Get this crazy baby off my head!


Tony McPhee

Tony McPhee - The Blues & the Beast - 1992 - Nibelung (Germany)

"The Blues & the Beast", recorded in 1991 is a superb collection of acoustic blues standards from the brilliant Tony McPhee Tony delves deep into traditional blues on this album. This CD has only been released in Germany, and is a very elusive recording. Get it while you can! Search this blog for other Tony McPhee /Groundhogs related recordings


"Smoke Stack Lightnin'" - Howlin' Wolf
Someday Baby - Sleepy John Estes
Can't Be Satisfied - Muddy Waters
Love In Vain - Robert Johnson
Oh Death - Trad
Down In The Bottom - Howlin' Wolf
Crawling King Snake - John Lee Hooker, Bernard Besman
32-20 - Robert Johnson
Diving Duck - Sleepy John Estes
Catfish - Muddy Waters
Dimples - James C. Bracken/John Lee Hooker
Death Letter - Son House
Come On In My Kitchen - Robert Johnson
No Place To Go - Howlin' Wolf
Who Knows? [ This track sounds like Howlin' Wolf's "Smoke Stack Lightnin'" ] *
Write Me A Few Short Lines - Fred McDowell
* N.B: Info appreciated om this track. It seems like a mislabelled somg



Christmas - Christmas - 1970 - Paragon

Formed in Oshawa, Ontario by guitarist Bob Bryden amid the ruins of psych-rock outfit Reign Ghost, whose two Allied Records releases fetch hefty sums in collectors' circles, Christmas initially recorded this music as record industry bait for one of those budget throwaway top-hits collections. As Bryden recalls, "(This was) originally to be a '12 Top Hits' album done anonymously, but we jammed and they released the jams and scrapped the 'cover version' idea." Allegedly issued without the band's knowledge, Christmas has a laconic, post-acid feel to it, with the spectre of the Grateful Dead - especially the stoner noodling on their classic 'Dark Star' - everywhere on the record. Side one is the more disciplined of the two sides, giving itself to more standard song structures of varying quality ranging from somnambulant to soothing. Bryden's crisp guitar work starts to emerge on the final track, 'Oasis', a carefree instrumental that sets the stage for side two and its sprawling side-long jam, the almost interminable and ridiculously named 'Jungle Fabulous'. Not for the restless, this one. The band signed to the larger Daffodil imprint soon after, and issued their proper debut album, the heavier, less-indulgent Heritage the following year. And though Christmas and Heritage found favour with the critics, with little airplay outside Toronto, not too mention the unfortunate habit of being misfiled in shops in the other Xmas section, both discs died early deaths. Now phenomenally rare with mint copies changing hands for upwards of $2500, Christmas saw the digital light of day in 2001 when Pacemaker gave it the straight reissue treatment, from the original masters (tape hiss and all) and with original front and back cover art intact. © Michael Panontin, © 2006-2009 · canuckistanmusic.com · All Rights Reserved

The band from Ontario, recorded this album to fulfill a record contract deal, after Bob Bryden's previous group, Reign Ghost split up. The album has some west-coast flavoured guitar work, and vocal harmonies. The marathon track , "Jungle Fabulous" is a strangely compelling tripped out psychedelic acid rock track, with Eastern influences, and has a hypnotic quality. Christmas released other albums, including "First And Live", and "Heritage", both from 1970. Another album called "Lies To Live By" was released in 1974 by the band, calling themselves The Spirit of Christmas. A limited edition cassette entitled "Christmas Live At Massey Hall" was released in 1990. More detailed info on the band and it's origins can be found @ CHRISTMAS/BLOG N.B: Sound quality on the album is only fair, but the album posted here was reissued on CD without any remastering


A1 Just Suppose - Bob Bryden 4:24
A2 Your Hymble Suitor - Bob Bryden 4:15
A3 Sorry I Bore You Victoria - Bob Bryden 2:57
A4 Oasis - Bryden, Bulger, Raizenne, Richter 6:05
B1 Jungle Fabulous - Bryden, Bulger, Raizenne, Richter 20:39


Guitar - Robert Bulger
Guitar, Voice - Bob Bryden
Bass - Tyler Raizenne
Drums - Rich Richter
Voice - Gary , Wolf

Al Miller

Al Miller - Wild Cards - 1995 - Delmark

Al Miller had been contributing to the Chicago blues scene for over 30 years when, in 1994, he finally recorded his first album as a leader, Wild Cards. The singer/guitarist/harpist was far from a huge name in the blues world, but then, a lack of commercial success wasn't something that discouraged Delmark founder Bob Koester—if Koester felt that a blues or jazz artist deserved to be documented, he would put out an album regardless of how obscure he/she was. For this enjoyable, if unremarkable, session, Delmark hired Dave Specter (an excellent guitarist who shouldn't be confused with software public relations man David Spector) to do the producing and employed his guitar on eight of its 14 selections. The personnel varies from song to song, and the CD's vocals are handled not only by Miller, but also, by Willie Kent, Tad Robinson (whose gruff style recalls Dave Prater of Sam & Dave) and Steve Freund. Miller, in fact, lays out on six tracks—in other words, he lays out on almost half of his own album. Electric Chicago blues is Wild Cards' primary focus, although the CD successfully detours into 1960s-type soul on "Stuck in Chicago" and acknowledges jazz with a gutsy version of Gene Ammons' "Red Top." Specter isn't heard on the latter, which is surprising because the bluesman is heavily influenced by jazz and would have been perfect for the tune. Wild Cards isn't fantastic, but it's a competent offering from an artist who deserved to be documented as a leader. © Alex Henderson, allmusic.com

A good straightforward blues/soul/jazz album from the obscure Chicago singer, harmonica and guitar player Al Miller. The album was recorded on Feburary 14 and 15, 1994 at Riverside Studios, Chicago, and produced by Dave Specter, who plays guitar on "I Don't Play", "Stuck In Chicago", "Seventy-Four", "Can't Stay Here No More", "Deal The Cards", "I Had A Dream", "Jockey Blues", and "Blues For John Littlejohn". The album also includes Steve Freund on vocals, and guitar, and there are guest vocals by Tad Robinson & Willie Kent. "Wild Cards" deserves a listen, as artists like Al Miller play authentic blues with sincerity and feeling, and definitely not for the money. Buy his "...In Between Time" album


1. I Don't Play (Dixon) - 3:34
2. Stuck in Chicago (Cate) - 3:50
3. Seventy-Four (Love, Temple) - 6:50
4. Long Grey Mare (Green, Green) - 4:05
5. Can't Stay Here No More (Miller) - 5:12
6. Special Way (Miller) - 4:31
7. Deal the Cards (Young) - 5:23
8. Red Top Boogie (Hampton, Kynard) - 4:22
9. Fallin' Rain (Tucker) - 5:18
10. I Had a Dream (Charles) - 6:15
11. Jockey Blues (Hooker) - 5:07
12. Big 'C' Blues (Bloomfield) - 5:05
13. Blues for John Littlejohn (Funchess) - 6:24
14. Sittin' Here Thinkin' (Taylor) - 4:08


Al Miller (Guitar),(Harmonica),(Drums), (Harp), (Vocals)
Steve Freund (Guitar), (Vocals)
Dave Specter (Guitar)
Willie Kent (Bass), (Vocals)
Mike McCurdy, Harlan Terson (Bass)
Donny Nichilo (Piano)
Ken Saydak (Organ), (Piano)
Phil Baron (Organ)
Mark Fornek (Drums)
Dez Desormeaux (Sax (Baritone), (Sax (Tenor)
John Brumbach (Sax (Tenor)
Rob Mazurek (Trumpet)
Don Stiernberg (Mandolin)
Tad Robinson (Vocals)


Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show

Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show - The Ballad Of Lucy Jordon - 1975 - CBS

Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show was originally a pop-country rock style band formed around Union City, New Jersey in 1969. The earliest nucleus of the band consisted of friends, George Cummings, Dennis Locorriere, Ray Sawyer, Billy Francis—who had played the East Coast and into the Midwest, ending up in New Jersey one by one, with invitations from founding band member George Cummings. When told by a club owner that they needed a name to put on a poster in the window of his shop, Cummings concocted a sign: "Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show: Tonic for the Soul", a name inspired by the traveling quack medicine shows of the old West. Even today, Ray Sawyer is often considered to be the real "Dr. Hook" because of the famous eyepatch he wears as the result of a serious car accident. When people think of Dr. Hook, they often think of the tongue in cheek humorousy cynical, and sardonic songs of Shel Silverstein and of a fun band who had a reputation of laughing at themselves, and often played manic stage shows, throwing all musical self caution to the wind. A strange band, in that in the early days they were seldom associated with rock'n'roll, but played plenty of it, not all humorous, and ironically in the band's later days,, they changed into a hugely successful commercial pop rock band, releasing hugely successful hits like "Little Bit More", "When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman", and "Sexy Eyes". Essentialy, there are two versions of Dr. Hook/Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show.: The early bunch of jokers, singing hilarious songs like " Roland The Roadie & Gertrude The Groupie", and "The Cover Of "Rolling Stone", reminiscent of the great Coasters, and the later well groomed "respectable" pop rock band singing good, but ultra - commercial songs like "Little Bit More". This is in no way downgrading the band. Whether old or new songs, they are all great compositions, well crafted, and with great melodies, especially the later songs. There are people who may prefer the old Shel Silverstein's Dr. Hook, with songs about groupies, shady characters hanging around, limo rides, and drunken junkies. Then there are the other people who are only familiar with, and probably prefer the later dreamy romantic disco ballads like "When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman", and "Sexy Eyes". "The Ballad Of Lucy Jordon" album is more concerned with the "fun" side of the band's music. The great Shel Silverstein song, "The Ballad Of Lucy Jordon" is included here, and shows the sensitive and serious sde of the late Shel Silverstein. Many artists have recorded this song, but it is worth listenig to Marianne Faithfull's great version. Check out the band's "Sloppy Seconds" album, and read more about the immensely talented Shel Silverstein @ Shel's Bio


A1 Sylvia's Mother
A2 Hey, Lady Godiva
A3 Four Years Older Than Me - David, Haffkine, Locorriere, Sawyer
A4 Makin' It Natural - Comanor, Silverstein
A5 Last Mornin'
A6 (Freakin' At) The Freaker's Ball
A7 If I'd Only Come And Gone
A8 Carry Me, Carrie

B1 Queen Of The Silver Dollar
B2 The Cover Of "Rolling Stone"
B3 Penicillin Penny
B4 Life Ain't Easy - Sawyer, Silverstein
B5 Monterey Jack
B6 Roland The Roadie & Gertrude The Groupie
B7 The Wonderful Soup Stone
B8 The Ballad Of Lucy Jordon

All songs composed by Shel Silverstein, except where stated

N.B: Album posted here is a 320 vinyl rip


Guitar - Rik Elswit
Lead Vocals, Guitar - Ray Sawyer
Lead Vocals, Guitar, Bass - Dennis Locorriere
Vocals, Guitar, Guitar [Steel ] - George Cummings
Bass - Jance Garfat R.I.P
Vocals, Keyboards - Bill Francis
Vocals, Drums - Jay David


Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show's sardonic, country-flavored pop/rock made them one of the most fondly remembered acts of AM pop radio's heyday in the '70s. Although the band had a reputation as a mouthpiece for humorist Shel Silverstein, who supplied several of their biggest hits (including "The Cover of Rolling Stone"), they didn't rely exclusively on his material by any means. And, during their peak years, they were just as famed for their crazed stage antics, which ranged from surreal banter to impersonating their own opening acts. The band was formed in Union City, NJ, in 1968, when a young singer/songwriter named Dennis Locorriere teamed up with Alabama-born country-rocker Ray Sawyer. Sawyer's distinctive stage presence stemmed from his enormous cowboy hat and an eye patch that hid injuries from a serious car accident in 1967. Sharing the spotlight on guitar and lead vocals, the duo teamed up with Sawyer's bandmates from a group called the Chocolate Papers: George Cummings (lead and steel guitars), Billy Francis (keyboards), and Popeye Phillips (drums). Phillips soon moved home to Alabama and was replaced by local drummer John "Jay" David. Sawyer's eye patch inspired the nickname Dr. Hook, after the Captain Hook character in Peter Pan; with the rest of the band christened the Medicine Show (a possible drug reference), they began playing some of the roughest bars in the Union City area, concentrating mostly on country music out of sheer necessity. Anxious to find a more hospitable environment, the band recorded some demos, and in early 1970 their manager played the tapes for Ron Haffkine, who was working as musical director for the film Who Is Harry Kellerman and Why Is He Saying Those Terrible Things About Me? Haffkine had been looking for bands to perform the songs written for the soundtrack by Shel Silverstein, an ex-folkie, Playboy cartoonist, and children's author who'd penned Johnny Cash's hit "A Boy Named Sue." He took an instant liking to Locorriere's voice, and became the group's manager and producer, signing them to record "Last Morning" for the film soundtrack and also landing a deal with CBS. Silverstein wrote all the songs for Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show's self-titled debut album, which was released in 1971. The single "Sylvia's Mother," a subtle parody of teen-heartbreak weepers, flopped on first release, but with some more promotional muscle became the band's first million-seller and hit the Top Five in the summer of 1972 (even if many listeners took it as sincere). That year, the band added a full-time bassist in Jance Garfat, as well as another lead guitarist, Rik Elswit. Their second album, Sloppy Seconds, was again written by Silverstein, and featured more risqué material, perhaps in response to the success of "Sylvia's Mother." "The Cover of Rolling Stone," written specifically to get the band featured on same, became another Top Ten smash in early 1973, and Rolling Stone soon granted the band's wish. However, following it up proved difficult. Drummer David left the group in 1973, to be replaced by John Wolters; the title of their next album, Belly Up, was unfortunately prophetic, and the band filed for bankruptcy in 1974 (partly as a way to get out of their contract with CBS). Now known simply as Dr. Hook, they signed with Capitol in 1975, debuting with Bankrupt, which began to feature more group originals. A cover of Sam Cooke's "Only Sixteen" returned them to the Top Ten in 1976 and revitalized their career; although Cummings left the band that year, further hits followed over the next few years in "A Little Bit More," "Sharing the Night Together," "When You're in Love With a Woman," and "Sexy Eyes." 1979's Pleasure & Pain became their first gold album, cementing the band's transition into disco-tinged balladeers. However, Elswit had to leave the band for a year after developing cancer; he was replaced by Bob "Willard" Henke, who remained in the lineup after Elswit's return. Ray Sawyer, however, did not; dissatisfied with their newly commercial direction, he departed in 1980, robbing Dr. Hook of, well, Dr. Hook. With Rod Smarr replacing Henke, the remainder of the band switched from Capitol to Casablanca, with very little success; after a few bill-paying tours, they finally gave up the ghost in 1985. Locorriere became a session and touring vocalist, backing Randy Travis in 1989, and in 1996 recorded the solo LP Running With Scissors. Sawyer still tours under the Dr. Hook name, though he licenses it from Locorriere. Drummer Wolters died of cancer in 1997. © Steve Huey, allmusic.com

ABOUT SHEL SILVERSTEIN [ © Spencer Leigh, From The Independent, 24 May 1999, © www.spencerleigh.demon.co.uk/Obit_Silverstein.htm ]

Shelby Silverstein, singer, songwriter and children’s author, b. 25th September 1932, Chicago: divorced, 1 son, 1 daughter, died 10th May 1999 Key West. In his books, cartoons and songs, Shel Silverstein was known for his wry, humorous slants on life, and his own life was every bit as eccentric as the characters who peopled his work. Take the sorry tale of love not being returned in “Sylvia’s Mother”, an international hit for Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show in 1972. “Most of the time if you tell a true story, you beef it up to make it into a song,” says Ray Sawyer, the eyepatched singer from Dr. Hook, “but Shel had to bring them down. The guy that ran off with Sylvia in real life was a bullfighter from Mexico, and he couldn’t put that in the song.” Shel Singleton was born in Chicago in 1932 and his talents as a cartoonist and satirist were first seen while serving in Korea in 1952 and contributing to the armed forces periodical, “Pacific Stars And Stripes”. Returning home, he established himself with “Playboy” and befriended the magazine’s owner, Hugh Hefner. Many of his songs reflect Playboy’s hedonist lifestyle and, as the record producer Chet Atkins remarked, “Ol’ Shel has probably got the worst voice of anyone alive, but he’s also got the run of the ‘Playboy’ mansion and I’m not knocking anybody with a deal like that.” Shel Silverstein’s recorded “Inside Folk Music”, in 1962 and some of its songs are still performed: “The Unicorn”, “In The Hills Of Shiloh” and “The Wonderful Soup Stone”, which was based on an Irish legend. His first children’s book, “The Giving Tree”, was published in 1964 and has remained in print. In 1969 he passed Johnny Cash a poem the day before his concert in San Quentin prison. Cash asked Carl Perkins to set it to music and the result was a million-selling saga of transvesities and barroom fights, “A Boy Named Sue”. Cash also sang his witty song about the condemned cell, “Twenty-Five Minutes To Go”, while Loretta Lynn topped the US country chart by telling of the restrictions of motherhood in “One’s On The Way” (1970). In 1970, he wrote several songs for the film, “Ned Kelly”, which cast, or rather miscast, Mick Jagger as the Australian outlaw. Silverstein met Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show whilst working on a Dustin Hoffman film, “Who Is Harry Kellerman And Why Is He Saying These Terrible Things About Me?” (1971). The film was every bit as bad as its title but he realised that the outlandish hippies were the perfect mouthpiece for his material. Dennis Locorriere took the lead vocal on “Sylvia’s Mother”, which he performs to this day: “I imagine I’m 17 years old again and running out of coins in a phonebox and having my girlfriend’s mother telling me that she’s getting married to somebody else.” Dr. Hook recorded 60 of Silverstein’s acutely observed vignettes of American life and the results equal the sketches which Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller wrote for the Coasters.. He parodied the group’s desire for success in “The Cover Of Rolling Stone” and “Everybody’s Makin’ It Big But Me”. Sample lyric: “Elton John’s got two fine ladies, Dr. John’s got three, And I’m still seeing those same old sleazos that I used to see.” The group backed the bald-headed Silverstein on his outrageous solo album, “Freakin’ At The Freakers Ball” (1972), and the titles match the contents: “Polly In A Porny”, “I Got Stoned And I Missed It” and “Don’t Give A Dose To The One You Love Most”. “We turned that one down,” says Dennis, “We had enough problems with people thinking us a bunch of degenerates. We didn’t want them thinking we’d got VD as well.” The singer, Bobby Bare, once sang me a filthy, totally rewritten version of the country hit, “The Wild Side Of Life”. “Shel wrote that”, he remarked, “The wild side of life in the original was never wild enough for him.” Shel Silverstein gave Dr.Hook a poignant song about the pressures of modern life, “The Ballad Of Lucy Jordon”, which was also recorded very successfully by Marianne Faithfull. Dennis Locorriere comments, “’The Ballad Of Lucy Jordon’ has a magical ending that never fails to excite me. His songs unfold as you sing them and he has made me so much more of a singer.” Silverstein wrote of an older man’s love for his girlfriend in “A Couple More Years”, which has been sung by Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan, and of the difficulties of satisfying a partner in “More Like The Movies”, another hit for Dr. Hook (1978). He became a millionaire, but never owned a car and looked for bargains in flea markets. When he found an album by Bobby Gosh, he offered one of the songs to Dr. Hook, namely “A Little Bit More”, with the comment, “This is a great song even though no-one’s ever heard it.” Taking up a challenge, he wrote an album, “Lullabys, Legends And Lies”, for the country singer, Bobby Bare in four days in 1973. The classic LP included a country hit about the witch queen of New Orleans, “Marie Laveau”, how you lose even when you’re “The Winner” and an eight-minute picture of grotesque characters in a late-night diner, “Rosalie’s Good Eats Café”. The album was immensely successful so Silverstein wrote two more albums for Bare in quick succession: an album of children’s songs, “Singin’ In The Kitchen” (1974) and “songs for the New Depression”, “Hard Time Hungrys” (1975). A child comments on her father’s unemployment in “Daddy’s Been Around The House Too Long” and times are so hard that even God is in “The Unemployment Line”. Many other classic songs stem from the 1970s including Emmylou Harris’ portrayal of a barroom prostitute, “The Queen Of The Silver Dollar”, Tompall Glaser’s response to Women’s Lib, “Put Another Log On The Fire”, and Burl Ives’ touching look at old age, “Time”. He commented on the hypocrisy behind Nashville’s tributes to the bluegrass musician, Lester Flatt, in Bobby Bare’s “Rough On The Living”. (“They didn’t want him around when he’s living, But he’s sure a good friend when he’s dead.”) A restless man, he tired of writing songs and returned to children’s books and cartoons. His books include “Where The Sidewalk Ends” (1974), “The Missing Piece” (1976), “A Light In The Attic” (1981) and his poems share the same anarchic views as Spike Milligan. “Oh, if you’re a bird, be an early bird, And catch the worm for your breakfast plate, If you’re a bird, be an early early bird, But if you’re a worm, sleep late.” Many song lyrics appeared as illustrated poems in “Playboy” and were often much longer than the recorded versions. His epic poem about a bad songwriter making Faustian deals, “The Devil And Billy Markham” (1978), became an off-Broadway musical. Shel Silverstein’s heart disease made him view death as a subject for popular songs. The remarkable result, the album, “Old Dogs” (1998), performed by Waylon Jennings, Bobby Bare, Mel Tillis and Jerry Reed, happens to be the funniest album for several years. Still writing exceptional lyrics, he wrote his own epitaph: “You’d better have some fun before you say bye-bye, ‘Cause you’re still gonna, still gonna, still gonna die.”

