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24.7.12

Ernie Graham



Ernie Graham - Ernie Graham - 1971 - Liberty

Ernie Graham's 1971 self-titled solo album is one of the lost jewels of its era, but the CD reissue is even better -- the sound is remastered in state-of-the-art digital audio, and it's thoroughly annotated, but even better, the subsequent 1978 single A- and B-sides "Romeo and the Lonely Girl" (authored by Phil Lynott) and "Only Time Will Tell" are appended to the original eight songs. The result is a one of the most rewarding and enjoyable pieces of roots/folk-based rock of its era, and a must-own CD for anyone who loves either of those genres or the pub rock sound of the 1970s. © Bruce Eder, allmusic.com

This is one of the most hauntingly beautiful solo albums to come out of the whole English pub rock scene, and references to Bob Dylan and the Band are appropriate because the rootsy/folk-like intersections with their work are here. It's also a rival to the best work of Brinsley Schwarz, Ducks Deluxe, Eggs Over Easy, et al. (and no surprise -- the Brinsleys played on this album). Opening with the gorgeous, Dylanesque "Sebastian," built on a lyrical acoustic guitar part, Graham reveals himself a songwriter and player of extraordinary sensitivity -- he might easily have been another Alan Hull, or even bigger than that, had he been able to join a band with legs or hold his own career together. As it is, from that Dylan-like start, he and the Brinsleys deliver a brace of full electric numbers that rival the classic sound of the Band, starting with "So Lonely" -- the roots rock sound here is so authentically American that it will fool lots of listeners about its origins and source. For this album, "The Girl That Turned the Lever" and "For a Little While" are two of the finest working-class/folk-style compositions this side of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," and "Blues to Snowy" takes Graham into Lynyrd Skynyrd territory. "Belfast" finally takes listeners to Graham's real roots, in a bracing, fiddle-driven folk-based piece from that side of the Atlantic. © Bruce Eder, All Music Guide

Ernie Graham was a member of Eire Apparent, whose claim to fame was their Sunrise album, produced by Jimi Hendrix. His brilliant 1971 solo record often gets the ‘pub rock’ tag, but sounds closer to genuine Americana, like The Band record that never was. It doesn’t feel like most pub rock (even considering Nick Lowe’s Brinsley Schwarz filled out the backing band); it may just be because Graham hailed from England that we call it pub rock. Labels aside, this is a pretty much perfect record. “Sebastian” is a wonderful folksy opener, but overtly dylanesque. “Belfast,” the closer, is the other anomaly on this disc, definitely a good number but drastic in its divergent Irish style. All the tunes in between are delicately produced gems and true lost classics. Thankfully, the Dylan impersonation tones down as Ernie lets his natural voice shine through. “So Lonely” kicks in with that mellow groove and tunes like “Girl That Turned The Lever” etch their melody into your mind. A laid-back combo: acoustic guitar, touch of organ, the bass and drums sound warm and wooden, with doubled electric guitar punching it up. Even the harmonies are low key, just barely there, lending to the album’s lovely, lulling mood. The “la la” refrains to “For A Little While” and “Don’t Want Me Round You” are positively anthemic and the psyched-out shuffle of “Blues To Snowy” and dreamy feel to “Sea Fever” seal the deal. It’s hard to believe this record could fall so far through the cracks. Beautiful growing melodies, choruses that resonate before you even know the song. Bruce Eder calls this “perhaps the greatest unknown album of the 1970s” and I tend to agree. After this record, Graham would play guitar and pen tunes for Help Yourself, who released their own Cali-flavored gem from the pub rock scene, and would later form his own band, Clancy, who released two albums in 1975. Written by & © Brendan | July 14th, 2008 © http://therisingstorm.net/ernie-graham-self-titled/

The late Irish singer songwriter, Ernie Graham was a member of the Irish sixties psychedelic pop rock band, Eire Apparent, whose "Sunrise" album was produced by Jimi Hendrix. He also played with Help Yourself, Clancy, and with artists like Nick Lowe and the late, great Phil Lynott.. This does not sound like an album of British rock or "Pub Rock", despite Ernie Graham's associations with people like Nick Lowe, and bands like Help Yourself, Clancy, and Brinsley Schwarz. There are albums on this blog by artists like Jim Kweskin, who play Americana style folk blues roots rock, and some of Ernie Graham's songs are in that vein. There is soulful blues, but also electric rock in the eight great tracks on this vastly underrated album. There are also Dylanesque elements on the album. There is not one dud track on this wonderful album. The arrangements for the rhythm section, guitar and piano, are superb. Richard Treece's guitar work is especially good. Also included in the line-up are members of two great British "Pub Rock" bands already mentioned here, Help Yourself, and Brinsley Schwarz.. Bruce Eder calls this “perhaps the greatest unknown album of the 1970s". The album is V.H.R by A.O.O.F.C, and your comments are welcome. The album is now available on CD, with two bonus tracks. Listen to Eire Apparent's "Sunrise" album, and also, if you can find them, Help Yourself's "Strange Affair", and Clancy's "Seriously Speaking " albums. Read more about this album @ http://irishrock.org/irodb/bands/graham-ernie.html [All tracks @ 224 Kbps: File size = 65.1 Mb]

TRACKS

A1 Sebastian 5:40
A2 So Lonely 5:25
A3 Sea Fever 4:40
A4 The Girl That Turned the Lever 6:15

B1 For a Little While 6:35
B2 Blues to Snowy 4:05
B3 Don't Want Me Round You 4.27
B4 Belfast 5.39

