Get this crazy baby off my head!


Brian Knight

Brian Knight - Good Time Down the Road - 1988 - PRT Records

The late Brian Knight was one of the most respected and important figures in British blues history. He was an influential vocalist, slide guitarist, harmonica player and founding member of The Rolling Stones. In the early '60's Brian met Brian Jones on West London's blues circuit. Jones was forming a band, and asked Knight to sing. Geoff Bradford joined the line-up on guitar along with pianist Ian Stewart, bassist Dick Taylor (later of The Pretty Things) and a succession of drummers. It was the beginning of The Rolling Stones. Knight wanted to pursue the Muddy Waters school of blues, while Brian Jones favoured Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry styles. Brian Knight left, and Mick Jagger and Keith Richards later teamed up with Brian Jones, and the rest is history. Brian Knight formed a new band, Blues By Six with Charlie Watts on drums. They gained prestigious London residencies at the Marquee and 100 Club, often supported by "The Rollin' Stones Group". In 1966, exhausted from constant touring, Brian Knight quit making music until the early 70's when he was reunited with Geoff Bradford in a band called The Bradford - Knight Blues Band. A high profile act on the blues circuit, they often welcomed Rick Wakeman and other assorted luminaries onstage for impromptu lunacy! Brian had a unique 'attacking' style of slide and harmonica playing, and from the 70's - 90's he shone as a blues star, performing with Fairport Convention's Bruce Rowland, Ian Stewart (the sixth Stone), Charlie Watts, Peter Green, Dana Gillespie, Paul Jones, Ronnie Lane, Georgie Fame, Zoot Money, Chris Farlowe, Micky Moody, and many more. The gigs he generally played were good venues / festivals in the UK and Europe including a great gig with BB King at The Gosport Festival in the South of England. Even though he played mostly on numerous sessions by other artists, he released a few solo albums. Brian died on September 25th 2001 and should be remembered and celebrated as one of Britain's blues legends. "Good Time Down The Road" was Brian's first solo album, recorded after he'd spent several years away from the UK Blues/R&B circuit. He teamed up with a strong studio band for the album including session guitarist Jon McLoughlin, bassist Ray Bailey and drummer Steve Bray. "Good Time Down the Road" features original material mixed with some "no frills" cover versions of standard blues tracks like "High Heel Sneakers," "Hoochie Coochie Man," "My Babe," and "Meet Me at the Bottom." Despite receiving good reviews the album only made a minor impact due to bad timing problems by record distributors. It is sad that Brian never got the credit he deserved. On his trademark copper topped guitars, he was innovative in his guitar technique, and was one of Britain's greatest slide players. The 2003 CD re-issue includes four live tracks recorded with guitarist Toni Vines, at the 1995 Buxton Alexis Korner Memorial Concert. Try and listen to Brian's "A Dark Horse" album [All tracks @ 160 Kbps: File size = 68.8 Mb]


1 Hi-Heel Sneakers - Higginbotham
2 Hoochie Coochie Man - Dixon
3 99 Years - Fuller
4 My Babe - Jacobs
5 Good Times Down the Road - Knight
6 Meet Me at the Bottom - Weaver
7 Honey Bee - Waters
8 She Caught the Katy - Mahal
9 Any Way You Want Me to Do - Reed
10 Tired, Broke and Busted - Davis, Dixon


Brian Knight - Guitar, Slide Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
Jon McLoughlin - Guitar
Toni Vines - Guitar on Bonus Tracks
Ray Bailey - Bass
Steve Bray - Drums


Brian Knight, who has died of cancer aged 61, was a wonderful guitarist who came from that late-1950s repertory company of musicians who provided the cast for the 60s British rhythm and blues boom, but achieved little fame - or money - from it. At the beginning of the 60s, he met Brian Jones at an Ealing r 'n' b club. Jones was forming a band, and Brian became its vocalist; but Brian was a devotee of Muddy Waters, while Jones favoured Chuck Berry, and down such sectarian divisions the band plunged. Jones departed for what became the Rolling Stones while Brian created Blues By Six (BBS). Electric blues was supplanting the "trad" jazz craze, and in clubs BBS - featuring drummer Charlie Watts - became immensely popular, and also backed touring American bluesmen. Overworked Watts, still holding down a day job, moved on, to Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated. Brian was working class, born in north-west London. In the early 1950s, a radio era dominated by crooners, what impressed him was the black American blues singer Josh White, and interest had been sparked. In the mid-1950s, he got his first job as a panel beater in a London garage. Also employed there was the pioneer British blues harmonica player, Cyril Davies. Davies invited Brian to visit the Wardour Street Roundhouse pub - the venue for Davies and Korner's London Skiffle Club and the London Blues and Barrelhouse Club. It was there that Brian heard Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and Muddy Waters. He was there the night that Big Bill Broonzy had to be extricated from a passionate, if over-enthusiastic, Margaret Mead, the anthropologist, and he helped cart Bill off to my Waterloo flat. In those days, aficionados of American music headed to its source by the cheapest route, by signing up on a merchant ship. So, like the jazzman Ken Colyer, a New Orleans enthusiast, Brian headed west. He spent two years in the US coastal trade, from the Gulf of Mexico to Maine, learning guitar and absorbing the music, visiting black clubs and gospel halls. Back home in 1957 he played his first gig, at the White Hart in Southall. He turned down an invitation from Korner to join Blues Incorporated, as a vocalist. But then came Brian Jones and BBS. The times did not treat Brian kindly. In 1964 Cyril Davies died of leukaemia. Two years later an exhausted Brian quit the music business and bought a garage. In 1967 he married Davies's widow, Marie. He continued to work with bands, perfecting a slide guitar technique that earned the respect of musicians like Ronnie Wood, Peter Green and Eric Clapton - who recorded with him. And then there was Terry and McGhee. Brian had the habit of showing up on their tours - and at their after-show jam sessions. One night, at the Half Moon pub in Putney in 1975, the two Americans were playing when in walked Brian. McGhee put down his guitar, and switched to piano. He was not playing, he announced, when "there was a proper guitarist" around. In his later years he played acoustic guitar and harmonica in East Anglian pubs, inviting local musicians to join him on stage. Brian was an outstanding musician, and if his life history was closer to those of the black Americans who were his inspiration than those of the rock stars who admired him, well, that is perhaps the way he would have preferred it. He is survived by Marie, their two daughters and his stepdaughter and stepson. Brian Knight by & © John Pilgrim - Thursday December 6, 2001 © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008 © 2011, all rights reserved


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


p/w is aoofc

Anonymous said...

I've been in the mood for British blues, so this posting was well-timed - a really nice album. I've been listening to early Fleetwood Mac a lot recently, so it was pretty cool to find out that Brian Knight played with Peter Green among others. More importantly, how have so many decades gone by without my learning the "prehistory" of the Rolling Stones until I read your posting? :( Geez, I feel like an idiot!

Thanks for the music,

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

Hi,Alex. The British blues family tree is so interesting. Every day, I spot a really interesting band connection. Brian Knight is just one example. There's hundreds more. I'm learning all the time. It's certainly not idiotic to be unaware of these myriad connections! TTU later, Alex....P