Maynard Ferguson

Maynard Ferguson - Master of the Stratosphere - 1997 - Sony

In the mid-1940s, while leading his own band in the Montreal area and in Toronto, Maynard Ferguson's talents were noticed by some prominent U.S bandleaders. In 1978, Paul Bley said that 'Maynard would always open the show, and he played three octaves higher on trumpet than anyone else... you ought to have seen the jaws drop on the visiting musicians'. In 1948, Ferguson went to the USA, and played with the big bands of Boyd Raeburn, Jimmy Dorsey, Charlie Barnet, and the great Stan Kenton until 1953. Around this time, Maynard was making a big impression on the public. He won the Down Beat readers' polls for trumpet in 1950, 1951, and 1952. In 1950, he cut his first records under under his own name , for Capitol, while leading the Stan Kenton band of the day. In the mid-1980s, Maynard had moved to Ojai, Cal, and in 1987 introduced his fusion septet, High Voltage. Ten lears later, he had moved away from fusion and returned to the more traditional big band jazz style, playing with the Big Bop Nouveau Band. Maynard was an extensive tourer, and travelled for eight months of the year. He played in many prestigious jazz events, made numerous TV appearances, many great albums, and he had the honour of playing solo trumpet for the opening ceremony of the Montreal 1976 Olympics. Many Canadians have been members of his bands, including,the singer Anne Marie Moss, the tenor saxophonist Georgie Auld, and the trombonists Rob McConnell and Phil Gray. Kenny Wheeler arranged and composed for Maynard's English band. Maynard Ferguson was a genius of the trumpet, and his mastery of the instrument was incredible. His music is still loved, not just by jazz fans, but by lovers of good popular music. As is usual with unorthodox jazz players like Maynard, he received a lot of criticism for venturing beyond the classical jazz form. Some purists rather unfairly called him an exhibitionist, and a showman. An example of this was his using an aria from I Pagliacci as an encore to his shows, and "over embellishing" his music with flamboyant high notes. However, much of Maynard's "musical embellishments" were obviously not understood properly, as Maynard was a great improvisor. These "high notes" were often used as a part of that improvisation, and certainly not to "show-off". He never lowered the standard of great jazz music. "Master of the Stratosphere" is a brilliant album, with fabulous interpretations of tracks like Chick Corea's "La Fiesta", Jimmy Webb's "MacArthur Park", D.C Thomas' "Spinning Wheel", and Isaac Hayes classic "Theme From Shaft". The album is V.H.R by A.O.O.F.C. Maynard Ferguson was a great musician, a great Montrealer, and gave wonderful music to the world. Listen to his brilliant "Primal Scream" album.


01. PRIMAL SCREAM - J.Chattaway, Maynard Ferguson
03. CHAMELEON - P.Jackson, H.Mason, B.Maupin, H.Hancock
04. GOSPEL JOHN - J.Steinberg
05. LA FIESTA - C.Corea
06. GONNA FLY NOW (THEME FROM "ROCKY") - B.Conti, C.Connors, A.Robbins
08. PAGLIACCI - J.Chattaway
10. THEME FROM "SHAFT" - I.Hayes

N.B: A list of the musicians on this album would be welcomed


When he debuted with Stan Kenton's Orchestra in 1950, Maynard Ferguson could play higher than any other trumpeter up to that point in jazz history, and he was accurate. Somehow he kept most of that range through his career and since the 1970s has been one of the most famous musicians in jazz. Never known for his exquisite taste (some of his more commercial efforts are unlistenable), Ferguson nevertheless led some important bands and definitely made an impact with his trumpet playing. After heading his own big band in Montreal, Ferguson came to the United States in 1949 with hopes of joining Kenton's orchestra, but that ensemble had just recently broke up. So instead, Ferguson gained experience playing with the big bands of Boyd Raeburn, Jimmy Dorsey, and Charlie Barnet. In 1950, with the formation of Kenton's Innovations Orchestra, Ferguson became a star, playing ridiculous high notes with ease. In 1953, he left Kenton to work in the studios of Los Angeles and three years later led the all-star "Birdland Dreamband." In 1957, he put together a regular big band that lasted until 1965, recorded regularly for Roulette (all of the band's recordings with that label are on a massive Mosaic box set) and performed some of the finest music of Ferguson's career. Such players as Slide Hampton, Don Ellis, Don Sebesky, Willie Maiden, John Bunch, Joe Zawinul, Joe Farrell, Jaki Byard, Lanny Morgan, Rufus Jones, Bill Berry, and Don Menza were among the more notable sidemen. After economics forced him to give up the impressive band, Ferguson had a few years in which he was only semi-active in music, spending time in India and eventually forming a new band in England. After moving back to the U.S., Ferguson in 1974 drifted quickly into commercialism. Young trumpeters in high school and colleges were amazed by his high notes, but jazz fans were dismayed by the tasteless recordings that resulted in hit versions of such songs as the themes from Star Wars and Rocky and much worse. After cutting back on his huge orchestra in the early '80s, Ferguson recorded some bop in a 1983 session, led a funk band called High Voltage during 1987-1988, and then returned to jazz with his "Big Bop Nouveau Band," a medium-sized outfit with which he toured the world up until his death from kidney and liver failure on August 23, 2006. © Scott Yanow, allmusic.com


Paul Butterfield's Better Days

Paul Butterfield's Better Days - Live at Winterland Ballroom '73 - 1999 - Victor Entertainment, Japan

The late Paul Butterfield was a colossal figure in the development of blues music. He is probably most noted for taking orthodox Chicago Blues, and adapting , and electrifying the genre in such a way that he opened up the blues to a much wider audience. His influence on other blues musicians is immense. Read his bio for a small idea of what this great man did in developing the blues during his lifetime. These nine tracks were recorded at the famed Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA. on Feb. 23rd 1973, and should be heard by anybody remotely interested in good music. Sadly, one of the other musicians on this album, Ronnie Barron, is now departed, but he will forever be remembered for his contribution to the blues. Check out Paul Butterfield's brilliant "East-West" album. The other musicians on this album are all stars in their own right. Try and listen to to Geoff Muldaur's "Pottery Pie" album. There is some great basswork from Billy Rich on John McLaughlin's "Devotion" album. The late Ronnie Barron's "Bon Ton Roulette" is a great recording. Christopher Parker's amazing drumming is stunning on Donald Fagen’s classic “Kamakiriad” album, and last but certainly not least, Amos Garrett's brilliant "Buried Alive in the Blues" album can be found @ AMOSGAR/BAITB


1. Countryside - Copyright Control
2. Buried Alive In The Blues - Nick Gravenites
3. Small Town Talk - Bobby Charles & Rick Danko
4. New Walkin Blues - Robert Johnson
5. Broke My Baby's Heart - Ronnie Barron
6. Highway 28 - Rod Hicks
7. Please Send Me Someone To Love - Percy Mayfield
8. He's Got All The Whiskey - Bobby Charles
9. Nobody's Fault But Mine - Nina Simone


Paul Butterfield R.I.P - Vocals, Harmonica, Keyboards
Geoff Muldaur - Vocals, Guitar, Keyboards
Amos Garrett - Electric Guitar, Vocal
Billy Rich - Bass
Ronnie Barron R.I.P - Vocals, Piano, Organ
Christopher Parker - Drums


Paul Butterfield was the first white harmonica player to develop a style original and powerful enough to place him in the pantheon of true blues greats. It's impossible to overestimate the importance of the doors Butterfield opened: before he came to prominence, white American musicians treated the blues with cautious respect, afraid of coming off as inauthentic. Not only did Butterfield clear the way for white musicians to build upon blues tradition (instead of merely replicating it), but his storming sound was a major catalyst in bringing electric Chicago blues to white audiences who'd previously considered acoustic Delta blues the only really genuine article. His initial recordings from the mid-'60s — featuring the legendary, racially integrated first edition of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band — were eclectic, groundbreaking offerings that fused electric blues with rock & roll, psychedelia, jazz, and even (on the classic East-West) Indian classical music. As members of that band — which included Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop — drifted away, the overall impact of Butterfield's music lessened, even if his amplified harp playing was still beyond reproach. He had largely faded from the scene by the mid-'70s, and fell prey to health problems and drug addiction that sadly claimed his life prematurely. Even so, the enormity of Butterfield's initial impact ensured that his legacy was already secure. Butterfield was born December 17, 1942, in Chicago and grew up in Hyde Park, a liberal, integrated area on the city's South Side. His father, a lawyer, and mother, a painter, encouraged Butterfield's musical studies from a young age, and he took flute lessons up through high school, with the first-chair flutist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra serving as his private tutor for a time. By this time, however, Butterfield was growing interested in the blues music that permeated the South Side; he and college-age friend Nick Gravenites (a future singer, guitarist, and songwriter in his own right) began hitting the area blues clubs in 1957. Butterfield was inspired to take up guitar and harmonica, and he and Gravenites began playing together on college campuses around the Midwest. After being forced to turn down a track scholarship to Brown University because of a knee injury, Butterfield entered the University of Illinois-Chicago, where he met a fellow white blues fan in guitarist Elvin Bishop. Butterfield was evolving into a decent singer, and not long after meeting Bishop, he focused all his musical energy on the harmonica, developing his technique (mostly on diatonic harp, not chromatic) and tone; he soon dropped out of college to pursue music full-time. After some intense woodshedding, Butterfield and Bishop began making the rounds of the South Side's blues clubs, sitting in whenever they could. They were often the only whites present, but were quickly accepted because of their enthusiasm and skill. In 1963, the North Side club Big John's offered Butterfield's band a residency; he'd already recruited Howlin' Wolf's rhythm section — bassist Jerome Arnold and drummer Sam Lay — by offering more money, and replaced original guitarist Smokey Smothers with his friend Bishop. The new quartet made an instant splash with their hard-driving versions of Chicago blues standards. In late 1964, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band was discovered by producer Paul Rothchild, and after adding lead guitarist Michael Bloomfield, they signed to Elektra and recorded several sessions for a debut album, the results of which were later scrapped. At first, there was friction between Butterfield and Bloomfield, since the harmonica man patterned his bandleading style after taskmasters like Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter; after a few months, though, their respect for each other's musical skills won out, and they began sitting in together at blues clubs around the city. A song from their aborted first session, the Nick Gravenites-penned "Born in Chicago," was included on the Elektra sampler Folksong '65 and created a strong buzz about the band. In the summer of 1965, they re-entered the studio for a second crack at their debut album, adding organist Mark Naftalin as a permanent sixth member during the sessions. In the meantime, they were booked to play that year's Newport Folk Festival. When Bob Dylan witnessed their well-received performance at an urban blues workshop during the festival, he recruited Butterfield's band to back him for part of his own set later that evening. Roundly booed by acoustic purists, Dylan's plugged-in performance with the Butterfield Band ultimately shook the folk world to its foundations, kickstarting an electric folk-rock movement that effectively spelled the end of the traditionalist folk revival. On the heels of their historic performance at Newport, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band released their self-titled debut album later in 1965. Now regarded as a classic, the LP caused quite a stir among white blues fans who had never heard electric Chicago-style blues performed by anyone besides British blues-rock groups. Not only did it sow the seeds of a thousand bar bands, but it also helped introduce more white listeners to the band's influences, especially Muddy Waters and B.B. King. Toward the end of 1965, drummer Sam Lay fell ill and was replaced by the jazz-trained Billy Davenport, whose rhythmic agility and sophistication soon made him a permanent member. He was particularly useful since Butterfield was pushing to expand the band's sound, aided by Bloomfield's growing interest in Eastern music, especially Ravi Shankar. Their growing eclecticism manifested itself on their second album, 1966's East-West, which remains their greatest achievement. The title cut was a lengthy instrumental suite incorporating blues, jazz, rock, psychedelia, and raga; although it became their signature statement, the rest of the album was equally inspired, perhaps due in part to Butterfield's more relaxed, democratic approach to bandleading. Unfortunately, Mike Bloomfield left the band at the height of its success in 1967, and formed a new group called the Electric Flag with Nick Gravenites, which aspired to take East-West's eclecticism even further. Bishop moved into the lead guitar slot for the band's third album, 1967's The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw (a reference to Bishop's nickname). Displaying a greater soul influence, the album also featured a new rhythm section in bassist Bugsy Maugh and drummer Phil Wilson, plus a horn section that included a young David Sanborn. Pigboy Crabshaw proved to be the closing point of the Butterfield Band's glory days; the 1968 follow-up, In My Own Dream, was uneven in its songwriting and focus, and both Elvin Bishop and Mark Naftalin left the band before year's end. Still hoping for a breakout commercial hit, Elektra brought in producer/songwriter Jerry Ragovoy, a longtime R&B professional, which marked the first time they'd asserted control over a Butterfield recording. That didn't sit well with Butterfield, who wanted to move in a jazzier direction than Ragovoy's radio-friendly style allowed; the result, 1969's Keep on Moving, was another inconsistent outing, despite the return of Billy Davenport and an injection of energy from the band's new guitarist, 19-year-old Buzzy Feiten. 1969 wasn't a washout for Butterfield, though; his band was still popular enough to make the bill at Woodstock, and he also took part in an all-star Muddy Waters session dubbed Fathers and Sons, which showcased the Chicago giant's influence on the new generation of bluesmen and greatly broadened his audience. After 1970's Live and the following year's studio effort Sometimes I Just Feel Like Smilin', Butterfield broke up his band and parted ways with Elektra. Tired of all the touring and personnel turnover, he retreated to the communal atmosphere of Woodstock, still a musicians' haven in the early '70s, and in 1971 formed a new group eventually dubbed Better Days. Guitarist Amos Garrett and drummer Chris Parker were the first to join, and with folk duo Geoff and Maria Muldaur in tow, the band was initially fleshed out by organist Merl Saunders and bassist John Kahn, both from San Francisco. Sans Geoff Muldaur, this aggregation worked on the soundtrack of the film Steelyard Blues, but Saunders and Kahn soon returned to the Bay Area, and were replaced by New Orleans pianist Ronnie Barron and Taj Mahal bassist Billy Rich. This lineup — with Geoff Muldaur back, plus contributions from singer/songwriter Bobby Charles — released the group's first album, Better Days, in 1972 on Butterfield manager Albert Grossman's new Bearsville label. While it didn't quite match up to Butterfield's earliest efforts, it did return him to critical favor. A follow-up, It All Comes Back, was released in 1973 to positive response, and in 1975 he backed Muddy Waters once again on The Woodstock Album, the last LP release ever on Chess. Butterfield subsequently pursued a solo career, with diminishing returns. His Henry Glover-produced solo debut, Put It in Your Ear, appeared in 1976, but failed to impress many: his harmonica playing was pushed away from the spotlight, and the material was erratic at best. The same year, he appeared in the Band's farewell concert film, The Last Waltz. Over the next few years, Butterfield mostly confined himself to session work; he attempted a comeback in 1981 with legendary Memphis soul producer Willie Mitchell, but the sessions — released as North-South — were burdened by synthesizers and weak material. By this time, Butterfield's health was in decline; years of heavy drinking were beginning to catch up to him, and he also contracted peritonitis, a painful intestinal condition. At some point — none of his friends knew quite when — Butterfield also developed an addiction to heroin; he'd been stridently opposed to it as a bandleader, leading to speculation that he was trying to ease his peritonitis symptoms. He began to play more gigs in Los Angeles during the early '80s, and eventually relocated there permanently; he also toured on a limited basis during the mid-'80s, and in 1986 released his final album, The Legendary Paul Butterfield Rides Again. However, his addiction was bankrupting him, and in the past half-decade he'd seen Mike Bloomfield, Muddy Waters, and manager Albert Grossman pass away, each loss leaving him shaken. On May 4, 1987, Butterfield himself died of a drug overdose; he was not quite 45 years old. © Steve Huey, allmusic.com

