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6.7.13

Mick Abrahams


Mick Abrahams - Cat Squirrel Blues - 2013 - Secret Records

Cat Squirrel Blues is a reissue of the 2005 Snapper Music album Leaving Home Blues by British blues-rock guitarist Mick Abrahams, spiffed up by Secret Records and provided a snazzy new CD cover and liner notes. The budget-priced two-disc set collects various Abrahams performances from the UK and Europe and breaks them down into two sides, one acoustic and one electric. The acoustic disc includes ten tracks, including Abrahams' original "Leaving Home Blues" and covers like Brownie McGhee's "So Much Trouble" and Leroy Carr's "How Long Blues." The electric disc includes red-hot originals like "Lies" and "The Dead Man's Hill" along with covers of tunes like Alexis Korner's "I Wonder Who" and the Blind Alfred Reed classic "How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live?" A must have for fans of Mick Abrahams and Blodwyn Pig! By & © Reverend Keith A. Gordon, Blues CDs New Releases - July 2013 About.com Guide © 2013 About.com. All rights reserved. http://blues.about.com/od/bluescds/tp/Blues-CDs-New-Releases-July-2013.htm

The former Jethro Tull axeman delivers two fiery live sets of blues originals and covers, on acoustic and electric guitar. Having been ousted from Jethro Tull for wanting to steer the band towards a blues rock sound it's clear where Mick Abrahams heart has always lay. Through his solo work with The Mick Abrahams Band and his band work with Blodwyn Pig, Abrahams has established himself as a worthy veteran of the late 1960's blues rock boom and has continued flying the flag to this day. 'Cat Squirrel Blues', recorded during various concerts around 2003-2004, features both original songs from his vast catalogue alongside various blues covers of traditional American songs and artists and a couple from the British scene. The first disc sees him acoustically tear through numbers by Brownie McGhee, Leroy Carr and St. Louis Jimmy Oden showcasing his legendary slide ability over his bands authentically loose rhythmic feel. The electric set for disc 2 shows Abrahams at his technical height mixing in rock and jazz licks over blues rock standards including Alexis Korner's 'I Wonder Who', Little Son Jackson's 'Rock Me Baby' and his brilliant rendition of 'Cat Squirrel' by Isaiah 'Doctor' Ross. A mixture of diverse Blodwyn Pig and Mick Abrahams solo cuts are spread over the album including the folky 'Gnatz', the delta blues 'Leaving Home Blues' and the rollicking 'You Got It Wrong' amongst others. Much of blues music has been a simple format to follow but for an artist to truly define their own style, as Abrahams has so masterfully done, it takes years of dedication and experience. Enjoy 'Cat Squirrel Blues' as an authentic British blues legend taking on timeless classics as well as his own classics © Propermusic.com Ltd 2013 http://www.propermusic.com/product-details/Mick-Abrahams-Cat-Squirrel-Blues-2CD-152040

Double CD set from the original guitarist of Jethro Tull. Disc one is acoustic and disc two is electric. The album was previously released as “ Leaving Home Blues” on Snapper Records in 2005. The tracks were recorded at Bishop Stortford's Blues Club, England on the 24th of November 2003. Mick Abrahams has never received due credit for his contribution to rock and blues music. He is arguably best remembered for his terrific blues licks on Jethro Tull's debut album, “This Was”, where critics compared him to Eric Clapton. When Mick left Tull he never managed to achieve lasting success as a recording artist, or achieve the world-class fame of his former band mates. He has led various line-ups of his best-known band, Blodwyn Pig, and over the last 25 years or so he has managed to achieve some significant cult status, mainly in England. His laid back, understated, jazz/blues guitar technique is a joy to listen to. Listen to Mick Abrahams’ Blodwyn Pig’s “Times Have Changed” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: 2 x rar files: Pt 1 (Disc 1) = 100 Mb, & Pt 2 (Disc 2) = 136 Mb]


DISC 1: ACOUSTIC

1. So Much Trouble
2. Billy the Kid
3. Gnatz
4. Black Night Is Falling
5. Going Down Slow
6. Driftin' Blues
7. Leaving Home Blues
8. How Long Blues
9. Trouble in Mind
10. Jesus on the Mainline

DISC 2: ELECTRIC

1. You Got It Wrong
2. Lies
3. Victim, The
4. I Wonder Who
5. Cat Squirrel
6. How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?
7. Dead Man's Hill, The
8. Rock Me Baby

BAND

Mick Abrahams – Guitar, Vocals
John 'Guinness' Gordon – Bass
Graham Walker – Drums

