Get this crazy baby off my head!


Jim Kweskin Band with Samoa Wilson

Jim Kweskin Band with Samoa Wilson - Now And Again - 2003 - Blix Street Records

Big Grammy wins in recent years for tradition minded recordings like O Brother Where Art Thou? and Norah Jones' Come Away With Me show that the music industry and its fans will embrace traditional styles if done well. 60s folkster Jim Kweskin was more known in his heyday as a club performer and touring support act (the Doors, Janis Joplin, Peter, Paul & Mary), but this recording — coming three decades plus after the Jim Kweskin Jug Band split — could find sweet spot in our culture as we yearn for a simpler style from a simpler time. The rhythm guitarist has a pleasant and engaging voice, but the real stars here are the crisp and sparse arrangements of a wide variety of classics, a band featuring such accoutrements as fiddle and mandolin, and the secret weapon of traditional blues and country-styled vocalist Samoa Wilson. Kweskin handles vocals on a few songs (most notably "Sweet Sue," on which he also plays banjo, but the best tracks are ones like the classic blues gem "Why Don't You Do Right," which features Wilson's straightforward confrontations backed by the punctuation of Kweskin and Titus Vollmer's guitars. Material ranges from Nina Simone's "Sugar in My Bowl" to the depression era classic "Brother Can You Spare A Dime." While this is an irresistible group effort all the way through, the track that is hardest to not sing along with is the four part harmony gospel tune from the Leadbelly catalog, "Linin' Track," with Geordie Gude's magical harmonica solo bridging the a capella and instrumentally enhanced parts. © Jonathan Widran, allmusic.com

"Now And Again" contains some marvellous covers of early jazz, jug, country, swing and blues classics, originally recorded by artists like Nina Simone, Leadbelly, Julie London and others. This is great Americana music, and there is nobody better qualified to sing and play this music than the great Jim Kweskin of the legendary Jug Band. His great friend, Samoa Wilson's vocals are superb, and can't be praised highly enough. Geordie Gude plays some amazing harmonica, but all the musicians are top notch. "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?" is performed by Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band, and is a fabulous rendition of this old classic. Not a weak track on this album which is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Samoa Wilson's great "Live the Life" album, and Jim Kweskin's "Unblushing Brassiness" is a brilliant folk album. Thankfully, there are artists like Jim Kweskin still around who are preserving this fantastic music genre


1 Sweet Sue - Finkel, Harris, Young 3:56
2 Why Don't You Do Right? - McCoy, McCoy 4:25
3 Linin' Track - Leadbelly 3:49
4 I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter - Ahlert, Young 3:43
5 The Blues My Naughty Sweetie Gives to Me - McCarron, Morgan, Morgan, Swanstrom 3:14
6 Exactly Like You - Fields, McHugh 3:43
7 Sugar in My Bowl - Simone 5:27
8 Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? - Gorney, Harburg 5:25 [ ]
9 Trouble in Mind - Jones 3:36
10 Cry Me a River - Hamilton 4:56


Jim Kweskin - Banjo, Guitar, Guitar (Rhythm), Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Samoa Wilson - Vocals, Vocal Harmony
Titus Vollmer - Guitar
Leo Blanco - Piano
John Ramsey, Jerry Deupree - Drums
Mickey Bones - Drums (Snare)
Paloma Ohm - Drums, Sax (Alto)
Bruce Millard - Mandolin, Slide Mandolin, Vocal Harmony
Matt Leavenworth - Fiddle, Vocal Harmony
Geordie Gude - Harmonica
Sam Wilson Voices


Jim Kweskin (born July 18, 1940, Stamford, Connecticut) is the founder of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, with Fritz Richmond, Mel Lyman, and Geoff and Maria Muldaur. They were active in Boston in the 1960s. Kweskin released six albums and two greatest hits compilations on Vanguard Records between 1963-1970; Jim Kweskin's America on Reprise Records in 1971; and four albums on Mountain Railroad Records between 1978-87


The fun side of folk music was explored by the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. During the five years they were together, the group successfully transformed the sounds of pre-World War II rural music into a springboard for their good-humored performances. A communal-like musical ensemble, the Kweskin Jug Band was formed by Jim Kweskin, who had been inspired by a folk group, the Hoppers, featuring washtub bass player John "Fritz" Richmond. As a student at Boston University, Kweskin would often attend the Hoppers' performances at Cafe Yana in Harvard Square, learning much about guitar fingerpicking by watching the band's fingers. After Richmond was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving time in Korea and Europe, Kweskin began to frequent other folk clubs in Cambridge and Boston. Before long, he was playing guitar well enough to perform English and Appalachian ballads in folk coffeehouses. Although Kweskin temporarily left for California, he returned to Cambridge, along with his wife Marilyn and dog Agatha, and resumed his musical career. A split-bill booking with blues enthusiast Geoff Muldaur at the Community Church in Boston on February 3, 1963, proved a turning point. In addition to peforming their own sets, Kweskin and Muldaur played several songs together. When Kweskin was invited by Maynard Solomon of Vanguard Records to record with a band, he immediately remembered Muldaur. Together with Fritz Richmond, and banjo and harmonica player Mel Lymon, Kweskin assembled the original Kweskin Jug Band. The group was a smash from the onset and were quickly signed to a record contract by Vanguard. During a two-week stint at the Bottom Line in New York, Maria D'Amato, fiddler and vocalist for the New York-based Even Dozen Jug Band, attended a show, became enamored of Muldaur and accepted an invitation to move to Cambridge and join the Kweskin Jug Band. D'Amato and Muldaur were soon married. Shortly after the Kweskin Jug Band performed on the nationally aired Steve Allen Show, on March 4, 1964, Lymon left the band and was replaced by banjo wiz Bill Keith, who had just left a gig with Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys. The Kweskin Jug Band continued to bring their unique style of folk music to a national audience, appearing on The Roger Miller Show and The Al Hirt Show. Although Kweskin planned to move to California, the group left Vanguard and signed with Reprise, and virtuosic fiddler Richard Greene was added to the band. Just when it looked as though the Kweskin Jug Band was going to become commercially successful, Kweskin, who had moved into Lymon's commune in Fort Hill, a rundown section of Boston, shaved off his trademark mustache and announced that he was breaking up the group. In the aftermath of the Kweskin Jug Band's demise, Kweskin continued to work as a soloist, and he formed the U & I Band in the mid-1980s. Richmond went on to become a well-respected recording engineer and producer. Geoff and Maria Muldaur recorded several memorable duo albums before their marriage dissolved in the 1970s. Keith resumed his partnership with guitarist and vocalist Jim Rooney. In addition to working on each others' albums, Keith and Rooney were instrumental in the forming of a folk supergroup, the Woodstock Mountain Revue. Lymon, who ran his commune as a cult, disappeared under still-mysterious circumstances. © Craig Harris, allmusic.com


