Get this crazy baby off my head!


Albert Cummings

Albert Cummings - True to Yourself - 2004 - Blind Pig

Albert Cummings is one of the best blues rock talents to emerge from the U.S in recent years. It has been stated that this guy could be the new S.R.V. He may have a hill to climb to reach that stature, but it's a hill that's getting smaller! This is a superb album from this New England blues rocker and is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. All the tracks here are great. Albert has a wonderful guitar technique, and he provides some blistering displays of blues guitar rockin'. This album will "blow your little cotton socks off". This guy has simply got to be heard by more people. He is going to be a future blues giant. Buy his absolutely terrific "From the Heart" album. You won't regret it. Brilliant stuff! Check out his mindblowing "Feel So Good" live album @ ALBCUM/FSGL


1 Blues Makes Me Feel So Good
2 Come Up for Air
3 Follow Your Soul
4 Lonely Bed
5 Man on Your Mind
6 Separately
7 Sleep
8 Where Did I Go Wrong
9 Work It Out
10 Your Sweet Love

All tracks composed by Albert Cummings, except "Blues Makes Me Feel So Good" by Albert Cummings/Tommy Shannon


Albert Cummings Guitar, Guitar (Rhythm), Vocals
Tommy Shannon Bass
Riley Osborne Piano, Keyboards


Although they might not admit it, fans of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan have been waiting for the next Stevie Ray to rise out of the blues-rock circuit, and while countless hotshot guitar slingers certainly have dressed the part, few if any of them have that same mixture of explosive skill and hard-earned soul. New England's Albert Cummings might just be the guy who can do it, though. Calling him the new Stevie Ray wouldn't be fair, certainly, but Cummings, a carpenter from Williamston, Massachusetts, has that same explosive, soulful and emotional tone that made Vaughan so special. He also is somewhat of an "aw, shucks" kind of guy, with very little show-biz about him, but when he picks up that Fender Stratocaster, sparks fly. True to Yourself is Cummings' debut with the Blind Pig label, and working with Double Trouble bassist Tommy Shannon is sure to draw parallels with Vaughan, but Cummings, although his guitar tone and attack are definitely similar, is a much more grounded songwriter, and there is somewhat of a domestic veneer to these tracks. Cummings tackles themes that would be familiar to any working stiff trying to support a family in an uncertain economy, and in this context, the blazing guitar breaks function as nothing short of deliverance. This workingman's approach works well on the best tracks here, which include "Come Up for Air," the explosive boogie of "Your Sweet Love," the moody "Sleep," and the wise and masterful "Follow Your Soul," which closes the album, but other tracks unfortunately fall into a sort of rote blues-rock category. Cummings is an intriguing mixture of everyman humility and blazing guitar genius, and True To Yourself has strong moments, but one can't help but feel that his defining tracks haven't been cut yet, and are perhaps just around the corner. © Steve Leggett, allmusic.com


Albert Cummings was born in Williamston, MA, and has made his home in the New England region all his life, where he runs a successful home construction business. He started playing the five-string banjo when he was 12 and appeared headed for a regional career in bluegrass when he encountered the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan in his late teens, and soon made the transition to electric guitar. His first public performance on guitar came at a wedding reception when he was 27 years old, but soon he was on the Northeast blues circuit with his band, Swamp Yankee, and an independent CD, The Long Way, was released in 1999. A chance encounter with Vaughan's old band, Double Trouble, led to Cummings' first solo record, From the Heart, which was recorded in Austin, TX, and featured Cummings fronting Double Trouble. The record was self-released by Cummings, but was soon picked up for distribution by Under the Radar and released in 2003. Cummings' soulful and explosive approach to blues and rock caught the attention of Blind Pig Records, which signed him to a multi-album deal. His debut album on the label, True to Yourself, was released in 2004. He has since shared the bill with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Charlie Musselwhite, John Hammond, Susan Tedeschi, Tommy Castro, Chris Duarte, Bernard Allison, the Neville Brothers, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Sheryl Crow and Duke Robillard. He released his third album, Working Man in 2006. © Steve Leggett, All Music Guide


Breaking every cliché associated with the blues while producing some of the most powerful music of the 21st century comes as natural to Albert Cummings as swinging a hammer while constructing one of his award-winning custom built homes. The Massachusetts native learned the requisite three chords on the guitar from his father, but then switched to playing banjo at age 12 and became a fan of bluegrass music. Like everything he tackles, he threw himself headlong into the pursuit, going to festivals and winning several picking contests in high school. Before graduating he heard the early recordings of Stevie Ray Vaughan, however, and was floored by the virtuosity. While in college in 1987 he saw Vaughan perform and he returned to the guitar with a new outlook and resolve. He had another tradition to live up to first, however, and he studied the building trade in order to follow his family into the home building business. Not until he was 27, an age when other musicians were either already established or had long ago put their dream aside for the realities of life, did Albert finally decide to go for it. An intense period of wood shedding resulted Albert sharing a bill with Double Trouble, the late Stevie Ray Vaughan’s rhythm section. So taken with Albert’s fire and passion were bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton that they volunteered to play on and produce his debut recording. In 2003 the aptly-titled From the Heart (Under the Radar), with the awesome power of a Nor’easter and the soul of a natural born artist. No less a giant of the blues than B.B. King, who Cummings acknowledged with a funky version of “Rock Me, Baby,” dubbed Cummings “…a great guitarist.” In an era of cowboy-hatted poseurs, Cumming delivered the goods straight from the heart and shoulder with a wallop generated by his talent rather than his wardrobe. A year later Double Trouble joined Cummings again as he signed with Blind Pig Records to create True to Yourself. This time they brought in legendary producer Jim Gaines to control the sessions. The all-original release further showcased Albert’s rapidly developing songwriting chops and deeply emotional vocals as well as stunning guitar pyrotechnics that put the metallurgical properties of his strings to the test. Tours and shows with blues legends B.B. King, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy and others brought his music to an audience grateful for the opportunity to be rocked hard by a man possessed to play every song like his life depended on it. Working Man (Blind Pig), Albert’s summer of 2006 blockbuster release, is the culmination to date of a guitar hero’s career just taking off. A punchy, stomping cover of Merle Haggard’s blue collar standard “Working Man Blues” brings it all home for the master builder and musician. The swinging Texas blues of “Please,” the instant barroom boogie classic “Party Right Here,” the snaky slow drag “Rumors” and the rousing rocker “Feeling End” show variety well beyond the typical slow blues and shuffles of so much contemporary music. The deeply emotive ballad “Last Dance” that closes the disc is so evocative that a Hollywood movie could be written around it. Albert Cummings is a man of his times and the man for the times. As he has done with his innovative homes, he has taken tradition and built his own musical edifice that expresses his thoughts and dreams. It is a vision that alternately excites and soothes while also clearly providing a glimpse of his unlimited future. The best is yet to come. © bellyup4blues.com

The Alligators

The Alligators - Gimme Some Skin - 1996 - Blues Factory Records

“It’s the kind of music that Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf would have loved and, trust me, that’s got nothing to do with by-the-number rehash. It’s got everything to do with attitude
and this band’s got some to spare” © Mark Gallio © Blues Review

Just as the forebearers brought their stylistic gumbo to the city in the 1940's, when the auto factories beckoned them from around the country, the Alligators bring tastes of far flung regions of the Blues nation to this extrordinary debut collection. There is as much West Coast and Texas swing as New Orleans second line, Memphis soul and shades of Muddy, The Wolf and all things classic Chicago. But it's a Detroit groove, comprised of all that, and of the mean streets, dismal factories and the overriding collective optimism that are the soul of this city, that lies at the heart of the Alligator Music. © Mark E. Gallo © 2003 Reptile Music Incorporated. All rights reserved

This CD rocks! These guys are the real thing when it comes to straight-ahead contemporary jump blues and rock. Coming out of Motown like a diesel truck bearin’ down on you from behind, the ‘Gators have put together one of the best collections of burnin’-down-the-house blues rockers with pure Detroit-style attitude. Every track captures the power and passion that these guys pour into the soul of this music and into their performances. Standout tracks include "Maggie Campbell," "See Ya Later Alligator," "Whiskey, Whiskey," and "Pocket Full of Tens," and every other track sizzles with pure blues power. This CD is not for the faint of heart! © Mike Somers,

A good album with elements of West Coast and Texas Swing, New Orleans and Memphis Soul, shades of Muddy, The Wolf, and everything classic Chicago, all played in a modern Detroit groove. The sounds of Elmore James, Howlin' Wolf, Delbert McClinton, J.B Hutto, and Robert Nighthawk can be heard throughout the akbum. Good stuff from The Alligators . Buy the band's great "Take The Bait" album


20% Alcohol - (J.B. Hutto)
Maggie Campbell - (R. Nighthawk)
See Ya Later Alligator - (M. Seyler)
Too Fat For Rock & Roll - (M. Falconberry)
Gimme Some Skin - (G. Blankenship)
Pocket Full Of Skin - (G. Blankenship)
Bad Man, Good Girl - (R.D. Jones)
1-900 - (D. Krammer, G. Kazinoski)
Whisky, Whisky - (G. Blankenship)
You A Bad One - (R.D. Jones)
Heart Attack Woman - (R.D. Jones)
Two Finger Handshake - (D. Krammer, I. Shapiro, M. Falconberry)


David Krammer - Vocals
Greg "Wailin' Dale" Blankenship - Harp, Vocals on "Maggie Campbell", & "Whisky, Whisky"
R.D Jones - Bass, Background Vocals
Mark Seyler - Drums, Background Vocals
Steve Schwartz - Guitars, Background Vocals


The Alligators have been playing this kind of music, in there own unmistakable way, for nearly twenty five years. This “attitude” they bring to the stage each night has everything to do with their respect for the blues and their love of playing it together as a band. And The Alligators have been playing it together for a long time. Lead vocalist Dave Krammer and harmonica player Wailin’ Dale started the band in 1984, Guitarist Steve Schwartz joined in 1993 followed by Drummer Jon Johnson . The Alligators have also added new blood with the addition of highly respected bassist Frankie Lee in 2007. This longevity is a testament to the success they have achieved and has helped develop them into one of the tightest and most sought after bands in the Midwest. The Alligators not only have impressive lasting power as a band but an impressive recording history as well. Beginning in 1994 with their debut CD “Gimme Some Skin” , they have recorded four successful and highly acclaimed CDs to date. They have also had songs included on three compilation CDs as well. Whether it’s local clubs in the metro Detroit area or premier clubs and festivals throughout the Midwest, The Alligators are longstanding favorites of music lovers that like to have a good time! © 2003 Reptile Music Incorporated. All rights reserved.