BIO

Mick Abraham's was one of the more unfortunate hard-luck stories in rock music. Best known for his work on Jethro Tull's debut album, This Was, where he played blues licks that had critics comparing him favorably to Eric Clapton, he left the group, and since then has never managed to achieve lasting success as a recording artist, or the world-class fame of his former bandmates. Leading various incarnations of his best-known band, Blodwyn Pig, he has persevered over the last quarter century, and achieved some major cult recognition, especially in England. Abraham's joined his first band, the Crusaders, in 1964, alongside pianist Graham Waller, drummer (and Screaming Lord Sutch/Cyril Davies veteran) Carlo Little, and bassist Alex Dmochowski, all backing singer Neil Christian. Abraham's' musical hero was Alexis Korner, the man who -- with Cyril Davies -- brought blues to England. He was one of that legion of young guitarists, which included Brian Jones and Keith Richards, who found their way into music through Korner's groundbreaking work with Blues Incorporated. In 1965, Abraham's and Waller joined the Toggery Five, a septet whose members included drummer Clive Bunker. That group had a momentary brush with the record books when they cut a Mick Jagger-Keith Richards song as a failed single, but otherwise were unable to make any lasting impression. In the summer of 1967, while playing in his next group, McGregory's Engine with Bunker, Abraham's met Ian Anderson and bassist Glenn Cornick, who were playing in a group called John Evans' Smash. After comparing notes on their shared enthusiasm for blues, they decided to form Jethro Tull. Abraham's remained with the group until November of 1968, and his guitar was very prominent in the group's sound during this period, revealing him to be one of the best among England's legions of bluesmen. Evidence of his skill, passion, and persuasiveness are all over their second single, "A Song for Jeffrey," and the album This Was. Anderson's voice and flute, however, quickly challenged Abraham's for primacy, and by the fall of 1968 Anderson had won that battle; in November, Abraham's was gone. Early in 1969, Abraham's formed his own group, Blodwyn Pig, with Jack Lancaster on saxophone, ex-McGregory's Engine member Andy Pyle on bass, and Ron Berg on drums. This was a blues band through-and-through, and even arriving on the scene in a time when London was filled with white blues players, Blodwyn Pig quickly became a critical favorite with its performances and its first album, Ahead Rings Out. Considered a classic progressive blues album, the record found a small audience in the United States, while in England it was a Top Ten album. The group's second long-player, Getting to This, released a year later, was received with enthusiasm as well, and also made the British Top Ten. The group was riven by internal conflicts, however, as Lancaster and the other members expressed a desire to go in a somewhat different direction in their music, and for Lancaster's sax to become more prominent. Abraham's left the band in 1970, to be replaced by ex-Yes guitarist Peter Banks and guitarist/singer Larry Wallis. The group continued on under the leadership of Lancaster, although it was eventually renamed Lancaster's Bomber. Initially Abraham's formed a new group called Wommet; it was very short-lived, however, so he reorganized his career around the Mick Abraham's Band, with Walt Monaghan on bass, Bob Sargeant on guitar, keyboards and vocals, and Ritchie Dharma on drums. He released two albums on Chrysalis, Mick Abraham's and At Last, with his former Blodwyn Pig bandmate Lancaster expanding the lineup to a quintet. Neither sold very well, although Abraham's was never at a loss for paying gigs. In 1974, Abraham's reformed Blodwyn Pig with his ex-Tull bandmate Bunker, Pyle, and Lancaster, but the group only lasted a few gigs before breaking up. Meanwhile, Abraham's virtually left the music business, but not before he recorded what proved to be his biggest selling solo album of all, an instructional record entitled Learning to Play Guitar With Mick Abraham's. He continued to play occasional shows, but made his living outside of music, working as a driver, lifeguard, and financial consultant. He seemed content to play the odd impromptu show at the local pub, or for causes that mattered to him in his home town of Dunstable. Finally, in 1988, however, he re-formed Blodwyn Pig with Andy Pyle back in the lineup on bass, ex-Bonzo Dog Band member Dick Heckstall-Smith and Bernie Hetherington on saxes, Bruce Boardman on keyboards, and Clive Bunker on drums. The re-formed group was a success, releasing a well-received album called All Said and Done. Their 1993 lineup, including new keyboardist Dave Lennox, Mike Summerland on bass, and Graham Walker on drums, released the album Lies, Blodwyn Pig's most accomplished album ever. The group later issued a live recording from their 1993 tour (where Abraham's was reunited with Ian Anderson at one gig), entitled All Tore Down. Abraham's continues to play and record regularly, with a following in England and America with Blodwyn Pig. As of the mid-'90s, the group consisted of a quartet of Abrahams, Walker, Lennox, and Summerland, with vocalist Jackie Challenor and sax-player Nick Payne augmenting their membership in the studio. © Bruce Eder © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/mick-abrahams-mn0000476227