Check out the biographies of the other band members below :-







Amos Garrett

Amos Garrett - Buried Alive in the Blues - 1994 - Voodoo Records, France

Guitar Player magazine called him "one of the most lyrical and original guitarists playing today...his single note solos and melodic figures are so distinctive that it is virtually impossible to mistake them for anyone else’s. The late Chet Atkins, and Richard Thompson and Mark Knopfler have all lauded Garrett's unique guitar technique. Amos Garrett is a fabulous musician, and although he remains unfamiliar to many people, he is an amazing talent, and has played with some of the greatest musicians of all time, including Bonnie Raitt, Geoff Muldaur, Stevie Wonder, Emmylou Harris, Jesse Winchester, and Paul Butterfield. His guitar playing has to be heard to be believed. "Buried Alive in the Blues" is a tremendous compilation album, consisting of seven tracks from his "Home In My Shoes" album, three tracks from "Third Man In", two tracks from "The Return of the Formerly Brothers", one track from "Amosbehavin", and a previously unreleased track, "Too Many Drivers", from The Montreux Jazz Festival, in July 1992. The album has elements of jazz, swing, soul, R&B, rockabilly, country, and of course The Blues, and is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Try and find the 1978 "Geoff & Amos" album, which Amos recorded with the great American folk/roots blues legend, Geoff Muldaur, and find out more about Amos Garrett @ A.GARRETT Try andl listen to his "Go Cat Go" album


1. Home In My Shoes from "Home In My Shoes" - Gary Koliger
2. Move on Down The Line from "Home In My Shoes" - Johnny Heartsman
3. Don't Tell Me from "The Return of the Formerly Brothers." - Amos Garrett/Gene Taylor
4. Smack Dab In The Middle from "The Return of the Formerly Brothers." - Chuck Calhoun
5. Ha Ha In The Daytime from "Amosbehavin'" - Percy Mayfield
6. Stanley Street from "Home In My Shoes" - Amos Garrett
7. Hair Of The Dog from "Home In My Shoes" - Atrsey, Tim/Jack Lavin
8. Too Many Drivers Unreleased Live at Montreux Jazz Festival, July 1992 - Andrew "Smokey" Hogg
9. Buried Alive In The Blues from "Home In My Shoes" - Nick Gravenites
10. What A Fool I Was from "Third Man In" - Percy Mayfield
11. Lost Love from "Third Man In" - Johnny "V" Mills
12. All My Money from "Home In My Shoes" - Terry Hanck
13. Bert's Boogie from "Home In My Shoes" - Dave Babcock/Amos Garrett
14. Got To Get You Off My Mind from "Third Man In" - Dolores Burke/Solomon Burke/J.B. Moore


Amos Garrett Guitar, Vocals
Colin Linden Guitar
Doug Sahm Organ, Dobro, Guitar, Guitar (Steel), Vocals
Kit Johnson, Jack Lavin Bass, Vocals
Tom Lavin Guitar, Percussion, Vocals
Pete Sears, Speedy Sparks, Brian Pollack Bass
Augie Meyers Piano, Accordion
Gene Taylor Piano, Vocals
Ron Casat, Teddy Borowiecki Piano
Michael Fonfara , Mike Kalanj Organ
Ernie Durawa, Dave Bjarnason, Daryl Bennett Drums
Bohdan Hluszko Percussion, Drums
Bill Runge Saxophone
Queen Ida Accordion, Vocals
Stephanie Davis Fiddle, Vocals
Peter Appleyard Vibraphone
David Burgin Harmonica
Nancy Simmonds, Mitchell Lewis, Jim Byrnes, Colleen Peterson Vocals


Detroit native Amos Garrett began working as a professional guitarist north of the border in Toronto. There he played with the Dirty Shames, a folk jug band, before moving on to the country-rock-oriented Great Speckled Bird at the invitation of Ian and Sylvia Tyson. Maria Muldaur's "Midnight at the Oasis" features his guitar playing, as does Anne Murray's "Snowbird." Other artists who have utilized his talent include Stevie Wonder, Emmylou Harris, Jesse Winchester, Paul Butterfield, Hungry Chuck, and Geoff Muldaur. His studio work led him to California, and he continued to record with other artists. Later, with the Eh Team backing him, Garrett also put out his own recordings, more than half a dozen on Stony Plain Records. In 1989, his album The Return of the Formerly Brothers, garnered a Juno Award. The release also featured Gene Taylor (formerly of Downchild, the Blasters, and later with the Fabulous Thunderbirds) and Doug Sahm of the Texas Tornados. Garrett and the Eh Team continue to play nightspots in Canada, where he resides in Alberta. He toured Japan in 1990, with stops in Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo. The concerts there found their way onto a live album. © Linda Seida, allmusic.com


Amos Garrett (born November 26, 1941, Detroit, Michigan, but has lived in Canada since the age of 4) is an Canadian guitarist and performer. He is best known for his guitar solo on Maria Muldaur's hit record, "Midnight at the Oasis".One of his earliest gigs was in Toronto playing with a band called The Dirty Shames, which also included Chick Roberts, Jim McCarthy and Carol Robinson (and later Roy Michaels). He took part in recording sessions for Anne Murray on "Snowbird" in 1970. Garrett also recorded and toured with Ian and Sylvia's group, Great Speckled Bird. Over the course of his career, he has recorded with more than 150 artists, ranging from Stevie Wonder, Pearls Before Swine to Bonnie Raitt and Martin Mull. Garrett is signed to Stony Plain Records, a label based in Edmonton, Alberta. Garrett has maintained a steady relationship with this label over the years, resulting in nine albums. His first record on Stony Plain was a series of duets with singer Geoff Muldaur (Maria Muldaur's former husband). The next two were studio albums (Go Cat Go, (1980) and 1981's Amosbehavin' ). Stony Plain then released a follow-up, Live In Japan, that was cut in 1990 as Garrett and his band played in clubs and concert halls in Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto. Like most of the other records, it was released in Europe, the U.S., and Japan. Home In My Shoes paid tribute to Garrett's boyhood days, especially on "Stanley Street", a tune fashioned in the memory of the old Esquire Club in Montreal, where the teenage Garrett learned by watching the likes of B. B. King, Fats Domino, T-Bone Walker, and Ben E. King. Third Man In was a collection of covers and originals. Garrett's covers songs were penned by some of his favorite songwriters such as Bobby Charles and Percy Mayfield. The Cold Club was a collaboration with Oscar Lopez, David Wilkie, Karl Roth and Ron Casat, whereas Off The Floor Live, the next release, was recorded live at Edmonton's 'Sidetrack' club. After that, in 1989 on his next recorded appearance, Garrett shared performing and recording duties on The Return of the Formerly Brothers with the late Doug Sahm and pianist Gene Taylor. The album garnered a Juno Award. In 2004, Garrett released Amos Garrett's Acoustic Album, featuring tracks written by Leadbelly and Hoagy Carmichael, among others.