Samoa Wilson, the Boston-bred, roots singer was raised on folk-influenced Americana classic Americana music. The great Jim Kweskin was a great family friend, and eventually the two artists merged their talents. Samoa joined Jim's current band in 1997 and appeared on Kweskin's "Now and Again" album.


Trudy Lynn

Trudy Lynn - 24 Hour Woman - 1994 - Ichiban

From Houston, Texas, Trudy started her singing career at a time when early R&B and blues music was evolving into a new "soul" type sound. The young Trudy worked with legends like Albert Collins and Clarence Green. One of her biggest influences was singer-guitarist, Johnny Copeland. From these early influences, Trudy developed a vocal and music style all her own. She learned how to sing classic blues in a "new" Soul style. She has said herself, "I'm not a so much a blues singer; I'm a soul-blues singer," "Now I can do traditional. I can do ail types. I can even do country, you know. But my first thing is really soul--kind of soul and blues mixed together." "I write, and I enjoy, songs about real life". "I don't care about trends, you know. I like writing about life." "I've been writing songs a long time. I just didn't start recording them until more recently". She is a very talented songwriter. She has stated, "Once I get a hook, something that might happen to the average person---you know, a catchy way to phrase it -- I just trust that, just go with that". "Once 1 get that good hook, I start writing around it, you know, story-wise: trying to put over the idea, drawing from both my own life and my understanding of how it is for other people." "Normally when I'm writing lyrics, first I can just tell if it ought to be a slow song or a fast song. Don't ask me how". "Then I get with a piano player or a guitar player, and just hum out what I'm trying to do. And that usually comes through pretty good." "I'm from Texas, so I know about country music too." "I'm giving it all a pretty funky flavor though." "24 Hour Woman" is a really good album from the Houstonian soul blues singer. The album has 12 tracks of good Delta Blues and Southern Soul. There are some really good covers here of songs by artists including Jerry Ragovoy, Robert Johnson, and Isaac Hayes. Buy Trudy's great "Memories Of You" album


1. 8 Days on the Road - Michael Gayle/Jerry Ragovoy
2. I Didn't Know (How Happy I Could Be) - Beane/Bell/Harson/Staton/Thomas
3. 24 Hour Woman - Badie, Doris/Robert Johnson/Sam Mosley
4. 2 Girls For the Price of 1 - Bram
5. Old Bitterness - Trudy Lynn
6. Your Good Thing - Isaac Hayes/David Porter
7. Real Lovin' - Rev. R.D. Holloway/Williams
8. I Still Believe in You - Vince Gill/John Barlow Jarvis
9. Pay the Price - Jerry Ragovoy
10. My Man - Johson/Sam Mosley
11. In My Arms - Kerry Michael Jones
12. Just Because - Michael Jones


Trudy Lynn (vocals)
Wayne Goins, Jimmy O'Neill (guitar)
LeBron Scott (bass)Frank "Buzz" Amato (piano, organ, synthesizer, percussion)
Tom Grose, Steve McRay (piano, organ)
Bryan Cole (drums)
Bryan Lopes (alto & tenor saxophones)
Ted Dortch (tenor & baritone saxophone)
Ernie Baker, David Ferguson (trumpet)
Kyrie, Natalye Howard, Stephen Swann, William Swann, Selina Smith, Jacqueline Sandy (background vocals)


Lynn was raised in Houston and continues to use the city as her home-base. She began her career in the late '60s as a Stax-styled R&B singer opening shows for Ike & Tina Turner and others passing through town. She began recording in late eighties for the Georgia-based British Ichiban label, cutting a fine mix of southern soul and Delta blues albums produced by Buzz Amato. Lynn currently appears on several blues festival bills, primarily abroad. © Bil Carpenter, All Music Guide


