a great version of Wilbert Harrison's "Let's Work Together" which was covered superbly by the great Canned Heat. This is an album of convincing live takes. It shows the strength, energy, and technical know-how of this great band. A brilliant album which has received huge acclaim from audiences and critics alike, and VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Buy the band's great "Rich Man" album

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 All the Time in the World - Climax Blues Band
2 I Am Constant - Climax Blues Band
3 Flight - Climax Blues Band
4 Seventh Son - Dixon
5 Standing by a River - Climax Blues Band
6 So Many Roads - Paul
7 Mesopopmania - Climax Blues Band
8 Country Hat - Climax Blues Band
9 You Make Me Sick - Climax Blues Band
10 Shake Your Love - Climax Blues Band, Gottehrer
11 Goin' to New York - Reed
12 Let's Work Together - Harrison

BAND

Colin Cooper - Guitar, Saxophone, Vocals
Peter Haycock - Guitar, Vocals
Derek Holt - Bass, Drums
John Cuffley - Drums

REVIEWS

This live recording finds the British boogie-band stadium rockers at their mature best, performing their unique take on blues and jazz classics like "Seventh Son," "Going to New York," and "Let's Work Together." There's an extended instrumental passage on "Flight," and "Mesopopmania" highlights Colin Cooper and Peter Haycock's Allmans-style dueling guitars, while "So Many Roads" features a gorgeous Peter Green-style guitar workout, and "Shake Your Love" is a bone-rattling Bo Diddley-esque jam. © 2000-2009 HBDirect

If you were looking for a band with substantial blues roots, technically excellent playing both individually and collectively, and a live excitement that grabs and never lets go, you couldn't do much better than the Climax Blues Band. This English quartet has been around in roughly the same form ever since Rod Stewart and Long John Baldry were obscure blues singers; and FM Live is a fine sampler of their live act, using uptempo blues-rockers to establish a primal intensity sustained throughout a spirited set. Colin Cooper's booming baritone vocals and inventive sax blowing (he plays lines like pre-Thirties Chicago blues guitarists) are spectacularly well-blended with Pete Haycock's tastefully flashy guitar, all of which is intertwined around the urgent poundings of a highly sympathetic rhythm section. The result is a lengthy but not excessive show that's highly enjoyable -- the product of a tight, talented professional unit. © Gordon Fletcher, © Rolling Stone, 4/11/74.

Good time rock, spiced with a bluesy feeling, is the happy calling card of this band heard in a concert in New York. Its vocal blend is basically in the midrange with simple guitar breaks and drums that don't drive you nuts. "All The Time In The World" and "Flight" showcase the fine musicianship of Pete Haycock on guitar, Colin Cooper on sax and guitar, Derek Holt on bass and John Cuffely on drums. The music tends to run a little fuzzy ("Goin' To New York"), but it's livable. © Billboard, 1974.

A truly superior double LP set from one of England's more interesting exponents of blues. Combining straight blues-rock with some belligerent jazz bastardizations, this exciting foursome gets a lot of mileage out of their musical idiom. With anchoring bass and cannon volley drum rhythms laying a firm foundation, Climax lets loose some frenzied reed work and the hottest, nastiest guitar work this side of early Clapton and Page. Although not a perfect album, FM/Live comes close enough to please the beejeebers outta ya. © Ed Naha, Circus, 1/74.

SHORT BIO

Led by Colin Cooper, the former frontman of the R&B unit The Hipster Image, the Stafford, England-based Climax Chicago Blues Band was one of the leading lights of the late-1960s blues boom. A sextet also comprised of guitarists Derek Holt and Peter Haycock, keyboardist Arthur Wood, bassist Richard Jones and drummer George Newsome, the group debuted in 1969 with a self-titled effort recalling the work of John Mayall. Prior to the release of 1969's Plays On, Jones left the group, prompting Holt to move to bass. In 1970 the Climax Chicago Blues Band moved to the Harvest label, at the same time shifting towards a more rock-oriented sound on the LP A Lot Of Bottle. Around the release of 1971's Tightly Knit, Newsome was replaced by drummer John Holt; upon Wood's exit in the wake of 1972's Rich Man, the unit decided to continue on as a quartet, also dropping the "Chicago" portion of their name to avoid confusion with the American band of the same name. In 1974 The Climax Blues Band issued Fm Live, a document of a New York radio concert. 1975's Stamp was their commercial breakthrough, and 1976's Gold Plated fared even better, spurred on by the success of the hit "Couldn't Get It Right." However, the rise of punk effectively stopped the group in their tracks, although they continued recording prolifically well into the 1980s; after 1988's Drastic Steps, The Climax Blues Band was silent for a number of years, but resurfaced in 1994 with Blues From The Attic. © Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

Imperial Crowns




Imperial Crowns - Imperial Crowns - 2000 - Black Olive

The L.A band, The Imperial Crowns certainly have their own blues rock flavour, relying heavily on bursts of slide guitar and terrific blues harp bursts from Jimmie Wood.. The band play some great Southern Californian funk, often with a great "Little Feat" type Louisiana swamp flavour. You can also hear elements of Captain Beefheart, Iggy Pop, Blind Lemon Jefferson, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, and Tony Joe White thrown in the mix. The Imperial Crowns play mostly original compositions full of colourful imagery, and brought to life by the original Hollywood kid, Jimmie Wood. Jimmie has stated that " We are The Imperial Crowns and we're pimping the blues." This s/t album has an unusual blues rock sound, touching at times on sixties psychedelic rock. Buy the band's great "Star Of The West" album, and check out the band's "Hymn Book" album @ IMPCRWNS/HMBK Check the BAND'S WEBSITE

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Ramblin' Woman Blues - Holiday, Wood
2 (I'm Gonna) Hunt You Down - Adcock, Holiday, Wood
3 Preachin' the Blues - Holiday, Wood
4 Love TKO - Womack
5 Big Boy - Holiday, Wood
6 Blues Look Whatcha Done - Holiday, Wood
7 Praise His Name - Holiday, Wood
8 Since I Met You Baby - Hunter
9 Altar of Love - Holiday, Wood
10 Stone Righteous - Holiday, Wood
11 Jack O' Diamonds Blue - Traditional

BAND

Jimmie Wood - Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion, Vocals
Lynn Davis - Bass (Electric)
Billy Sullivan - Percussion, Drums, Vocals
J. Holliday - Guitar, Percussion, Vocals
Stephen Allen - Saxophone

Roger Hodgson




Roger Hodgson - Live in Montreal - 2006 - Eagle Rock

Roger Hodgson is one of the most recognizable voices in rock history. Supertramp¹s legendary co-founder and singer-songwriter of the classic hits "Dreamer," "Breakfast in America," "Give a Little Bit," "The Logical Song," "Take the Long Way Home" and many more is reuniting live with his fans, playing the songs that have become the soundtrack of our lives. ROGER HODGSON: TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME LIVE IN MONTREAL finds the distinctive lead singer of Supertramp reviving the group’s classic singles which have become a staple of FM and rock radio. Joined by Aaron McDonald on sax and vocals, the stripped down arrangements, propelled by Hodgson on guitar or piano, take on a new charm and vibrancy. Energetically singing along and showing their appreciation, the crowd clearly loves every minute. © 2009 APT

The tracks on this album are from the 2006 DVD "Take the Long Way Home - Live in Montreal". This album excludes the following bonus tracks and features found on the DVD issue - 1) Even In The Quietest Moments 2) Dreamer (with orchestra) 3) The Logical Song (excerpt with orchestra) 4) Fool's Overture (excerpts with orchestra), Behind The Scenes Film, A Conversation With Roger Hodgson, Montreal Interview, and Roger's Repertoire (full discography with audio clips).

Roger Hodgson is quoted as saying, "There's a certain amount of amazement. To tell you the truth, I think it's more gratitude now. I'm just amazed how much I'm enjoying these songs that I wrote so long ago, on stage. I'm enjoying singing (the songs) more today than I did with Supertramp," said Hodgson. "I am doing these solo shows . . . and there's something about the solo shows, people keep saying how intimate they are. Because I don't have a band around me, I can get inside them." Roger and the great Canadian saxophonist, Aaron MacDonnald really bring out the quality of these beautifully written songs. Buy Roger's brilliant "Open the Door" album, and listen to Supertramps great "Famous Last Words" album, after which Roger left the popular band.