Amen Corner

Amen Corner - Round - 1968 - Deram

Amen Corner was originally a 60s Welsh soul/blues/jazz/R&B-band featuring singer Andy Fairweather Low, organist Blue Weaver, guitarist Neil Jones, bassist Clive Taylor, saxophonists Allen Jones and Mike Smith, and drummer Dennis Bryon. They had six British chart hits including "Gin House" in 1967, and the huge No.1 "(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice" 1969. They also had a big hit with Roy Wood's composition, "Hello Susie". By 1970, the band had disbanded, and Andy Fairweather Low formed Fair Weather, who had a hit with the great "Natural Sinner". Andy also had a great solo career, releasing a few albums, and having two big chart hits with "Reggae Tune" in 1974, and "Wide Eyed and Legless" in 1975. Andy has since worked as a session man with artists like Roger Waters, Joe Satriani, Gerry Rafferty, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, The Who, Jeff Beck, Gary Brooker, Jack Bruce and Peter Green. Listen to Andy's "Sweet Soulful Music" album, and his great underrated 1974 "Spider Jiving" album, which is full of great funky blues/R&B tunes, all written by Andy. Blue Weaver went on to play with a number of 60s-70s bands, inluding Mott The Hoople & The Strawbs. Check out the Strawbs great "Bursting at the Seams" album on which Blue Weaver had a huge influence, both as a songwriter and keyboard player.

"Round" was Amen Corner's first album, which was good as regards musicianship, but lacked original material. Andy Fairweather Low was a good songwriter, but the album only featured one Amen Corner composition. The erratic track selection was not suited to a band of this quality, and tracks like "Love Me Tender" and " Let The Good Times Roll" were oddities in the British 13 track issue. Buy Amen Corner's "Hello Suzie" album, a "best of" compilation, which gives a wider spectrum of the band's songs. The band's 1969 "National Welsh Coast Live Explosion Company" album is also a good example of the band's true musical leanings, containing covers of Johnny Otis' "So Fine", Lennon, & McCartney's "Penny Lane", and the great Lucio Battisti song, "(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice".

Tracks / Composers [UK Album Issue]

A1 Bend Me, Shape Me - Weiss , English
A2 Judge Rumpel Crassila - Amen Corner
A3 Love Me Tender - Presley , Matson
A4 In The Pocket - Clinton , Jackson , McCoy
A5 Something You've Got - Keen , Shaw
A6 I Am An Angel (But I Can't Fly)- Amen Corner

B1 Expressway To Your Heart - Gamble , Huff
B2 Good Times - Vanda, Young
B3 Let The Good Times Roll And Feel So Good - Lee
B4 Can't Get Used To Losing You - Pomus , Shuman
B5 Lost And Found - Keen, Shaw
B6 Gin House - Henderson , Troy
B7 I Don't Want To Discuss It And Amen - Beatty , Cooper , Shelby

N.B: US Release included "High In The Sky" and excluded "Judge Rumpel Crassila", "Something You've Got", and "Can't Get Used To Losing You".


Bass Guitar, Vocals - Clive Taylor
Drums, Vocals - Dennis Bryon
Guitar [Lead Guitar] - Neil Jones
Lead Vocals - Andy Fairweather-Low
Organ [Hammond], Vocals - Blue Weaver
Saxophone [Tenor] - Mike Smith


Featuring their British hits "Bend Me, Shape Me" and "Gin House Blues," Amen Corner's debut album was the work of a band who didn't either really fit into any of the trends of the late '60s or qualify as one of the era's more innovative or interesting groups. They were accomplished at what they did, however, which was offer a mix of blue-eyed soul-rock and British pop. Built around the distinctive high vocals of Andy Fairweather Low, they also had (unlike most British bands) a horn section, as well as a distinguished instrumentalist in organist Blue Weaver. The album was an erratic affair, dragged down by a cover of "Love Me Tender," a sort of vaudeville-ska hybrid in "Judge Rumpel Crassila," and some rather uninspired choices of material to interpret, like "Let the Good Times Roll" and Andy Williams' "Can't Get Used to Losing You." On the other hand, they ripped through straight-ahead blue-eyed soul like "Our Love (Is in the Pocket)" with flair, and "Something You Got" was almost like a U.K. equivalent to late-'60s Stax deep soul ballads. It offered barely any original material, a shame as a couple B-sides of the period with Fairweather Low compositions showed the kind of psychedelic pop-influenced writing more akin to a band like the late-'60s Small Faces. Fortunately, the 1990 CD added those B-sides, "Nema" and "I Know," as bonus tracks, along with two other cuts from 1967-1968 singles, "Satisnek the Job's Worth" (the B-side of "Bend Me, Shape Me") and the small British hit single "The World of Broken Hearts." © Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

Amen Corner was a successful British pop group, formed in late 1966 in Cardiff, Wales. The band was named after The Amen Corner, a weekly disc spin at the Victoria Ballroom (later to become The Scene Club) in Cardiff, Wales, where every Sunday night Dr. Rock would play the best soul music from America. Initially they specialised in a blues and jazz-orientated style, but were steered by their record companies into more commercial pastures. Their first singles and album appeared on Decca's subsidiary label Deram, but they left at the end of 1968 to join Immediate, where they were instantly rewarded with a No. 1, "(If Paradise Is) Half as Nice" (originally a song by Italian songwriter Lucio Battisti) in early 1969, followed by another top five entry with the Roy Wood composition "Hello Susie". After recording a live album, Farewell to the Real Magnificent Seven, and a final single, a rather premature cover version of The Beatles' "Get Back", they disbanded at the end of 1969. The band also appeared as themselves in the 1969 horror film Scream and Scream Again. While sax players Allan Jones and Mike Smith went on to form Judas Jump, guitarist and vocalist Andy Fairweather-Low led Dennis Bryon (drums), Blue Weaver (organ), Clive Taylor (bass) and Neil Jones (guitar) into a new band, Fair Weather. The band scored a UK No.6 hit with "Natural Sinner" in 1970 and recorded one album before disbanding a year later. Fairweather-Low went on to a successful solo career in the 1970s, notably with the top ten hit "Wide Eyed and Legless" (1975); he became a regular player with Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Roger Waters. He also worked with Strawbs and the Bee Gees. Blue Weaver also played keyboards for the Bee Gees from the mid 1970s through to the 1990s. Amen Corner's Decca back catalogue has been reissued as part of 'The Collection' series; and their Immediate work, including their singles, live album and material recorded for an unreleased studio album, on If Paradise Was Half as Nice: The Immediate Anthology.

Crabby Appleton

Crabby Appleton - Crabby Appleton - 1970 - Elektra

A touch of "The Archies" about them, (read bio), the band had moderate success with a Top 40 hit, "Go Back," which stayed in Billboard's charts for 14 weeks. A pleasant album of pop/folk rock with baroque influences, and an unusual conga and timbale-assisted sound. The album on it's release was critically acclaimed by some of the world's top music publications, although the album is arguably overrated, as not all of the tracks "gel". Many of the good reviews are based on the one great track, "Go Back". The other nine tracks are not in the same league. Some of the "hard rock" and folksy songs have pointless jamming, and often seem to aimlessly drift "in one ear and out the other". The band's "Rotten to the Core" release may be a stronger offering. What is your opinion of Crabby Appleton?


A1 Go Back (3:08)
A2 The Other Side (3:11)
A3 Catherine (2:40)
A4 Peace By Peace (5:32)
A5 To All My Friends (3:06)
B1 Try (3:43)
B2 Can't Live My Life (2:56)
B3 Some Madness (2:59)
B4 Hunger For Love (7:21)
B5 How Long Will It Take (3:20)

All songs composed by Michael Fennelly


Guitar, Lead Vocals - Michael Fennelly
Bass Guitar - Hank Harvey
Keyboards - Casey Foutz
Drums - Phil Jones
Timbales, Congas, Percussion - Flaco Falcon


Crabby Appleton's debut, produced by Elektra Records' house producer, Don Gallucci, was released by Elektra in 1970. The band enjoyed reasonable success with a fantastic Top 40 hit, "Go Back," which peaked at number 36 in June 1970 after 14 weeks on Billboard's singles charts. The rest of this album — while much of it lacks the punch of the single — is nevertheless a charming collection of power pop, moderate-tempo rock, and folky rock, and the occasional emphasis on organ-powered material with no real fodder. "Catherine" is a plaintive British folk-style number with nice vocal overdubs. "To All My Friends" is a punchy, piano-driven rocker that wouldn't have sounded too out of place on a Badfinger album circa Straight Up. "Try" is an upbeat, congas-and-organ-driven track, and the sad-but-pretty "Some Madness" also features pleasant percussive elements courtesy of celebrated conga and timbales player Felix "Flaco" Falcon. Happily, in 2002, this album was reissued on CD by Collectors' Choice. © Bryan Thomas, allmusic.com


After departing from Curt Boettcher's various studio-based groups — the Millennium, Sagittarius, et al. — guitarist/vocalist Michael Fennelly struck out on his own. In 1969, Fennelly went to Thee Experience, a Sunset Strip club, where he met the members of Stonehenge, a blues-oriented group whose lineup included Casey Foutz (keyboards), Hank Harvey (bass), Felix "Flaco" Falcon (percussion), Phil Jones (drums), and an unknown guitarist/lead vocalist. Stonehenge were, at the time, being scouted by a friend of their manager's, Elektra A&R man David Anderle, who had told the band that — in order to get a record deal — they would probably have to replace their lead singer, as he didn't write songs and clearly wasn't up to par with the rest of the band. Members of Stonehenge and Fennelly hit it off and, as Fennelly's "To Claudia on Thursday," a Millennium single, was getting airplay in L.A. at the time, the band thought he might be the perfect collaborator. They took the idea to Elektra, who agreed, and they formally invited Fennelly to join the band. They soon changed their name to Crabby Appleton (the name of a villain in a cartoon which aired during the Captain Kangaroo Show in the '50s and '60s) and began recording their first album. The eponymous Crabby Appleton, produced by Elektra house producer Don Gallucci (from Don & the Good Times and Touch), was released in 1970. The band enjoyed some success with a hooky single, "Go Back," which peaked at number 36 in June 1970 after five weeks on the charts. Over the next two years, subsequent singles by the band failed to catch fire. The group's second album, Rotten to the Core, found the band stretching out in different directions, but it failed to connect with its intended audience, and the band decided to break up. In 1973, Fennelly moved to England and began to focus on a solo career. He released two solo albums — 1974's Lane Changer, produced by ex-Zombies bassist Chris White (the album also featured another Zombie, Rod Argent, on synthesizer), and 1975's Stranger's Bed, produced by Denny Bruce — though he never achieved the kind of success that everyone expected. © Bryan Thomas, allmusic.com

BIO (Wikipedia)