Born and raised in Houston's music-rich Fifth Ward, Trudy Lynn began singing in an era when the neighborhood's blues and early R & B culture was first turning on to a new sound known simply as soul. As a younger female working with established hometown favorites such as guitarists Albert Collins and Clarence Green, Trudy learned how to fuse classic blues elements with the music of the moment. Playing for savvy audiences at places such as Walter's Lounge, she quickly came to understand that the freshly budding flower had to be connected to its roots to survive. It's a lesson that Trudy has never forgotten. And, as she's evolved -- as both singer and songwriter -- it's been the fundamental philosophy behind her distinctive, multi-faceted style. "I'm not so much a blues singer; I'm a soul-blues singer," she says. "Now I can do tradition. I can do all types. I can even do country, you know. But my first thing is really soul - kind of soul and blues mixed together."Beyond any quibbling about musical categorization, Trudy's work also speaks to the universal human condition, experiences all people can appreciate. "I Write, and I enjoy, songs about real life." Combined with her capacity for delivering convincing vocal interpretations, a Trudy Lynn track simply tells it like it is - the straight and timeless truth."I've been writing songs a long time. I just didn't start recording them until more recently," she also points out. During her developing years in Houston, she began by filling the pages of paper tablets with original lyrics, words that often came to her spontaneously as she mused on life and it's ups and downs. Occasionally she would show the scribbled results to peers such as singer/guitarist Johnny "Clyde" Copeland, whom she particularly singes out as a valuable source of advice and encouragement. Over time, she figured out how to craft her rough ideas into polished musical statements. And the twenty-first century finds her now at the top of her game in this respect, as the seven new Trudy Lynn compositions on her latest disk so eloquently attest."Once I get a hook, something that might happen to the average person -- you know, a catchy way to phrase it -- I just trust that, just go with that, " she says. "Once I get that good hook, I start writing around it, you know, story-wise: trying to put over the idea, drawing from both my own life and my understanding of how it is for other people."As for the music -- that sound that blends the emotive power of the blues with elements of sophisticated funk and soul -- it comes to her naturally, despite the fact that she's never played an instrument. "Normally when I'm writing lyrics, first I can just tell if it out to be a slow song or a fast song. Don't ask me how," she says with a laugh. "Then I get with a piano player or a guitar player, and just hum out what I'm trying to do. And that usually comes through pretty good."Whether the final form is a love ballad such as he nostalgic "Memories of You" or a slick blues song such as the philosophical "No Deposit No Return", these songs are all Trudy, through and through.But as Trudy reminds us, "I'm from Texas, so I know about country music, too." Then she adds with a smile, "I'm giving it all a pretty funky flavor though." Ultimately these genre-blending experiments make perfect sense for an open-minded singer whose primary theme is the core reality of human relationships.It all goes back to what she learned starting out in Fifth Ward, creative self-statement can be enhanced by a grasp of tradition and the fundamental truths. Trudy Lynn understands. Check her out, and you will too. © Roger Wood, © 2005-2009 MaxC Talent Group All Rights Reserved. www.maxctalentgroup.com/bios/tlynn.htm



Klaatu - Sun Set - 2005 - Bullseye Records Of Canada

"Sun Set" is an excellent 2 Disc, 41 track compilation of Klaatu ecordings from January 1, 1973 to November 13. Supposedly, all tracks are previously unreleased on CD. Klaatu were a very enigmatic band over 33 years ago, when Steve Smith, a reporter for the Providence Journal in Rhode Island wrote a rather theoretical article, in which he claimed that Klaatu were really The Beatles in disguise. This was mainly due to the fact that Klaatu's first album, "3:47 EST" had a sound very reminiscent of the Lennon & McCartney sound. In fact, Klaatu were an ordinary Canadian studio band, but nobody knew who the members actually were. The album gave no details on band members, and to all intents and purposes, the Beatles story was very feasible. After Steve Smith's article was published, the usual blitz of rumours and bizarre stories circulated, only adding to the Klaatu mystique.This hype earned the band much success, but in the long term, the rumours had a detrimental effect on the band's popularity. When their real identities became public, many people were disappointed that the band wasn't really the Beatles. At the time, this "let-down" was understandable. A Beatle's reunion album in any form would have been sensational. However, Klaatu were definitely no "con job". The band was composed of very talented musicians and songwriters, and were a cut above most pop rock bands of that era. Although the band disbanded in 1981, they reformed for the occasional sell-out concert. Obviously, many Klaatu fans didn't give "a rat's fandango" whether the band included John Woloschuk or John Lennon!. There is info on Klaatu's "Hope", "3:47 EST", and "Solology" albums on this blog


CD 1 1973 - 1977

1.1 Hanus Of Uranus 2:48
1.2 Sub Rosa Subway 4:14
1.3 Cherie 3:01
1.4 Doctor Marvello 3:31
1.5 For You Girl 2:38
1.6 California Jam 3:02
1.7 True Life Hero 3:26
1.8 Calling Occupants (Of Interplanetary Craft) 6:25
1.9 Sir Bodsworth Rugglesby III 3:37
1.10 Little Neutrino 4:59
1.11 We're Off You Know 3:20
1.12 Around The Universe In 80 Days 4:44
1.13 Madman 2:46
1.14 Long Live Politzania 9:11
1.15 The Loneliest Of Creatures 3:38
1.16 Prelude 5:26
1.17 So Said The Lighthouse Keeper 6:07
1.18 Epilogue 0:42
1.19 Hope 3:48

CD 2 1978 - 1981

2.1 A Routine Day 3:08
2.2 Juicy Luicy 3:45
2.3 Everybody Took A Holiday 3:04
2.4 Older 3:19
2.5 Dear Christine 3:35
2.6 Mister Manson 2:37
2.7 Tokeymor Field 3:05
2.8 Sir Rupert Said... 2:41
2.9 Sell Out, Sell Out 4:48
2.10 Howl At The Moon 3:31
2.11 I Can't Help It 4:12
2.12 Paranoia 3:52
2.13 Set The World On Fire 4:17
2.14 Dog Star 4:03
2.15 All Good Things 2:26
2.16 There's Something Happening 2:42
2.17 I Don't Wanna Go Home 2:52
2.18 At The End Of The Rainbow 3:13
2.19 December Dream 5:41
2.20 Mrs. Toad's Cookie 3:12
2.21 Magentalane 3:29
2.22 Ambrose Lightship 1:00