TRACK DETAILS

"Take the Long Way Home"—from the 1979 Supertramp album Breakfast in America
"Give a Little Bit"—from the 1977 Supertramp album Even in the Quietest Moments
"Lovers in the Wind"—from the 1984 solo album In The Eye of the Storm
"Hide in Your Shell"—from the 1974 Supertramp album Crime of the Century
"Oh Brother" (aka "Keep The Pigeons Warm") —an original song exclusive to the Live in Montreal Concert
"The Logical Song"—from the 1979 Supertramp album Breakfast in America
"Easy Does It"—from the 1975 Supertramp album Crisis? What Crisis?
"Sister Moonshine"—from the 1975 Supertramp album Crisis? What Crisis?
"Love is a Thousand Times"—from the 2000 solo album Open the Door
"Breakfast in America"—from the 1979 Supertramp album Breakfast in America
"Don't Leave Me Now"—an original song exclusive to the Live in Montreal Concert
"Dreamer"—from the 1974 Supertramp album Crime of the Century
"It's Raining Again"—from the 1982 Supertramp album Famous Last Words
"School"—from the 1974 Supertramp album Crime of the Century
"Two of Us"—from the 1975 Supertramp album Crisis? What Crisis?
"Give a Little Bit"—from the 1977 Supertramp album Even in the Quietest Moments

Nearly all Supertramp songs were credited to Davies and Hodgson, but, usually, the person you hear singing the song is the person who wrote it. Roger Hodgson is the main writer of well known hits such as "The Logical Song", "Dreamer", "Give A Little Bit", "Breakfast in America", "It's Raining Again", "and Take the Long Way Home"

MUSICIANS

Roger Hodgson - Lead Vocals, Piano, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar
Aaron MacDonnald - , Keyboards, Harmonica, Backing Vocals

BIO

Best known for his stint fronting art pop hitmakers Supertramp, Roger Hodgson was born in Portsmouth, England, on March 21, 1950. He co-founded Supertramp in 1969, serving as their primary singer and songwriter for 13 years. Originally funded by Dutch millionaire Stanley August Mieseages, the group lost his patronages after their first two albums failed to generate much interest. However, 1974's Crime of the Century was a major hit, launching the radio favorites "Dreamer" and "Bloody Well Right." After scoring an international hit in 1977 with "Give a Little Bit" from the album Even in the Quietest Moments..., Supertramp reached their commercial peak with 1979's chart-topping Breakfast in America, which yielded the smashes "Take the Long Way Home," "The Logical Song," and "Goodbye, Stranger" on its way to selling close to 20 million copies. In the wake of 1982's ...Famous Last Words..., Hodgson left Supertramp to mount a solo career, issuing his debut effort, In the Eye of the Storm, in 1984. Within days of issuing the follow-up, 1987's Hai Hai, Hodgson fell and broke both of his wrists; the accident kept him out of action for several years, and he did not resurface until co-writing several songs on Yes' 1994 album Talk. A live solo album, Rites of Passage, followed three years later and featured Hodgson collaborating with son Andrew. Open the Door, his first new studio effort in 13 years, appeared in the spring of 2000. The album received positive responses from critics and fans alike, and Hodgson was subsequently recruited to tour with Ringo Starr as a member of the All-Starr Band. He continued to play solo shows as well, releasing a DVD of one such performance (Take The Long Way Home -- Live in Montreal) in summer 2006. The DVD would go platinum in Canada by that October. © Jason Ankeny & Andrew Leahey, All Music Guide

25.6.09

Foghat




Foghat - Return Of The Boogie Men - 1994 - Modern

Foghat began their career in 1971 as a bunch of rather unpretentious young Brits with an affection for American blues and 50's rock n' roll. By the middle of the decade, they had evolved into a major touring and recording act, playing a pumped up brand of Boogie Rock to arena-size audiences. Their looks grew flashier, their sound fattened and filled out -- yet the roots-rock core of the band remained ever present under the surface. [Taken from Rhino liner notes on Best of Foghat Volume II ]

A mega British rock band during the seventies, Foghat released several top selling albums. The original band split in the early eighties, although some members toured as "The Kneetremblers" and also used the Foghat name. Foghat . The late Dave Peverett formed his own version of Foghat in 1990, and in 1993 got together with the original band. With "Return Of The Boogie Men" in 1994, the band returned to their great blues/rock sound of the late sixties/early seventies. A great album, with Foghat doing what they do best, - Good old fashioned, unpretentious blues rock. Listen to the band's great "Energized" album

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. Jump That Train - Peverett
2. Louisiana Blues - Morganfield
3. Motel Shaker - Jameson, Peverett, Price
4. Play Dirty - Bassett, Peverett
5. Nothin' But Trouble - Peverett, Price
6. Talk to Me Baby - James
7. I Just Want to Make Love to You - (acoustic) - Dixon
8. Take Me to the River - (acoustic) - Green, Hodges
9. That's Alright Mama - (acoustic) - Crudup
10. Feel So Good - (acoustic) - Broonzy
11. I Want You to Love Me - Dixon
12. Writing on the Wall - Peverett, Price

BAND

Lonesome Dave Peverett R.I.P (vocals, guitar)
Rod Price (guitar, slide guitar, dobro, background vocals)
Nick Jameson (guitar, percussion, background vocals)
Tony Stevens (bass, background vocals)
Roger Earl (drums)
John Popper (harmonica)

REVIEW

After many years apart, the original Foghat lineup of vocalist/guitarist Lonesome Dave Peverett, lead and slide guitarist Rod Price, bassist Tony Stevens, and drummer Roger Earl reunited and released the appropriately titled Return of the Boogie Men in 1994. The re-formation was instigated by fan Rick Rubin, noted producer and founder of American Recordings. Return of the Boogie Men is a mixed bag of excellent-to-average originals and electric and acoustic blues covers. Foghat thanks Rubin in the liner notes for pointing the band back to original influences such as Muddy Waters and Elmore James for inspiration. "Jump That Train" is rip-snorting hard rock with wicked slide guitar from Price and inspired singing from Peverett; this fun tune even received a little bit of radio airplay. Waters' "Louisiana Blues" begins and ends acoustically with Blues Traveler's John Popper guesting on harmonica, but the tough electric middle section includes greasy slide guitar. "Motel Shaker" is melodic blues-rock and it's the second best song on the album after "Jump That Train." A four-song acoustic portion includes Willie Dixon's "I Just Want to Make Love to You," Al Green's "Take Me to the River," Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup's "That's Alright Mama," and Big Bill Broonzy's "Feel So Good." Foghat performs Dixon's song much slower than they did on their two revved up electric hit studio and live versions. Return of the Boogie Men and 1998's live Road Cases unexpectedly became Foghat's final two albums when Peverett died of kidney cancer in 2000. © Bret Adams, allmusic.com

BIO

Foghat specialized in a simple, hard-rocking blues-rock, releasing a series of best-selling albums in the mid-'70s. While the group never deviated from their basic boogie, they retained a large audience until 1978, selling out concerts across America and earning several gold or platinum albums. Once punk and disco came along, the band's audience dipped dramatically. With its straight-ahead, three-chord romps, the band's sound was American in origin, yet the members were all natives of England. Guitarist/vocalist "Lonesome" Dave Peverett, bassist Tony Stevens, and drummer Roger Earl were members of the British blues band Savoy Brown, who all left the group in the early '70s. Upon their departure, they formed Foghat with guitarist Rod Price. Foghat moved to the United States, signing a record contract with Bearsville Records, a new label run by Albert Grossman. Their first album, Foghat, was released in the summer of 1972 and it became an album rock hit; a cover of Willie Dixon's "I Just Want to Make Love to You" even made it to the lower regions of the singles charts. For their next album, the group didn't change their formula at all — in fact, they didn't even change the title of the album. Like the first record, the second was called Foghat; it was distinguished by a picture of a rock and a roll on the front cover. Foghat's second album was their first gold record, and it established them as a popular arena rock act. Their next six albums — Energized (1974), Rock and Roll Outlaws (1974), Fool for the City (1975), Night Shift (1976), Foghat Live (1977), Stone Blue (1978) — all were best-sellers and all went at least gold. "Slow Ride," taken from Fool for the City, was their biggest single, peaking at number 20. Foghat Live was their biggest album, selling over two million copies. After 1975, the band went through a series of bass players; Price left the band in 1981 and was replaced by Erik Cartwright. In the early '80s, Foghat's commercial fortunes declined rapidly, with their last album, 1983's Zig-Zag Walk, barely making the album charts. The group broke up shortly afterward with Peverett retiring from the road. The remaining members of the band (Roger Earl, Erik Cartwright and Craig MacGregor) continued playing together as the Kneetremblers and after some line-up changes decided to revert to the Foghat name. The band toured throughout the decade and into the early 1990's. Perhaps growing tired of early retirement, Lonesome Dave formed his own version of Foghat in 1990 and hit the road. After healing their rift, the original Foghat (Peverett,Price, Stevens and Earl) reformed in 1993 and toured for years, releasing Return of the Boogie Men in 1994 and Road Cases in 1998. The original band broke apart for good with Peverett's passing due to cancer on February 7, 2000. After some time spent mourning, the band soldiered on with a new line-up (adding Charlie Huhn on vocals) and after two years of touring released Family Joules in 2002. Foghat toured for the next few years and regularly issued documents of their live act: The Official Bootleg DVD, Volume 1 in 2004 and Foghat Live II in 2007. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine and Tim Sendra, allmusic.com

If (Italy)




If - Morpho Nestira - 2008 - Independent Release

If is back with a new progressive rock concept album. The words are about the human rendition to materialism, so the music is harder, the rhythms are stronger, the sounds are heavier. Everything has a price, everything is a product, everything is goods. A gigantic Machine was generated following these rules. The Machine now is a part of us and we are part of the Machine, human gears wedged in the new order of “produce and consume”. Our weaknesses feed up the Machine, our natural tendency to get addicted to new and changing needs, our obsession of possession: we need to own things, more things, useless objects become necessary and even relationships, love and sex become products, good with a fixed price. Sex becomes power and this power needs possession. The obsession for possession is our drug, the poison that controls our consciences. We keep on filling our houses with things while we’re getting empty, at the end we’re naked and we lost of the only thing that we can’t buy: our Time. The Machine created our new needs and it satisfied us filling our lives with objects and debts, while we paid with the only thing that we really owned, our Time, the Ocean where our Soul flowed. - © Morpho Nestira, © 2008 Dario Lastella (634479902116 - © http://cdbaby.com/cd/ifsounds2

Not to be confused with the brilliant British progressive jazz rock band from the early seventies, If (2) are a modern Italian progressive symphonic band. "Morpho Nestira" is their fourth album, and musically it's quite good, with unusual elements of jazz, Bossanova and samba rhythms, and fusion. There are unnecessary vocals at the end of tracks which can be irritating, but leaving that criticism aside, the album is enjoyable. "Morpho Nestira" has been labelled as a "concept" album, and at times the sounds are reminiscent of some of Brian Eno or Mike Oldfield's works, although without the same degree of originality. However, the album has musical merit, and is worth a listen. Check out the band's "In the Cave" album.