Crabby Appleton was an early 1970s band who scored a Top 40 hit with their first single, "Go Back." Though nearly everyone in the group was from the LA-based band called Stonehenge, the group's line-up was revamped with the introduction of Michael Fennelly. Fennelly was the final addition to the group and became the group's leader—writing all their material, and becoming the sole guitarist and vocalist. Fennelly had been one of the principal vocalists and songwriters in The Millennium, whose sole album (Begin, 1968), is considered a classic of sunshine pop. In addition to Fennelly, the group's members included Felix "Flaco" Falcon (percussion), Casey Foutz (keyboards), Hank Harvey (bass), and Phil Jones (drums). Phil Jones previously of Oskaloosa, Iowa, but most recently of Laurel Canyon, helped form the band after meeting Michael Fennelly at Thee Experience, a club on the Sunset Strip. Phil had heard the song, "To Claudia on Thursday," which Michael wrote and sang with his group The Millennium, and recruited Michael to join Stonehenge as lead singer and songwriter. Phil, along with managers Mike Goldberg and Karl Bronstein, took the band, with Michael as lead singer and songwriter, to David Anderle at Elektra Records where Crabby Appleton were signed and recorded their first record: Crabby Appleton. The band's debut single, "Go Back," climbed to #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The band opened for the Doors, Sly and the Family Stone, Three Dog Night, Guess Who, ABBA, and George Carlin. They appeared on American Bandstand, the Real Don Steele Show, What's Happening with John Byner, and enjoyed critical success. Both of their albums, Crabby Appleton and Rotten to the Core, received rave reviews in Rolling Stone and Creem magazines. Following the disbanding of the group, Fennelly recorded two solo records which were critically well received. Phil Jones enjoys success as a drummer and percussionist in the Los Angeles music scene and has recorded and toured with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Joe Walsh, Roy Orbison, Abba, Cracker, Susanna Hoffs (of the Bangles), Roger Mcguinn, and is playing with the Waddy Wachtel Band.


Chain - Toward The Blues - 1971 - Festival

"Toward the Blues" by Chain reached No.6 in 1971. It is now deservedly regarded as one of Australia's great blues albums. The album has a distinct Aussie "blues rock" sound, quite unlike early seventies American and British blue rock. Chain developed their own great brand of blues rock, and the band's albums have stood the test of time. Check out Chain's "Blue Metal" album @ CHAIN/BM and the band's "Child of the Street" album can be found @ CHAIN/COTS


32/20 blues - Johnson, Robert
Snatch is back and hold it - Wells, Junior
Boogie - Harvey, Barry/Manning, Phil/Sullivan, Barry/Taylor, Matt
Booze is bad news blues - Harvey, Barry/Manning, Phil/Sullivan, Barry/Taylor, Matt
Albert Gooses gonna turn the blues looses - Harvey, Barry/Manning, Phil/Sullivan, Barry/Taylor, Matt
Black and blue - Harvey, Barry/Manning, Phil/Sullivan, Barry/Taylor, Matt

N.B : Some 1971 issues of this album contain a seventh track, "Judgement". There is also a 14 track 2007 CD issue of the album available on Picar records. Some of the extra tracks are from "The History Of Chain" album


Barry Harvey: drums
Phil Manning: guitar
Barry Sullivan: bass
Matt Taylor: vocals, harmonica


Over 40 musicians have been a member of Chain, one of Australia's premier blues bands that has been going strong for over three decades. Formed from the remnants of Perth band the Beaten Tracks in 1968, the Chain were named by singer Wendy Saddington after the classic soul track "Chain of Fools." Saddington soon left and the band released one of Australia's first progressive blues singles, "Show Me Home," in 1969. Soon after, the Chain shortened their moniker to Chain. In June 1970, Chain recorded the classic live album, Live Chain, at Caesar's Palace discotheque, and along with other Australian acts like Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Carson, and the Adderley Smith Blues Band, were considered at the forefront of the Australian blues movement. Signing a new deal with Infinity, the blues subsidiary of Festival, Chain released the single "Black and Blue," which reached number ten on the national charts in May 1971. The classic album Toward the Blues peaked at number six in 1971 and is considered one of Australia's greatest blues albums. The follow-up single, "Judgement," established Chain as the nation's leading progressive blues band. Chain Live Again was released in October 1972 and Chain went on to appear at the first Sunbury Festival in January 1972. In 1973, the band singed with the new Mushroom label and issued the Two of a Kind album. Chain's rotating lineup broke up in 1974 and Mushroom issued the retrospective History of Chain album. Six years later, interest in Chain was still strong and they played at the Mushroom Evolution Concert in January 1982 to celebrate Mushroom's tenth anniversary. They re-formed permanently in 1983 and released Child of the Street in October 1985. Their next album, Australian Rhythm and Blues, was released in April 1988, followed by Blue Metal in May 1990. Several members undertook a tour of Australia in 1991 as Blues Power, while another member, Matt Taylor, toured as Matt Taylor's Chain, who released the album Walls 2 McGoo (Trouble in the Wind) in 1992. The original Chain again undertook a national tour in 1995. © Brendan Swift, All Music Guide


Since the late sixties and early seventies, Chain has been the most influential blues/rock band in Australia. They have put an indelible stamp of an Australian style on blues music that no other act has done.. Although they individually and collectively learnt the music of the American greats and were influenced by the British blues of the sixties, they interpreted blues in a way no-one had done before… and they were different in other ways too! Their chart success in 1971 was generated by their following, not a record company push. They became known for their dedication to original music and were, in a sense, a reaction to the mindless copying of overseas acts that so many Australian bands indulged in at the time. (There were a few very notable exceptions of course) They also became an iconic symbol for the working class, performed songs that represented the feelings of the anti-Vietnam War movement, and were more suited to the alternative life-style people of the late sixties / early seventies than the mainstream pop world. Chain formed in late 1968 in Melbourne, Australia with members of the ‘Beat’n’Tracks’ adding Wendy Saddington as singer. The band immediately captured the imagination of the vibrant underground music scene of the day with their musicianship and cohesion, the result of dedicated rehearsal and an original attitude. The lineup changed over a period of time until by 1970 original member Phil Manning (guitar and vocals), bassist Barry Sullivan and Drummer Barry Harvey were a loud brash trio and living in Brisbane. With the joining of Matt Taylor (Phil had worked with Matt previously in the Bay City Union) on vocals and harmonica the band took on a tougher, bluesier edge and returned to Melbourne, on the way stopping in Sydney and recording what today has become one of the classic songs in Australian rock music history. ‘Black’n Blue’ smashed the charts and went to number one in Melbourne as Chain created incredible interest with their totally original take on blues/rock. Another single ‘Judgment’ (no 2 on the charts) and a gold album were unprecedented for any blues-based band at the time, yet the lineup lasted only 11 months before changing yet again. Matt Taylor recorded an album of his songs with the members of Chain and had a huge hit with ‘I Remember When I Was Young’, another classic song from that era. Although there have been a number of members pass through the band, the ‘Black’n Blue’ lineup is the one their audience hold most dear, as well as being the most commercially successful. For more than the past decade the lineup of Matt Taylor, Phil Manning, Barry Harvey and Dirk Dubois (bass) has been a constant one. Matt Taylor continues to front Chain in his entertaining laconic style, and collectively the band has the relaxed cohesion that comes from a lifetime of playing. They are still as original as ever and are credited with establishing ‘Oz Blues’ as a bonafide stylistic variation of its American father. Chain is honoured at each year’s ‘Australian Blues Festival’ (Goulburn, New South Wales) with the presenting of ‘Chain Awards’ to the various winning performers, albums and producers. ‘Toward the Blues’ is still on general release and probably the longest permanently available rock/blues album in Australia. Recent albums are ‘The First Thirty Years’, a live recording, and ’Sweet Honey’ which is another totally original offering. They are a great live act and the experience of seeing and hearing Chain is something anyone interested in the roots of blues in Australia should have…. In fact, it is really a ‘must’! [Review 'Borrowed' with apologies and thanks, from www.philmanning.com.au]

Tommy Castro

Tommy Castro - The Essential Tommy Castro - 2001 - Blind Pig

A terrific, twelve track compilation of Tommy Castro’s fan favorites, including two tracks not previously available on CD, and video footage viewable on CD-ROM. (Video not available on this post). This album proves why Tommy Castro and his brilliant band have a legion of worldwide fans and continually receive great music reviews. You will find Tommy's "Can't Keep A Good Man Down" album @ TOCA/CKAGMD The Tommy Castro, Johnny Nitro, Kevin Russell "San Francisco Blues Guitar Summit - Volume 3" album can be found @ TOCA/KEVRUS/JONNIT/SFBGS/V£ Tommy Castro's brilliant "No Foolin' " album is @ TOCA/NOFLN and his great "Exception To The Rule" album can be located @ TOCA/E2TR


1 Can't Keep a Good Man Down - Tommy Castro
2 Exception to the Rule - Tommy Castro, & Shad Harris
3 Lucky in Love - Tommy Castro, & Billie Lee Lewis
4 The Girl Can't Help It - Bobby Troup
5 Just a Man - Tommy Castro
6 Had Enough- Tommy Castro
7 Nasty Habits - Tommy Castro
8 Sho' Enough - Tommy Castro
9 Take the Highway Down - Tommy Castro
10 Right as Rain - Tommy Castro
11 Hycodan - Keith Crossan
12 Nobody Loves Me Like Me Like My Baby - Tommy Castro


Tommy Castro (Guitar), (Vocals)
Randy McDonald - Bass
Jimmy Pugh, Austin DeLone (Organ), (Piano)
Stu Blank (Organ)
John Turk (Piano)
Shad Harris, Billie Lee Lewis (Drums)
Keith Crossan (Saxophone)
Tom Poole (Trumpet)
Cheryl Serame, L.Z. Love, Roosevelt Winchester, Randy McDonald , John Turk, Annie Stocking, Keith Crossan, Jeanie Tracy, Billie Lee Lewis, Shad Harris. Ron E. Beck, Charles Jones (Vocals Background)


Blind Pig closes out their four-album Tommy Castro association with this adequate collection of his recorded highlights for the San Francisco-based label. Not the best guitar slinger in town, Castro compensates by writing tunes that mix good-time soul, R&B, funk, and roots rock together with blues to produce a swampy, wholly satisfying mix that goes down easy. Songs like "Right as Rain," "Can't Keep a Good Man Down," and "Lucky in Love" crackle with Chuck Berry by way of the Stones' basic rock & roll simplicity. However, this compilation seemed to be rushed out in 2001 in order to compete with Castro's Guilty of Love album of new material for another label, and it shows. There is no indication of which release the songs originate from in the skimpy notes, and Castro had no say in choosing the tracks. The 50-minute playing time is too brief for an artist with a four-CD catalog, and even though the enhanced concert CD-ROM video for "Nobody Loves Me Like My Baby" is a welcome addition and gives a visceral demonstration of how tough the band rocks live, it's also duplicated as an audio only selection on the disc. Regardless, the music holds up as rugged, bluesy rock with strong connections to Memphis soul with the Stax-styled ballad "Just a Man" and James Brown funk in "Nasty Habits" tempering the Stevie Ray Vaughn-isms of Castro's meat-and-potatoes playing. He also boasts a distinctly gritty voice that works perfectly with his original material and the previously unavailable version of Little Richard's "The Girl Can't Help It," added here as one of two unreleased tracks. As it is, The Essential is a satisfactory collection for those who want a taste of the Castro experience, but one that could -- and should -- have been a lot better. © Hal Horowitz, All Music Guide

