Get this crazy baby off my head!


Dana Gillespie


Dana Gillespie - Experienced - 2000 - Ace

"...Places [her] in the boudoir blues tradition of other salty mamas such as Bessie Smith, Etta James and Koko Taylor....Dana deserves nothing less." - Mojo (Publisher) (7/00, p.121)

Despite having released over 60 albums, and written hundreds of songs, the multi-talented Dana Gillespie remains very much an overlooked vocalist. "Experienced" is a great collection of songs with blues, blues rock, soul blues, jazz, and R&B elements. Very much in the style of the early Elkie Brooks, Dana's powerful, gritty voice, some great songs, and artists including Matt Schofield, Ian Siegal, and Sam Mitchell on guitar, and Nick Hogarth on keys make "Experienced" a great album. Listen to Dana's "Box of Surprises", and "Staying Power" albums


1 Experienced
2 Tough Love
3 One Kiss X 108
4 Something Coming
5 Break Down the Door
6 Ten Ton Blocks
7 Crying for the Moon
8 There Will Always Be a New Tomorrow
9 Try Me
10 Happy Birthday Blues
11 Me Without You
12 Take It Like a Man

All songs composed by Dana Gillespie except Track 8, by Frankie Miller, Track 11 by Dana Gillespie & Dino Baptiste, and Track 12 by Dana Gillespie, Nick Hogarth, and David Malin


Dana Gillespie - vocals, background vocals
Matt Schofield, Todd Sharpville - Guitar
Ian Siegal - Rhythm Guitar, Slide Guitar, Backing Vocals
Sam Mitchell - bottleneck guitar
Javier Garcia - bass
Dino Baptiste - piano, organ, harmonica, backing vocals
Nick Hogarth - keyboards
Evan Jenkins - drums
Big Mart Winning, Nick Payn - saxophone
Mike Paice - alto saxophone solo
Sid Gauld, Martin Drover - trumpet
David Malin - tambourine, percussion, backing vocals
Rolf Harris - wobbleboard
Shining Bear - didgerydoo
Laura Pallas, Ricky P.Washington, Corinna Greyson - Backing Vocals


Vocalist Dana Gillespie's first album was released when she was only 15. Over the next four decades, as a strong presence in the world of music, she was part of the recording of around 40 albums. In the beginning of her career in the '60s, she sang folk tunes. At some point in the '70s, she moved on to rock. By the '80s she turned her attention fully to something that was one of her first loves: the blues. In between all of that recording, Gillespie the actress stayed in the spotlight on the theater stage in shows like Jesus Christ Superstar, and in films like The Hound of the Baskervilles. A young Dana Gillespie began performing folk music at festivals where she had large and diverse audiences to please. It gave her the perfect chance to polish her skills and learn to entertain, as well as to simply perform. During those first few years, Gillespie recorded a number of singles and two albums on the Decca and Pye labels. By 1973, she had moved on to the major label RCA and found herself working with David Bowie, who stood in as producer on a number of her recordings. The '70s saw her release such albums as Weren't Born a Man and Ain't Gonna Play No Second Fiddle. When not performing behind the microphone, Gillespie was working behind the camera in films like Sink or Swim, Mahler, and the cult classic, The People That Time Forgot, which was a sequel to The Land That Time Forgot. In the '80s, Gillespie maintained a hectic professional schedule, leading a double life, and maybe a triple one at times. She kept at her music, touring through the United States, Europe, and other countries. She also went back into the studio to complete several albums, including I'm a Woman, Blue Job, Move Your Body Close to Me, Below the Belt, Hot News, and Sweet Meat. She continued to show off her acting abilities, and her beauty, in movies like Parker, Scrubbers, Bad Timing, and Strapless. In between the rest, she fit in numerous television appearances. No one could accuse Gillespie of slowing down in the '90s — not with the more than a dozen albums she released that decade. She entered the new millennium much the same way. By these later years, she had come full force into the blues, her voice reaching that edge, her life experiences varied enough to feel and understand the songs she both sings and writes. Some of the tunes fans will find on albums from this Gillespie period are "Who's Got the Blues to Blame," "Give Me Your Best Shot," "The Sky Will Still Be Blue," "Guardian Blue Angel," "You Make Me Feel So Good," "Who Blew the Blues Away," and "Turning Over a Blue Leaf." She has stayed a strong part of the music scene by organising The Mustique Blues Festival every year and through her radio show called "Globetrotting" With Gillespie, which airs on Blue Danube Radio in Vienna and focuses on African and Indian music with a bit of blues too. In 2003 Gillespie released a new record for Ace called Staying Power which celebrated her 40th year in the music industry and showed her to be as strong a vocalist as ever. © Charlotte Dillon © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:d9fyxqy5ldfe~T1