TRACKS

1. You need (3:32)
2. Morpho Nestira Part 1 (3:18)
3. 10 years old (5:49)
4. Background Noise (3:07)
5. Thirsty (4:15)
6. Learning to communicate (3:53)
7. Unknown eyes (5:42)
8. Poison (3:39)
9. Naked (5:39)
10. Morpho Nestira Part 2 (6:40)
11. Empty (7:44)
12. Oceans of Time (4:13)

MUSICIANS

Dario Lastella - electric and acoustic guitar, synths
Franco Bussoli - bass
Claudio Lapenna - electric and acoustic piano, vocals
Luca Di Pardo - drums
Yul Fecé - saxophone
Loretta Di Pisa, Paolo De Santis - vocals

REVIEWS

Here we go again, another Italian rock band for our consideration. I've got to tell you this is unlike any Italian band I have ever heard, and believe me I have heard a few. I can say, without hesitation, this album was a fabulous find for yours truly. Their brand new album, Morpho Nestira, is a conceptual piece about humanity's quest for gluttonous consumerism and the pursuit of all things materialistic. The subject matter is not your typical prog fare but this isn't your typical prog band. Actually, the theme may bear some resemblance to Porcupine Tree's Fear of a Blank Planet. The band's lineup consists of Franco Bussoli (bass), Paolo De Santis (vocals), Luca Di Pardo (drums), Claudio Lapenna (piano, electric piano, organ, keyboards, synth, vocals) and Dario Lastella (acoustic and electric guitars, synth, vocals). Some of the music infuses a 70s vibe and this is no surprise as the band considers The Who, Genesis and Pink Floyd as major influences. Do not get me wrong, however, as this music mixes nostalgia with a modern sound that is truly riveting. Although this is a concept album, and the songs flow nicely, each is finely crafted showcasing some outstanding melodies. Helping to meld these songs together is the occasional spoken word segment that subtly reminds me of Manfred Mann's Somewhere in Africa. One of the album's highlights is the Pink Floyd influenced "Thirsty" which includes some great saxophone ala Dick Parry. Dreamy keys, lush background vocals and washes of synths reminds one of the glory days of art rock. In contrast, the hard rocking "Poison" really kicks ass with distorted guitar, emotional vocals and a Who-like attitude. The band does a great job at mixing hard and softer parts together creating different shades of light and heavy. Another favourite has to be "Naked" which its lovely piano and vocals. Again, if you like Pink Floyd this song should satisfy as it reminds me of The Final Cut in the softer parts and The Wall in the harder sections. The lyrics of Lastella reflect man's insatiable materialistic goals: "I'm lonely in my room with all the things I have. I've got so many books. I've got a big TV there. I've got all my guitars I needed and I bought, but I can write no more songs, my soul got too cold." And he goes on to say: "Now I've got everything, but I'm nothing and I'm alone." This is a sad commentary on society's obsession with greed and how it can leave us utterly empty inside. Another highlight is the instrumental "Morpho Nestira part 2" featuring some of the best guitar playing on the album, while the music takes a few twists and turns really upping the progressive quotient. The quirkiness of "Empty" should also appeal to progressive fans as well as fans of 70s rock. An atmospheric and wistful beginning gives way to excellent drum fills, thumping bass and unique vocals creating a modern progressive sound. A soft middle section complete with organ and spoken word vocals provides excellent contrast . The album ends strongly with the acoustic driven "Oceans of Time". Beautiful Gilmour-like guitar and a great melody will have you tapping your feet. The song ends with a lovely piano motif and the sounds of waves crashing on the shore. This could very well end up in my top ten of 2009. Lets just hope the rest of the year produces music this good. Highly recommended! © Jon Neudorf, © Sea Of Tranquility, www.seaoftranquility.org

The music business, and those corporations around it, is suffering a slow and painful death. As catastrophic as this may sound to some, the truth is, sales have been dwindling exponentially around the world in the last 5-6 years, and the only “artists” with guaranteed distribution and public exposure are those (don’t need to mention them… just fill the gap with your own personal “blacklisted”) who belong to the big Machine. In If’s own words, “our weaknesses feed the Machine”, and they couldn’t be more right, as this Italian band, along a few thousand more in the musical scene, is another victim of this big, unforgiving device. They have self-produced, and self-released, their latest release, Morpho Nestira (name for a particularly beautiful species of butterfly), apparently a concept album about “human rendition to materialism”. Probably, they chose to do things their own way by not compromising their “art” with a contract, but I’d rather think there wasn’t any contract in sight (correct me if I’m wrong), because there’s not much room left for small independent bands outside mainstream channels. Sadly, this affects the overall result of the album, as production values are poor by professional standards and, as a result, the sound is thin and lacks depth; anyway, I guess the budget was tight, so guitarist Dario Lastella deserves credit for his good job on the controls. My other main grip with this album is Paolo De Santis’ work on vocals. Having a nice tone, as he does, sometimes his voice sounds strained as he tries to project a more powerful performance; besides, his English diction could certainly be much better. Why doesn’t he sing in Italian? Performance and composition-wise, Morpho Nestira sounds reasonably pleasant, with a special mention to Claudio Lapenna’s classy keyboards, and Franco Bussoli’s subdued bass lines. If’s music will remind you of Pink Floyd, especially their mid-period, their most successful, between the releases of Dark Side Of The Moon and The Wall, and this means elegant music and thought-provoking lyrics. Roger Waters’ influence on the overall concept of the album, and more prominently in some specific songs, like Naked (which could have been on The Wall), is evident, but there’s room for more. Thirsty is another Floyd tinged track, but Yul Fecé’s saxophone provides a certain Supertramp flavour. The other main reference, at least to my ears, is Swedish band Ritual. This is not to say they’re a strongly influential band, but vocals often sound very similar to Patrik Lundström’s. This is evident in the more energetic songs, such as You Need, Background Noise or closing track Oceans Of Time, which also show a slight alternative, harder edged character. Elsewhere, there’s a couple of nice instrumentals, the Latin perfumed Morpho Nestira Part 1, and the more reflective and keyboard-oriented Morpho Nestira Part 2, as well as loads of sound effects and voices, perhaps to give the CD more depth and a cohesive, conceptual feel, but I’m not sure it works. In particular, spoken word fragments (in Italian, English, and Spanish) don’t add too much and may be a distraction for some listeners. In closing, this is an acceptable piece of music, marred by its slightly “amateurish” personality, which shows interesting ideas and loads of enthusiasm. If only they had the time, and the means… Conclusion: 6.5 out of 10. © HECTOR GOMEZ , © 1995 - 2009 : Dutch Progressive Rock Page

ABOUT IF (IF 2)

If is an Italian band with it's roots in the 1990s. Five Italian friends played prog and non-prog covers (Pink Floyd, Queen, The Police) next to some of their own material - mainly at high school parties and small rock festivals.After a pause of 4 years, in 2004, the band rejoined, without former drummer Pietro Chissimo and with a new vocalist Paolo De Santis on vocals.The same year, the album In the Cave was released by the band themselves. A year later this was followed by If, which contained newly recorded versions of material written before the turn of the century.The band got quite a bit of attention with this last release, and one track was nominated for a Kayak Award for easy listening...Continuing a track of yearly releases, something that's becoming less and less coming, the band released yet another album in 2006, The Stairway. Again, the album was well received in their home country, and this time two tracks got nominated for Kayak Awards in the category "Progressive Rock".After this, time had come to finally recruite a new drummer after 3 years of doing without. Luca di Pardo joins the band and can first be heard on the 2008 release Morpho Nestira, playing with Claudio Lapenna, Francesco Bussoli, Paolo de Santis and Dario Lastella. This album shows what skilled and trained musicians can do, and to the even so trained listener it reveals clearly which other bands have influenced If. Enjoy... © Prog Archives, All rights reserved

24.6.09

The Groundhogs




The Groundhogs - US Tour '72 - 1999 - Akarma (Italy)

This album is compiled from the "Hoggin the Stage", and "BBC In Concert" sessions. and not from a US radio session as stated on some releases. The album has also been released as "Flight no. 5 to Houston". Some of these "unofficial" releases note that the tracks were "Recorded live in Houston, Texas 1972." The Groundhogs did one US tour in 1972, but not in Houston. Some versions also claim that the tunes are "all traditional songs, arranged by Tony McPhee". Even the official Akarma label release states, "After the successful release of the Live at Leeds album, another Groundhogs live performance is available on the Akarma label. Recorded in 1972, during the American tour made to promote the release of Split , U.S. Tour contains hot renditions of classics like 'Mistreated', 'Cherry Red', 'Still A Fool', and more." If you are a Groundhogs fan, you will most likely have heard these tracks before. If not, enjoy this great underrated band's raw blues rock sound.

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

Mistreated Townsend
Split, Pt. 1 McPhee-
Cherry Red McPhee
Groundhog Davenport
Still a Fool Waters

BAND [Needs Clarification]

Tony McPhee - Guitar/Vocals
Rick Adams - Guitar
Martin Kent , Pete Cruickshank - Bass
Mick Cook , Ken Pustelnik - Drums

Tommy Castro, Jimmy Hall, Lloyd Jones




Tommy Castro, Jimmy Hall, Lloyd Jones - Triple Trouble - 2003 - Telarc

Recorded at UCPA, Unity, Maine in March 2003, artists include Jimmy Hall, and Lloyd Jones. The album is more Jimmy Hall than Tommy Castro, and Tommy's guitar playing is not at the forefront on this album. However, taken as a whole, this is a good album. The sound is a 128 kbit/s version, so don't expect too much in audio quality.