Tommy Castro's rise has been stunning. While obviously a skilled, soulful guitarist and talented songwriter, Castro morphed in less than a decade from blues-bar obscurity to nationally known blues-rock guitarist and mainstay on B.B. King's yearly summer tour--all without garnering the dreaded "next Stevie Ray Vaughan" moniker. Not that Castro was aiming for that. His sound is more Memphis than Texas, with a West Coast bent. The Essential Tommy Castro is a summary of his first four albums, all for Bay Area blues label Blind Pig, and it works as an ideal introduction to Castro's style. There's something for the collectors, too: a previously unreleased live recording of "Nobody Loves Me Like My Baby." There's also a highly entertaining rendition of "The Girl Can't Help It," which is very nearly worth the price of admission. Accessible without being boring, inspired without being flashy, Castro's work is good fellowship given musical voice. © Genevieve Williams, © amazon.com


b. San Jose, California, USA. Castro and his music sit squarely at the centre of an evolving tradition of rock and blues. His early heroes were Eric Clapton, Mike Bloomfield and the Rolling Stones, which led him further back to the music of Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. All these artists - and more - have influenced Castro in his own writing, singing and guitar playing. Castro spent many years playing with bands in the San Francisco Bay Area, and toured for two years with the Dynatones. He formed the Tommy Castro Band in 1991, which was named Club Band Of The Year for the Bay Area in 1993, and again in 1994. Regular band members have included Randy MacDonald (bass/vocals), Keith Crossan (saxophone/vocals), Billy Lee Lewis (drums/vocals), and Chris Sandoval (drums/percussion). Castro consolidated the band's success by recording Exception To The Rule, his debut album on Blind Pig Records in 1995 (the 1993 release No Foolin' had appeared on the tiny Saloon label). The band continued to record with Blind Pig over several albums - Can't Keep A Good Man Down, Right As Rain, Live At The Fillmore, and The Essential Tommy Castro, a greatest hits collection. Overall the songs followed an upbeat, blue-collar tone, full of horns and machismo. Contrasting soulful numbers included "Just A Man" on Right As Rain. In 2001 the Tommy Castro Band moved over to 33rd Street Records for Guilty Of Love and then to Heart And Soul for 2003's Gratitude, a cover album of Castro's greatest heroes. Castro earned praise and respect from many of his idols, even getting the opportunity to play with them, opening for B.B. King on tour in 2001 and 2002. His band's music gained mainstream appeal through being featured in US network television programmes, and through a residency as the house band for NBC-TV's Comedy Showcase. The eclectic flavour of 2005's Soul Shaker, marking his return to Blind Pig, featured more original compositions from Castro, who wrote or co-wrote all the tracks. Although horns and guitars still dominated, the fusion was more varied. Notable tracks included the wistful "Anytime Soon" and "The Crossanova", characterised by Crossan's funky flute. © IPC MEDIA 1996-2009, All rights reserved


According to all the press and hype and hoopla, Tommy Castro is pegged as the next big star of the blues. Long a favorite among Bay Area music fans, Castro — in the space of two album releases — has taken his music around the world and back again with a sheaf of praise from critics and old-time blues musicians alike. His music is a combination of soul-inflected rockers with the occasional slow blues or shuffle thrown into the mix to keep it honest. His vocals are laid-back and always a hair behind the beat, while his scorching guitar tone is Stevie Ray Stratocaster-approved. Crossover success does not seem out of the question. Born and raised in San Jose, CA, Castro started playing guitar at the tender age of ten. Initially inspired by Mike Bloomfield, Eric Clapton, and Elvin Bishop, he started the inevitable journey into the roots of his heroes and discovered and quickly became enamored of B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Elmore James, Muddy Waters, and Freddie King. His vocal styling came from constant listening to Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett, James Brown, and Otis Redding. After playing with numerous Bay Area groups honing his chops, he landed a gig playing guitar for the San Francisco band the Dynatones, who were then signed to Warner Brothers. The two-year stint augured well for Castro, playing to the biggest crowds he had seen up to that point and backing artists as diverse as Carla Thomas and Albert King. Returning to San Francisco, Castro formed his own group and in 1993 released his first self-produced album, No Foolin', on the dime-sized Saloon label. That same year also saw him winning the Bay Area Music Award for Best Club Band, an honor he duplicated the following year. Working as the house band on NBC's Comedy Showcase, airing after Saturday Night Live, only boosted his visibility and name value. In 1997, he won Bammies for Outstanding Blues Musician and for Outstanding Blues Album for his debut release on Blind Pig Records, Exception to the Rule. Also in 1997 Castro and his band began a three-year stint working as the house band on NBC's Comedy Showcase, which aired after Saturday Night Live. Live at the Fillmore was released in early 2000, and with everyone from industry insiders to B.B. King singing his praises, Castro appeared to be headed for bigger and better things. It was not to be, however, as in 2001 he left Blind Pig Records and recorded Guilty of Love for the small 33rd Street label. Blind Pig closed the books on their association with Castro in 2002 by releasing the career retrospective The Essential Tommy Castro. Gratitude appeared from Heart and Soul in 2003, followed by Triple Trouble (with Jimmy Hall and Lloyd Jones) later that same year from Telarc. 2005 saw Castro return to the Blind Pig label for the release of Soul Shaker, followed by Painkiller in 2007. © Cub Koda, allmusic.com

Ana Popovic & Hush

Ana Popovic & Hush - Hometown - 1998 - RTS/PGP

This is a limited edition Yugoslavian Import CD by Ana and her first band, Hush. In 1998 the band was very big in countries like Serbia and Greece). ‘Hometown’ gives a good idea of Ana’s potential qualities as a vocalist, and very gifted guitar player. This post is a 320 Kbps version. There are versions of this album circulating in a 128 format. Check out Ana's "Hush" album @ ANAPOP/HUSH and her "Comfort To The Soul" album can be located @ ANAPOP/CTTS


Game of Love - I.Turner
My Hometown - R.Popovic/A.Popovic
Girl of many Words - B.Guy
New York City - Trad.
Neighbor, Neighbor - H.Meaux
Learn to treat me right - K.Wilson
Grab your Lufe - R.Popovic/A.Popovic
I'm About to Leave you - R.Popovic/A.Popovic
Breaking up Somebody's Home - Jackson/Matthews
That's why I cry - S.Maghett
Statesboro Blues - W.McTell

MAIN MUSICIANS [See album sleeve for guest musicians]

Ana Popovic - Vocals, Guitar, Slide Guitar
Rade Popovic - Guitar
Milan Saric - Bass Guitar
Bojan Ivkovic - Drums, Percussion

BIO (Wikipedia)

Ana Popovic was born in Belgrade in 1976. Her father first introduced her to the blues, through an extensive record collection and sessions hosted at the family home. Ana took to the guitar and founded her first serious band at age nineteen. Within a year, she was playing outside of Yugoslavia and opening shows for American blues icons like Junior Wells. By 1998, her band was doing 100 shows annually and appearing regularly on Yugoslavian television. Her debut CD, Hometown, provided a first glimpse of her talents as a singer and guitarist. In 1999, Ana relocated to the Netherlands to study jazz guitar. She quickly became a fixture on the Dutch blues scene and soon ventured into neighboring Germany. With Comfort to the Soul (2003), Popovic took her burgeoning career to the next level, she delivered another diverse package of blues, rock, soul and jazz. The album makes one thing clear. Ana Popovic is not about recycling worn-out clichés. Her blues are fresh, positive and genre-expanding. Ana Popovic is a veritable anomaly in the blues scene, in professional circles she's also called the feminine Jimi Hendrix.


If you're not a blues purist, you'll love the fiery, passionate playing and singing of Yugoslavian blues-rock guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Ana Popovic. Thanks to her father, the Belgrade-raised Popovic was introduced to the blues at an early age, through his wide-ranging record collection and jam sessions hosted at the Popovic home. Born on May 13, 1976, Popovic took up guitar when she was a teenager and formed her first band, Hush, in 1995. Within a year, with the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe, she was playing blues festivals in Greece and Hungary and working as an opening act for American blues masters, including Junior Wells. Popovic recorded her debut album with Hush in 1999, when she also moved to the Netherlands to study jazz guitar and world and pop music at the Conservatory of Music. She had the chance to see blues guitarist Bernard Allison at a club in Germany. He asked her to come on-stage and jam at the end of the show. While Allison invited Popovic to join him on a tour, she had to get back to the Jazz Academy in Holland. Allison asked for a copy of Popovic's record with Hush, and he sent it on to executives at Ruf Records in Germany, who were impressed with Popovic's powerful guitar playing and singing. Ruf contacted her to be part of their Jimi Hendrix tribute compilation, and then signed her to a recording deal of her own. Several months after this, she was on her way to Memphis to record Hush! The album was well received by blues radio programmers and the non-blues purist segments of the American, European, and Canadian blues festival circuits. In the spring of 2001, she performed at the Memphis in May Festival alongside Bob Dylan, the Black Crowes, and Ike Turner. Within five years of leaving Yugoslavia, Popovic, now in her late twenties, had the chance to perform at many of the major European blues festivals, including Peer, Bishopstock, and Notodden. Along the way she's sat in with the likes of Allison, Michael Hill, and Kenny Neal. Popovic has two albums out on the New Jersey-based Ruf Records America label, Hush!, released in 2000, and Comfort to the Soul, her 2003 release. Jim Gaines and David Z., who have worked with other blues-rockers, including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Santana, and Jonny Lang, had roles in recording and mixing both albums. Five of Popovic's sparkling originals shine on Comfort to the Soul, including her homage to the tragic life of jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius, inspired by a book she read, as well as the album's opening track, "Don't Bear Down on Me (I'm Here to Steal the Show)." She also provides inspired, inventive covers of Howlin' Wolf's "Sitting on Top of the World" and Steely Dan's "Night by Night." Popovic guests on Hill's 2003 two-disc Electric Storyland live album. In 2003, Popovic was nominated for a W.C. Handy Blues Award for Best New Artist of the Year and was the first European artist to perform at the Handy Awards. Two years later, Popovic released her first live effort, Ana! Live in Amsterdam. © Richard J. Skelly, allmusic.com

The Sharks

The Sharks - Jab It In Yore Eye - 1974 - Island

The Sharks toured the UK and the States in support of this album in late 1973, and early 1974. The "promottional" tour had little or no effect on the sales of "Jab It In Yore Eye". Returning to the UK they started work on a third album, entitled "Music Breakout". The Sharks career was about to turn lopsided. Original drummer Marty Simon was fired and replaced with the former Glecoe drummer Stuart Francis. Then bassist, Busta Jones, called it a day. Busta later teamed up with the U.S band, White Lightning. To make matters worse, Island was unhappy with the band's new material and refused to release it. By the end of the year the group had disbanded. Snips Parsonsr eappeared as a member of The Baker-Gurvitz Army and then struck out as a solo act. Chris Spedding became a great in-demand session player and recorded some great solo material. Arguably, "Jab It in Yore Eye" is a "better"album than the band's first album, "First Water". The hint of glam rock from their debut album is absent here, and replaced with some great low key soul blues. Even without Andy Fraser, this is a quality blues rock album. Listen to the band's 1999 album, "Like a Van Parked on a Dark Curve".