Pyeng Threadgill

Pyeng Threadgill - Sweet Home: The Music Of Robert Johnson - 2004 - Random Chance

Singer and arranger Pyeng Threadgill is the daughter of composer, bandleader, and multi-instrumentalist Henry Threadgill and choreographer/dancer Christina Jones, a founding member of the celebrated Urban Bushwomen. Sweet Home offers 11 Robert Johnson tunes in 11 different settings. While more cynical punters and blues purists (ugh) may sigh or wring their hands at such a notion, everyone else can take delight in Threadgill's considerable accomplishment. Unlike mere revivalists like Eric Clapton or Peter Green, Threadgill hears and interprets Johnson's blues as music not of, but for the ages. Certainly she has models here, most notably Cassandra Wilson and Olu Dara, but Threadgill's take on these tunes doesn't attempt to remake them in her image, so much their own. Sweet Home's selections are radical. They take Johnson's songs and strips them of the interpetive, anachronistic baggage that has all but killed the spooky and hedonistic majesty of the originals at the hands of well-meaning but woefully rigid performers. First there's the edgy, swinging jazz read of "Love in Vain," followed by the lean, ragged funk of "Phonograph Blues." The swampy acoustic guitar-and-brass blues of "Milk Cow Calf's Blues" is a nod to earlier times, but feels more like it's being performed in busker style on the lawn of Thompkins Square Park. The lone cello accompaniment (played elegantly by Dana Leong) on "If You've Got a Good Friend" evokes the dignified spirit, if not the timbre, of Nina Simone's ghost, and the jazzed-out, near scatted take on "Dust My Broom," where Threadgill is accompanied only by a double bass and a trap kit, offers the startling—and sometimes hair-raisin— originality of her approach. Likewise the tension between second-line New Orleans rhythms at the heart of "Sweet Home Chicago," where jagged jazz-rock guitar fills are held expertly in the tense grain of Threadgill's voice is jarring, perhaps, but far from unwelcome. She croons, swoons, shouts, growls, whoops, and moans to get these blues across proving in the process that in the current era, these tunes that are enduring to be sure, but they continue to hold a cryptic mystique; they are still alluring because they can be articulated in so many different contexts and retain their seductive power and jagged grace. Threadgill's recorded debut is an auspicious one. She paints her blues shiny black and pushes them headlong into a future where tradition and history are processes of evolution, not quaint curiosities. © Thom Jurek, allmusic.com

If you are a diehard blues purist, and especially a Robert Johbson disciple, then A.O.O.F.C would love your opinion on this album. Also, if you like contemporary jazz or blues jazz vocalists, what are your views on this album? Whatever your ideas, Pyeng Threadgill takes eleven Robert Johnson compositions, and sculpts them into a very original style, mostly jazz based, but also with elements of hip hop, latin, pop, reggae, and even a New Orleans street band feel. She has a beautiful voice, and is very sincere in the way she sings these great blues songs. Also, the songs are in no way degraded by her original adaptions. Of course if you are a blues purist, you may have different views! The album has received widespread critical acclaim from the music press, so obviously somebody likes her unique interpretations of the Johson songs. "Countless artists have recorded Johnson's songs", said the San Francisco Chronicle in 2004, "..but none has rendered them quite like Threadgill." This praise is shared by A.O.O.F.C. As stated before on this blog, there are many ways to play and sing the blues, or indeed any musical genre. Pyeng Threadgill injects these songs with a fresh new jazz spirit, and if she encourages anybody to listen to the original Robert Johnson songs, then that is a good thing. Pyeng Threadgil music is a perfect example of the type of music that A.O.O.F.C is trying to promote. She is part of the ongoing evolution of blues and jazz music, and deserves a hearing. "Sweet Home: The Music Of Robert Johnson" is HR by A.O.O.F.C. Try and listen to her "Of the Air" album, and if you like it, think about buying it


1. Love in Vain Blues (Johnson) - 4:36
2. Phonograph Blues (Johnson) - 3:34
3. Last Fair Deal Gone Down (Johnson) - 3:55
4. Milkcow's Calf Blues (Johnson) - 4:06
5. When You Got a Good Friend (Johnson) - 3:23
6. I Believe I'll Dust My Broom (Johnson) - 3:10
7. Dead Shrimp (Johnson) - 6:08
8. They're Red Hot (Johnson) - 3:09
9. Sweet Home Chicago (Johnson) - 3:47
10. Come on in My Kitchen (Johnson) - 9:10
11. Ramblin' on My Mind (Johnson) - 5:33


Pyeng Threadgill - Vocals
Ryan Scott - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Vocals (bckgr), Slide Guitar
Dana Leong - Trombone, Bass (Electric), Cello, Guitar (Bass)
Dave Pier - Piano
Luz Fleming - Fender Rhodes
Qasim Natvi - Drums, Percussion
Dimitri Moderbacher - Clarinet
Kevin Louis -Trumpet
Laura Johnson, Ian Jeffreys - Vocals (bckgr)


In her written introduction to Sweet Home (Random Chance), young vocalist Pyeng Threadgill rather boldly refers to herself as "the instrument for bringing the music of Robert Johnson into the 21st Century." Which may be news to guitar genius (and diehard blues devotee) Eric Clapton, whose own tribute to the legendary Mississippi bluesman has been riding the charts most of the summer. Clapton, smart enough to appreciate that it takes a lifetime of joy and pain to invest Johnson's songs with the hard-won wisdom they require, wisely waited until he was 59 to deliver Me and Mr. Johnson. Threadgill, daughter of celebrated composer and multi-instrumentalist Henry Threadgill, is less than half Clapton's age. And it shows. She has a glorious voice, sweet and smooth as apple butter, and has a firm intellectual grasp on Johnson's sociological themes. Emotionally, though, there's significant disconnect. Her renditions of "Dead Shrimp," "Sweet Home Chicago," "When You Got a Good Friend" and eight other Johnson classics are gorgeous. But, apart from a "Come on in My Kitchen" that sizzles with seductive spirituality, they're lacking the requisite belly fire. Better to leave the heavy lifting to Clapton. Better yet to go whole hog and get Legacy's 41-track, two-disc compilation of Johnson's own Complete Recordings. © Christopher Loudon , © 1999–2009 JazzTimes, Inc. All rights reserved

All About Jazz Review


Vocalist Pyeng Threadgill is a born iconoclast: the daughter of composer Henry Threadgill and choreographer Christina Jones, she combines influences from Swing, New Orleans brass bands, hip hop, and alternative rock in her interpretations and compositions. Still unsure as to whether to make jazz her musical home, she is as likely to be found singing songs by pianist Fats Waller as by bluesman Robert Johnson or the eighties New Wave band The Cure. Threadgill grew up in the eclectic cultural stew of New York City's Lower East Side in the 1970s: Polish, Puerto Rican, African-American, Chinese, and Jewish communities coexisted within the neighborhood. Threadgill cites crooners Sam Cooke and Al Green, bebop vocalist King Pleasure, and bands Depeche Mode and A Tribe Called Quest as among her early musical influences. She studied classical music at Oberlin College in Ohio. Threadgill's 2005 debut album, Sweet Home, is a set of wildly creative interpretations of songs by iconic bluesman Robert Johnson. “Phonograph Blues” has a swinging, brassy funk beat that turns an optimistic ear on the original’s double-entendres and surrealism. “Milkcow’s Calf Blues,” meanwhile, evokes the work of guitarist James "Blood" Ulmer with its slide guitar and horns with no rhythm section, Threadgill’s voice seems to float above the impressionistic background. “Sweet Home Chicago,” despite its name, draws inspiration from a city much further south, New Orleans. With its rattling snare drum and march-like upbeat dirge, Threadgill offers fresh insight into something easily turned into a cliché.On Sweet Home, Threadgill extends, disrupts, interprets, worries, and flaunts the inconsistencies of the blues even as she wrestles with their basic primal impulses. Mixing swing, New Orleans tailgate brass bands, hip hop, and alternative rock, she plays with the expectations of a conventional jazz audience. As she said in an interview with John Murph in Jazz Times: "I wanted each song to be different. Otherwise what would be the point?" Threadgill's 2005 album Of the Air intersperses original compositions with covers of “Close to Me” by The Cure and Fats Waller's “Jitterbug Waltz.” Originally conceived as a duet of cello and voice, the album incorporates cello, as well as brass and reed instruments and subtle electronic embellishments. “Power Trip” uses an expressive barrage of baritone saxophone in a tough-minded cloying seduction. “Ambrosia” seems to combine the brooding textures of Cassandra Wilson with the sprightly intoxication of pop singers such as Karen O, lead singer for The Yeah Yeah Yeahs. On “Close to Me,” Threadgill invests the gothic ambience of the original with a sensual, even provocative clarity. "Am I a jazz singer? I used to say no, then I said yes, and now I'm kind of thinking no again," Threadgill told the Boston Globe's Siddartha Mitter in 2006. "I'm somewhere between jazz, singer-songwriter, and pop artist." Threadgill has received a grant from the New York Foundation for the Arts in Music Composition for her upcoming album Portholes To A Love & Other Short Stories, which consists of original compositions based on short stories to explore concepts of reality and magic, humanity, and nature. Threadgill is married to Nikolai Moderbacher, a sculptor and furniture designer, with whom she has a 2 -year-old daughter, Luna. She is also trained as a teacher of The Alexander Technique, a relaxation therapy popular with both dancers and musicians. [ from www.jazz.com/encyclopedia/2009/8/19/threadgill-pyeng ]

Big Brother & The Holding Company

Big Brother & The Holding Company - Do What You Love - 1998 - Cheap Thrills

Big Brother & the Holding Company's two post-Joplin releases, Be a Brother and How Hard It Is, are two of the best recordings by bands picking up the pieces after the losses of their respective comets/focal points. Where the Billion Dollar Babies and Spiders from Mars had to move on without Alice Cooper and David Bowie, respectively, their musical genre didn't lend itself to reconstituted hard rock groups -- look at the sad fate of post-Jeff Lynne ELO or BTO without Randy Bachman. Like Grace Slick, Janis Joplin joined the group in which she rose to fame after it had formed, but as the Jefferson Airplane could reinvent itself for the future as a Starship with or without Slick, Big Brother was never given the chance to continue producing its experimental psychedelic pop. Lisa Battle has a strong voice, and it's so different from Joplin's that the band should have developed a new sound for her. It didn't, doing a disservice to this able singer. Battle does a great job on the funky tribute to Joplin that is "Women Is Losers"; it succeeds because it is not a note-for-note copy but a new look at an original Joplin composition. On the other hand, what is the point in trying to re-create "I Need a Man to Love?" You can't possibly top the electric John Simon production from Cheap Thrills, or Live at Winterland '68's power. The high points of this CD are "Save Your Love" (where Battle's voice carefully patterns itself around this slinky blues-pop, despite the low-budget surroundings); the title track; and two very short pieces, "The OK Chorale" and "Back Door Jamb." Both those musical exercises should have been expanded to give Battle the chance to identify herself as Big Brother's current singer. The band, after all, began pre-Janis by creating unorthodox sounds. Kathy McDonald and Nick Gravenites, who both appeared on Be a Brother and How Hard It Is, are the kind of talents who bring out the best these musicians have to offer. Seven or eight albums with that lineup would have created a formidable body of work. Put Lisa Battle into that mix as well, and the possibilities are endless. © Joe Viglione, All Music Guide

