Get this crazy baby off my head!


Jess Roden

Jess Roden - The Best Of - 2009 - Lemon

Jess Roden was a journeyman British rock singer who caught lots of breaks, it's just that none of them were particularly lucky. He sang background in the studios and fronted various bands before playing with Keef Hartley, yet never went anywhere; sang for Robbie Krieger and John Densmore's post-Doors project the Butts Band, which also stalled; then he had a solo career on Island which is compiled on this quite good 2009 Lemon collection. Equal parts Rod Stewart and Paul Rodgers, Roden had a powerful bluesy growl made for rockers like "The Ballad of Big Sally" - and his cover of Randy Newman's "You Can Leave Your Hat On" trumps Joe Cocker's latter-day version - but he also sounds just as comfortable on softer material like "Blowin'" and the terrific Boz Scaggs-styled soft rock of "In Me Tonight." That track is an indication of how Roden got softer, slicker, and also somewhat funkier - if funk is nothing but loping basslines and wah-wah guitars - as the '70s came to the close. He still negotiated these turns quite well, and these are good, period soft rock, but Roden sounds alive on the earliest cuts, when he still had the chance of breaking through toward the blues-rock big time. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/the-best-of-r1562008

"Journeyman vocalist who never quite got his just dues". Jess Roden came to prominence as the up-front vocalist for The Alan Bown Set as they worked the mid-60s club circuit, but left them for a folk-rock direction with Bronco and his own band. With a confident rock voice that could adapt to many song styles, his work was always convincing. Consequently, following a rocking opener in Ballad Of Big Sally, it’s often the slower and more restrained songs such as Blowin’, Me & Crystal Eye, Woman Across The Water and the trombone-infused In A Circle that most satisfy on this collection. With the material here drawn from five albums spanning 1974-80, Roden matures like a good wine, supported by a great band whose members also collaborate with him on many of the songs. Cover versions include fine takes on Randy Newman’s You Can Leave Your Hat On, Doc Pomus’ Lonely Avenue, and Whitfield/Strong’s Temptations hit Can’t Get Next To You. An attractive package by any standards, celebrating one of the industry’s best voices. **** Reviewed by & © Kingsley Abbott © 2012 Diamond Publishing http://recordcollectormag.com/reviews/the-best-of-jess-roden

"Nice to see Jess Roden on Amazon and a lovely 'Best Of' to remind us all how good he was. There were so many great singers around in Jess's heyday, it was like the golden age of heavyweight boxers ! I don't know what he's doing now but back in the mid-seventies, when Rod had crossed the Atlantic, Zeppelin and Plant had made their best work, Paul Rogers and Free were over, ditto Chapman and Family, Terry Reid had disappeared Stateside - and you can add to the list here yourself - it seemed for a time that Island / Chrysalis stablemates Jess and Frankie Miller were about the best rock / soul singers we had. Like so much great music of the seventies Jess seemed to get blown away by the false dawn of punk which promised so much but delivered so little music that would last. I have great memories of him on numerous Rock Goes to College broadcasts but like many artists he was perhaps too good and not commercial enough, though heaven knows the great material he sang sounded very accessible to me. Perhaps it was all down to timing and luck in the end, his peak coming between the classic era of rock and the punk revolution. Time for a Jess Roaen revival - where are you man ?" ***** from "One of the very best", 18 Feb 2010 by & © Mr. Philip Baird (Isle of Man) © 1996-2012, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.co.uk/Best-Jess-Roden/dp/B0025T717E/ref=ntt_mus_ep_dpi_1

Jess Roden has got to be one of the most underated jazz, soul & blues vocalists ever to come out of England. His voice has been described as "one of the quintessential white soul voices of the '70's". For over 40 years, he done just about everything in rock music, except becoming a household name. He has appeared on albums by The Meters, The Doors, Steve Winwood, The Who, Mott the Hoople, Keef Hartley, Sandy Denny, Paul Kossoff, Jim Capaldi, Stomu Yamashta, Peter Green, and many more. He has a voice of pure gold, and to many people in the record buying world, he remains an undiscovered treasure. "The Best Of" contains 18 tracks from 5 of his studio albums, which is simply not enough to demonstrate this great vocalist's talents. John "Rabbit" Bundrick, Allen Toussaint, Rob Mounsey, and Simon Kirke are just a few of the many legendary artists playing on this album. Check out his brilliant "Blowin'" album. A 5 x CD album, "The Hidden Masters - The Jeff Roden Anthology" containing over 80 remastered tracks from the original master tapes is supposedly due for release. Watch out for that! Has anybody any info on the album "Jess Roden Live At The BBC"? Before you put "It was like sooo kool"  Jedward on your CD player, listen to this compilation album! [Tracks @ 228-320 Kbps: File size = 134 Mb]