MORE

The roots of Mick Abrahams' musical career were typical of aspiring guitarists in the mid-sixties, taking in stints with R&B groups like The Hustlers, The Toggery Five, Screaming Lord Sutch, Neil Christian's Crusaders (replacing Jimmy Page) and his own McGregor's Engine. By late 1967 Mick had become a founder member of Jethro Tull, and throughout 1968 the band built up a reputation based on the already distinctive blues guitar of Abrahams and the flute playing and wild stage persona of Ian Anderson. The band's unique blend of blues, jazz and rock was reflected in their first album This Was, an immediate UK chart hit. However, having two such strong personalities as a twin focus was always going to be a recipe for musical incompatibility, and at the end of 1968 Abrahams jumped ship. After quitting Jethro Tull Mick formed his own band, called Blodwyn Pig. They released two albums "Ahead Rings Out" (1969) and "Getting To This" (1970). At that stage Blodwyn Pig looked destined for great things - but the old ogre of musical differences reared its ugly head, and Abrahams left his own band. Blodwyn Pig soldiered on for a while, but Mick's presence had been too vital a factor in their success, and the Pig died. The early seventies saw Mick on 'Top Of The Pops' and 'In Concert' on Radio One with The Mick Abrahams Band, showcasing two fine guitar-driven rock albums in (A Musical Evening With) Mick Abrahams and At Last. The band enjoyed success throughout Europe; but record company support was less encouraging and, after a short-lived Blodwyn Pig reunion in 1974 (immortalised via another Radio One live broadcast), a disillusioned Mick Abrahams effectively quit the music business. In the new millennium Mick Abrahams' recording career is busier than ever. After spending the rest of the seventies and most of the eighties in civvy street, with just the occasional appearance at charity gigs to remind us of what a great guitarist the ex-Pig was, Mick Abrahams was persuaded by the enthusiastic response of the fans to these one-off gigs to resuscitate Blodwyn Pig - and what a fine decision it has been. Far from simply trading on past glories, Mick has spent the nineties writing and recording new music, both with Blodwyn Pig and as a solo artist. 1991's "All Said And Done" featured an impressive selection of new songs and stage favourites, while 1993's Lies was a sparkling collection of self-penned tracks. The Blods' dynamic stage performance was captured on the live 1994 album All Tore Down, and the 1996 solo electric blues album Mick's Back featured four new songs alongside a number of standards. And in between he has found time to guest on a number of other artists' albums, most notably on the Peter Green tribute album Rattlesnake Guitar alongside an illustrious Who's Who of the blues. The most remarkable 1996 album though was the solo release One, which featured Mick just on acoustic guitar ("unpigged"), augmented on four tracks by the mandolin, harmonica and flute of his erstwhile Jethro Tull cohort Ian Anderson. The renewed working relationship with Anderson had started in the early 1990s with a couple of live reunions at fan conventions, and has continued with Mick making special guest appearances at Jethro Tull concerts, while Ian has even played live with Blodwyn Pig. That Ian should volunteer to play on One is as high as any testament to Mick's remarkable talents. And still the man continues to produce new music. Mick´s brand new album "See My Way further" demonstrates what a fine songwriter Mick Abrahams is in a range of styles, from slow tear-jerking blues to acoustic finger-picking ditties to driving fist-waving rock. The current line-up for this brilliant new album has some very distinguished guest musicians such as Elliott Randall, Dave Bronze, Geoff Whitehorn and Jim Rodford to name but a few. This has to be Mick¹s finest album to date. It also marks a new direction for Mick, as this is his debut as a producer and this album is proof of his dedication to continue to make and produce great blues, country, rock and jazz influenced music that is unique and heart felt. There are plenty of good guitarists around. One of the hallmarks of a great guitarist is the development of a personal style - and the big, rich sound of Mick's rolling and tumbling licks are instantly recognisable, whether he is blasting out a blurred-finger eye-bulging rocker or making his guitar weep to a mournful slow blues - all of which impelled Record Collector recently to describe the band as the "rockin', rootin', ripsnortin' Blodwyn Pig". The fans too have welcomed Mick back with open arms. All the old Blodwyn Pig and Mick Abrahams Band albums are now available on CD alongside the newer material, and the band continues to tour and entertain the audiences of Europe with its powerful bluesy rock and rockin' blues. www.angelfire.com/nc/brunni/mick.html

13 comments:

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

LINK Pt 1
LINK Pt 2

P/W is aoofc

Andrew said...

Thanks for the post! Download running looking forward to checking it out and once again THANKS for so many great posts- please excuse me for not always commenting!

Andrew

Anonymous said...

thanks for the M. A. "Lies" and "This is" are great cds of Mick A. I have been looking for "Micks Back" if you have it would it be posible to post it? thanks again

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

Hi,Andrew. You're welcome. Thanks & sign in anytime. No probs! TTU soon...Paul

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

Hi,Anonymous. Thanks for comment. You can find "Micks Back" @ http://silveradoraremusic.blogspot.ie/2012/10/mick-abrahams-micks-back-1996-great-uk.html

Anonymous said...

thanks for the link to Micks Back. thanks again

Freg said...

This is great, Paul! I've always admired Mick's guitar playing. I am definitely going to buy this CD.

Thanks, brother.

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

Ok,A. No probs & TVM.

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

Hi,Freg. Great CD set by a great musician and well worth buying. Thanks & TTU soon...Paul

mushley said...

Could you please reupload All Said & Done and if you have Lancaster's Bomber that would be appreciated.

Love the site... let's go back to the 70's

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

Hi,Mushley. I haven't got Lancaster's Bomber, but ASAD is @ http://depositfiles.com/files/gign220td

Thanks, & keep in touch

Barron said...

Every Mick Abrahams recording is a treasure! Thanks!

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

Hi,Barron. I won't argue with that! Thanks, & TTU soon...Paul