Dee Long (tracks: 1.1, 1.3, 1.5, 1.7, 1.10, 1.12, 1.13, 2.3, 2.4, 2.6, 2.11, 2.14, 2.16, 2.18,)
Dino Tome (tracks: 1.2, 1.6, 2.10,)
John Woloschuk (tracks: 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, 1.9, 1.11, 1.14 to 1.19, 2.1, 2.2, 2.5, 2.7, 2.9, 2.10, 2.12, 2.13, 2.15, 2.17, 2.19 to 2.21)
Terry Draper (tracks: 1.8, 2.19)


Vocals, Keyboards, Guitar, Bass - Dee Long
Vocals, Keyboards, Bass, Guitar - John Woloschuk
Vocals, Drums, Percussion, Keyboards - Terry Draper


In August of 1976, the self-titled debut album by an unknown group called Klaatu was released on Capitol Records to little notice. The following February Steve Smith, a writer for the Providence Journal in Rhode Island, wrote an article titled "Could Klaatu Be the Beatles? Mystery Is a Magical Mystery Tour." The article began the rumor that Klaatu was "more than likely either in part or in whole the Beatles." These conjectures, fueled by a series of articles in trade magazines like Billboard created a huge amount of hype and Capitol did nothing to deny or confirm the rumors. Throughout 1977, record sales soared and radio stations ran "Is Klaatu the Beatles?" promotions. Reportedly, some of the "clues" as to whether or not Klaatu were the Beatles included backward messages, Morse code, references to the group's identities in the song lyrics, and the word "Beatles" hidden in various places on the record jacket. After several months of conjecture, the group's identity was revealed at the end of year — it wasn't the Beatles after all, it was Terry Draper (songwriter, vocalist, drummer), John Woloschuck, and Dee Long. Immediately, their record sales declined, and due to a backlash generated by the Beatles hoax their four subsequent albums failed to sell. The group broke up in 1981. © Jim Powers, allmusic.com


Klaatu was a Canadian progressive rock group formed in 1973 by the duo of John Woloschuk and Dee Long. They named themselves after the extraterrestrial by the same name portrayed by Michael Rennie in the film The Day the Earth Stood Still. The band released the singles Anus Of Uranus/Sub-Rosa Subway and Dr. Marvello/For You Girl on GRT Records before being taken under the wing of Daffodil Records and its president Frank Davies. Drummer Terry Draper was signed soon thereafter and the singles California Jam and True Life Hero followed. The band struggled to get radio recognition. By 1975 Davies, along with producer Terry Brown, managed to land the band a deal with Capitol Records in the US. Their first album, 3:47 EST (named Klaatu in the US due to a misunderstanding), had a Beatlesque sound, particularly in the song "Sub-Rosa Subway", but contained no biographical details, thus inspiring a rumour that the album was an anonymous project by The Beatles. This rumour was wide-spread, and was taken seriously by many people. Their most famous song, "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft", was covered by The Carpenters in 1977. Their second album Hope included orchestral contributions by the London Symphony Orchestra, and is considered by most fans to be an equal, if not superior effort, compared to the first album. Sir Army Suit, their third album, is notable for the track "Silly Boys", which contains the entire lyrical portion of "Anus of Uranus" – a song from their first album – backwards-masked and interspersed between the song's normal lyrics. In 1978 the group embarked on an ambitious but uncompleted animated film project entitled Happy New Year, Planet Earth. The project, had it been finished, would have been about 30 minutes long and would have contained six Klaatu songs. The only example of the project that has ever seen the light of day is the video for "A Routine Day", which consisted of footage filmed for the project. However, in 2005 the group permitted the film to be screened in its uncompleted state at the KlaatuKon convention in Toronto. Upon the release of their fourth studio album, 1980's Endangered Species, the band was eventually revealed to consist of drummer Terry Draper, keyboardist/bassist John Woloschuk and guitarist Dee Long, with no musical connection to any former Beatle. Although forced by Capitol to record Endangered Species in Los Angeles using established studio musicians to shore up the group's commercial chances, the album was a critical and commercial disaster. The album's poor showing resulted in Capitol Records dropping the group. Now lacking a record label, Long and Draper temporarily formed a top 40 cover band, called FUNN, as a way to make ends meet. Eventually signed by Capitol's Canadian division, Klaatu released their final album, Magentalane, in Canada in 1981. A considerably better effort than Endangered Species, the album saw the group returning to their brand of Beatles-influenced pop/rock. As a contractual obligation to Capitol-EMI in Canada, the band were forced to tour from November 1981 and expanded to a sextet (using members of Max Webster and Nightwind) for live performances. However, in April 1982 Dee Long - never all that fond of performing live in the first place by most accounts - quit the group. Although Woloschuk and Draper carried on performing for a few more months, the group officially disbanded in August of the same year. The trio very briefly reunited in 1988 at George Martin's Air Studios in London to record a single, "Woman," though no one was particularly happy with the results since the song was written by someone outside of the band (Paul Vincent Gunia) for the German TV series Tatort. The single was only released in West Germany, and did not chart, making it an extremely rare item in the Klaatu catalogue; particularly since it wasn't included on the two later rarities collections. The three former members of Klaatu reunited on May 7, 2005 for a brief - and mostly acoustic - performance at Toronto's KlaatuKon. The set list consisted of "At the End of the Rainbow," "I Don't Wanna Go Home," "Cherie," "Magentalane," "Little Neutrino," and "All Good Things." A full-blown Klaatu reunion - apart from occasional fan club performances such as those in 2005 - is extremely unlikely at this point due to Woloschuk's work commitments. However, Woloschuk has also been quoted as regarding the idea of a Klaatu reunion with orchestral backing as "tantalizing." Klaatu's albums were released on CD format rather late, and up until the 2000s several companies including Capitol Records released the albums, in some cases with incorrect track orders. Finally, Bullseye Records, with the help of the band itself, released the albums in their original track listings. Bullseye also released a tribute album to Klaatu, Around the Universe In Eighty Minutes. In 2005 Bullseye Records released a 2-CD collection entitled Sun Set: 1973-1981, which compiled a number of rarities, demos, rare early singles, and other odds and ends recorded during the group's career. Perhaps most interesting was the original version of Hope which had been delivered to Capitol Records, including the complete contributions made by the London Symphony Orchestra, which had largely been removed from the version which was eventually released. The set also included a 40-page booklet including interviews with all of the former members of the band. 2005 also saw Raarities, also from Bullseye Records Of Canada. Oddly enough, this collection has only been released in a vinyl LP format so far. Raarities probably appeals more to the group's hardcore fans since most of the material on the record consists of alternate mixes and single versions, as opposed to Sun Set, which focused on unreleased material and the alternate version of Hope. A CD version titled "Sology" includes the "Raarities" LP as well as concert recordings. It was released in March, 2009. Today Dee Long is a producer who has also written a drum loop program called the DeeSampler. He has released several solo albums and has recently begun performing live again. Terry Draper worked in Toronto as a roofer for a number of years following Klaatu's breakup, and now owns a bar. He has also worked as a producer (often with Dee Long), and has also released two solo albums, as well as a live album with his current band Twilight Zone. Following Klaatu's breakup John Woloschuk recorded a now-rare children's album called Robotman, but soon afterwards retired from music altogether and is today a music industry accountant in Toronto. Though Woloschuk was the group's primary songwriter, he has sometimes been regarded by fans as something of an enigma and a recluse. However, interviews with Woloschuk have shown him to be quite affable and perfectly willing to discuss Klaatu, stating that the only reason he retired from music was because he felt he could be a good musician, or a good accountant, but not both at the same time. Woloschuk has said he gets together with friends occasionally to play for the fun of it, but that's the extent of his interest in playing music at this point.

Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge - Yes I Am - 1993 - Island

Melissa Etheridge wasn't out of the closet when she released Yes I Am in 1993, yet it's hard not to notice the defiant acclamation in the album's title. This barely concealed sense of sexual identity seeps out from the lyrics, and it informs the music as well, which is perhaps the most confident she has ever been. It's also the most professional she's ever been (perhaps not a coincidence), as she belts out these unapologetically anthemic numbers with a sense of finesse that's suited to lifestyle newspaper pages, not rock & roll, thereby setting herself up for her bout with celebrity during the second half of the '90s. Yes I Am wouldn't have been as convincing if it wasn't so slick, though; her Springsteen-isms and Janis tributes are tempered by songs that work as album rock favorites, even if they aren't as epic or passionate as their inspirations. She may not have songs as great as she did the first time out — "Somebody Bring Me Some Water" remains her finest moment — but she has a sense of purpose and identity that suits her well. And that identity wound up being the touchstone for the rest of her career. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic.com

On "Yes I Am", Melissa Etheridge looks at some personal and controversial themes. "Silent Legacy" is about a man who told her about throwing his daughter out his home when he discovered her having sex. "All American Girl" is about AIDS, and abortion. These may not be subjects normally associated with a best selling album. The album sold six million units in the U.S. in one year, and won a 1995 Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocalist. Mellisa made an interesting comment on this album when she said, - "I think its a wider range of writing for me. I think it's the best sounding album I've made, working with Hugh Padgham. Other than that I think it's just right on track." "I look for the reality in relationships," she says. "The reality is it's going to be up and down. If you want it to work, you have to work at it. It's not going to be all roses and fun. There's going to be some downtime, and I write that. I write about those conflicts." Melissa's gravelly voice, like a cross between Maggie Bell and Bonnie Tyler, is wonderful, and "Yes I Am" is a terrific album from one of rock's most intelligent and talented artists. For many years now she has combined some of today's important social and political topics with great melodies and superior musicianship. Melissa's "Lucky" album is another of her great albums. Try and listen to it sometime


Yes I Am is the fourth album by singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge, released in 1993 (see 1993 in music). The title is generally thought to refer to Etheridge's recent coming out as a lesbian, confirming long-standing rumours about her personal life. This is the album that gave Melissa Etheridge national recognition. The rock ballad "Come to My Window" was the first video from the album, with Etheridge and her guitar and actress Juliette Lewis having a nervous breakdown. This single brought the album into the public consciousness and was quickly followed by "I'm the Only One" (a U.S. #8 hit) and "If I Wanted To" (U.S. #16).