A great blues rock album from the very different '60's band which featured the incomparable Janis Joplin. It's unusual to hear an album from this band which was released eleven years ago, (1998), retaining so much of the original band's sound. Lisa Battle is a terrific vocalist, with a unique vocal style. She certainly does not sound anything like Janis Joplin, and doesn't need to. Songwriting, and musicianship on this album is in the main, excellent. "The OK Chorale", and "Back Door Jamb" tracks are both less than a minute in length, and could have been expanded. However, that is probably a small gripe, as many albums seem to contain these very short tunes....doesn't always mean they're "throwaway" songs. Janis Joplin's previously unreleased (open to contradiction) 'Women Is Losers' was not one of her best songs, but Lisa Battle's great vocals make the track well worth including on the album. At times, listening to this album transports you back to the psychedelic, trippy sixties, and again, it's remarkable that the new band managed to recreate this sound on some tracks. An underrated album from BB & THC, and HR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to the classic BB & THC's classic "Cheap Thrills" album, and their "Hold Me [live]" album is really good. Check out the band's website @ http://www.bbhc.com/ for detailed information


1. Take Off - Andrew, Michalski
2. Save Your Love - Andrew, Strange
3. I Need a Man To Love - Andrew, Joplin
4. Bos' Bio - Andrew, Healy
5. Women IS Losers - Joplin
6. Freedom - Andrew, Bastian
7. The OK Chorale - Andrew
8. Do What You Love - Albin, Andrew, Getz
9. Back Door Jamb - Andrew, Getz, Thompson
N.B: There is an extended version of this album available, with the extra tracks :- 10. Feed the Flame , 11. It's Cool, 12. Looking Back, & 13. X Factor


Peter Albin(Bass)
Sam Andrew(Guitar)
Sam Andrew(Vocals & Harmony)
David Getz(Percussion - Drums)
Tom Finch (Guitar)
Anna Schaad (Viola)
Lisa Battle (Vocals)
Johnny Thompson (Guitar)


Big Brother are primarily remembered as the group that gave Janis Joplin her start. There's no denying both that Joplin was by far the band's most striking asset, and that Big Brother would never have made a significant impression if they hadn't been fortunate enough to add her to their lineup shortly after forming. But Big Brother also occupies a significant place in the history of San Francisco psychedelic rock, as one of the bands that best captured the era's loosest, reckless, and indulgent qualities in its high-energy mutations of blues and folk-rock. Big Brother was formed in 1965 in the Haight-Ashbury; by the time Joplin joined in mid-1966, the lineup was Sam Andrew and James Gurley on guitar, Peter Albin on bass, and David Getz on drums. Joplin, a recent arrival from Texas, entered the band at the instigation of Chet Helms, who (other than Bill Graham) was the most important San Francisco rock promoter. Big Brother, like the Grateful Dead and Quicksilver Messenger Service, were not great songwriters or singers. They didn't entirely welcome Joplin's presence at first, though, and Joplin did not dominate the group right away, sharing the lead vocals with other members. It soon became evident to both band and audience that Joplin's fiery wail — mature and emotionally wrenching, even at that early stage — had to be spotlighted to make Big Brother a contender. But Big Brother wasn't superfluous to the effort, interpreting folk and blues with an inventive (if sometimes sloppy) eclecticism that often gave way to distorted guitar jamming, and matching Joplin's passion with a high-spirited, anything-goes ethos of their own. Big Brother catapulted themselves into national attention with their performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, particularly with Joplin's galvanizing interpretation of "Ball and Chain" (which was a highlight of the film of the event). High-powered management and record label bids rolled in immediately, but unfortunately the group had tied themselves up in a bad contract with the small Mainstream label, at a time where they were stranded on the road and needed cash. Their one Mainstream album (released in 1967) actually isn't bad at all, containing some of their stronger cuts, such as "Down on Me" and "Coo Coo." It didn't fully capture the band's strengths, and with the help of new high-powered manager Albert Grossman (also handler of Bob Dylan, the Band, and Peter, Paul & Mary), they extricated themselves from the Mainstream deal and signed with Columbia. The one Big Brother album for Columbia that featured Joplin, Cheap Thrills (1968), wasn't completed without problems of its own. John Simon found the band so difficult to work with that he withdrew his production credit from the final LP, which was assembled from both studio sessions and live material (recorded for an aborted concert album). Cheap Thrills nonetheless went to number one when it was finally released, and though it too was an erratic affair, it contained some of the best moments of acid rock's glory days, including "Ball and Chain," "Summertime," "Combination of the Two," and "Piece of My Heart." Cheap Thrills made Big Brother superstars, a designation that was short-lived. By the end of 1968, Joplin had decided to go solo, a move from which neither she nor Big Brother ever fully recovered. That's putting matters too simply: Joplin never found a backing band as sympathetic, but did record some excellent material in the remaining two years of her life. Big Brother, on the other hand, had the wind totally knocked out of their sails. Although they did re-form for a while in the early '70s with different singers (indeed, they continued to perform in watered-down variations into the '90s), nothing would ever be the same. © Richie Unterberger, allmusic.com


While Big Brother and the Holding Company are remembered as Janis Joplin's band, they were active before Joplin joined them and after she left. Leader Peter Albin (a country-blues guitarist who had played with future founders of the Grateful Dead Jerry Garcia and Ron McKernan) met Sam Andrew, Big Brother's musical director, who had a jazz and classical background and had played rock & roll professionally. They approached James Gurley (who had taught himself to play guitar on hallucinogenic sojourns through the California desert), and the three began playing open jam sessions hosted by entrepreneur Chet Helms in 1965. Helms encouraged them to form a group, found them a drummer, and set up their first gig, at the Trips Festival of January 1966. In the festival audience was art historian and amateur musician David Getz, who soon replaced the original drummer. Big Brother and the Holding Company became the house band at the Avalon Ballroom, playing a progressive style of instrumental rock. Feeling a need for a strong vocalist, Helms recalled having heard Joplin before, and contacted her in Austin, Texas. She returned to San Francisco to join the band in June 1966. The Holding Company was clearly blues influenced, and Joplin had listened intensively to Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Big Mama Thornton. Joplin’s voice and presence, and the band’s devil-may-care intensity, made them a whole greater than the sum of its parts - and a Bay Area sensation. Their debut album spread their reputation, and their appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967 thrust them into the national spotlight. New manager Albert Grossman brought them to Columbia Records, which issued their legacy, Cheap Thrills. The album went to #1 with the help of “Piece of My Heart” (#12, 1968). Numerous observers convinced Joplin that she could use a more precise backing band, and at the end of 1968 she and Andrew left the group [see Janis Joplin entry]. After a year, Big Brother returned as a loose assemblage of four to eight musicians, which might include Gravenites (ex–Electric Flag), Kathy McDonald (a backup vocalist for Ike and Tina Turner, Joe Cocker, and Leon Russell), or no lead singer at all. Albin and Andrew were the only regular members (at times only Andrew). In 1972 Big Brother disbanded; the group re-formed in 1986. By the early ’90s they were recording and performing in Europe and on the West Coast. Do What You Love features vocalist Lisa Battle. [from The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (Simon & Schuster, 2001) ] © 2009 Rolling Stone


Tony McPhee

Tony McPhee - Bleaching The Blues - 1997 - Transatlantic/Castle

The great English bluesman,Tony McPhee is a hugely influential musician in the history of British blues, and rhythm & blues. During the 1960`s he backed many great American bluesman on British tours, including John Lee Hooker, and also recorded with many of them. Check his bio for more info. In 1962, Tony formed the powerful, raw blues rock band, the Groundhogs, (named after a Hooker song. The `Groundhogs were John Lee Hooker's preferred backing band. By the late 60's, Tony realised 12 bar blues had a minority audience. The Groundhogs altered their musical style, and were a successful early seventies heavy blues rock band, with more melodic song structures. However, the band's music never lost any of it's traditional explosive raw blues power. The Groundhogs have undergone many personnel changes over the last forty years, but Tony (TS) McPhee has remained the band's anchor. His brilliant guitar work and songwriting has always been underrated, but he has remained constant in his love of the blues, and has never sold out to commercialism. "Bleaching The Blues" is one of Tony McPhee's lesser known albums. (Aren't they all?!). He recorded all the tracks at his own home attic studio. He penned 10 of the 15 tracks, and also covers 5 blues standards by Robert Johnson, "Sleepy" John Estes, and Chester Arthur Burnett & Willie Dixon. A "different" album from Tony McPhee, obviously done for his own amusement. Just Tony and his guitar, and a bunch of songs, some of which are obviously not fully developed.. With professional studio touches, and some re-working, this album could sound very different.. Regardless of the "amateurish" nature of the album, Tony McPhee's different guitar techniques shine through , and this alone makes the album a worthwhile listen. Here are three albums worth checking out, - "Two Sides of Tony (T.S.) McPhee" @ TMCP/2SOTMCP "Foolish Pride" @ TMCP/FP and The Groundhog's "3744 James Road: The HTD Anthology" @ GROHGS/3744JRD/ANTH Listen to the Groundhog's intensely powerful, and brilliant "Thank Christ for the Bomb" album


1. When You're Down (McPhee) - 4:00
2. All You Women (McPhee) - 2:19
3. There's A Light (At The End Of The Dark)
(McPhee) - 3:50
4. Went In Like a Lamb (McPhee) - 2:37
5. When Your Man Has Gone (McPhee) - 2:33
6. Many Times (I've Heard It Mentioned) (McPhee) - 2:13
7. All Last Night (And The Night Before) (McPhee) - 3:00
8. When You're Walkin' Down The Street (McPhee) - 3:15
9. Meeting Of The Minds (McPhee) - 2:34
10. Bleachin' The Blues (McPhee) - 3:44
11. If I Had Possession (Johnson) - 3:44
12. Love In Vain (Johnson) - 2:37
13. Floating Bridge (Estes) - 2:43
14. Terraplane Blues (Johnson) - 3:01
15. Little Red Rooster (Burnett, Dixon) - 3:22