REVIEW

“The rules were simple: just bring your axe, a stack of your favorites, and producer Randy Labbe would supply the rest. What no one ever expected was how effortlessly these musicians would mesh together.” —Art Tipaldi (from the liner notes) One of the most powerful crossroads in the blues tradition is the place where blues, R&B and soul come together. Put a heavy backbeat on the traditional blues structure and charge it with the emotional jolt of gospel music, and the result is something visceral and compelling. Look no further than the music of titans like Sam Cooke, James Brown and Al Green for proof. Guitarists/vocalists Tommy Castro and Lloyd Jones and harpist/saxophonist/vocalist Jimmy Hall celebrate this fine tradition with the release of Triple Trouble, a collection of eleven tracks that indulges their longtime affinity for a classic sound. Castro, Jones and Hall are joined by Double Trouble, the legendary rhythm section (keyboardist Reese Wynans, bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton) that helped put Stevie Ray Vaughan on the map and have become a highly reputable session unit since SRV’s passing more than a decade ago.Triple Trouble encompasses the rollicking and smoldering extremes of R&B and soul, and makes several stops in between. Jones opens the set with a roadhouse rocker called “Sometimes,” while Hall contributes a range of original material: the driving “If That Ain’t Love,” the funky “Love Will” and the melancholy “Midnight to Daylight.” Castro adds further fuel to the fire with the Texas-styled “Mamma Jamma” and the Philly-flavored “Whole Lotta Soul." In addition to the original material, Castro and company try a few classics on for size, including a red-hot rendition of B.B. King’s “Be Careful with a Fool,” featuring some of Hall’s down-and-dirty harp work. Hall throws some tenor sax lines into a spicy rendition of James Brown’s “Good Lovin,’” while Jones turns the Lennon-McCartney classic “Help” into something altogether new and inspirational. The album closes with a funky jam session called “Cold Funk,” one of those impromptu but brilliant moments in the studio that producer Randy Labbe and his crew were lucky enough to capture on tape. Born and raised in San Jose, Tommy Castro has been a longtime favorite of the Bay Area, and has compiled a decade-long discography that has catapulted him to international acclaim. In addition to touring extensively as a headlining act, he was also part of the B.B. King Blues Festival Tour in the summers of 2000 and 2002. His 1999 Blind Pig release, Right As Rain, was voted one of the top blues records of all time by Blues Revue readers. Guitarist/singer/songwriter Lloyd Jones comes out of the Pacific Northwest blues scene, and has been recording on a number of independent labels since the late ‘80s. Blues Revue said his 1995 recording, Trouble Monkey, was “not only one of the best blues albums of 1995, it is one of the best albums of the 1990s.” Robert Cray called it “the best damn record I’ve heard in a long time.” Jimmy Hall, former lead vocalist and harpist for Wet Willie, has been making records since the early ‘70s. Throughout that decade, he and the band toured with Aerosmith, the Allman Brothers, Grand Funk Railroad and the Grateful Dead. He scored a Grammy nomination in 1985 for Best Male Rock Vocalist on Jeff Beck’s Flash album. More recently, he’s played sax and harmonica in Hank Williams Jr.’s touring band. Triple Trouble marks the Telarc debut of all three artists. Check out this recording and hear why three’s a sweet-sounding crowd © 2009 Concord Music Group, Inc. unless otherwise indicated. All rights reserved

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1. Sometimes - Lloyd Jones
2. If That Ain't Love - Keith Stegall, Jimmy Hall, Marbin Morrow
3. Be Careful With A Fool - Joe Josea, Riley B.King
4. Love Will - Keith Stegall, Jimmy Hall
5. Help - Lennon & McCartney
6. Whole Lotta Soul - Tommy Castro, Mark Bryan Gilbert
7. Good, Good Lovin' - A.Schubert, J.Brown
8. Raised In The Country - Lloyd Jones
9. Mammer Jammer - Don Harris, Dewey Terry
10. Midnight To Day - Jimmy Hall, Larry Berwald, Jack Hall
11. Cold Funk - Jimmy Hall, Lloyd Jones, Chris Layton, Thomas Smedley

MUSICIANS

Tommy Castro - vocals, guitar
Lloyd Jones - guitar, background vocals
Tommy Shannon - bass
Reese Wynans - Hammond B-3 organ
Chris Layton - drums
Jimmy Hall - vocals, harmonica, tenor saxophone

23.6.09

Vivian Campbell




Vivian Campbell -Two Sides Of If - 2005 - Diesel Motor

After his tenure in several of heavy metal's most legendary groups (most notably Whitesnake and Def Leppard), Vivian Campbell steps out into the spotlight for his first solo endeavor, and the results are nothing less than impressive. Taking his first vocal bows behind the microphone is a big step for someone who usually lets his fingers do the talking, but Campbell's vocal delivery is surprisingly inoffensive, especially in comparison to some axe slingers who think they have vocal cords. On this 12-song session of gritty, no-frills blues-rock, Campbell pays homage to blues gods like Willie Dixon and Robert Johnson alongside latter-day geniuses like Rory Gallagher. Fans of Campbell's shredding may be taken aback by the switch, but those with open minds and ears will be treated to a pleasant surprise. © Rob Theakston, allmusic.com

It's great to hear what an artist like Vivian Campbell is capable of, away from commercial AOR bands like Whitesnake, or Def Leppard. "Two Sides Of If" is a revelation. Vivian Campbell deviates from the norm, and covers many classic blues rock tunes. He covers Rory Gallagher's "Calling Card", and also Junior Wells' classic "Messin' with the Kid" which was a great favourite of Rory Gallagher. Vivian is known to be a lifelong Rory fan. Three Willie Dixon songs are covered, and two songs by the great Robert Johnson. The great Danny Kirwan's "Like It This Way" is covered brilliantly. Billy Gibbons appears on the songs "Like It This Way" and Billy's own composition, "Willin' For Satisfaction". A great album from Vivian CampbelI. Not a dud track, and worth checking out for any devotees of the early seventies Irish band, Skid Row, early Fleetwood Mac., or Rory Gallagher. The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1 Messin' with the Kid - Wells
2 I'm Ready - Dixon
3 Calling Card - Gallagher
4 Come on in My Kitchen - Johnson
5 The Hunter - Cropper, Dunn, Jackson, Jones, Wells
6 Like It This Way - Kirwan
7 I Ain't Superstitious - Dixon
8 Spoonful - Dixon
9 Reconsider Baby - Fulson
10 Good or Bad Times - Pryor
11 32/20 Blues - Johnson
12 Willin' for Satisfaction - Gibbons

MUSICIANS

Vivian Campbell (vocals, guitar)
Bruce Cornett (rhythm guitar)
Billy F. Gibbons (guitar on "I Like It This Way", & "Willin' For Satisfaction")
Mark Browne (bass instrument)
Tor Hyams (piano, Hammond b-3 organ)
Terry Bozzio (drums)
Michael Fell (harmonica)
Joan Osborne (vocals on "Spoonful")

SHORT BIO

Talented heavy metal guitarist Vivian Campbell burst onto the Irish rock scene along with Raymond Haller, Trevor Flaming, and David Bates in a Belfast-based outfit called Sweet Savage. The opportunity to join Ronnie James Dio's band came soon after. Nevertheless, he left Dio in March 1986 after the Sacred Heart U.S. tour, assembling a new project called Trinity along with drummer Pat Waller and bassist David Watson. In 1987, Vivian Campbell stepped into David Coverdale's Whitesnake, introducing Shadow King in 1990 with a live performance at London's Astoria theater. A self-titled album was released in 1991. A year later his guitar skills were requested by Def Leppard to replace Steve Clark, who died from an overdose of alcohol and drugs. © Drago Bonacich, allmusic.com

BIO (Wikipedia)

Vivian Patrick Campbell (born 25 August 1962 in Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland) is a Northern Irish rock guitarist and a member of Def Leppard. Prior to joining the band in April 1992, he had been a member of the Irish rock band Sweet Savage, and other bands, including Dio, Trinity, Whitesnake, Riverdogs, and Shadow King. Campbell began playing guitar at the age of 12 and it was rumoured that he lasted in school until the age of 16 when he was expelled from Rathmore Grammar School. However, the records show that he left of his own accord and was never expelled. He then went on to dedicate to his musical career joining several bands during the time. He has played for Sweet Savage, Dio, Trinity, Whitesnake, Riverdogs, and Shadow King. He also played on Lou Gramm's (from Foreigner) second solo album Long Hard Look. In 1987, Campbell joined the British heavy metal band Whitesnake. Ex-Thin Lizzy and Tygers of Pan Tang (Spellbound and Crazy Nights albums only) axe-slinger John Sykes played the lead parts on the multi-platinum selling album simply titled Whitesnake, but he was fired by lead singer David Coverdale after the recording of the album, and Campbell replaced him for the subsequent world tour. Campbell was part of the new, glammed-up Whitesnake Coverdale had put together to conquer MTV and American audiences, also including Adrian Vandenberg, formerly of Teaser and Vandenberg, Tommy Aldridge of Ozzy Osbourne and Black Oak Arkansas fame, and Rudy Sarzo, having already become hugely successful playing with Ozzy Osbourne and Quiet Riot. Campbell was fired after the 1987-1988 World Tour, because of "negative attitude". In 1992, Campbell joined the rock band Def Leppard, after the release of their Adrenalize album. He replaced Steve Clark, who died on 8 January 1991. According to fellow guitarist Phil Collen, Campbell was able to lock right into the position very naturally by simply being himself. Campbell made his debut with the band by playing a show in a Dublin club to approximately 600 people. A week later, 20 April 1992, the band took the stage at the Freddie Mercury Concert for Life, with their new guitarist. They performed, "Animal," "Let's Get Rocked," and the Queen classic, "Now I'm Here", with Brian May. He has spent the last 16 years with the band.