1. Just Like A Fever - Snips
2. Baby Shine A Light - Jones
3. Sun Beat Down - Snips
4. Rain Or Shine - Marty, Simon, Snips
5. Kung Fu - Snips
6. Sophistication - Snips
7. Surrender - Snips, Spedding
8. Cocaine Blues - Snips
9. Revolution Of The Heart - Snips


Steve "Snips" Parsons - Vocals, Guitar
Chris Spedding - Guitar
Busta Jones - Bass
Nick Judd - Keyboards
Marty Simon - Drums


Despite Free bassist/composer Andy Fraser and engineer Andy Johns moving on after 1973's First Water album, Sharks come back with a solid second outing putting Mr. Snips front and center, not only as vocalist, but as writer or co-writer of eight of the nine songs here. Jab It in Yore Eye features an absolutely dreadful album cover, sure to turn off record buyers. Where the first LP's artwork was simple and ineffective, this cover illustration by Bill Imhoff is just awful — and misleading, for the music inside is pretty good. Fraser contributed to half of the previous album's songs without providing the direction he helped give Free. Jab It in Yore Eye feels more unified — the addition of new bassist Busta Cherry Jones and expansion of the group to five pieces with keyboardist Nicky Judd provide definition. It would be hard to say Sharks was imitating Bad Company, as both groups emerged pretty much at the same time. But the bluesy core of a song like "Baby Shine a Light," penned by the new bassist, and lengthy essays such as Snips' "Sophistication" and "Revolution of the Heart" play totally in Paul Rodgers' world. Imagine Mick Ralphs' "Ready for Love" as performed by Bad Company without Mott the Hoople's power riffs, and expand that one song across two sides of a disc — that's basically the sound of Jab It in Yore Eye. Not a bad place to be, "Sun Beat Down" and "Rain or Shine" continuing the obsession with light and sunshine themes on side one. It appears the group Free didn't disband, it was just cloned. Chris Spedding adds some intricate rhythmic guitar on the mellow affair, his presence a subtle highlight. They've abandoned the hint of glam from the previous year's debut and replaced it with low-key mellow blues. But as with First Water, there is no hit single to help bring attention to an otherwise interesting and listenable project. Mr. Snips' half-time "Should I Stay or Should I Go" riff on "Sophistication" probably inspired the Clash eight years later, but even that rocking moment clings to the low-tone blues without a chance of hit radio airplay. Spedding's co-write of "Surrender" with Snips and bits of a guitar riff from the world of disco are the album's high points. © Joe Viglione, allmusic.com

BIO (Wikipedia)

Sharks was a band formed by ex-Free bass player, Andy Fraser, upon his second (and final) departure from Free, in late 1972. They were signed to Island Records and were that label's Great White Hope for the 1970s. The band was highly rated by critics, especially for Chris Spedding's guitar work. The initial line-up consisted of Andy Fraser (bass, piano), Snips (vocals), Chris Spedding (guitar) and American, Marty Simon (drums). At the start of 1973, they embarked on a UK tour and also made an appearance on the BBC TV programme Old Grey Whistle Test. On the 19 February 1973, on the way back to London from a gig in Cleethorpes, the band's car skidded and hit a tree. Fraser suffered injuries to his wrist and, during recuperation, had second thoughts about the band. The tour continued to the end of April but Fraser had some difficulties playing with the injury. Sharks' debut album, First Water, was released in April but Fraser left shortly afterwards and the band began searching for a replacement. Those considered included Tom Robinson, Ric Gretch and Boz Burrell. Mick Jagger then recommended a bass player from Memphis, Busta Cherry Jones, who joined in July 1973, along with ex-Audience keyboard player Nick Judd. A new UK tour with this line-up began in September 1973 and ran through until March 1974, when their second album, Jab It in Yore Eye, was released. The band then toured America during April & May 1974. On their return to the UK, the band began recording their third album, to be titled Music Breakout. However, Simon was fired and replaced by Stuart Francis and Jones returned to the States. Island didn't like the masters for the third album and the band folded in October 1974. Spedding continued his session work and solo career, whilst Snips joined Ginger Baker in the Baker Gurvitz Army and then went solo. In 1993, Spedding and Snips began recording together again as Sharks, although the album, Like a Black Van Parked on a Dark Curve..., wasn't released until 1995. There was a one-off gig in London, in December 1995, featuring Snips, Spedding, Jackie Badger (bass), Blair Cunningham (drums) and Nick Judd (keyboards) but the band has not re-surfaced since.


Andy Fraser

Andy Fraser - In Your Eyes - 1975 - CBS

Andy Fraser was, of course, the talented bass player, and songwriter with the wonderful British blues rock band, Free. In addition to his fluid, looping basslines, Andy Fraser also contributed to some of the songwriting for a lot of Free's classic songs. Andy split from Free on two occasions, first in 1971, going on to form Toby, with guitarist Adrian Fisher (later to join Sparks) and drummer Stan Speake. After a short-lived Free reformation in 1972 Andy teamed up with Chris Spedding to form Sharks. After the demise of Sharks and after a brief stint with Frankie Miller and Henry McCullough, Andy formed the Andy Fraser Band with Nick Judd (keyboards) and Kim Turner (drums).Some of the tracks on "In Your Eyes" sound similar to Free, as Andy Fraser's vocals are not unlike the great Paul Rodgers. However, if you can sing like Paul Rodgers, there's not much to criticise. "In Your Eyes" is good, soulful, R & B type rock, and if the late Paul Kossoff had played on this album, it would probably sound like a modern day Free album. Check out The Andy Fraser Band' s/t album @ AFB/ST


Train of Love
Let Your Love Come Out
Ease On Out
Be Good To Yourself
Gotta Steal Away
Listen To the Rain
Leave Your Love Light Shine
Talking Bout My Baby
Ain't No Substitute
Need Someone to Love

All songs composed by Andy Fraser


Andy Fraser - Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Kim Turner - Drums
Nick Judd - Bass Pedals, Electric Piano

BIO (Wikipedia)

Andrew McLan 'Andy' Fraser (born 3 July 1952, in Paddington, West London) is an English musician, best known for his songwriting and bass playing with Free. He started playing the piano at five years old, and was trained classically until the age of twelve, when he switched to guitar. By thirteen, he was playing in the East End, West Indian clubs and, after being expelled from school at 15, he enrolled at the Hammersmith F.E. College. There, he met Sappho Korner, daughter of Alexis Korner, who subsequently became a father-figure to him. In 1968, Korner received a telephone call from John Mayall, who was looking for a bass player. Korner suggested Fraser and, at age 15, he was in a pro band and earning £50 a week, though it was a brief tenure. Korner was also instrumental in Fraser's next move, to the influential band Free, which consisted of Paul Rodgers (vocals), Paul Kossoff (guitar) and Simon Kirke (drums). Fraser produced and co-wrote the song "All Right Now" with Rodgers, a # 1 hit in over 20 territories and recognised by ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) in 1990 for garnering 1,000,000 plus radio plays in the U.S. by late 1989, and in 2000 an Award was given to Free by the British Music Industry when "All Right Now" passed 2,000,000 plus radio plays in the UK. Free initially split in 1971, and Fraser formed a trio, Toby, with guitarist Adrian Fisher (later with Sparks), and drummer Stan Speake. Material was recorded but not released, and Fraser re-joined Free in December 1971. He left for the second time in June 1972. After leaving Free, Fraser formed Sharks with vocalist Snips (later Baker, Gurvitz Army), guitarist Chris Spedding plus drummer, Marty Simon. They were a good band, and Island's "Great White Hope of the 1970s". Despite being well received by the critics, especially for Spedding's tasteful guitar work, Fraser left after their debut album, First Water (1973). He then formed the Andy Fraser Band, a trio with Kim Turner on drums, and Nick Judd on keyboards. They released two albums, Andy Fraser Band and In Your Eyes, both in 1975, before that too folded. Attempts to form a band with Frankie Miller came to nothing, and Fraser re-located to California, to concentrate on songwriting. Fraser successfully crafted hits for Robert Palmer, Joe Cocker, Chaka Khan, Rod Stewart, Paul Young and many others. To this day, Fraser's most famous composition is "All Right Now" recorded by Free with "Every Kinda People," which Palmer recorded for his Double Fun set in 1978 coming in an extremely distant second. Palmer's first chart hit in the U.S., the number is cherished for its message of interracial understanding. The Palmer version has inspired artists such as Chaka Demus, Randy Crawford and Amy Grant to cover it. In 1984, Fraser finally released another album of his own. Fine, Fine Line featured ex-Back Street Crawler drummer, Tony Braunagel, Bob Marlette (keyboards), Michael Thompson (guitar) and David Faragher (bass), with Fraser contributing vocals. He was later diagnosed with a form of cancer and, during treatment, contracted HIV. This explanation has been called into question by his recent revelation that he is homosexual. He played bass with former Free colleague, Paul Rodgers, at Woodstock 1994, but otherwise kept a low profile until 2005, when a new release, Naked and Finally Free, appeared. Since then, the album received strong praise from both fans and critics, including outlets such as VH-1 Classics, Sirius Radio, ABC Radio, Launch Radio, The New York Daily News and the Associated Press, among others. In early 2006, a comprehensive interview with Andy was conducted by Tom Guerra for Vintage Guitar magazine, covering Andy's entire career, influences, instruments and successes. In April 2006, Fraser responded to the revival of interest in his music by announcing two rare live shows at the Temecula Community Arts Theatre, in Temecula, California on 4 May. The shows, highlighted by an eight-piece band, were his first live performances since the Woodstock 1994 reunion. In 2008, Fraser wrote and sang the song Obama (Yes We Can) to support the campaign to elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.