Tony McPhee was part of the first generation of young British blues disciples influenced by Cyril Davies and his band Blues Incorporated. A member of the same generation of young blues buffs as Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Brian Jones, he never ascended to the heights achieved by the future Rolling Stones, but has recorded a small, highly significant body of blues-rock. Originally a skiffle enthusiast, he received his first guitar as a Christmas present and formed his first band soon after, while still in school. He gravitated toward the blues during the early '60s, and soon discovered Cyril Davies. After seeing a few performances by Davies with Blues Incorporated at the Marquee Club in London during 1962, he became hopelessly hooked on blues and RB, and decided to try and make it as a blues singer/guitarist. McPhee's first group was the Dollarbills, a pop band featuring John Cruickshank on vocals, Pete Cruickshank on bass, and Dave Boorman on drums. He quickly steered toward blues, most notably the sound of John Lee Hooker, and with the addition of Bob Hall on piano, the group changed its name to the Groundhogs, in recognition of Hooker's "Ground Hog Blues." the Groundhogs were a very solid blues/RB outfit, playing soulful American RB and raw American blues at venues such as Newcastle's ~Club A-Go-Go, and they subsequently became the backing band to Champion Jack Dupree at a series of gigs at the -100 Club. Finally, in July of 1964, the Groundhogs reached their zenith when they were chosen to back John Lee Hooker himself during his current British tour. Hooker later selected the group to back him on his next tour, and also sent an acetate recording of the group to executives at his label, Vee-Jay Records. That acetate, the hard-rocking, piano-and-harmonica-driven band original "Shake It" backed with a very powerful and persuasive cover of Little Son Jackson's "Rock Me Baby," was released on the Interphon label, a Vee-Jay subsidiary. It failed to reach the charts, but it did mark the group and McPhee's first American release. Meanwhile, back in England, the group recorded a studio album with Hooker, somewhat misleadingly entitled Live at the A-Go-Go Club, New York. The group's fortunes seemed to improve in 1965 when producer Mike Vernon recorded three tracks, "Big Train Blues," "Can't Sit Down," and "Blue Guitar," but none saw any major release or success, and only "Blue Guitar" ever received much U.S. exposure, appearing on the 1970s Sire Records collection Anthology of British Blues. By the end of 1965, the British blues boom had expended itself, and soul was becoming the new sound of choice. McPhee had already shown a predilection for soul music in his writing, especially "Hallelujah," which the group cut with its newly added brass section in 1965. the Groundhogs transformed themselves into a soul band, and were persuaded to record a song called "I'll Never Fall in Love Again." As a first soul outing it was a promising beginning, despite a beat that was too reminiscent of Otis Redding's "Can't Turn You Loose" -- the dissonant guitar in the break was a refreshing change that would never have made it out the door at Stax Records. The song failed to get much airplay or achieve a chart position, and its B-side, the upbeat, haunting McPhee original "Over You Baby" disappeared as well. the Groundhogs split up soon after, and McPhee did session work for a time, as well as recording some blues sides on his own, under the auspices of producer Jimmy Page, that later turned up on various British blues anthologies released by Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate Records label, backed up by Jo-Ann Kelly and fellow Groundhog Bob Hall. Unlike a lot of other blues enthusiasts from the early '60s, McPhee remained true to his roots, and was good enough to rate a berth as a sessionman on Champion Jack Dupree's 1966 Decca album From New Orleans to Chicago. In August of 1966, McPhee and bassist Pete Cruickshank teamed up with drummer Mike Meekham to form Herbal Mixture, a Yardbirds-like outfit mixing psychedelic and blues sounds at a very high amperage. They were one of the more soulful and muscular psychedelic outfits, reflecting their RB (as opposed to pop) roots, and even their spaciest material has a bluesy feel. "A Love That's Died" relies on fuzz-tone guitar, and would have made good competition for anything by the Yardbirds had anyone been given a chance to hear it. Their cover of "Over You Baby" is, if anything, superior to the Groundhogs' original, and deserved a better hearing than it got. Herbal Mixture had some success playing the ~Marquee and ~Middle Earth clubs in London, and were good enough to get a gig opening for the newly-formed Jeff Beck Group at the ~London Roundhouse. Their records, however, didn't sell, and at the end of 1967, following Meekham's departure, the band ceased to exist. McPhee continued playing blues in his spare time, however, and passed through the John Dummer Blues Band during early 1968. His music had left an impression on at least one record company executive -- in 1968, Andrew Lauder of United Artists' British operation offered McPhee the chance to record a complete album if he could put together a band. He formed a new Groundhogs, carrying over bassist Pete Cruickshank, and the album Scratching the Surface was duly recorded and released that year. Ironically, this incarnation of the Groundhogs, put together for the one album session, ended up lasting far beyond its origins -- five additional albums, including his best-known long-player, Me and the Devil, were recorded through 1972, and the group has remained a viable unit, continuing to perform in England and the European continent (where there's always work for British blues bands) with McPhee as its leader. © Bruce Eder, All Music Guid


The Groundhogs were not British blues at their most creative; nor were they British blues at their most generic. They were emblematic of some of the genre's most visible strengths and weaknesses. They were prone to jam too long on basic riffs, they couldn't hold a candle to American blues singers in terms of vocal presence, and their songwriting wasn't so hot. On the other hand, they did sometimes stretch the form in unexpected ways, usually at the hands of their creative force, guitarist/songwriter/vocalist T.S. (Tony) McPhee. For a while they were also extremely popular in Britain, landing three albums in that country's Top Ten in the early '70s. The Groundhogs' roots actually stretch back to the mid-'60s, when McPhee helped form the group, named after a John Lee Hooker song (the band was also known briefly as John Lee's Groundhogs). In fact, the Groundhogs would back Hooker himself on some of the blues singer's mid-'60s British shows, and also back him on record on an obscure LP. They also recorded a few very obscure singles with a much more prominent R&B/soul influence than their later work. In 1966, the Groundhogs evolved into Herbal Mixture, which (as if you couldn't guess from the name) had more of a psychedelic flavor than a blues one. Their sole single, "Machines," would actually appear on psychedelic rarity compilations decades later. The Groundhogs/Herbal Mixture singles, along with some unreleased material, has been compiled on a reissue CD on Distortions. After Herbal Mixture folded, McPhee had a stint with the John Dummer Blues Band before reforming the Groundhogs in the late '60s at the instigation of United Artists A&R man Andrew Lauder. Initially a quartet (bassist Pete Cruickshank also remained from the original Groundhogs lineup), they'd stripped down to a trio by the time of their commercial breakthrough, Thank Christ for the Bomb, which made the U.K. Top Ten in 1970. The Groundhogs' power-trio setup, as well as McPhee's vaguely Jack Bruce-like vocals, bore a passing resemblance to the sound pioneered by Cream. They were blunter and less inventive than Cream, but often strained against the limitations of conventional 12-bar blues with twisting riffs and unexpected grinding chord changes. McPhee's lyrics, particularly on Thank Christ for the Bomb, were murky, sullen anti-establishment statements that were often difficult to decipher, both in meaning and actual content. They played it straighter on the less sophisticated follow-up, Split, which succumbed to some of the period's blues-hard-rock indulgences, putting riffs and flash over substance. McPhee was always at the very least an impressive guitarist, and a very versatile one, accomplished in electric, acoustic, and slide styles. Who Will Save the World? The Mighty Groundhogs! (1972), their last Top Ten entry, saw McPhee straying further from blues territory into somewhat progressive realms, even adding some mellotron and harmonium (though the results were not wholly unsuccessful). The Groundhogs never became well-known in the U.S., where somewhat similar groups like Ten Years After were much bigger. Although McPhee and the band have meant little in commercial or critical terms in their native country since the early '70s, they've remained active as a touring and recording unit since then, playing to a small following in the U.K. and Europe. © Richie Unterberger, allmusic.com


Georgie Fame

Georgie Fame - The Third Face of Fame - 1968 - CBS (Mono & Stereo)

Georgie Fame, (b. Clive Powell ), was spotted as far back as 1959, by the great musical songwriter, Lionel Bart in a London dance club. At that stage, Fame was a sixteen year old pianist/singer, who played with the then popular bandleader Rory Blackwell's band. Bart persuaded him to audition for Larry Parnes, then a big name in beat group/record promotion. The rest is history. Fame had two number one hits in the U.K with "Yeh Yeh" (1965) and "Get Away" (1966). He also had a no.7 hit Stateside in 1968 with "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde", (included on this album). He had major success with the single "Rosetta", in 1971, who he recorded with his great friend, Alan Price, ex-keyboard player of The Animals. Fame's biggest influences were artists like Jimmy Smith, Mose Allison, James Brown, and anything R&B or Motown. "The Third Face of Fame" is a collection of cover songs which reflect Georgie Fame's love of these artists. Among the songs on the album are compositions by Mose Allison, George & Ira Gershwin, and J. Primrose. He also includes covers of The Beatles' "When I'm 64", and Donovan's "Mellow Yellow". Georgie played organ with Van Morrison for a few years, and worked with Bill Wyman, Count Basie, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Eric Clapton, and Muddy Waters. Georgie remains one of the great British rhythm and blues and jazz singers. He is also a very talented keyboardist. Read his bio's for his many musical achievements. In recent years, Georgie Fame has not been too successful, so buy this album, and if you can find it, the album, "Somebody Stole My Thunder: Jazz-Soul Grooves 1967-1971" on Sony/BMG, is a great buy. The "Shorty featuring Georgie Fame" album can be found @ GEOFAM/SHORTY and his "Name Droppin'" album @ GEOFAM/ND


The Ballad Of Bonnie and Clyde - M. Murray / P. Callander
When I'm Sixty-Four - J. Lennon / P. McCartney
Ask Me Nice - M. Allison
Exactly Like You - D. Fields / J. McHugh
Someone To Watch Over Me - G. Gershwin / I. Gershwin
Blue Prelude - G. Jenkins / J. Bishop
Bullets Laverne - N. Greenbaum / B. Kane
This Is Always - H. Warren / Gordon
Side By Side - H. Woods
St. James Infirmary - J. Primrose
Mellow Yellow - D. Leitch (aka Donovan)


Georgie Fame - Keyboards, Vocals
George Kish, John McLaughlin, Terry Smith, Ernie Shears - Guitar
Frank Clarke, Phil Bates, Ronnie Seabrook - Bass
Gordon Beck, Arthur Greenslade - Keyboards
Bill Eyden, Hayden Jackson - Drums
Tommy Whittle, Ronnie Scott, Cyril Reubens, John Marshall, Harry Klein, Art Ellefson, Tony Coe - Saxophone
Les Condon, Greg BowenDerek Watkins, Derek Healey, Bobby Haughey, Ian Hammer, Albert Hall - Trumpet
Gib Wallace, Morris Platt - Trombone


Georgie Fame was firmly enrolled within his pop phase by 1968, and Third Face of Fame did not care who noticed. In fact, it rather hoped that everybody lured into earshot by his recent chart-topping lament for outlaws Bonnie & Clyde (the opening "The Ballad of Bonnie & Clyde," of course), would all come hurtling in. In fact they didn't, and the album marked Fame's first non-charting outing since his debut, five years before — which means the millions missed out on a handful of cuts that were at least as enjoyable as the hit. A version of the Beatles' "When I'm 64" rivals any other cover of that song, with Fame's treatment truly capturing the foreboding that lurks behind the superficial buoyancy of the lyric, while there's also a heartfelt version of George and Ira Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me." Earlier fans are treated to a powerful visit to "St James Infirmary," which proves that Fame has lost none of his earlier taste for menacing R&B, while the closing romp through Donovan's "Mellow Yellow" is nothing if not, er, mellow. Third Face of Fame can scarcely be recommended to anybody yearning for Fame himself to return to the blues-breaking growl of old. But, as an example of British pop's own longtime fascination with "adult"-sounding entertainment, it's certainly an enjoyable slice of very easy listening. © Dave Thompson, allmusic.com