All songs composed by Ernie Graham

MUSICIANS

Ernie Graham - Guitar, Vocals
Brinsley Schwarz, Richard Treece - Guitar
Bob Andrews - Guitar, Accordion, Piano, Organ, Background Vocals
Ian Gomm - Guitar, Background Vocals
Malcolm Morley - Guitar, Vocals, Piano
Nick Lowe, Ken Whaley - Bass Guitar
Dave Charles - Drums, Percussion, Background Vocals
Billy Rankin - Drums
Chris Cunningham - Fiddle
J. Eichler - Vocals

BIO

Singer/guitarist Ernie Graham was an active part of the British pub rock scene during the first half of the '70s, shuffling between several bands and also recording solo. Graham started out in Belfast during the mid-'60s in professional music when he joined Tony & the Telstars, a local band, as their rhythm guitarist, working as an apprentice auto mechanic during the day. Eventually, Graham and two other members of the band decided to leave Belfast for England, and potentially bigger rewards. It was there that he met guitarist Henry McCullough and the two, on returning to Ireland, began putting together their own band, which was initially known as the People. They saw some serious success in the swinging London music scene of the second half of the 1960s, enough that they were persuaded to change their name to Eire Apparent in a bid for major stardom. That didn't quite happen, but they came close, the psychedelic-flavored band touring with Jimi Hendrix, who also played on their only album, Sunrise (1969). McCullough left the group -- to form the Grease Band -- and Eire Apparent later dissolved, Graham signed with UA/Liberty as a solo artist, just at the time that the British arm of the label had begun building a new, bold roster of acts representing a new generation of performers. It was all a happy coincidence that brought Graham into the studio backed by no less an act than Brinsley Schwarz, and the result, coupled with Graham's exceptional singing and songs, was one of the finest albums of the entire decade. Ernie Graham failed to sell, however, and soon after, he joined Help Yourself as a guitarist, entering the studio for their second album, Strange Affair, but departing the group before the record was completed. Sad to say, the rest of Graham's career was a similar study in unfulfilled promise. In 1973, Graham formed another band called Clancy, along with ex-Help Yourself bandmate Jojo Glemser. Clancy signed to Warner Bros. in 1974 and issued two albums the following year; however, the group imploded following one last Warner single in 1976 and Graham drifted away from performing. His personal demons, including a strong alcohol dependence, gradually got the better of him, and his health began to fail late in the 20th century. He passed away in 2001, forgotten by all but the most loyal fans and serious music scholars. The following year, his 1971 album was reissued on CD in Japan. © Bruce Eder & Steve Huey, All Music Guide

BIO (WIKI)

Ernie Graham (b Ernest Harold Graham, 14 June 1946 in Belfast, d 27 April 2001 in London) was a singer, guitarist and songwriter, active from the mid 1960s to the early 1980s Ernie Graham was born in Belfast, and was training to be a mechanic, when he joined his first band Tony & the Telstars in 1965, as rhythm guitarist. When the band split Graham and two other members moved to England, where Graham met Henry McCullough. Graham and McCullough returned to Belfast and formed The People, with George O'Hara, Davey Lutton and Chris Stewart. In 1967 the band moved back to London where they came to the attention of Michael Jeffery and were signed by him and Chas Chandler. In 1968 they changed their name to Eire Apparent and toured with Soft Machine, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix. Eire Apparent only recorded one album Sunrise (1969), which was produced by Hendrix, who also played on the album. Shortly after McCullough left, to tour with The Grease Band, Eire Apparent disbanded. Graham moved in with McCullough and recorded four songs with The Grease Band, but these were never issued. Graham was then signed to Liberty Records as a solo artist, by Andrew Lauder. Sharing management with Brinsley Schwarz and Help Yourself, they all toured together as "The Down Home Rhythm Kings" package and lived in the same commune in Northwood. Both bands also backed Graham on his eponymous solo album Ernie Graham (1971). The album was well received, described as "one of the most hauntingly beautiful" albums of the pub-rock scene, and "one of the more distinctive and memorable solo albums of the period", but sold poorly. Graham and 'JoJo' Glemser then joined Help Yourself appearing with them at the Glastonbury Festival in 1971 and playing on their second album Strange Affair (1972), although Graham had left the band before the album was released. In 1973, Graham formed pub rock band Clancy, who were initially signed to Island Records, but issued two albums and a single on Warner Bros. Records. When Clancy broke up in 1976, Graham played with Nick Lowe and tried to go solo, issuing Phil Lynott's "Romeo and the Lonely Girl" as a single in 1978, which was his last release. In the early 1980s, he tried forming a band with Larry Pratt, who had briefly been a member of Clancy, but when this failed, he gave up being a professional musician, worked on the railways, including as a guard on the Orient Express, and was training to become a counsellor, but his "strong alcohol dependence" caused his health to fail, and he died in April 2001.

9 comments:

Tom said...

It says "V.H.R by A.O.O.F.C" and that's enough recommendation for me to give it a listen. Thanks as always.

daniel said...

Una disculpa por el vacío y un fuerte abrazo

Tom said...

Further to my previous comment, I've just listened to this and it is an excellent album, well worth a listen. It prompted me to look for more from Ernie Graham. I found the earlier album, Sunrise, mentioned in your album notes which was produced by and features Jimi Hendrix on guitar. See http://rockonvinyl.blogspot.ie/2009/09/eire-apparent-sunrise-1969.html - the download link is still alive after almost 3 years.

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

Hi,Tom. That's a good link, and a good album. There's a few Help Yourself albums @ http://www.raremp3.co.uk/p/artistsbands.html although you're probably aware of the site. Thanks & TTU soon

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

Hola, Daniel. Eso no es problema. Siempre me alegro de saber de usted. Voy a hablar con usted pronto mi amigo

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

Hi,Tom. Thanks for the trust in my recommendations. TTU soon...P

Anonymous said...

Please Please re upload this. I would be eternally grateful.

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

Hi,Anon. Give me 1-3 days for new link. Thanks

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

NEW LINK