Chain - Blue Metal - 1989 - Forever

Although Chain are not a high profile band outside Australia, they are a very good blues rock band, and arguably one of the greatest blues bands Australia has ever produced. The band was named by the Australian Blues Singer, Wendy Saddington, after Aretha Franklin's famous "Chain of Fools" song. They count musicians like Muddy Waters, Buddy Goy, Miles Davis, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Howlin Wolf as being large influences in their music style. Phil Manning, a great guitarist with Chain has worked hard to increase the popularity of blues music in Australia. The band have recorded with the Muddy Waters Band, and toured with Albert Collins and the Icebreakers and many other great artists. In parts, "Blue Metal"is reminiscent of the blues/boogie rock style of Canned Heat. The playing is what you would expect from a band of this experience and talent. If you can find their 1969 "Chain Live" album, give it a listen, and buy the band's great 1974 "Two Of A Kind" album which features Pee Wee Madison and Mojo Beaufort from the Muddy Waters Band. This band deserves a worldwide hearing. Find more info on Chain @ CHAIN - BIO and check out the band's "Child of the Street" album @ CHAIN/COTS


Wouldn't have her any other way Taylor, Matt/Meyer, John
Nothing unusual Taylor, Matt/Meyer, John
Walk that way Taylor, Matt/Meyer, John
G slide Taylor, Matt/Meyer, John
Party Taylor, Matt/Meyer, John
Rumble Taylor, Matt
Shuffle Taylor, Matt/Chris Finnen
Back stairs Taylor, Matt
Can't let go Taylor, Matt/Meyer, John
City life Taylor, Matt
Jumbo Taylor, Matt/Meyer, John
Maddison blues James, Elmore


Michael Burn: drums
Bob Fortescue: bass
John Meyer: guitar
Matt Taylor: harmonica, vocals


Over 40 musicians have been a member of Chain, one of Australia's premier blues bands that has been going strong for over three decades. Formed from the remnants of Perth band the Beaten Tracks in 1968, the Chain were named by singer Wendy Saddington after the classic soul track "Chain of Fools." Saddington soon left and the band released one of Australia's first progressive blues singles, "Show Me Home," in 1969. Soon after, the Chain shortened their moniker to Chain. In June 1970, Chain recorded the classic live album, Live Chain, at Caesar's Palace discotheque, and along with other Australian acts like Billy Thorpe and the Aztecs, Carson, and the Adderley Smith Blues Band, were considered at the forefront of the Australian blues movement. Signing a new deal with Infinity, the blues subsidiary of Festival, Chain released the single "Black and Blue," which reached number ten on the national charts in May 1971. The classic album Toward the Blues peaked at number six in 1971 and is considered one of Australia's greatest blues albums. The follow-up single, "Judgement," established Chain as the nation's leading progressive blues band. Chain Live Again was released in October 1972 and Chain went on to appear at the first Sunbury Festival in January 1972. In 1973, the band singed with the new Mushroom label and issued the Two of a Kind album. Chain's rotating lineup broke up in 1974 and Mushroom issued the retrospective History of Chain album. Six years later, interest in Chain was still strong and they played at the Mushroom Evolution Concert in January 1982 to celebrate Mushroom's tenth anniversary. They re-formed permanently in 1983 and released Child of the Street in October 1985. Their next album, Australian Rhythm and Blues, was released in April 1988, followed by Blue Metal in May 1990. Several members undertook a tour of Australia in 1991 as Blues Power, while another member, Matt Taylor, toured as Matt Taylor's Chain, who released the album Walls 2 McGoo (Trouble in the Wind) in 1992. The original Chain again undertook a national tour in 1995. © Brendan Swift, All Music Guide

Stan Webb's Chicken Shack

Stan Webb's Chicken Shack - Simply Live - 1989 - SPV (Germany)

"Simply Live" was recorded in Hamburg, Germany on March 3rd, 1989 with (Rev) Gary Davies on back up guitar and is a "must have" album for all Chicken Shack/Stan Webb fans. A superb live album from one of Britain's blues institutions, Stan Webb and the ever changing Chicken Shack. Is it true that Stan was the only UK guitarist ever to play with the great blues boogie rock band Canned Heat? You can find info on Chicken Shack's "The Collection" album @ CHICSHK/COLL and Stan Webb's Chicken Shack "Poor Boy: In Concert 1973 & 1981 [LIVE]" album @ STANWBSCS/PBICL


1 Everyday - S.Webb
2 Thrill Is Gone, The - Darnell, Hawkins
3 Broken Hearted Melody - S.Webb
4 Running And Hiding - S.Webb
5 Nightlife - P. Buskirk/W. Breeland/W. Nelson
6 Sweetest Little Thing - Reznor, Webb
7 C.S. Opera - S.Webb
8 Poor Boy - S.Webb


Stan Webb - Guitar, Vocals
Gary Davies - Guitar
Dave Wintour - Bass Guitar
David Wilkinson - Keyboards
Bev Smith - Drums


So where does it all begin? According to recent CD releases Stan was born in London on February 3 1946, and then at an early age moved to Blakedown in Worcestershire, and eventually became based in nearby Kidderminster. In fact Stan's first instrument was the old favourite of the time - the tea-chest bass, an essential item for any skiffle band. It was not until he heard Barney Kessel playing guitar on an Oscar Peterson record that he decided to take up the guitar.Whatever, it was in Kidderminster that Stan put together his first group - the Blue Four. Pete Frame's Family Tree describes how his first real band was Sounds of Blue formed in 1964, a Stourbridge-based r n' b band.It included Christine Perfect, Andy Silvester and Chris Wood (later to join Traffic) amongst others in their line up. On a personal note, I was actually living in Stourbridge at the time, but I must admit I don't recall seeing Sounds of Blue although the lead singer's name (Dave Yeats) does ring a bell from my schooldays. Anyway, moving on from Sounds of Blue, in early 1965 Stan put together the first incarnation of Chicken Shack with Andy from Sounds of Blue plus Alan Morley, and then Al Sykes and then Hughie Flint and finally Dave Bidwell on drums. This line-up paid their almost obligatory rock dues in Hamburg (five hour sets at the Star Club) for a couple of years before returning to the Midlands in 1967. It was then that Christine Perfect joined them and they recorded their first album for Blue Horizon. (They had sent Mike Vernon a tape, but because the quality wasn't brilliant he came up to the Midlands to see them...and I suppose the rest is history.)You can read an account of their set at the 8th National & Jazz Blues Festival at this time here. However after the first two albums, Christine Perfect left in August 1969, ironically just as Chicken Shack achieved chart success with the single 'I'd Rather Go Blind'. Christine was replaced by Paul Raymond, ex-Plastic Penny. This line up recorded two further albums for Blue Horizon. However by the recording of the last Blue Horizon album (Accept) there were clear musical differences between Stan and Mike Vernon, and in many ways the split was inevitable, although Chicken Shack moved labels anyway. With the loss of the Blue Horizon deal, at the end of 1970 Stan disbanded this version of Chicken Shack (apparently Kim Simmonds got Paul Raymond first). According to a Canterbury Scene web site, Pip Pyle was a drummer with Chicken Shack around this time - for a very short time. He claims he was fired by Stan after laughing at his version of If I Were A Carpenter! Whatever, in early 1971 Stan launched his new three-piece set up. This version of Chicken Shack had, besides Stan, Paul Hancox on drums and John Glascock on bass. John Glascock later joined Jethro Tull, and subsequently tragically died. However it would appear that this line up lasted just a year before further changes came about - John Glascock being replaced by Bob Daisley, and then just as Unlucky Boy was being released it was all change yet again. Basically Stan's rhythm section left. For replacements he got David Wilkinson (remember that name please) on keyboards, Alan Powell on drums and Rob Hull on bass. However no sooner had they recorded a live album, with it all ready for release, when in 1974 Stan announced he was disbanding Chicken Shack and joining a reformed Savoy Brown with Kim Simmonds and Miller Anderson. By all accounts their live performances were good, and they recorded one album Boogie Brothers, but the tensions of having three composers, three guitarists, and, I imagine, three egos on board led to its inevitable demise. Kim Simmonds reformed Savoy Brown bringing back in Paul Raymond on keyboards and Dave Bidwell on drums, while Stan put together Broken Glass featuring Robbie Blunt on guitar, Mac Poole on drums and Rob Rawlinson on bass - Miller Anderson was still around as well. Broken Glass perhaps fitted in well with the kind of mid seventies calm before the punk storm, and released one album in 1975, toured for a bit, but after that they broke up (1976), and Stan was back on his own with the Chicken Shack name. For the next few years it gets difficult to track Stan's progress and bloody frustrating to get hold of his recorded output. In effect Stan put together a touring and occasional recording band. According to Pete Frame's Family Tree, Chicken Shack members during this time included Paul Martinez and Steve York on bass, Robbie Blunt on guitar, Ed Spivock on drums, and Dave Winthrop on sax. Stan continued to build on his strong popularity on the continent, especially Germany, and recorded two albums in the late seventies. Then in October 1979 a new version of Chicken Shack, with Paul Butler (ex-Jellybread, Punch n'Judy and the Keef Hartley Band) on guitar, Keef Hartley himself on drums and Bob Daisley back on bass played a one-off gig at Banbury football ground. Hmm, I was living in Banbury at the time and had no bloody idea such a gig took place till now! However it was with a rather different line-up that Stan took Chicken Shack into the 1980s. In May 1980 Stan put together yet another version of Chicken Shack. The only survivor from Banbury was Paul Butler, joining them on bass was Alan Scott and ex- TYA drummer Ric Lee. Alan Scott was soon to be replaced by Andy Pyle who was ex-Juicy Lucy, Savoy Brown, Blodwyn Pig, Colosseum II, Kinks, Keef Hartley Band amongst others! Stan and this line-up, augmented by Tony Ashton back on keyboards recorded the live Roadies Concerto album (released April 1981)which featured a more bluesy sound. However once again this line up was not to last the course, and Stan went into 1982 with a new band calling itself Stan Webb's Speedway. This featured Andy Pyle on bass, Russ Alder on drums and Miller Anderson back on second guitar. By 1983 it was back with Stan Webb's Chicken Shack, but there wasn't a really settled line-up for the next three years which saw on occasions Miller Anderson as well as Andy Scott and Andy Pyle on bass, Roger Saunders on guitar and John Gunzell on drums. By 1986 and the release of 39 Bars Stan was supported by John Gunzell on drums, Jan Connolly(Campbell?) on bass, Dave Winthrop back on saxophone and David Wilkey (or is that Wilkinson?) on keyboards. However in1987 he was touring with a line up of himself plus David Wilkinson on keyboards, Bev Smith on drums and Wayne Terry and later David Wintour on bass. By 1988 Gary Davies on 'back up guitar' had been added to the line up, and they were very much a blues band again. In 1989 a live album was released. In 1991 a new studio album, Changes, was released which revealed that James Morgan was now to be found on bass. This album featured a more mellow Stan, although he still found time to showcase a revamping of I'd Rather Go Blind and Poor Boy. However by 1993 and the release of Plucking Good it appeared that David Wilkinson was no longer around. This new line up recorded another live album in 1995, and carried on as a four-piece until 1998 when James Morgan was replaced by Jim Rudge. This was the line-up which took Stan into the 21st Century, but in 2002 Bev left, and after a couple of drummers Stan has settled with Mick Jones, and this is the current line-up in 2004 © 2009 Stan Webb's Chickenshack. All Rights Reserved


