Get this crazy baby off my head!


Jan Akkerman & Curtis Knight

Jan Akkerman & Curtis Knight - Blues Root - 1998 - UPC

This CD came together accidentally on purpose. It was my good fortune to have known some of the musicians prior to the formulation of the idea to record this CD. Keith Dunn, (harmonica) is someone that I knew and I was very aware of his talent. Dino Walcott, (Bass) have played many gigs together, so I knew he would be the best bass player I could find for this project. In fact it was Dino who introduced me to Jan Akkerman. I had the privilege of playing with Jan at a Blues Festival, so I was aware of his great international reputation, and I had some first hand experience playing with him. I was very happy when he consented to produce and play on this CD. Larry Wil'Rice (Drums) and I have played gigs together so he was my obvious choice as drummer. He gives this CD a definitive prospective, with all of his international experience. Sam Mitchell (slide guitar and Dobro) is internationally famous, and highly respected in his field. I met him by chance at a Blues festival and invited him to be a part of this project. The result speaks for itself. - Curtis Knight

This is a dirty old blues album with Jan showing that he can play the blues with some scorching solos which would leave Clapton's jaw wide open. Curtis Knight used to record with Jimi Hendrix and met Jan through Dino Walcott (who was in Jan's band some years back). A collection of new songs and some old classics like 'Little Wing' and Robert Johnson's 'Cross Road Blues' as well as a great instrumental track called 'Just Jamming'. This album sounds like these guys just turned up at the studio and 'went for it' as it sounds raw and live. If you like the blues then you will like this album. © http://www.focuscollection.com/listings/l0123.html

This is Curtis Knight's final recording before his death and he couldn't have picked a better musical crew. Great blues rock with a little soul, with the guitar giant Jan Akkerman playing on nine tracks. Slide guitarist Sam Mitchell is also superb on "Little Wing and "Cross Road Blues". There has been some criticism of the late Curtis Knight's "weak" vocals on this album, and some people are of the opinion than Jan Akkerman is at his best playing instrumental music without vocals. Jan Akkerman, whether playing solo, or with other musicians/singers has always been a magnificent guitarist, and since when were bluesmen renowned for being great vocalists. Curtis passed away in 1999, and was certainly in ill health when this album was recorded. Check out Jimi Hendrix & Curtis Knight's "Strange Things" album, and Jan Akkerman's classic "Tabernakel" album, and don't forget Focus' extraordinary "Live At The Rainbow" album. Check this blog for more Jan Akkerman releases [Tracks @ 256-320 Kbps: File size = 126 Mb]


1. Flat Back Sue - Curtis Knight (Lyrics), & Sam Mitchell (Music)
2. Daughter Of Misfortune - Curtis Knight
3. Now Is The Time - Curtis Knight
4. Driving Wheel - Riley King
5. Blues Root Blues - Curtis Knight
6. Don't Accuse Me - Curtis Knight
7. Little Wing - Jimi Hendrix
8. I Would If I Could - Curtis Knight
9. Just Jamming - Jan Akkerman, Sam Mitchell, Dino Walcott, Keith Dunn, Larry Wildrice
10. Cross Road Blues - Robert Johnson


Jan Akkerman - Guitar (except 'Fat Back Sue')
Sam Mitchell - Slide Guitar, Dobro
Dino Walcott - Bass (except "Little Wing", & "Cross Road Blues")
Larry Wildrice - Drums (except "Little Wing", & "Cross Road Blues")
Keith Dunn - Harmonica (except "Daughter Of Misfortune", "Little Wing", & "Cross Road Blues")
Curtis Knight - Vocals (except "Just Jamming")
Tyra (Thea Van Seijen) - Background Vocals


Jan Akkerman was born on Christmas Eve 1946 and first picked up a guitar aged 5. Legend has it that he played accordian aged 3, and was entirely self-taught on the guitar, but in actual fact he took classical guitar lessons, studied at Amsterdam Music Lyceum for 5 years and won a scholarship. His father was a guitarist, and his mother played the accordian. He took a keen interest in group music-making, joining local bands The Friendship Sextet and The Shaking Hearts. In 1961, aged 15, he recorded his first single with his current band, Johnny & The Cellar Rockers, which also featured Pierre Van der Linden. The Cellar Rockers became the Hunters, and the first hit was scored with a cover of "Mr Tambourine Man", but an even bigger hit came from an original song called "The Russian Spy and I", inspired largely by the Shadows, but with a notable guitar solo from Akkerman. During the mid 1960s, Akkerman visited England, where he saw the guitarist Julian Bream performing Mediaeval lute music. This was an inspiration that was never to leave Akkerman. In the late 1960s, he formed Brainbox, with his old friend Van der Linden on drums, who negotiated a signing to Parlophone. During a recording session, Akkerman, who was fond of jamming and session playing, hooked up with the embryo Focus, and was ejected from Brainbox as a result. Brainbox's first (and only) album is regarded as a Dutch Prog Rock classic in some circles. Not to be deterred, he recorded his own material, assisted by his friends from The Hunters; a solo album called "Talents for Sale", and joined Focus for recording the backing music to the musical "Hair", and their debut album "In And Out Of Focus". In 1971, Akkerman's old sparring partner Van der Linden is taken into Focus on drums, and "Moving Waves" is recorded. Despite the international success of this album, Akkerman relentlessly carried on recording his own material with the albums "Profile" and 1974's "Tabernakel", which features Akkerman's playing his newly acquired lute, and carries a Mediaeval flavour. Following "Moving Waves" and "Focus 3", Akkerman was pronounced best International guitarist by Melody Maker, in a poll that put him above Clapton, Beck and Page. In 1978, Akkerman's contract with Atlantic was ended due to the high costs involved with his insistence of hiring full symphony orchestras and low record sales, and Akkerman went off to persue other musical avenues, pausing only to attempt a Focus re-group. The album of this year "3" is an unusually funky album with very little ecelcticism. This didn't work out, so Akkerman carried on working, attempting to reform Focus once again in 1984, producing the rather raw "From the Basement". In 1989 he had a more successful collaboration with Miles Copland resulting in the successful "Noise of Art". His collaborations and various projects from then until now are too numerous to mention one by one, including work with B.B. King, Mike Kenealy, Alan Price, Charlie Byrd and Ice-T, but 1999's "Passion" is particularly notable. On February 16th 2005, Akkerman was awarded with a Golden Harp award at the Harpen Gala, proving that he is still not only going strong, with his favourite annual Dutch and UK tours, but still impressing with his skills. © Prog Archives, All rights reserved http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=2091