1 I'm the Only One
2 If I Wanted To
3 Come to My Window
4 Silent Legacy
5 I Will Never Be the Same
6 All American Girl
7 Yes I Am
8 Resist
9 Ruins
10 Talking to My Angel

All songs composed by Melissa Etheridge


Melissa Etheridge - Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Guitar (Electric), Vocals
Waddy Wachtel, Richard Wachtel - Guitar (Electric)
David Sutton, Pino Palladino, Kevin McCormick - Bass
Scott Thurston - Bass, Keyboards
Mauricio-Fritz Lewak - Percussion, Drums
James Fearnley - Accordion


Yes I Am is the album that catapulted Melissa Etheridge into superstardom. The 1993 collection's mercilessly driven, bluesy songs--nearly all dripping with sensual lyrics and rousing rhythms--made it the ideal breeding ground for a couple of career-enhancing music videos. The eerily possessive rock ballad "Come to My Window" hit the tube first with a bizarre twofold portrait of Etheridge and her guitar and actress Juliette Lewis having a nervous breakdown. This single brought the album into the public consciousness and was quickly followed by the similarly obsessive, slow-groovin' "I'm the Only One" and the co-dependence-battling "If I Wanted To." But the album's real strength is in the hidden gems untouched by MTV programmers. The slow-building "Silent Legacy," the undulating blues scream "Yes I Am," and the playful, acoustic "Ruins" are what make this album a whole. © Sally Weinbach, © 1996-2009, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates

On her fourth album, Melissa Etheridge continues to write songs with a strong rock base and no sign of giving in to any kinds of trends. With the one-two punch of "I'm The Only One" and "Come To My Window," Etheridge manages to break through to bigger success on her own terms. YES I AM continues with tales of love within the lives of ordinary people while still managing to touch on a few different themes. "All American Girl" mentions AIDS, while "Talking To My Angel" is about growing up alienated in a small town. An added bonus is the inclusion of "I Will Never Be The Same," a previously unreleased track which was one of a few Etheridge songs featured in the movie WELCOME HOME ROXIE CARMICHAEL.Entertainment Weekly (9/24/93, p.93) - "...[Etheridge's] music has an intimacy not often found in the boys' club of mainstream rock. There's also a darkness that's very appealing, as Etheridge hurls her haunted rasp of a voice through songs of desperate love..." - Rating: B, © 1996 - 2009 CD Universe; Portions copyright 1948 - 2009 Muze Inc.
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Melissa Etheridge became one of the most popular recording artists of the '90s due to her mixture of confessional lyrics, pop-based folk-rock, and raspy, Janis Joplin/Rod Stewart-esque vocals. But the road to stardom was not all smooth sailing for Etheridge as she debated behind the scenes whether or not to disclose to the public that she was gay early on in her career. Born May 29, 1961, in Leavenworth, KS, Etheridge first picked up the guitar at the age of eight and began penning her own songs shortly thereafter. Playing in local bands throughout her teens, Etheridge then attended the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. The up-and-coming singer/songwriter and guitarist dropped out after a year before making her way to Los Angeles in the early '80s to give a shot at a career in music. Etheridge's music at this point was slightly more bluesy than her subsequently renowned folk-pop style, as a demo of original compositions caught the attention of Bill Leopold, who signed on as Etheridge's manager. Soon after, steady gigs began coming her way, including a five-night-a-week residency at the Executive Suite in Long Beach, which led to a bidding war between such major record labels as A&M, Capitol, EMI, and Warner Bros., but it was Island Records that Etheridge decided to go with. Etheridge's first recorded work appeared on the forgotten soundtrack to the Nick Nolte prison movie Weeds before her self-titled debut was issued in 1988. The album quickly drew comparisons to such heavyweights as Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp, as it spawned the hit single "Bring Me Some Water" and earned gold certification. In the wake of the album's success, Etheridge performed at the Grammy Awards the following year and contributed vocals to Don Henley's The End of the Innocence. Etheridge managed to avoid the dreaded sophomore slump with 1989's Brave and Crazy, which followed the same musical formula as its predecessor and proved to be another gold-certified success. It would be nearly three years before Etheridge's next studio album appeared, however, and 1992 signaled the arrival of Never Enough, an album that proved to be more musically varied. But it was Etheridge's fourth release that would prove to be her massive commercial breakthrough. Tired of rumors and questions regarding her sexuality, Etheridge decided to put the speculation to rest once and for all, titling the album Yes I Am. Ex-Police producer Hugh Padgham guided the album, which spawned two major MTV/radio hits with "I'm the Only One" and "Come to My Window" (the latter of which featured a video with movie actress Juliette Lewis); the album would sell a staggering six million copies in the U.S. during a single-year period and earned a 1995 Grammy Award for Best Female Rock Vocalist. But subsequent releases failed to match the success of Yes I Am, including 1995's Your Little Secret, 1999's Breakdown, and 2001's Skin, the latter of which dealt with her separation from Julie Cypher. (Cypher had birthed the couple's two children via artificial insemination; CSN&Y's David Crosby was the father.) 2002 saw the release of Etheridge's autobiography, The Truth Is: My Life in Love and Music, and 2004's Lucky was her celebration of a new romance. Later that same year Etheridge revealed that she'd been diagnosed with breast cancer. But early detection allowed for recovery, and she gave strength to many of those stricken by the disease with a powerful performance of Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart" at the 47th Annual Grammys, held in February 2005. That September Etheridge released Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled, a compilation of career highlights and new material. It featured a cover of Tom Petty's "Refugee" as well as "Piece of My Heart" and a new song dedicated to breast cancer survivors. In 2007 Etheridge released her first studio album of new material in three years, The Awakening, on Island, following it a year later in 2008 with a holiday album, A New Thought for Christmas, also on Island. © Greg Prato, allmusic.com


Pierre Moerlen's Gong

Pierre Moerlen's Gong - Leave It Open - 1981 - Arista

Deviating from the "Canterbury Rock" style, Pierre Moerlen created a wonderful album of pure progressive jazz rock/fusion in " Leave It Open". This album has not received the credit it deserves. The late Pierre Moerlen was a musical genius, and created some classic progressive rock and fusion albums. His expertise in the percussive field was unequalled. His music was innovative and futuristic, and as a member of the great Franco-British progressive/psychedelic rock band, Gong, he created some of the greatest prog. rock of the last forty years. Gong has many offshoots in the Rock tree, and it would take far too much details to elaborate on some of the great progressive rock work of Pierre Moerlen, Daevid Allen, and Gong on this blog. Listen to Pierre Moerlen's Gong's "Downwind", and "Gazeuse!" albums, and read Gong's history @ ABOUT GONG and Daevid Allen's bio @ DAEVIDALLENBIO and search this blog for related releases. "Leave It Open" is VHR by A.O.O.F.C.