1 Ballad of Big Sally - Cartwright, Roberts 5:44
2 Blowin' - Cartwright, Roden 3:27
3 You Can Leave Your Hat On - Newman 4:04
4 Stonechaser - Roden, Webb 5:33
5 Reason to Change - Roden 3:05
6 Woman Across the Water - Roden 4:13
7 In a Circle - Cartwright, Webb 5:33
8 Trouble in the Mind - Roden 4:08
9 Me and Crystal Eye - Roden 4:13
10 In Me Tonight - Roden 4:36
11 Can't Get Next to You - Strong, Whitfield 7:00
12 What the Hell - Roden 4:57
13 I'm on a Winner with You - Roden, Webb 3:20
14 Deeper in Love - James 2:58
15 Lonely Avenue - Pomus 3:37
16 If You Change Your Mind - Cartwright 3:17
17 Jump Mama - Roden 4:02
18 All Night Long - Roden 3:33


Jess Roden - Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Horn, String Arrangements, Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Background Vocals
Bruce Robertson, Leo Nocentelli, Charlie Brown, Franklin Micare, Lance Quinn, John Tropea, David Landau, Jeff Layton, Jeff Mironov, Cliff Morris - Guitar
Bruce Roberts, Steve Webb - Guitar, Vocals
Neil Jason, Anthony Jackson, Milt Hinton, Francisco Centeno, George Porter, Jr., Rick Chudacoff, Pat Donaldson, Mickey Feat - Bass
John Cartwright - Bass, Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
John "Rabbit" Bundrick - Keyboards, Organ, Piano
Billy Livsey - Keyboards, Organ, Piano, Clavinet
Mick Weaver - Fender Rhodes, Keyboards
Allen Toussaint - Piano, Conga
Rick Smith - Keyboards
Roy Davies - Keyboards, Organ, Clavinet
Leon Pendarvis - Keyboards, Percussion, Vocals
Shirley Scott, Rob Mounsey, George Clinton, Pat Rebillot - Keyboards
Art Neville - Organ
Ziggy Modeliste, Simon Kirke, Richard Bailey, Pete Hunt, Neil Bunetta, Buddy Williams, Peter Bunetta, Gary Mure, Richard Crooks, Chris Parker - Drums
Rubens Bassini, Crusher Bennett, Arno Lucas - Percussion
Rebop Kwaku Baah - Conga, Percussion
Alan Sharp - Conga
David Carey - Vibraphone, Background Vocals
Alan Raph, Tom "Bones" Malone, Chris Gower - Trombone
Derek Wadsworth, Billy Lyall - Horn Arrangements
Scott Hamilton - Saxophone
Pat Ryan - Alto Saxophone
Ronnie Taylor - Alto & Tenor Sax
George Lee - Tenor Sax
Harold Vick - Saxophone, Wind
Chris Gower - Trombone
Alan Raph, Wayne Andre - Trombone, Brass
Lee Goodall - Clarinet, Bass Clarinet
New Orleans Horns, Jon Faddis, Burt Collins, Michael Lawrence, Virgil Jones, George Marge, Pee Wee Ellis, Victor Paz, Alan Rubin - Horn
Virgil Jones, David Taylor, Lew Soloff, Barry Rogers - Brass, Horn
Raymond Beckenstein, Howard Johnson, Lou Marini - Wind
Howard Johnson - Brass, Wind
Alex Foster, Romeo Penque, Billy Slapin, Harold Vick, David Tofani - Reeds (Multiple), Wind
Raymond Beckenstein, John Campo - Reeds (Multiple)
Steve Gregory - Flute
Regis Iandiorio, Lamar Alsop, Lou Eley, Lewis Eley, Stanley Pollock, John Pintavalle, Harold Kohon, Kathryn Kienke - Violin
Jesse Levy, Kermit Moore, Charles McCracken - Cello
Al Brown, Sue Pray, Lenore Weinstock - Viola
The Manny Vardi - Viola, Strings
Harry Robinson, William S. Fischer - Strings
Arnold McCutler, Joshie Armstead, Chandra Armstead, Janice Pendarvis, Barbara Massey, Luther Vandross, Jaki Whitren, Zachary Sanders - Vocals
Benny Diggs, Michael Lee Gray, Delores Hall - Vocals, Background Vocals


Singer/guitarist Jess Roden was born in Kidderminster in England's West Midlands, and his first band was the Shakedown Sounds. In 1967, he joined the Alan Bown Set as their new lead singer. Although their records never charted nationally, he did pick up a fandom in London (and belatedly became something of a star on the Northern Soul scene) with the release of their single "Emergency 999". He remained with the Bown group through 1970, after which he formed the band Bronco, and later worked on Wildlife, the third Mott The Hoople album, and with Keef Hartley on the album Lancashire Hustler. In the mid-1970's, he teamed up with ex-Doors John Densmore and Robby Kreiger in the Butts Band, and sang on their first album. Roden finally emerged as a solo artist in his own right in the mid-1970's on Island Records, with his 1974 self-titled solo album, which was cut in New Orleans and included Allen Toussaint and Art Neville on keyboards. His albums throughout the 1970's got great reviews but he never saw any significant sales; in between his own work, he managed to sing and play on albums by Carol Grimes, Jim Capaldi, Stomu Yamashta, Sandy Denny, and Grace Jones. He was with the group Rivits on Island, for one album at the outset of the 1980's. © Bruce Eder © 2012 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/jess-roden-p20236/biography


