Get this crazy baby off my head!


Jess Roden Band

Jess Roden Band - Blowin' - 1977 - Island

The former gravel-voiced Butts Band shouter sounds riotously confident on this live album, which has no real agenda except documenting a hot night before a British college crowd. Roden's band is slick and proficient, with guitarists Bruce Roberts and Steve Webb being the standouts, though percussionist/saxophonist Ron Taylor gets lots of space, too. Roden and company manage to show themselves as diverse performers and crowd-pullers at the same time -- no mean feat when hits drove the engine of '70s mass-market rock. The preeminent sound is slinky, laid-back pop-funk, as exemplified on story songs like "The Ballad of Big Sally" or "Me and Crystal Eye." Cut from similarly breezy cloth, "In a Circle" is an example of how Lowell George might have sounded if he'd grown up across the pond. The band stretches out on "Can't Get Next to You," which dips into the blues bag, but Roden's husky howl shines brightest on the glistening title track (which also makes clever use of varying internal rhymes). There's also a blistering boogie in "Jump Mama," where Roden pushes his throat in the manner of peers like Frankie Miller and Maggie Bell. The album ends on an unconventional note with a brief, piano-led reprise of "Blowin'." Unlike many live albums of this period, there's no side-long solos to pad out an average evening -- just a proficient band and their frontman throwing down before a packed house. The story would change after Britain went punk, but there's no denying what Roden could offer. This isn't an easy album to find, but worth the hunt if you see it. © Ralph Heibutzki © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/blowin-r48210/review

Recorded live in the Autumn of 1976 at Birmingham Town Hall and Leicester University, England, Jess Roden and his great band show 'em how it's done. If only this vinyl issue was remastered for CD ! Here's hoping the rumours are true. Check this blog for more info on Jess Roden [All tracks @ 160 Kbps: File size = 46.9 Mb]



1. The Ballad of Big Sally - Cartwright, Roberts
2. In a Circle - Webb, Cartwright
3. Can't Get Next to You - Whitfield, Strong


1. Me and Crystal Eye - Roden, Webb
2. Blowin' - Cartwright, Roden
3. Jump Mama - Roden
4. Blowin' (Reprise) - Cartwright, Roden


Jess Roden - Vocals
Bruce Roberts, Steve Webb - Guitar, Vocals
John Cartwright - Bass
Billy Livsey - Keyboards, Drums, Vocals
Pete Hunt - Drums
Ron Taylor - Saxophone, Percussion
Chris Gower - Trombone, Percussion


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


p/w is aoofc

Wee Jock said...

Thanks again for all the Jess Roden and your offer of some Alan Bown. This topic has reminded me of the time when a lad I worked with, who was a really talented local drummer, joined Alan Bown temporarily for a short tour to cover for their drummer who was ill. It was at about the time that "We Can Help You" was out as a single and Alan Bown had been on the BBC's "Top Of The Pops" to promote it. Unfortunately, a dispute at the record pressing plant wrecked any chart success for the single and the Band all but disappeared from public view and my friend came back to his old job. Such is life!

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

Hi,WJ. No probs. Good story. Not as bad as Pete Best! (lol). Give me a shout anytime. Thanks for your comments and interest. TTU soon...P

Miles said...

Kudos to you for championing the talents of Jess Roden. Some people just seem to fall through the cracks and Roden was one of them. Despite no longer being active in the music business, it's never too late to share his gift with those who might 'get it' today. Thanks.

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

Cheers, Miles. Hopefully, some of the XmanuFactorized heads out there might listen to this guy, and discover what real music is all about. Good music must prevail! Keep on rockin' in the free world, & TTU later. Thanks, Miles...P

Purpleblues said...

thanks for posting this. had this on vinyl,picked it up in a Virgin megastore in a bargain bucket! £1.99. Wish I still had it.
Seem to remember mine had an epic version of Desperado on it with a long sax fronted intro that sent shivers where shivers rarely go...

And the rumours of a 5 CD box set retrospective are growing in pace...

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

Hi,Purpleblues. I know there was a Jess Roden best of compilation with Desperado on it released a few years back. I'll definite buy this new remastered set if it surfaces. Thanks for comment. TTU soon...P