In 1968 Chicken Shack were a major signing to MIKE VERNON’S now legendary BLUE HORIZON label. Led by the mercurial Stan Webb on guitar and vocals, Chicken Shack were a band brimming full of talent, far outweighing the bands, groups and solo performers purveying the BLUES – a musical tradition in many forms, taken from the ‘Folk Roots Of Black America’. Probably the bands most well known member was CHRISTINE PERFECT (later McVie) who went on at a later date to even greater fame and fortune with FLEETWOOD MAC. The late sixties were a prolific time for Chicken Shack with their first two albums “40 Blue Fingers Freshly Packed And Ready To Go” and “O.K. Ken” storming into the U.K. top twenty, whilst the singles “When The Train Comes Back” and “Tears In The Wind” also scored heavily in the charts. Stan’s blistering guitar style matched with a huge stage presence have made Chicken Shack a firm favourite of rock and blues fans everywhere. Since those heady days of the late sixties a further fifteen albums have been released together with numerous compilations proving that Stan, really is “The Man”.Throughout a distinguished career Stan Webb has played and recorded with the very best, including, STEVIE WONDER, HOWLING WOLF, TAJ MAHAL, PETER GREEN and CANNED HEAT, whom he joined on guitar for a U.K, tour following the departure of the bands guitarist. As the ‘60’s have given way to the ‘70’s; ‘80’s and ‘90’s, Stan Webb and Chicken Shack show no sign of slowing down, continually touring the U.K. and Europe to packed houses and rave reviews. In 1997 Stan received the BLUE HEART AWARD for services to blues in Germany, in 1996 that went to BB KING, a glowing testament to Stan Webb and his ongoing love of playing the blues. 2006 saw Stan embarked on an extension UK tour with John Mayall. “Stan The Man” shows no sign of slowing down.


Chicken Shack was a British blues band, primarily of the late 1960s, consisting of Christine Perfect (vocals and keyboards), Stan Webb (guitar and vocals), Andy Sylvester (bass guitar), and Alan Morley (drums). The band was formed in 1967 and reputedly named themselves after the chicken coop in Kidderminster where they rehearsed. Their first concert was at the 1967 National Blues and Jazz Festival at Windsor and they were signed by the Blue Horizon record label in the same year. Chicken Shack enjoyed modest commercial success, with Christine Perfect being voted Best Female Vocalist in the Melody Maker polls, two years running. Christine Perfect left the band in 1969 when she married John McVie of Fleetwood Mac. Pianist Paul Raymond, bassist Andy Sylvester, and drummer Dave Bidwell all left in 1971 to join Savoy Brown. Although the band went through several subsequent incarnations, it never equalled its earlier successes. However, Webb remains as its only constant band member.


Along with late 60's early 70's blues based bands such as Savoy Brown, Fleetwood Mac and John Mayall's Bluebreakers, Chicken Shack was a big part of the genre. Originally formed in 1965, Chicken Shack started out as, more or less, a house band at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany. They signed a recording contract with the newly formed Blue Horizon label in '67. That same year, former Sound Of Blue vocalist/keyboardist Christine Perfect, who was at one time considered one of the U.K.'s finest blues vocalist, joined. With the release of their debut album, 1968's Forty Blue Fingers Freshly Packed And Ready To Serve, and their 1969 follow up, O.K. Ken, Chicken Shack was in the forefront of the British Blues boom of the late 60's. Although Perfect would leave the group in the summer of '69 to join Fleetwood Mac (she would marry bassist John McVie), Chicken Shack would continue with a good live reputation as at this point their shows were mostly based around the guitar and soulful theatrics of Stan Webb who would keep the group together through many personel changes but by 1973, Chicken Shack had run it's course as Webb would join Savoy Brown. After staying with Savoy Brown for one album, Webb formed Broken Glass which at one time included guitarist Robbie Blunt (later with Robert Plant) and drummer Keef Hartley. Webb would reform Chicken Shack under his own name in '77. Like John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and Savoy Brown, many musicians would pass through the various formations of Stan Webb's Chicken Shack through out the 80's. Through the 90's, Webb's Chicken Shack line up has remained pretty much intact as his devoted fans and fans of traditional British blues remain faithful.


Omar & the Howlers

Omar & the Howlers - Monkey Land - 1990 - Antone's

Featuring the attacking smoldering guitar work and gravely vocals of Omar Dykes, the Texas-based Howlers are a hugely popular international blue rock band, with a global fan base. The band have received many music awards for their brand of raw bone-shakin' Texas blues. "Monkey Land" is a great "kick ass" rockin' blues album. Lennon & McCartney's "She's a Woman" sure gets a new lease of life here! Buy the band's outstanding "I Told You So" album. It's on a par with the best Texas blues rock albums.


1 Monkeyland Dykes 4:36
2 Tonight I Think of You Dykes, Wagner 2:54
3 Big Town Shakedown Dykes, Wagner 5:04
4 She's a Woman Lennon, McCartney 3:03
5 Fire in the Jungle Middleman, Rae, Wagner 4:04
6 Night Shadows Dykes 5:11
7 Modern Man Dykes 2:34
8 Loud Mouth Woman Dykes 3:19
9 Dirty People Dykes 3:00
10 Ding Dong Clock Dykes 3:24
11 Next Big Thing Dykes 4:32


Omar Kent Dykes - Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals, 6-String Bass
John Inmon - Guitar, Vocals
Bruce Jones - Bass, Guitar (Bass), Vocals
Gene Brandon - Drums


Austin, besides being the Texas state capital, is home to much of the best in American roots music. Since the 1970s, ballsy blues players, renegade country pickers, and raw-voiced rockers have mixed & matched their musical styles in Austin's thriving club scene. And that's where Kent "Omar" Dykes holds court too. And it's also where he's recorded his latest Ruf album, Boogie Man, working with some of his adopted hometown's most famous songwriters and musicians. He hails from McComb, Miss., a town with the curious distinction of being home turf for both Bo Diddley and Britney Spears. It's well established that Omar started playing guitar at seven, took to hanging out in edge-of-town juke joints at 12, joined his first band at 13 - the next youngest player being 50 - and played the sort of music where somebody bustin' a cap at somebody else was just added percussion. He was still Kent Dykes in those days, but by the time he hit 20 he had hooked up with a crazy-assed party band, called the Howlers, who specialised in playing frat parties. Looking back, he says, "We had two saxophone players on baritone and tenor who wore Henry Kissinger masks. They were called the Kissinger brothers. Not on every song, mind you. Sometimes it was Dolly Parton playing saxophone. Or Cher. And we had these cardboard cut-outs from record stores for skits." They even did fake ads for Sunshine Collard Greens and Howlers' Fried Chicken - "for that old-fashioned taste that tastes just like Grandma." It was a crazy time, but a helluva lot of fun too, with the rough & tumble Howlers playing R&B, R&R and even the occasional polka and western swing tune. A decade earlier and 250 miles north of McComb, Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn had learned their chops exactly the same way as members of the Memphis party band the Mar-Keys. But Kent Dykes mostly just wanted to play blues. And by then the other Howlers had taken to calling him "Omar Overtone" because he tended to let his guitar feed back on stage while he dropped to the floor to spin on his back in a spontaneous, Big & Tall Store take on break-dancing. As he says, those performances were "sometimes fueled by, a-hmm, alcohol." By 1976, the Howlers decided they were ready to bust a big move and relocate to Austin, where such clubs as the Soap Creek Saloon, the Broken Spoke, the Armadillo World Headquarters and Antone's had created a haven for renegade music. "We worked out of Austin for about a year," Omar says, "but a lot of the guys decided they weren't cut out to play music full-time for the rest of their lives. They headed back to Mississippi and Arkansas, and I decided to keep the name. Nobody objected." And as Dykes says, Omar & The Howlers works better than Kent & The Howlers. Of such decisions are careers made. Fronting a new line-up, Dykes honed a band capable of the sort of raw, rowdy, rambunctious blues that made Howlin' Wolf and Hound Dog Taylor legends and inspired Don Van Vliet to become Captain Beefheart. By then the Fabulous Thunderbirds were also getting started in Austin and T-Bird member Jimmie Vaughan's kid brother, Stevie Ray, had formed Triple Threat with Lou Ann Barton, future Double Trouble-r Chris Layton and Jackie Newhouse (LeRoi Brothers). The T-Birds were the first to record, cutting their debut in 1979, but Omar wasn't far behind with "Big Leg Beat" in 1980. His second, "I Told You So", in 1984 made them the big men on the block - or at least along Austin's famed Sixth Street - earning them consecutive Austin band-of-the-year awards in 1985-1986. The following year Omar signed with Columbia Records and cut "Hard Times In The Land of Plenty" (1987), which sold in excess 500,000 copies, and "Wall of Pride" (1988). Since then there have been another dozen albums, all of them featuring Omar's guitar and baritone voice, which reviewers describe as a cross between Howlin' Wolf in his prime and the warning growl of a large primate. Hyperbole aside, the big man's talents have earned an international following, prestigious awards and induction into the Texas musicians' Hall of Fame. For "Boogie Man", his newest release on the Ruf label, Omar has brought in some of the songwriter friends he's made in the 27 years since he left Mississippi for Texas. Ten of the 11 tracks on the 55-minute disc are collaborations. "Co-writing at this point in my life is a lot of fun. To me it's like free songs. These are ones that I wouldn't have had the patience to sit down and write on my own. But when you get with friends and drink coffee, tell jokes and stories, and then write something, it always turns out to be something different than what you might have done on your own." Plus it's not exactly heavy lifting to work with such Texas icons as Ray Wyle Hubbard, Darden Smith, Alejandro Escovedo and Stephen Bruton. "Some of them I hadn't seen for a while," Omar says, "because like me they're in bands and on the road. So when we got together, we end up reminiscing a lot. For instance, I've known Ray Wyle off and on for 20 years - acquaintances for a long time but pretty good friends now. In the old days, he was busy drinking and partying on his own, and I had my own party going on too." Besides the songwriting collaborators, Omar also brought some friends into the recording studio, including guitarists Chris Duarte and Jon Dee Graham (True Believers), Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon of Stevie Ray Vaughan's Double Trouble, George Rains (Sir Douglas Quintet and house drummer on scores of Antone's label releases) and his frequent running-mates Terry Bozzio (Missing Persons, Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa) and Malcolm "Papa Mali" Welbourne. About the recording process, Omar says, "I played out for seven and a half months, with only a few days off, and I'd spend those cutting in the studio. I would have liked to take the time off to relax, but it was a lot of satisfaction writing and recording with my friends too. This was an album I've wanted to do for a long, long time." As for future plans, Omar says he'll be back on the road soon. "I still do 150-160 shows a year, and with travel days that adds up to a lot of time away from home. It always seems like we're on a plane headed somewhere." Or as he sums things up in "That's Just My Life": It's a long way from Pittsburgh down to Knoxville, Tenn.. But I'm in it for the long haul, and that's all right with me. Nighttime keeps me in the roadhouse, daylight's burning up the miles, the blacktop goes forever, I was born a highway child. © Ruf Records GmbH, D-37318 Lindewerra/Germany


Donald Fagen

Donald Fagen - Tomorrow's Girls EP - 1993 - Reprise

There's no need to expand on this guy's achievements!