22.6.09

Earl Hooker




Earl Hooker - Don’t Have To Worry - 1969 - Bluesway

“It isn't always easy to find unanimity about anything among vintage postwar Chicago blues guitarists, but their awe of their former peer Earl Hooker and their belief that he was the unchallenged best are about as close as they get. And no wonder, given his technical mastery of slide and fretted picking with or without effects, supreme economy of motion, and ability to make the guitar talk in a human voice like no other blues guitarist,” remembers blues authority Dick Shurman. Guitarist Paul Asbell (see CD review in Phonograph Blues), who played with Hooker, adds, “What Earl did great while I was playing with him was play slide, in an amazingly vocal style that resembled no other Chicago player I heard except Robert Nighthawk. He often furthered the vocal effect by combining it with the wah wah pedal. I never heard anything on recordings that really showed how well he could do this, or how great he sometimes sounded. We did a version of James Brown's "I Feel Good" on which his vocal impression was uncanny.” “Hooker was the best,” is the most common response when hip blues folk are queried about Chicago blues guitarists. © Dave Rubin, © 2005 PlayBluesGuitar.com and TrueFire.Com. All Rights Reserved

The late, great slide guitarist Earl Hooker is a hugely respected guitarist amongst countless musicians, and he has influenced many of today's finest blues guitarists. Many of his recordings are generally available, but strangely, it is not easy to find this great album. It would be great to hear more of these great recordings remastered on CD. Some of the tracks have already been issued on other Earl Hooker albums, and other blues compilation albums, especially the Bluesway collection, "Simply The Best ", issued in 1999. The tracks were recorded on 29/5/1969 at Vault Recording Studio, Los Angeles, featuring Johnny "Big Moose" Walker and Little Andrew "Blues Boy" Odom. It was originally released on BlueswayRecords in 1969. Earl Hooker was known to be uncomfortable as a vocalist, and on "Don’t Have To Worry" he mostly plays great guitar, using several different vocalists. His own composition, "Blue Guitar" is now considered aa blues classic, and he covers two Elmore James classics, "The Sky is Crying" and "Look On Yonders Wall." Buy Earl's great "Sweet Black Angel" album.

TRACKS

The Sky Is Crying *
Hookin'
Is You Ever Seen A One-Eyed Woman Cry? []
You Got To Lose #
Blue Guitar

Moanin' And Groanin' *
Universal Rock
Look Over Yonder's Wall ( []
Don't Have To Worry #
Come To Me Right Away, Baby

CREDITS

Earl Hooker, g, # voc; Johnny 'Big Moose' Walker, p, org, [] voc; Little Andrew 'Blues Boy' Odom, * voc; Chester E. 'Gino' Skaggs, b; Jeffrey M. Carp, hca, Paul Asbell, g; Roosevelt Shaw, dr; prod. by Ed Michel



BIO (Wikipedia)

Earl Hooker (January 15, 1929 – April 21, 1970) was an American blues guitarist. Hooker was a Chicago slide guitarist in the same league as Elmore James, Hound Dog Taylor, and his mentor, Robert Nighthawk. Some Chicago blues guitarists even consider Hooker to have been the greatest slide guitarist ever. Born Earl Zebedee Hooker in Clarksdale, Mississippi, from a musically inclined family (he was a cousin of John Lee Hooker), he taught himself to play the guitar around the age of 10, and shortly thereafter his family migrated to Chicago, where he began attending the Lyon & Healy Music School in 1941.[2] From the knowledge he gained there Hooker eventually became proficient on the drums and piano, as well as banjo and mandolin. Whilst a teenager, Hooker performed on Chicago street corners, occasionally with Bo Diddley. He also developed a friendship with Robert Nighthawk, which led to Hooker's interest in the slide guitar and some performances with Nighthawk's group outside of Chicago. In 1949, Hooker moved to Memphis Tennessee, joined Ike Turner's band, and toured the Southern United States. Being in Memphis led to some performances with Sonny Boy Williamson on his KFFA radio program, King Biscuit Time, and to Hooker's first recording dates. By the mid 1950s Hooker was back in Chicago and fronting his own band. He became a steady figure on the Chicago blues scene, and regularly traveled to cities such as Gary and Indianapolis, Indiana, playing blues clubs. Hooker made his first recordings, in 1952 and 1953 for small record labels, Rockin', King, and Sun. He performed on the 1965 European tour with Joe Hinton, (which included an appearance on the UK pop music television program Ready Steady Go!) and a return trip overseas with the American Folk Blues Festival package in 1969. Hooker spent most of the 1960s playing in Chicago clubs with his band, often with Junior Wells. Hooker played slide guitar on the 1962 Muddy Waters recording "You Shook Me". In 1969 he recorded an album, Hooker 'n Steve, with organist and pianist Steve Miller (not to be confused with the guitarist and bandleader Steve Miller) for Arhoolie Records. Hooker also helped popularize the double-neck guitar. The 1970 album Sweet Black Angel, with co-producer Ike Turner, contained songs "I Feel Good", "Drivin' Wheel", "Country and Western", "Boogie", Don't Blot! "Shuffle", "Catfish Blues", "Crosscut Saw", "Sweet Home Chicago", "Mood", and "Funky Blues". Hooker died at the age of 41 in Chicago, Illinois, after a lifelong struggle against tuberculosis, which is alluded to in the title of a 1972 compilation album of his work, There's a Fungus Among Us and on his song, "Two Bugs and a Roach." He is interred in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. His story was told in a 2001 book by author Sebastian Danchin titled Earl Hooker, Blues Master. Although Hooker did not receive the public recognition to the same extent as some of his contemporaries, Jimi Hendrix proclaimed Hooker as the "master of the wah-wah"; and his talent was respected by B. B. King, Ike Turner, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy and Magic Sam.



BIO [ Unsung Heroes of The Blues. Earl Hooker: The Best Yet? © Dave Rubin]

“It isn't always easy to find unanimity about anything among vintage postwar Chicago blues guitarists, but their awe of their former peer Earl Hooker and their belief that he was the unchallenged best are about as close as they get. And no wonder, given his technical mastery of slide and fretted picking with or without effects, supreme economy of motion, and ability to make the guitar talk in a human voice like no other blues guitarist,” remembers blues authority Dick Shurman. Guitarist Paul Asbell (see CD review in Phonograph Blues), who played with Hooker, adds, “What Earl did great while I was playing with him was play slide, in an amazingly vocal style that resembled no other Chicago player I heard except Robert Nighthawk. He often furthered the vocal effect by combining it with the wah wah pedal. I never heard anything on recordings that really showed how well he could do this, or how great he sometimes sounded. We did a version of James Brown's "I Feel Good" on which his vocal impression was uncanny.” “Hooker was the best,” is the most common response when hip blues folk are queried about Chicago blues guitarists. Though similar to “hot stove league” baseball arguments about Babe Ruth vs Ty Cobb, or heaven forefend, Barry Bonds, it is a telling answer. Not Otis Rush or Magic Sam or Buddy Guy, but Earl Hooker. In fact, Buddy will be the first to point to the magnificent virtuoso. Along with his mentor, the legendary and elusive Robert Lee “Nighthawk” McCollum McCoy, Hooker was the unchallenged Jedi master of standard-tuned slide. With a few deft slices of his “guitar saber” he could cleanly cut to the heart of any song as famously demonstrated on Muddy Waters’ “You Shook Me” (1962). Attesting to the almost supernatural control he exerted over his gear, his last recordings show him bending the problematic wah wah pedal to his will. If only he could have sung with the singular eloquence, inventiveness and expressiveness of his fancy fretboard frolics – and had lived longer – he may have been regarded more universally as the undisputed six-string champ. Earl Zebedee Hooker (born January 2, 1929 in Vance, Mississippi, died April 21, 1970 in Chicago, Illinois) was begat by musical parents and was a cousin to John Lee Hooker. He taught himself to play guitar around the age of 10 and shortly thereafter his family migrated to Chicago where he began attending the Lyon & Healy Music School in 1941. A self-described “bad boy” who consorted with gangs and had “sticky fingers,” Hooker ran away from home back to Mississippi when he was 13, only to return again to Chi-Town. He played street gigs with Bo Diddley and then quite fortuitously made the acquaintance of Robert Nighthawk. He hung out at the slide master’s music store, scoring tips in the fine art of bottlenecking “catch as catch can” around 1945 and later played with the Nighthawk band circa 1947 on radio station KFFA in Helena, Arkansas. Lessons with jazz guitarist Leo Blevins only heightened his interest in music beyond the blues and no doubt encouraged him to develop his remarkable technique. In 1949 Hooker went to play with Ike Turner’s band in Memphis, where he also appeared with Sonny Boy Williamson II on the King Biscuit Time show on KFFA across the Mississippi. His first instrumental sides, “Shake “Em On Up,” ”Race Track,” “Happy Blues” “and “Blue Guitar Blues” were cut in Florida for King Records in 1952. A year later he waxed a vocal version of Nighthawk’s “Sweet Black Angel” that clearly showed the older bluesman’s influence. The limitations of Hooker’s singing voice were immediately apparent and, with a few exceptions, he concentrated on instrumentals for the remainder of his career. The same year, however, he sang well in Memphis on “I’m Going Down the Line,” along with playing like a demon on the instrumentals “Guitar Rag” and “Earl’s Boogie Woogie” with backing by a band that featured Pine Top Perkins on piano. One wonders what may have happened if he had more confidence in his vocal abilities and had given them the chance to improve alongside his guitar work. Hooker returned to Chicago as his home base in the mid-1950s while barnstorming the country with his own band and recording intermittently for a number of independent labels. In 1956 he played gigs with Otis Rush as the future Chicago star was just turning heads in the gin mills on the South Side. Hooker’s reputation as a guitar wizard, particularly on slide where he went unchallenged for supremacy, grew wherever he touched down, including once at a C&W gig in Iowa (Check out “Galloping Horses A Lazy Mule” from 1960 for his hot “pickin’ ‘n’ grinnin’”). In Chicago his dazzling, vocal-inflected lines helped to engineer the emphasis away from harmonica to guitar and it has been reported that his fellow string-benders would often split the scene in resignation when he would arrive to jam. In 1959 he “hooked up” with producer/record label owner Mel London and for the next four years contributed his estimable talents as a leader and a sideman with artists such as Junior Wells (“Calling All Blues” and the fret-melting “Universal Rock,” 1960), A.C. Reed and Lillian Offitt. Though the exuberance and un-harnessed energy of his earliest work had become somewhat tempered, numbers such as “Blues in D Natural” (1960, featuring a motif that would influence Rush’s version of “I Wonder Why” in 1971), “Blue Guitar” (1961) and “Tanya” (1962), on Chess/Checker, are rightly considered major blues guitar classics. From the early 1960s on recurring bouts with tuberculosis would hamper his rambling, though he managed to do hospital benefits. Recordings for the Cuca label in Sauk City, Wisconsin that sometimes included Freddy Roulette on steel guitar, kept him going as did a trip to England in 1965 where he appeared on Ready Steady Go with the Beatles. In the late 1960s he experienced a minor resurgence that brought him much-deserved attention beyond his traditional blues audience. Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records sought him out in 1968 on Buddy Guy’s advice, recording the still vital slide samurai that year and the next. Sessions for Bluesway, Blues on Blues and Blue Thumb followed before he succumbed to the TB (the “bug” in his composition “Two Bugs and a Roach” from 1968) in 1970 that had relentlessly dogged him to the end. © Dave Rubin, © 2005 PlayBluesGuitar.com and TrueFire.Com. All Rights Reserved