Georgie Fame's swinging, surprisingly credible blend of jazz and American R&B earned him a substantial following in his native U.K., where he scored three number one singles during the '60s. Fame played piano and organ in addition to singing, and was influenced by the likes of Mose Allison, Booker T. & the MG's, and Louis Jordan. Early in his career, he also peppered his repertoire with Jamaican ska and bluebeat tunes, helping to popularize that genre in England; during his later years, he was one of the few jazz singers of any stripe to take an interest in the vanishing art of vocalese, and earned much general respect from jazz critics on both sides of the Atlantic. Fame was born Clive Powell on June 26, 1943, in Leigh, Lancashire (near Manchester, England). He began playing piano at a young age, and performed with several groups around Manchester as a teenager, when he was particularly fond of Fats Domino and Jerry Lee Lewis. In 1959, his family moved to London, where the 16 year old was discovered by songwriter Lionel Bart (best known for the musical +Oliver). Bart took Powell to talent manager Larry Parnes, who promoted British rockers like Billy Fury, Marty Wilde, Johnny Gentle, and Vince Eager. Powell naturally had to be renamed as well, and as Georgie Fame, he played piano behind Wilde and Eager before officially joining Fury's backing band, the Blue Flames, in the summer of 1961. (The Blue Flames also included guitarist Colin Green, saxophonist Mick Eve, bassist Tony Makins, and drummer Red Reece.) When Fury let the band go at the end of the year, Fame became their lead singer, and they hit the London club circuit playing a distinctive blend of rock, pop, R&B, jazz, and ska. Their budding reputation landed them a residency at the West End jazz club the Flamingo, and thanks to the American servicemen who frequented the club and lent Fame their records, he discovered the Hammond B-3 organ, becoming one of the very few British musicians to adopt the instrument in late 1962. From there, the Blue Flames became one of the most popular live bands in London. In 1963, they signed with EMI Columbia, and in early 1964 released their acclaimed debut LP, Rhythm and Blues at the Flamingo. It wasn't a hot seller at first, and likewise their first three singles all flopped, but word of the group was spreading. Finally, in early 1965, Fame hit the charts with "Yeh Yeh," a swinging tune recorded by Latin jazz legend Mongo Santamaria and given lyrics by vocalese virtuoso Jon Hendricks of Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. "Yeh Yeh" went all the way to number one on the British charts, and Fame started living up to his stage name (although the song barely missed the Top 20 in America). His 1965 LP Fame at Last reached the British Top 20, and after several more minor hits, he had another British number one with "Getaway" in 1966. After one more LP with the original Blue Flames, 1966's Sweet Thing, Fame broke up the band and recorded solo; over the next few years, his backing bands included drummer Mitch Mitchell (later of the Jimi Hendrix Experience) and the young guitarist John McLaughlin (Miles Davis, Mahavishnu Orchestra). At the outset, Fame's solo career was just as productive as before, kicking off with the Top Ten big-band LP Sound Venture (recorded with Harry South's orchestra); thanks to its success, he toured with the legendary Count Basie the following year. Several hit singles followed over the next few years, including "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde," which became his third British chart-topper in late 1967 and, the following year, his only Top Ten hit in America. But by 1969, his success was beginning to tail off; hoping to make inroads into the more adult-oriented cabaret circuit, Fame was moving more and more into straight-up pop and away from his roots. In 1971, he teamed up with onetime Animals organist Alan Price and recorded an album of critically reviled MOR pop, Fame & Price; the partnership produced a near-Top Ten hit in "Rosetta," but ended in 1973. Fame re-formed the Blue Flames with original guitarist Colin Green in 1974 and attempted to return to R&B, but his records for Island attracted little attention. He spent much of the '70s and '80s making ends meet by performing on TV and the cabaret circuit, as well as writing advertising jingles; he also continued to make records, to little fanfare. In 1989, Fame played organ on Van Morrison's Avalon Sunset album, which grew into a fruitful collaboration over the course of the '90s; Fame played on all of Morrison's albums through 1997's The Healing Game, received co-billing on Morrison's 1996 jazz album How Long Has This Been Going On, and even served a stint as Morrison's musical director. Meanwhile, Fame's own solo work during the '90s received some of his best reviews since the '60s, starting with 1991's jazzy Cool Cat Blues, which featured a duet with Morrison on "Moondance." 1995's Three Line Whip featured his sons Tristan and James Powell on guitar and drums, respectively, and 1996's The Blues and Me further enhanced his growing jazz credibility. In 1998, Fame split with Morrison to record and tour with former Rolling Stones bassist Bill Wyman's new group the Rhythm Kings, contributing organ and vocals to several albums. In 2000, now signed to Ben Sidran's Go Jazz label, Fame released the acclaimed Poet in New York, which established him as an impressive student of jazz's vocalese tradition. © Steve Huey, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

Georgie Fame (born Clive Powell, 26 June 1943, Leigh, Lancashire) is a British rhythm and blues and jazz singer and keyboard player. At sixteen years of age, he entered into a management agreement with Larry Parnes, who gave artists new names such as Marty Wilde and Billy Fury. Fame was already playing piano for Billy Fury in a backing band called the Blue Flames, which later became billed as "Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames". The band had great success with rhythm and blues. Fame's greatest success was "The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde" in 1968, which was a number one hit in the United Kingdom, and No.7 in the United States; Fame also had UK number one hits with "Yeh Yeh" (1965) and "Get Away" (1966). Although he enjoyed regular chart success with singles in the late 1960s, it was a peculiar quirk of chart statistics that his only three Top 10 hits all made number one. Fame continued playing into the 1970s, having a hit, "Rosetta", in 1971. He suffered from some bad publicity, as a result of being convicted of possessing drugs and then being named as co-respondent in the divorce case of the Marquess of Londonderry. In 1972, he married the former Marchioness of Londonderry, Nicolette (née Harrison); she committed suicide in 1993. Georgie Fame recorded "Rosetta" with a close friend, Alan Price, ex-keyboard player of The Animals, and they worked together extensively for a time. He has also toured as one of the Rhythm Kings, with his friend, Bill Wyman, playing bass. From the late 1980s, until the 1997 album The Healing Game, Fame was a core member of Van Morrison's band, as well as his musical producer, playing keyboards and singing harmony vocals on tracks like "In the Days before Rock 'n' Roll", whilst still recording and touring as an artist in his own right. He frequently plays residences at jazz clubs, such as Ronnie Scott's. He has also played organ on Starclub's album. Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames were the only act from the UK to be invited to perform with the first Motown Review when it hit London in the mid-'60s. Fame has also collaborated with some of music world's most successful music names. He played organ on all of the Van Morrison albums between 1989-1997, and served as the musical director. Fame was also founding member of Bill Wyman's early band Rhythm Kings and he has also worked with the likes of Count Basie, Alan Price, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Joan Armatrading and the band The Verve.


The beginnings of Georgie Fame started on June 26, 1943 when he was born as Clive Powell in Leigh, Lancashire. By 1957, at the age of 14, he had joined a local pop group called the Dominoes, as a pianist. In 1959 the group won a talent contest put on by bandleader Rory Blackwell, at which point Blackwell offered Clive a job playing piano with his band. Clive accepted, and soon after moved into a London flat, which he shared with members of the instrumental group Nero and the Gladiators. It was during a routine show with Blackwell's band at the Islington Ballroom (where the band had a residency) that Clive was spotted by songwriter Lionel Bart, who urged him to audition for beat group/record mogul Larry Parnes. Well, Parnes liked what he saw and snapped up Clive as his new 'discovery', and then changed his name to Georgie Fame. Most of Parnes' talent roster also had odd names; Marty Wild, Vince Eager, and Duffy Power for examples. 'Georgie' was employed as a back-up musician for many of these singers as well as for touring American artists like Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran. Georgie then joined Billy Fury's first back-up band, The Blue Flames, with whom he stayed until late 1961. At the end of that year he switched from piano to organ and formed his own Blue Flames with Colin Green (guitar), Mick Eve (sax), Tony Makins (bass), and Red Reece (drums). The Blue Flames line-up, however, was fairly flexible and changed throughout their career. By 1963, Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames were playing R&B and had switched managers to Rik Gunnel. Andrew Oldham became the publicist. '63 turned out to be an important year for Georgie when the group became the first resident act at London's subterranean Flamingo Club, on Wardour street in Soho. The Flamingo, owned by Ember Records boss Jeffrey Kruger, was one of the most famous R&B/jazz clubs at the time, and was frequented by the hippest of London's mohair-clad modernists, as well as black U.S. servicemen and West Indian immigrants. By the summer of that year, Georgie Fame had added another saxophone and a conga player to the lineup and was drawing on a number of influences including Jimmy Smith, Mose Allison, James Brown, Motown, R&B and the ska/bluebeat rhythm (which was probably picked up from the West Indian immigrants at The Flamingo). The band's song list of R&B faves like 'Night Train', 'Get On The Right Track, Baby', 'Do The Dog', 'Green Onions' and 'Shop Around' packed the club most nights and gained Georgie Fame a sort of cult following among London's booming mod underground. With all of the mop-top Beatle-types battling each other for a little chart action (nothing against the Beatles), Georgie Fame and The Blue Flames' hip 'Hammond and Horns' sound was indeed an alternative to the Rickenbacker/Hofner onslaught. Georgie also became something of a style-setter in his madras and seersucker jackets. The group was cool, sophisticated, and sharp as hell, which made it no surprise·when they became favorites of the mods and one of the most popular white R&B acts on the circuit. With this growing army of supporters, Georgie Fame was finally signed to a record contract by Columbia in 1963. The first three singles, released in 1964, 'Do The Dog', 'Do Re Mi', and 'Bend A Little', didn't go very far. This isn't to say that they were bad at all, in fact the B-side of 'Do Re Mi' .was an amazing rendition of 'Green Onions'. Also released in '64 was an e.p. titled 'Rhythm and Blue Beat'. The first track on this record was a cover of 'Madness', which leads one to wonder if Georgie Fame anticipated 2-tone by about 15 years (?). In any case, this record didn't go very far either. But Georgie didn't have to wait too long for Fame, because in December of '64 his cover of Jon Hendricks' 'Yeh Yeh' hit number one on the charts in the U.K. and was a minor hit in the U.S. as well which made Georgie Fame big news at the age of 21. The success of 'Yeh Yeh' also earned Georgie an appearance on Ready Steady Go! to promote the record. Around this time an album was released- a live set from The Flamingo Club titled, appropriately enough, 'R&B At The Flamingo'. The next two singles, 'Something' (Oct. '65), and 'In The Meantime' (Dec. '65) didn't equal the success of 'Yeh Yeh', but 'In The Meantime' did make the top twenty. Perhaps people were thinking that Georgie Fame was just another one-hit-wonder, because it was another six months before his next single, 'Get Away', was released in June 1966. But once again, it went straight to number one and everyone knew that he was back. 'Get Away' was a smash, as was the album 'Sweet Things'- released around the same time. However, many of Georgie Fame's original mod followers had left him because they felt that he was becoming too commercial. Even though a drug bust had made him cooler in the street credibility department, that didn't keep many of these fans, who preferred his earlier, more authentic R&B sound. After this second number one, Georgie Fame disbanded the Blue Flames in September 1966 and decided to go solo. This pretty much signaled his move away from strict R&B to a more mainstream pop approach (not that 'Get Away' and 'Sweet Things' weren't in that direction anyway). He continued to have a string of hits with a version of Bobby Hebb's 'Sunny' in October 1966, and Billy Stewart's 'Sitting In The Park' in December 1966. Georgie then switched over to CBS records and continued the hits with 'Because I Love You' in April 1967, and a third number one with 'The Ballad Of Bonnie And Clyde' (December '67), which was the theme song for the movie of the same name. This song was also a hit in the U.S. and can occasionally be heard on oldies stations. After this, his music, and consequently his career, went downhill. He teamed up with Alan Price for a variety show act. In recent years he has spent time writing jingles. When he was in his prime, there wasn't another British artist working in the same field that could touch Georgie Fame for great R&B sounds. Georgie's music has been re-issued and is available at Amazon and on iTunes. IMDb Mini Biography © Daniel Geddes , © 1990-2008 IMDb.com, Inc., www.imdb.com/name/nm0266600/bio