"I believe the blues should be sung by an older person because it's about emotions and experience. I couldn't do justice to it when I was younger because my voice didn't have the edge it needed to convey the emotion, nor did I have the first hand experience to sing about blue themes convincingly." But after 45 years in music and over 60 albums Dana Gillespie is well qualified to sing the blues. A career that combined radio, theatre, film and sport (she was once British junior water-skiing champion) with music, Dana has been in the public eye since recording her first album at the age of 15. Her music has evolved from folk in the 60s through 70s Bowie-esque glam-rock to the raunchy in-your-face blues she performs today. Dana Gillespie has been dedicated to the blues from an early age: "I discovered the blues when I went to the American Folk Blues Festival in 1962 and also to see the Yardbirds at the Marquee Club. I was in my early teens and hadn't heard anything like it before - blues wasn't easily available in the UK back then". Bessie Smith especially inspired her because of her combination of sly, funny and bawdy lyrics. "Blues was my first musical love because it's earthy, spiritual and honest." In 1964 she recorded for Pye, with Donovan on guitar and became a regular on the folk circuit. She recalls: "[at that age] I was doing folk because I couldn't afford a band and I hadn't found my musical niche".In those early years Dana got to know many of the top bands and people in the music business. Most shared her love of blues, and played their own version of it. Bob Dylan who was an old friend of Dana from the 60s showed interest in her music in 1997, when he invited her to support him on his UK tour, which included a sell-out show at Wembley. After a swathe of singles on Pye and two LPs for Decca, she moved to RCA and made WEREN'T BORN A MAN in 1973, some titles being produced by David Bowie, whose management, Mainman, also took care of her career. While her career in music was simmering away, she became better known for her appearances in London's West End theatres, in shows such as the first run of Jesus Christ Superstar (playing Mary Magdalene), The Who's "Tommy" (playing the Acid Queen) and the rock Othello, "Catch My Soul". She also appeared with Dudley Moore in the film version of "The Hound Of The Baskervilles" and starred in Ken Russell's "Mahler" among other movies. Her second RCA LP, AIN'T GONNA PLAY NO SECOND FIDDLE was just beginning to take off when her management company decided she should move to the USA, where she played and toured extensively for two years. Dana hosted a radio blues show in New York at the same time, which gave her the opportunity to learn more about the roots of the music. She has continued her interest in radio in Austria where she recently completed a 11-year stint hosting a weekly, international world music show on Blue Danube Radio called "Globe Trotting With Gillespie". In the 80s, Dana toured Europe several times with the "Stars Of Boogie Woogie" tour, singing either with the Mojo Blues Band or with Axel Zwingenberger. Her time with the Mojo Blues Band, a purist outfit that backed all the American blues musicians visiting Europe, lasted three years. "I lived, slept and breathed blues, because that was all they did. It was a great experience." She also developed her interest in Indian and Arabic music, recording the single "Move Your Body Close To Me", an Indian-influenced song with synthesiser backing. It shot to #1 in Europe. Dana has already released six blues albums through Ace. BLUE JOB, was recorded in 1982, a collection of blues songs with a humorous risqué twist. The second LP, BELOW THE BELT drew on the same source, and was produced by Mike Vernon (who also produced Dana's Pye album in the 60s, BOX OF SURPRISES). The third LP, SWEET MEAT concentrated on "fat" and "thin" numbers - another raunchy set of songs. The combined three LPs are now available on two CDs BLUES IT UP and HOT STUFF. Her release STAYING POWER, displays an empathy with the blues which can be traced back to her first exposure to the art form in the early 1960s. Her latest CD on Ace is recorded and called 'Live with the London Blues Band'. In 2002 Dana was invited to take her road band, The London Blues Band, on the first ever major tour by a western band of India. She filled stadiums from Mumbai to Calcutta and yet again demonstrated her infalible ability to take her music to a seemingly unlikely audience. Her songwriting is without doubt a major asset. Bob Dylan has said how much he likes her songs... her self penned catalogue is phenomenal and sets her apart as a truly unique talent. India has always played a major part in Dana's life and she recorded 3 albums in Sanskrit, under the pseudonym THIRD MAN before reverting to Dana Gillespie. Her touring schedule has been consistently packed, taking her to all the European blues festivals. In recognition of her talent, she was voted 'Top British Female Blues Vocalist' by the British Blues Connection and Blueprint Magazine between 1992 and 1996 and has now been elevated into their Hall Of Fame. In the last week of January, for over 15 years, the Caribbean Island of MUSTIQUE has been the destination for a charity blues festival, founded and organised by Dana and Basil Charles. The festival started as a small event but as Mustique has grown in popularity, as a tourist destination and as a playground for the wealthy, so has the festival. The funds collected are used to pay for scholarships for children's schooling in the neighbouring island of St. Vincent. Dana maintains that the event will continue to be a free festival, raising money through the sale of the Mustique Blues Festival LIVE CD produced every year. Blues musicians from all over the world, such as Big Jay McNeeley, Larry Garner, Joe Louis Walker, Mick Jagger and Ian Siegal. All Rights Reserved © 2007 www.dana-gillespie.com. Last Updated 01-01-2007 http://www.dana-gillespie.com/biog.html


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


p/w aoofc

Anonymous said...

Guinea Pig

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

Thanks, as usual, Guinea Pig.

diamonddave said...

Thanks for sharing and keep on rockin in the free world!

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

Cheers,diamonddave!Thanks for your comment.Rock And Roll!!

John Daly said...

Thanks for this esp. the bio, I thought DG had only released the two albums on Mainman, which I have on vinyl. Will pursue more.

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

Thanks, John. I may have some more Dana G, if you're interested. What albums do you need?