A1 Leave It Open 17:19
A2 How Much Better It Has Become 3:23

B1 I Woke Up That Morning Felt Like Playing Guitar 3:33
B2 It's About Time 6:06
B3 Stok Stok Stok Sto-gak 4:09
B4 Adrien 3:45

Music By - Hansford Rowe (tracks: B2, B3) , Pierre Moerlen (tracks: A1, A2, B1, & B4)


Guitar - Bon Lozaga (tracks: A1, B1, B3)
Guitar [Rhythm] - Brian Holloway (tracks: A2)
Bass - Hansford Rowe (tracks: A1, A2, B2, B3)
Drums, Vibraphone, Keyboards - Pierre Moerlen R.I.P
Percussion - François Causse (tracks: A1, B2)
Congas - Demelza (tracks: A1)
Saxophone - Charlie Mariano (tracks: A1, B1, B2)


Pierre Moerlen's Gong is a jazz fusion outfit which is very different from the first incarnation of Gong, the psychedelic space-rock act led by Daevid Allen. It is notable for the prominent use of mallet percussion, such as marimba, xylophone, and vibraphone featured in a rock/jazz context, making for a very distinctive and unusual sound that could have been classified as warmer and more melodic than most typical fusion could be, and is comparable to the sort of fusion-influenced output many bands on the Canterbury scene were producing at around this time. Amid a flurry of lineup changes in the mid-1970s, including the departure of founding members Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth, Gong drummer Pierre Moerlen found himself in charge of the band and with two albums remaining on their Virgin recording contract. Moerlen formed a new Gong lineup featuring his brother Benoit on mallet percussion, US-born bassist Hansford Rowe and a rotating cast of session guitarists, notably Allan Holdsworth, Mike Oldfield, ex-Rolling Stone Mick Taylor, and Bon Lozaga. They released two albums under the Gong moniker, Gazeuse! (called Expresso in North America) in 1977 and then Expresso II in 1978. Following the completion of the Virgin contract, Moerlen changed the name of the group to Pierre Moerlen's Gong, presumably to distance itself from its very different previous incarnation. In early 1979, the group released Downwind, which was a more rock/pop flavoured album that featured occasional lead vocals by Moerlen himself and a cameo by Steve Winwood. Later in 1979 they released another album, Time is the Key, that took the band further into pop/rock territory. The live album "PM's Gong Live" was released in 1980, followed later that year by another studio album Leave It Open. By this point, Pierre Moerlen's incarnation of Gong scaled back its activity greatly, not releasing another record until 1986's Scientology-inspired Breakthrough, featuring members of the Swedish band Tribute. The group quietly disbanded soon after. Lozaga, Rowe, and Benoit Moerlen went on to form Gongzilla in the early 1990s, releasing four albums to date which are very much an extension of the percussive fusion that the original group brought to the fold, and they perform a mix of new and old live material going back to the Gazeuse/Expresso II period. Moerlen joined them for their 2002 European tour. Pierre Moerlen died unexpectedly on May 3, 2005 of natural causes, while rehearsals for yet another line-up of PM's Gong were underway.