21.6.09

Steamhammer




Steamhammer - Mountains - 1970 - Brain

"Mountains" has been called Steamhamme's "definitive album". The album is mainly comprised of electrified white urban blues of the highest quality, and contains eight straight-ahead blues numbers with a healthy dose of rock'n'roll. The live cut, "Riding On The L&N", is one of the best tracks on the album. "Mountains" is a well structured blues rock album, with great jazzy improvisations. An unusual band in that their music has been categorised as progressive blues, which was an unusual music style in the late sixties. The album established Steamhammer as a prominent blues rock group, and received good reviews from critics, and the general public. It is arguably the band's "best" album. Steamhammer became a popular live act in the sixties, especially in Germany. Tracks A2 & A3 were recorded live at the Lyceum. "Mountains" is an enjoyable album , and well worth listening to for its variety of expertly played musical fusions. Try and listen to the band's "Speech" album. There is info on the Steamhammer (a.k.a. Reflection) album @ STHAM/REFL and you can find the band's "Mk II" album @ STHAM/MK2

TRACKS

A1 I Wouldn't Have Thought - White, Pugh
A2 Riding On The L&M - Burley, Hampton
A3 Hold That Train - White, Pugh, Davy, Bradley

B1 Levinia - White
B2 Henry Lane - White
B3 Leader Of The Ring - White
B4 Walking Down The Road - White
B5 Mountains - White

BAND

Martin Pugh - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Guitar (Electric), Vocals
Kieran White - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Harmonica, Guitar (Electric), Vocals
Louis Cennamo - Bass, Vocals
Steve Davy - Organ, Bass, Vocals
Mickey Bradley - Drums
Mick Bradley - Percussion, Drums
Keith Nelson - Banjo

REVIEW

Although considered by many as a second-tier combo, Steamhammer issued a handful of well above average albums beginning with their 1969 eponymous debut. It blended B.B. King and Eddie Boyd covers with a healthy sampling of originals by core members Kieran White (vocals/harmonica/acoustic guitar/electric guitar), Martin Quittenton (guitar), and Martin Pugh (vocals/harmonica/acoustic guitar/electric guitar). By 1970 Steamhammer had already endured several personnel changes. These included the departure of both Quittenton and supplementary woodwind/brass contributor Steve Joliffe (sax/flute), as well as the replacement of drummer Michael Rushton with Mick Bradley (drums/percussion). It is this slightly amended quartet that would create their most memorable effort, Mountains (1970). They retain their fusion of improvisation-inspired jazz while cranking out a harder and edgier brand of electric blues. The centerpiece of the platter is the ten-plus-minute "Riding on the L&N," mixing the long and languid interplay of classic Allman Brothers with the fiery momentum of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. The sinuous groove winds its way into the John Lee Hooker-esque "Hold That Train" with a riff that immediately conjures Hooker's familiar "Boogie Chillun" groove before intensifying into a full-blown jam, rivalling the likes of Canned Heat. The spry and syncopated "Levinia" allows the band to explore their formidable chops in a liberated and faintly trippy approach that would not sound out of place from Mick Abrahams-era Jethro Tull, especially Kieran White's earthy vocals and Pugh's equally impressive acoustic fretwork. "Henry Lane" is another highlight, exploring Steamhammer's stylistic diversity within the laid-back melody before launching into a rousing radiant round of instrumentation headed up by guest performer Keith Nelson (banjo). "Walking Down the Road" is definitely traveling music, led by the palpitating rhythm section of Steve Davy and Bradley. The long-player concludes with the mid-tempo title track, again probing some jazz-flavored exchanges. Steamhammer would continue for a few years until leukemia took the life of Bradley, at which time only he and Pugh remained from this lineup. © Lindsay Planer, All Music Guide

BIO

Blues-rockers Steamhammer formed in 1968 in the British town of Worthing. The band was made up of several blues and folk band veterans who were interested in playing something new. The band was pulled onto the road almost directly after their inception by blues legend Freddie King, who needed a backing band for his European tour. By spring of the next year, they signed a contract with CBS Records and released an eponymous debut. They mixed their own material with several standards, but failed to find an audience in the over-saturated blues-rock scene. The band did become quite the live sensation, despite a lineup shift that saw original members Michael Rushton and Martin Quittenton leave the band. Their second album was another stab at the same formula, with slightly different results due to new saxophonist Steve Jollife's incredible technical skill. By the time 1970 rolled around, they recorded their "definitive" album, the critical favorite Mountains. This album gave them some minor mainstream exposure, and revealed a band who was ready to adopt the rock side of their sound much more than before. They toured afterward, but lost most of the band members throughout the journey. By the time it was over, they only had original guitarist Martin Pugh and drummer Mick Bradley in the fold. They released one more album, 1972's Speech, to poor reviews and an indifferent public. The band broke up before they could even promote the album, and Bradley died the same year of leukemia. The band never attempted to reunite, but many of the members would go on to work with each other in projects like Armageddon. © Bradley Torreano, All Music Guide

MORE ABOUT STEAMHAMMER

The extraordinary blues-rock band ‘Steamhammer’ was formed at the end of 1968 in Worthing, England. Martin Quittenton (guitar) and Kieran White (vocals, guitar, harmonica) came out of the British folk circuit. Quittenton had worked together with the Liverpool Scene and, like the other members Martin Pugh (guitar), Steve Davy (bass) and Michael Rushton (drums), had played with numerous R&B groups. Blues hero Freddie King ordered Steamhammer as his backing band on tour through Great Britain. Come Spring time, 1969, they signed a record contract with CBS. The first album, "Steamhammer", was a mixture of classic blues by B.B.King and Eddie Boyd and modern blues written by White and Quittenton with the help of Pugh. At the end of the British blues boom, only a few hardcore fans took interest on the finest lyrical blues-rock statement of the century. Not selling as many records as they'd hoped to, Steamhammer nevertheless became a top European open-air attraction, mainly due to their brilliant live performance. For over two hours each night they would indulge in wide excursions in instrumental improvisations, embodied by the impressive guitar riffage of Martin Pugh and the sensitive harmonica of Kieran White. In the summer of 1969, Quittenton left the band, followed by drummer Michael Rushton. They were replaced by Steve Jollife (saxaphone, flute) and Mick Bradley. Jollife's feel for precise arrangements and jazz influences especially inspired the recording of Steamhammer's second, "Mk II", album. Overstepping the boundaries of traditional blues forms, they unleashed their own musical creativity and imagination without resorting to any technical trickery. These highly professional and creative musicians performed many live shows at various festivals in Scandinavia, West Germany and the Netherlands. On the continent, it turned out, they had become more popular than in England. In the summer of 1970, Steamhammer recorded their "definitive album" (rock session), called "Mountains", as a quartet. White, Pugh, Davy and Bradley were really working as a team and offering electrified white urban blues of highest quality. The live cut, "Riding On The L&N", is one of the highlights of the "Mountains" album, which contains straight-ahead blues numbers with a healthy dose of rock'n'roll. It was only with the release of this album that Steamhammer began to be noticed by the rock world. After the Altamont and Fehmarn fiascos, the era of open-air events of such calibre was ended at least for quite a while. In the late summer of that same year, Steamhammer toured for the last time in Germany and the Benelux. The following autumn, the line-up changed again. Only Pugh and Bradley stayed together and engaged ex-‘Renaissance’ member Louis Cennamo (bass) for the recording of one more album. "Speech" was recorded in the winter of 1971 and released in the beginning of 1972. By that time, Steamhammer had ceased to exist. "Speech" was a disappointing, partly chaotic album, and the negative reception of the record led to the end of the group's popularity. Mick Bradley died in February 1972 of leukaemia. Kieran White released a solo LP, "Open Door", in 1975 and Martin Pugh and Louis Cennamo put together a cult band Armageddon (with Keith Relf on vocals), which released only one album. [ (Courtesy of "Christian Graf - Rock Music Lexikon", Verlag Taurus Press, Hamburg. Edited by Alex Gitlin. From the CD reissue of "Mk II", Repertoire, REP 4236-WY)]