1 Tomorrow's Girls - Donald Fagen [Edit]
2 Shanghai Confidential - Donald Fagen
3 Confide in Me - Donald Fagen
4 Century's End - Donald Fagen (Music, & Lyrics), Timothy Meher (Lyrics)
5 Tomorrow's Girls - Donald Fagen [Single Version]

Tracks 1, & 5 produced by Walter Becker. Tracks 2, & 3 produced by Donald Fagen. Track 4 produced by Gary Katz.

Musicians on Track 1

Donald Fagen , Lead Vocals, Keyboards
Walter Becker , Electric Bass (finger), Electric Guitar
Georg Wadenius, Electric Guitar
Dennis McDermott, Drums

Musicians on Track 2

Donald Fagen , Keyboards, Sequencer
Steve Khan, Guitar
Marcus Miller , Electric Bass (finger),
Manolo Badrena, Percussion

Musicians on Track 3

Donald Fagen, Lead Vocals, Background Vocals, Piano
Drew Zingg , Electric Guitar
Lincoln Schleifer , Bass
Jeff Young , Organ
Dennis McDermott, Drums
Mindy Jostyn , Harmonica, Background Vocals

Musicians on Track 4

Donald Fagen , Keyboards, Synth. Programming, Lead Vocals
Georg Wadenius, Guitar
Jimmy Haslip, Bass
Rob Mounsey, Keyboards
Leroy Clouden, Drums
Dave Tofani, Alto Sax
Michael Brecker, Harold Vick, Tenor Sax
Ronnie Cuber, Baritone Sax
Dave Bargeron, Trombone
Lew Soloff, Trumpet
Angela Clemmon Patrick, Frank Floyd, Zachary 'Zack' Sanders, Background Vocals

Musicians on Track 5

Donald Fagen , Lead Vocals, Keyboards
Walter Becker , Electric Bass (finger), Electric Guitar
Georg Wadenius, Electric Guitar
Dennis McDermott, Drums

Michael McDonald

Michael McDonald -That Was Then - 1982 - Arista

On this blog, we have spoken of "The Voice", the great Paul Rodgers. Michael McDonald is equally qualified to hold that title, as he is arguably the greatest American "blue-eyed" R&B/soul singer ever born. His vocals, and keyboard playing grace hundreds of albums, and he remains one of the world's most in demand session singers. As well as being well known during the seventies through his stints with bands kike Steely Dan, Michael McDonald had a huge influence on the sound of 80's pop music. He was born and reared in St. Louis and started playing in local bands at the age of 12. He had a few basic piano lessons, but still plays by ear in a gospel and soul style that developed from his listening to local radio stations and music as a youngster..Michael's unmistakeable, distinctive, soulful voice has been influenced by artists he loves like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. In 1970, aged18, Mike relocated to Los Angeles and recorded a still unreleased album for RCA. In L.A, he worked as a pianist and session singer. He got a huge break playing keyboards and singing background vocals for the great Steely Dan. He toured with the Dan up to 1974, and appeared on some of their greatest albums, including "Aja" in 1977. In the spring of 1975, he was invited by fellow ex-Steely Dan member the briliant guitarist, Jeff "Skunk" Baxter to New Orleans to join the Doobie Brothers as a replacement for Tom Johnston, who was suffering ill health. Michael stayed with the Doobie Brothers for a few years, and composed and sang most of the band's big hits, including ''Takin' It to the Streets,'' ''It Keeps You Runnin'", ''Real Love,'' and ''What A Fool Believes.'' ''What A Fool Believes" is the song that made Michael McDonald a star worldwide, and he became the most sought-after back up session singer in the business. He is still, in 2009, as much in demand as he was back then. Like Steely Dan's Walter Becker, and Donald Fagen who he worked with, Michael, himself, is a perfectionist in the studio. It supposedly took 54 studio takes to finish ''What A Fool Believes,'' and even then, the material was reworked over a hundred different ways outside of the studio. Michael McDonald at one time played four different keyboards, including two synths on stage. Famous for his painstaking craftsmanship regarding songwriting, he admires composers like Burt Bacharach and Randy Newman.
In 1972, Michael cut a number of tracks for Bell records. In 1982 these tracks were released on Arista. Some editions of the album contain five extra tracks, " Always Something There To Remind Me", "God Knows", " If You Wont I Will", "Where Do I Go From Here", and "Can You Feel It". These extra tracks are included here. Sound quality on this album is normal for a 1982 vinyl reissue of studio tracks from 1972. Still, it's great to hear this early material from the great man. If anybody has any details regarding the musicians on these tracks, A.O.O.F.C would greatly appreciate them. Check out Michael McDonald's "If That's What It Takes" album @ MMCD/ITWIT and "The Voice of Michael McDonald " album can be found @ MMCD/VOMMCD


1.) Drivin' Wheel (Roosevelt Sykes)
2.) Lord I Felt (Michael McDonald)
3.) It Don't Matter Now (Michael McDonald)
4.) When I'm Home (Michael McDonald)
5.) I Think I Love You Again (Tony Wine - Irwin Levine)
6.) Melodic (Michael McDonald)


1.) Midnight Rider (Gregg Allman)
2.) Billy (Michael McDonald)
3.) Dear Me (Michael McDonald)
4.) Where Men Don't Care (Michael McDonald)
5.) A Good Old Time Love Song (Michael McGinnis)

12 Always Something There To Remind Me Bacharach/David [Extra Track]
13 God Knows (Michael McDonald) [Extra Track]
14 If You Wont I Will unknown [Extra Track]
15 Where Do I Go From Here Paul Williams [Extra Track]
16 Can You Feel It unknown [Extra Track]


In the wake of Michael McDonald's late-1970s/early-1980s commercial successes with The Doobie Brothers and as a solo act, it probably wasn't a major surprise to see someone trying to exploit the market with a quickie set of pre-fame releases.Released by Arista Records, 1982's "That Was Then, the Early Recordings of Michael McDonald" served to comply a mix of early 1970s solo sides released while McDonald was signed to Bell Records (and now surprisingly hard to find), along with four previously unreleased selections. Given that most retrospectives of this nature are pretty lame, this one wasn't all that bad. McDonald's expressive voice was instantly recognizable throughout which, depending on your perspective, was something you enjoyed, or had about as much appeal as a case of the black plague. Something that continued to plague McDonald throughout his career, there were way too many heartfelt ballads. Taken individually tracks like 'Lord I Felt', 'It Don't Matter Now and 'I Think I Love You Again') were all pretty good, but lumped together they started to blend together into a sound-alike collage. Still most of these 11 tracks were at least mildly entertaining. So what were the highlights? The LP kicked off with a kick ass cover of 'Drivin' Wheel' - McDonald's seldom rocked as hard! Almost as good was the other true rocker - an all too brief cover of The Allman Brothers' 'Midnight Rider'. Probably not of interest to a casual fan, but it's something more dedicated fans will want to own. © http://us.geocities.com/badcatrecords/MCDONALDmichael.htm

BIO (Wikipedia)

Michael McDonald (born February 12, 1952, in St. Louis, Missouri) is a gold and platinum-selling American R&B/soul singer and songwriter. He is sometimes described as a "blue-eyed soul" singer and sings in a distinctive "husky, soulful" yet baritone range.He is known for his work as a member of the Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, and for several hits as a solo artist. McDonald played in several local bands (such as Mike and the Majestics, Jerry Jay and the Sheratons, the Reeb-Toors, the Del Rays and The Guild) while attending McCluer High School in his hometown of Ferguson, Missouri, now a city of some 25,000 people in St. Louis County, Missouri. McDonald was 'discovered' while playing with a group called Blue and consequently moved to Los Angeles in 1970. McDonald was recruited by the band The Doobie Brothers in April 1975 when lead singer Tom Johnston became ill during a national tour. His time with the band proved so successful that they decided to retain him as a full time member. As a member of the Doobies, he recorded some of his most well-known songs, such as "Takin' It to the Streets", "Little Darling", "It Keeps You Runnin'" "Minute by Minute" and "What a Fool Believes" (which became a number one single in the U.S. and earned him a 1980 Grammy Award for Song of the Year). At the same time he appeared as a session singer and piano player for artists like Christopher Cross, Jack Jones, Bonnie Raitt, the rock band Toto and Kenny Loggins. After the Doobies' first farewell tour, McDonald compiled some of his earlier songs in the 1982 release That Was Then: The Early Years which has never been issued on CD. His first solo album, If That's What It Takes, also released in 1982, featured the hits "I Keep Forgettin' (Every Time You're Near)," a duet with his sister Maureen, and "I Gotta Try," a song co-written with Kenny Loggins, who recorded it as well. "Yah Mo B There", a duet with James Ingram, won him the 1985 Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals. He followed that up with "On My Own", a duet with Patti Labelle, which reached #1 on the U.S. charts in 1986. McDonald's 1990 album Take It To Heart featured a minor hit with the title song, co-written with Diane Warren. The following year he joined the New York Rock and Soul Revue, put together by Steely Dan's Donald Fagen. 1991's "Ever Changing Times" with Aretha Franklin, a duet on Arista Records, had moderate success and radio play (peaking at #19 on US R&B charts). In 2003, he earned two Grammy nominations for his album Motown, a tribute to the Motown sound. McDonald has reunited as a guest performer with the Doobies several times since their initial dissolution in 1982, and joined Steely Dan on their 2006 summer tour, both as the opening act and as part of the band. In 2000, McDonald, along with partners Chris Pelonis and actor Jeff Bridges, founded the independent recording label Ramp Records. In 2003, McDonald received a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. In 2008, McDonald performed "America the Beautiful" at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado at Invesco Field. In 2009, Michael McDonald, along with West Angeles COGIC Mass, released the song “Storm Before The Calm” on the compilation album Oh Happy Day.