Jess Roden (born 28 December 1947) is an English rock singer and guitarist. Roden's first band was The Raiders followed by The Shakedown Sound which also included the guitarist, Kevyn Gammond, and keyboard player August Eadon (aka Gus Yeadon). In 1966, he joined The Alan Bown Set as their new lead singer. Although their records rarely charted, Roden and the band did pick up a considerable fans in London, and belatedly became a minor star on the Northern soul scene, with the release of their single, "Emergency 999". He remained with the Alan Bown through to the late 1960s, but left after recording the album The Alan Bown! His vocals were re-recorded by his replacement Robert Palmer for the UK release of the album, although Roden's original vocals remained on the U.S. release. Roden later appeared as a backing vocalist to Palmer on his 1983 appearance on The Tube. In 1970 Roden returned to Worcestershire and formed the band Bronco but left after two albums to embark on a solo album. During this period, he also worked on Wildlife, the third Mott the Hoople album, and sang and played on albums by Carol Grimes, Jim Capaldi, Sandy Denny, and sang lead vocals on Keef Hartley's 1973 album Lancashire Hustler. His solo album plans were sidelined when, in the same year, he was asked to team up with ex-Doors John Densmore and Robby Krieger in The Butts Band, together with Phil Chenn (bass) and Roy Davies (keyboards). The album was recorded in London and Kingston, Jamaica and released in America on Blue Thumb and Island (rest of the world). Roden, Chenn and Davies remained with the group for one album and a brief US tour. Roden finally emerged as a solo artist in the mid 1970s on Island Records, with his 1974 self-titled solo album. It was recorded at Olympia and Basing St Studios in London as well as New Orleans, Louisiana, and included contributions from Allen Toussaint and Art Neville on keyboards. He then formed The Jess Roden Band (originally Iguana - based in Southampton), with whom three further albums were recorded (Keep Your Hat On, Play It Dirty, PLay It Class and Blowin') - the latter recorded live in Birmingham and Leicester during 1976. Always a major touring draw, the band never achieved significant record sales and disbanded in 1977. Following the ending of the JRB, Roden relocated to New York and cut two further solo albums for Island (The Player Not The Game and Stonechaser). He formed The Rivits with Peter Wood (who co-wrote Year Of The Cat with Al Stewart), for one album Multiplay. During initial sessions for a second Rivits album that was due to be recorded at Compass Point Studios, Roden sang back-up vocals for Grace Jones Pull Up To The Bumper. On returning to New York, Roden worked as a graphic artist while, at the same time, recording Seven Windows, an album that was produced by Steve Dwire and Michael MacDonald. Just before the album was released, Roden returned to live and work in the UK. He returned with a new band, The Humans, in 1991. With a line-up featuring Jim Capaldi, Gary Grainger, Bill Burke and Nick Graham, the outfit produced two albums, only for Roden disappear from the music scene once more in the mid 1990s. One rare recent appearance was at Granville's Brasserie, in Stone, Staffordshire. As of April, 2008, according to his brother Nick, "Basically he now runs his own graphic design business, but not in New York. He lives near to London and is enjoying the quiet life. Up until about 4-5 years ago, he sang about once a year with an outfit called the SAS band with other singers and musicians. I believe Roy Wood, Roger Taylor, Brian May, Paul Young, etc. were also involved. I cannot speak on his behalf, but when I went down to see him two weeks ago, I asked him if he would be doing anymore singing, but seeing as he has not sung in such a while, I can honestly say it is most unlikely."


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


p/w is aoofc

Anonymous said...

Waited for years for the Bronco elpees to be re-issued, still got my original import vinyl copy of Stonechaser and the cassette a friend of mine did of The Butts Band... one of THE British singers just like Terry Reid... thanks very much for this!

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

Hi,A. Thanks for comment. Great music. I've got the Butts Band "Hear & Now" album, & their s/t '73 album. Great stuff. TTU soon...P

Anonymous said...

This was a revelation for me. Great music, played flawlessly, very strong voice, great arrangements, very similar to the early Steely Dan records.
P.S. Mentioning Steely Dan, do not know if you have their 1974 performance in Glendale, if you don't, here is the link (very good soundboard recording):
Cheers, Haralampije.

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

Hi,Haralampije. The guy should be better known. I have that Dan album. Thanks for link. I'm sure it will be of use to this blog's readers. TTU soon, & Keep on rockin' in the free world!...P

Wee Jock said...

What a great talent. Thank you so much for this. I understand he reappeared in the 90's with an album "Jess Roden & The Humans" and a live album with a similar title. I would love to hear them if someone could point me in the right direction please. Great Blog.

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

Hi,Wee Jock. Jess is a marvellous vocalist, with a voice full of soul. I know he did a few albums. I may have one more which I'll post soon. TTU later...P