BIO (Wikipedia)

Steamhammer was a blues-rock band from Worthing, England. The band was founded in 1968 by Martin Quittenton (guitar) and Kieran White (vocals, guitar, harmonica). The first stable lineup consisted of Quittenton, White, Martin Pugh (guitar), Steve Davy (bass), and Michael Rushton (drums). This version of the band acted as backing band for Freddie King on one of his tours of England. The band's first album, Reflection, was released in 1969. It included covers of "You'll Never Know" by B. B. King and "Twenty-Four Hours" by Eddie Boyd as well as original songs by White, Quittenton, and Pugh. Session musicians Harold McNair (flute) and Pete Sears (piano) also played on the album. This album was not commercially successful, but the band became a popular live act, especially in West Germany. In the summer of 1969, Quittenton and Rushton left the band, and Steve Jollife (saxophone, flute) and Mick Bradley (drums) joined the band. This version of the band recorded the album Mk II, released in 1969. It consisted entirely of original songs, and the musical style had more jazz and progressive rock influences. Jollife left the band in 1970. The remaining band members recorded the album Mountains, which was released in 1970. This album included a cover of "Riding on the L & N" by Lionel Hampton and seven original songs. In 1971, White and Davy left the band, and Louis Cennamo (bass) joined the band. This lineup, along with session vocalist Garth Watt-Roy, recorded the album Speech, which was released in 1972. It consisted of three long, mostly instrumental songs. Bradley died of leukemia in 1972, leading to the break-up of the band. Pugh and Cennamo went on to play in Armageddon. After that band broke up, Cennamo joined Illusion. White recorded a solo album, Open Door, which was released in 1975. Quittenton played guitar and co-wrote songs on albums by Rod Stewart. Jollife joined Tangerine Dream in 1978 and played on the album Cyclone.

Sailcat




Sailcat - Motorcyle Mama - 1972 - Elektra

Sailcat from Alabama were a one hit wonder band. In 1972, the song ."Motorcycle Mama" was a big Summer hit. "Motorcyle Mama" is often classified as a "concept" album about stories on the road. However, there is no real thread of continuity, and the tracks can be listened to individually. Dismissed by some critics as a novelty album, the album contains some good songs composed by John Wyker. Wyker and Court Pickett's vocals are also good. Many of the tunes have a trippy, psychedelic flavour to them, and the album is very enjoyable. This is not your average seventies Southern Rock album, but it has many good musical moments, especially the guitar and horn playing. Definitely worth a listen.

A SIDE TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1."Rainbow Road" John Wyker - 4:00
2."The Thief" Court Pickett - 3:30
3."Highway Rider/Highway Riff" John Wyker & Court Pickett - 5:40
4."The Dream" Court Pickett - 2:45

B SIDE TRACKS / COMPOSERS

1."If You've Got A Daughter" Court Pickett - 1:33
2."Ambush" John Wyker, Clayton Ivey, Pete Car - 3:06
3."B.B. Gunn" John Wyker - 2:48
4."It'll Be A Long Long Time" Court Pickett - 2:12
5."Motorcycle Mama" John Wyker & Court Pickett - 2:06
6."Walking Together Backwards" John Wyker - 3:19
7."On The Brighter Side Of It All" John Wyker - 2:23

MUSICIANS

Pete Carr, Joe Rudd, Johnny Wyker - Guitar
Scott Boyer - Guitar, Violin
Bob Wray - Bass
Court Pickett - Bass, Vocals
Art Shilling, Chuck Leavell, Clayton Ivey - Keyboards
Lou Mullenix, Fred Prouty - Drums
Jesse Gorell, Bill Connell - Percussion
Jack Hale, Wayne Jackson, James Mitchell, Andrew Love, Ed Logan - Horn
Al Lester - Fiddle, Violin
Tom Russell - Banjo
Charles Chalmers - Strings
Faye Sanders, Terry Woodford, Laura Struzick - Vocals
Brenda Hagan, Marlin Greene - Sound Effects, Vocals