Curtis Knight (b. Mont Curtis McNear, 9 May 1929, Fort Scott, Kansas - 29 November 1999) was an American music artist and band leader who is known for his connection to Jimi Hendrix. Knight was an artist in the 1960s Harlem music scene, usually fronting his own band "The Squires". This band gigged in clubs in New York City, and other surrounding areas. It was through Knight that Hendrix got involved with Ed Chalpin, a record producer who signed the future superstar to a contract which Hendrix soon forgot about and left for England to form "The Jimi Hendrix Experience". Both Knight and Chalpin would later claim that they were trying to make Hendrix a "star", which has some validity as his first label credit was on the first single he recorded with Knight as "arranger", and the second single (both sides instrumentals) had him as co-composer with he producer Jerry Simon (a common finacila ploy at the time to recompense the producer). They weren't doing a very good job though as that's as far as it got, before Chas Chandler stepped in. Chalpin had him sign a contract that gave Hendrix 1% of any royalties that his recordings earned. Which was actually very favourable in comparison to the percentage the individual members of the Beatles and the Who were getting at that time, apart from the fact that neither of the two records sold much. The sum of "one dollar" in the contract was merely a formalised legality common to most artist contracts at that time, misconstrued by many who appear to think Hendrix was "bought" for a dollar. Meanwhile, Chas Chandler, who when tipped off by Rolling Stone Keith Richards girlfriend, Linda Keith,(who had recognised his genius and was trying to find someone to further his career), took along his then manager (soon to be business partner/co-manager) Mike Jeffery, and "discovered" Hendrix in Greenwich Village while he was fronting his first band 'The Blue Flame'(often later referred to as 'The Blue Flames' which is influenced by Jimi's alias at that time 'Jimmy James', Junior Parker's Blue Flames and a popular band of '60's London 'Georgie Fame's Blue Flames'. This has subsequently become the legend 'Jimmy James and the Blue Flames'). It was only after Chalpin read music trade papers that he realized that Hendrix had made it successfully across the Atlantic in the "Psychedelic" and "Flower Power" period, and began to pursue legal action against Hendrix, his management and record companies, with Knight as his main witness. During the legal battles, Chalpin released some of his Hendrix records: [check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curtis_Knight for list - A.O.O.F.C]. Some of these tracks were actually recorded during a "jam session" that occurred after Hendrix gave Knight a call and then visited him in 1967 between the Monterey Pop Festival and the Monkees tour that the Experience participated in. All songs from this session were released with pictures of Hendrix that were post-Squires, and stated that Knight played a big part in Hendrix's style. These tracks were used on a CD/LP release entitled The Summer of Love Sessions. During the 1970s, after Hendrix's demise, Knight moved to London, England where he formed the group "Curtis Knight, Zeus", and toured throughout Europe, relying on his "Hendrix" connection for many years. Among the musicians enlisted was "Fast" Eddie Clarke who went on to fame as part of the line up which made Motörhead famous on such records as "Bomber" and "Ace of Spades" during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Knight wrote the book Jimi: An Intimate Biography of Jimi Hendrix, published in 1974 by Praegar Publishers, New York. The book includes A Jimi Hendrix Discography, compiled by John McKellar. Knight was also a competitive table tennis player who played in some local tournaments while living in New York.


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


p/w if needed is aoofc

Eric said...

Huh, Interesting I would never imagine the pairing of Jan and Curtis Knight!

BTW my friend I wish you and yours HAPPY HOLIDAYS filled with plenty of great music ( I know you have that aspect covered :D) and joy!

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

Howzitgoin'Eric? Listening to it last night, I thought SQ was a bit distorted + not enough J.Akkerman. Thanks Eric. I wish you and your friend a happy, peaceful, & rockin' festive season, & TTU soon...P