LINER NOTES FOR SAILCAT'S MOTORCYCLE MAMA

When Sailcat's "Motorcycle Mama" rose to #12 in the national singles chart in the summer of 1972, few would have suspected that the song had almost literally got thrown out in the garbage before it had a chance to get released. Too, few were aware that its songwriter, John Wyker, was hardly a newcomer to the business, but had been a behind-the-scenes player of note in the Southern rock scene for more than a decade. Accordingly, the Motorcycle Mama album was a diverse cocktail of the Muscle Shoals, Alabama roots music in which Wyker was steeped, merging blues, country, R&B, rock, and gospel music into a concept album of sorts. Wyker had barely entered his teens when he first got into the music business in the late 1950s, hanging around Spar Music in Florence, "the only recording studio [then] in the state of Alabama as far as I know." He got to know the great soul singer Arthur Alexander, songwriter Dan Penn, and some of the session musicians who'd later form the backbone of the Muscle Shoals sound. By his college years he was playing in a band with singer John Townsend (who struck gold in the late 1970s as part of the Sanford & Townsend duo) and bassist Ed Pickett, older brother of Sailcat singer Court Pickett. As the Rubber Band, they had a mid-'60s hit in many regions of the South with an original tune on Columbia, "Let Love Come Between Us." With the composition co-credited to Wyker and Joe Sobotka, in 1967 the song was covered by the popular soul duo James & Bobby Purify, rising to #23 in the pop charts. Near the end of the '60s, he formed American Eagles with John "Buck" Wilkin (who'd spearheaded Ronny & the Daytonas, who had a big hot rod hit in 1964 with "G.T.O.") and a young Chuck Leavell, who dropped out of high school to be the piano player. American Eagles issued just one single on Liberty, but that 45 (co-produced by Wyker in Muscle Shoals) was Kris Kristofferson's "Me and Bobby McGee," well before Janis Joplin took the same song to #1. By the early 1970s, John was hanging out in Tuscaloosa, Alabama with Leavell and Court Pickett. "Three o'clock in the morning we'd be out in the parking lot, Court'd be doing 'Motorcycle Mama,'" he recalls. "I'd be playing and singing along with him, and the local Hell's Angeles would be out there just loving it." At a local bar in February 1971, Wyker "just jumped up on the bar and said, 'I heard somebody opened a new studio in Muscle Shoals. He mainly knows about running a truck stop, and had never been in the business. These two girls have volunteered to drive me up there. I'm gonna go up there and talk a speculation deal for some recording time. Anybody that wants to play on it, come on up. By the time you get there, I'll have a deal made.' That was a pretty bold thing to do, and crazy. But we go up there, and I catch the guy, Ron Ballew, who owned Widget Studios, walking out of the studio about midnight." Wyker wasted no time going into his pitch, and "by this time, I didn't expect it, but all my friends from Tuscaloosa showed up, like Chuck Leavell and his girlfriend, and the dog, the cat, and all his equipment. Lou Mullenix, an incredible drummer that died way too young, and about 15 guitar players. I mean, he couldn't have thrown us out of the studio. We had literally just taken over by force. But he said, 'Give me a minute.' He called around, and evidently somebody gave me a good reference. So we started a publishing company together and recorded for two or three days, cut four songs—'Motorcycle Mama,' 'Rainbow Road,' 'B.B. Gunn,' and I think 'The Thief.' So we get a motel, come back, listened to what we did, and I said, 'Oh, man, this is the worst thing I ever heard in my life.' And took the tape, and literally threw it in the garbage can." Soon afterward, John was knocking around Florida with Leavell, Mullinix, and Capricorn artists Cowboy and Alex Taylor when Ron Ballew somehow got a hold of him by phone. "He says 'Wyker, I took "Motorcycle Mama"'—and it didn't [even] have the Pete Carr slide guitar on it at that time—'I caught Russ Miller, vice president of Elektra Records.' I didn't think Ron could pitch it because the only thing he had to play it on was one of those Dictaphone machines. [But] he played it for Russ, and almost before the thing was finished, [Miller] said, 'I'll take it. I know [Elektra president] Jac Holzman will love this, because he started his business delivering his recordings on a Harley 165. I'll give you a $30,000 budget, any artwork you want, if you can get this guy to finish the album.'" Ballew did get Wyker to finish the album, even flying down to Macon, Georgia, where John had "caught pneumonia or something," to take him back to Muscle Shoals and get "me a doctor and some antibiotics and stuff." The producer was also chosen in the on-the-fly spirit guiding the whole enterprise: "Pete Carr was trying to break into the business. I'd met him in '65. He was trying to get a job as a guitar player or something at Muscle Shoals Sound. Word got out that I was building the perfect beast, and Pete came down like the first or second day that we were recording, and all I wanted to do was get drunk and go sit by the river or something. So I said, 'Hey Pete, you wanna produce?' Pete almost went into shock. He just rolled [his] sleeves up and started telling people what to do. He said word got out at Muscle Shoals Sound, which was a closed door for him, [and] they offered him a job as soon as he finished the project." Carr wrote a couple of songs ("The Dream" and "It'll Be a Long Long Time") for the LP as well, and would go on to play guitar on albums by Bob Seger, Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, Rod Stewart, and numerous other big names in the business. Old friends Court Pickett, Chuck Leavell, and Lou Mullenix were among the supporting players, with bassist/singer Pickett being the only other official member of Sailcat besides Wyker. Why Sailcat? "The name came from a Jonathan Winters record, where a sailcat is a cat that's been run over so many times on the highway that you can scoop him up and throw him like a frisbee," reveals John. "We went in the studio, and I hadn't written but about fifteen seconds of half the songs on there," Wyker admits. "But most of the songs were vague ideas in my head, and when we got everybody together, the adrenaline would start flowing to where I could finish the songs on the spot. I remember when we did 'Highway Riff,' we had an intro on the guitar, and I told [keyboardist] Clayton Ivey, 'In one part, I want it to sound like he's riding and the cops are chasing him.' That's when Clayton starts just beating on the Hammond organ. I said, 'And then I want it to be like an adventure, and all of a sudden, he comes to a screeching halt. And then the sun's going down, and I want it to sound like he's coming into town and winding down, and eventually winds up in a bar having a beer. In "Ambush," I want places where it sounds like circus girls swinging by their feet from those ropes.' Just turned Clayton loose, gave him a bunch of visual illustrations, and he interpreted it so well. 'Ambush' and 'Highway Riff' are two of my favorite songs still." Strings were added in Memphis at Sun Records, and the famed Memphis Horns were also used. As for the album's "concept" (with which Wyker is even credited on the back cover), "I called it a rock opera. The storyline behind Motorcycle Mama is really simple to understand. It's about a no-good riding motorcycled tramp that is really a latent romantic, and has dreams of settling down and having a family. And 'B.B. Gunn' shoots him down." In the inside of the original gatefold sleeve, each song was illustrated with a different picture by artist Jack Davis, working from details supplied by John. The record label was happy too, as "the guy from Elektra gave me a box of albums and $500, which was a lot of money back then. He said, 'I had the privilege of telling Dustin Hoffman after he made The Graduate that this movie was gonna change his life forever. I've got the same honor to be able to tell you that this is gonna be a hit, and it's gonna change your life. Go somewhere and stay healthy, and we'll contact you when we're ready.'" John went to "a sleepy little fishing village" in Florida, "checked in the campground, and gave the lady one of the albums. I loved it so much, I'd never felt that free, just having a good time. I was seriously considering telling Elektra to go fuck off. But one day I was in the shower and heard 'Motorcycle Mama.' My first thought was, I gave the woman an album, she's probably got it on at the turntable in the playroom behind the shower. Then at the end of the thing, I heard the guy say, 'That was ol' Sailcat singing about his motorcycle mama. I got one, how 'bout you? This is WTIX, in New Orleans.' I knew it was a 50,000-watt, important [station]. I went running out of the shower naked, screaming, 'Hey y'all, I just heard "Motorcycle Mama" on the radio! Hallucination verification, somebody! We got a hit!' That night, there was a radio on, I remember the song before it was 'Candy Man' by Sammy Davis Jr., and then they played one by Frank Sinatra Jr. Then later we heard it on a country station. I said, 'Good god, man, I got a fucking crossover hit. Something I threw in the garbage can.'" It wasn't long before Sailcat were promoting the record in Los Angeles. "It was already in the charts, and we didn't have a band put together," says Wyker. With a hastily hired backup group, they appeared on TV with Dick Clark, where Clark "says, 'How come so much great music comes out of a little town like Muscle Shoals, Alabama?' I said, 'There's nothin' else to do.' Sweat popped out of Dick Clark, just shot out every pore, like 'he's just insulted his home town.' He thought they'd take it a different way. But people that live there knew I was telling the truth." His candor wasn't always appreciated by Elektra, however: "I cussed the label out from the stage of Carnegie Hall. Somebody said 'Motorcycle Mama'! I said, 'You know, I hate that fucking song. It's just so wussy. I had thrown it in a garbage can, and somebody fished it out and these fucking double-domed eggheads from L.A. thought it could be a hit, and they made it a hit, and I'm ashamed of it. I'll play it, but first, I'm gonna play it the way I feel it.' And did a whole 'nother, like, 'Why Don't We Do It in the Road' version of 'Motorcycle Mama.' But I kind of said some nasty things onstage and had some people squirming. When we ended our show, we went right back in the bathroom and locked the doors so they couldn't beat us up and cuss us out. We passed out in there, and about four in the morning this guy says, 'They're gonna turn the heat off, and it's gonna get down to zero tonight, so if you're in there, you're gonna freeze to death.' So we woke up and got out of there." Motorcycle Mama sold pretty well, reaching #38 on the album charts. Yet although Sailcat did issue a subsequent non-LP single, "Baby Ruth," they never made another album, though Court Pickett did a solo LP for Elektra shortly afterward. "We were a one-hit wonder by choice," explains Wyker. "I was so burned out on the road. They would fly us from one side of the country to the next. I said, 'Man, this was a freak accident, I'm not going to try to duplicate the success. I'm gonna leave while I'm on top.' Then came back to Muscle Shoals, bought a 24-foot houseboat, and lived on it." John's still living in Alabama today, putting most of his musical energies into the Mighty Field of Vision project (www.mightyfieldofvision.com), which is both an internet radio station and a foundation for aiding fellow musicians and artists in need of social and financial assistance. "Now my mission in life is to promote new artists, and also, more importantly, expose some stuff that got done in the '60s and '70s that got put in the vaults, and the record companies missed them, or passed over 'em, or somebody had half an album and died, and their music was destined to live in the can and collect dust forever," he summarizes. "Our content, you can't get it anywhere else." © Richie Unterberger

REVIEW

Alabama's Sailcat only released one album and only had one hit, both titled Motorcycle Mama. The song, of course, is better-remembered than the album, as it was one of many hazy oddities that played on AM pop radio during the early '70s and subsequently was recycled on many CDs of '70s hits (it was also covered by the Sugarcubes for the 1990 Elektra tribute, Rubaiyat), and the sunny, hippie-dippie vibe of the single is indeed memorable, but not a very good indication of the rest of the LP, which is hippie but also more trippy than the hit indicates. Take into heavy consideration that the liners call Motorcycle Mama a concept album, which very well may be true but it's hard to discern since the concept is fuzzy — it vaguely involves highways and thieves in the South, but it's hard to piece together the strands into a story. More importantly, Motorcycle Mama feels like a concept album, due more to its puffed-up progginess than its songs. As soon as "Rainbow Road" fades in with its circular fiddle and banjo, it's clear that Sailcat aren't a gritty Southern band and that's a perception proven true by the rest of the record. Which isn't to say there aren't soul and grooves here: they are certainly the product of Muscle Shoals and churn out some good, gritty Southern rock, as when "Rainbow Road" finally kicks into gear or when they slide into the greasy jokes of "B.B. Gunn" or lay into some driving rock & roll on "Highway Rider/Highway Riff." But even that five-minute jam offers ample proof that Sailcat are no simple Southern rock outfit, as it is punched along by jazzy horns and waves of organ before it descends into tinkling piano and strings that are straight out of a 101 Strings LP. That kind of fuzzy eclecticism keeps things interesting on Motorcycle Mama, as it also encompasses hippie folk, sunshine harmonies, and multi-part suites borrowed from prog rock. These are all elements that, when put together, are pretty interesting, but they don't necessarily gel into a cohesive LP — or in several cases, not even a cohesive song. Despite this, the rampant imagination and gutbucket hard rock on display make Sailcat'sMotorcycle Mama one of the more fascinating one-shot wonders of the early '70s: maybe not a record that would be played often, but certainly one worth hearing once. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic.com

BIOGRAPHY

Sailcat was a Southern rock band who had a chart and radio hit in 1972 with "Motorcycle Mama." The single's success (it reached number 12 on the Billboard singles chart) led to appearances on American Bandstand and at Carnegie Hall. Sailcat released a self-titled album in 1972 for Elektra that featured many of the heavy-hitters in the Southern rock field such as Chuck Leavell, the Memphis Horns, and Pete Carr. Soon after releasing the album, Sailcat broke up. Sailcat leader Johnny Wyker, who had been a member of the Rubber Band who recorded the original version of "Let Love Come Between Us," later a hit for James and Bobby Purify, went on to play with many of the great Southern rock musicians like Eddie Hinton, Dan Penn, Delany Bramlett, among others. He is currently working on a benefit project called The Mighty Field of Vision Anthem, a group dedicated to raising funds for musicians who have fallen on hard times. © Tim Sendra

MORE ABOUT SAILCAT

Sailcat was the duo of Court Pickett and John Wyker, two guitarists-vocalists working in the Muscle Shoals, Alabama, USA area in the early 70s. Pickett and Wyker, along with local session musicians Chuck Leavell (keyboards, later of the Allman Brothers Band), Clayton Ivey (bass) and Pete Carr (guitar, half of the duo LeBlanc And Carr), put together the debut Sailcat album on Elektra Records in 1972, although they never performed under that name. Wyker's song "Motorcycle Mama" was included on that credible album and became a US number 12 single. With that success, the musicians converged to record songs for follow-up singles, but none reached the charts and the project was abandoned. © IPC MEDIA 1996-2009, All rights reserved