Born : October 23rd, 1952 - Colmar (France). Died : May 3rd, 2005. Past Bands : Asthme Congélateur (1970-71), Gong (1973-78, 1997-99), Pierre Moerlen's Gong (1978-89), Mike Oldfield Band (1979-83), Magma (1981), Faton Bloom (1983-84), Tribute (1985-87), Biréli Lagrène Trio (1988), various musicals (1990-), Brand X (1997), Gongzilla (2002). One of the most accomplished musicians of the whole Canterbury scene, Pierre Moerlen, who died on May 3rd 2005 aged only 52, was certainly a world-class drummer, whose work with Gong and Mike Oldfield, not to mention his 'solo' albums as Pierre Moerlen's Gong, has attracted wide critical praise. Pierre Moerlen was born in Colmar into a very musical family, his father being the resident organist of the Strasbourg cathedral as well as a piano and organ teacher, and his mother a school piano teacher. His three sisters and his brother Benoît are also musicians, although not all play music professionally. Moerlen started playing piano until he turned to percussion while a teenager. In 1967, he entered the Conservatoire Régional in Strasbourg to learn classical percussion under the guidance of Jean Batigne, founder of the famed Percussions de Strasbourg. While studying strictly classical music at the Conservatoire, Moerlen also developed an interest for more contemporary musical genres, and soon found himself involved in rock and fusion groups. The most notable was called Asthme Congélateur and featured future Magma guitarist Gabriel Fédérow, and its main claim to fame was appearing on a regional television programme alongside Belfort progressive rockers Ange and an even more obscure band featuring the Lemoine brothers, Jean-Sébastien and Patrice. The latter joined Moerlen in Gong around the time of Shamal. Around that time, Moerlen began to feel the urge to write and perform his own music, based on the use of the various tuned and untuned percussion instruments at his disposal. He rehearsed his pieces with Mireille Bauer, a fellow Conservatoire student and his girlfriend at the time (and coincidentally a cousin of Jean Batigne). One interesting anecdote on this period is that sometime in 1972, Moerlen and Bauer both attended a Gong concert in Strasbourg, and neither was too enthused about the gig. Certainly not the shape of things to come! As a matter of fact, while on a visit to Paris to try and find work in classical music, an idea he was not too keen on, he met Patrice Lemoine on the station platform where he was waiting for his train back to Strasbourg. Lemoine told him that Gong were looking for a drummer after the band had broken up during the tumultuous sessions for Flying Teapot. Although reluctant at the start, one listen to the just completed record convinced him that there was potential in the band and Daevid Allen's musical concept. He joined the band in its Voisines headquarters. In the Spring of 1973, with Allen and Gilli Smyth resting in Mallorca, the rest of Gong toured under the name of Paragong in French youth centres, and when the pair came back, the new consolidated line-up went into the studio to record the second volume of Allen's Radio Gnome trilogy, Angels Egg. In the meantime, Moerlen had been recruited by Mike Oldfield to appear, alongside an impressive cast of Canterbury scene musicians like Steve Hillage, Mike Ratledge, Fred Frith, Kevin Ayers, John Greaves and David Bedford, at a live performance of Oldfield's just-released Tubular Bells at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Moerlen's time in Gong was one of constantly leaving the band, then joining in again, which led to using a lot of replacement drummers. But he was unsure whether this was the right place for him to be, and he kept returning to Strasbourg to work and tour with the Percussions de Strasbourg, as well as continuing work on his own percussion music. He came back to the Gong fold during the Summer of 1974 to work on the You album, but left again once it was completed. It was in the subsequent period that he wrote pieces like "Mandrake" and "Expresso". Then in July 1975, Moerlen received a phonecall from Virgin, asking him if he would agree to rejoin Gong and lead the band with Didier Malherbe : Allen, Smyth and Tim Blake had all left the previous Spring. This offer came as a replacement for the solo project that Virgin had accepted to release, so it was a tough decision to take, but finally Moerlen agreed and brought with him both Mireille Bauer (who in the meantime had guested on both Angels Egg and You) and Patrice Lemoine (who had sat in with Gong at a gig in Strasbourg in 1973). At first, the new Gong tried to maintain a continuity with the concepts created by Daevid Allen, with Hillage and his girlfriend Miquette Giraudy taking on Allen and Smyth's roles, but this approach proved a failure. By the time work started on Shamal in late 1975, after an extensive British tour with Clearlight opening, a new direction had been defined, and Steve Hillage was not too enthusiastic about it. Having enjoyed reasonable success with his first solo album, Fish Rising, he decided to concentrate on a solo career. Recruiting Clearlight violinist Jorge Pinchevsky as replacement, Gong finished the album and embarked on a long European tour. But the line-up didn't last long, and by the Summer of 1976 only Moerlen, Bauer and Malherbe were left. The latter recruited guitarist Allan Holdsworth, while Moerlen decided to further increase the percussive dimension of Gong, adding his brother Benoît to the line-up. Bassist Francis Moze, late of the Flying Teapot line-up, came back to the fold, alongside his friend Mino Cinélu, a promising young conga player. This new team toured Europe in the Summer of 1976, then headed to the studio, recording Gazeuse! before splitting up again soon after its completion. Following the split, Pierre Moerlen went to live in New York for a few months and met bass player Hansford Rowe, aged 22. 'Hanny' was involved in a band whose drummer had to leave to join the army, so Pierre replaced him for a few weeks and the pair forged a very special musical relationship. Back in his hometown of Strasbourg, France, in the late winter of 1976/77, Moerlen decided to form a new line-up of Gong with Rowe, and recruited former members Mireille Bauer (vibes and percussion), Jorge Pinchevsky (violin) and Benoit Moerlen (vibes), his younger brother, along with a youthful newcomer, François Causse (on percussion also). During the following months, this line-up often toured under the name Gong-Expresso, making its debut performance at the Gong family gathering of Paris, Porte de Pantin, May 1977, which witness the reformation of the 'classic' Gong line-up. Following Pinchevsky's departure (he subsequently vanished from the surface of the earth), several lead players guested on album and gigs (although at times only the basic percussion-led quintet performed), including Didier Malherbe, Darryl Way (violin player of Curved Air), Bon Lozaga, Allan Holdsworth and Mick Taylor. The latter four guested on the Expresso II album which, although recorded in the summer of 1977, only came out the following spring. This was the band's final release for Virgin and its release coincided with the name change to Pierre Moerlen's Gong. This period saw the departure of Mireille Bauer to the jazz-rock band Edition Speciale. Her relationship with Moerlen had by then become a purely musical one (she now lived with ex-Gong bass player Francis Moze while Moerlen was married with a child) and she felt she needed a bit of fresh air. She was not replaced, although a permanent guitarist, Ross Record, was recruited to fill the gap, and appeared on the subsequent album Downwind, which again was graced with superb guest appearances by Didier Lockwood (of the French bands Magma, Zao and Clearlight, not to mention his own Surya), Mike Oldfield (who co-produced the title-track), Steve Winwood and Didier Malherbe. After a few gigs with the new line-up, it became apparent that Ross Record was suffering from severe stagefright, so Moerlen summoned back Bon Lozaga, who in the meantime had gone back to live in the States. The trio of Lozaga, Rowe and Moerlen would be the mainstay of PMG until its demise in 1981. The band kept touring, but it had to be put on hold for a couple of months while the Moerlen brothers were touring Europe with Mike Oldfield. This marked the end of Benoït's involvement in the band, and for subsequent tours François Causse came back. Exhausted from incessant touring, Moerlen rented a house in Ireland with his wife and son, and wrote a complete album there, which would surface as Time Is The Key, considered by Pierre to be his best. It was recorded by Moerlen, Bon and Hanny with help from Peter Lemer on keyboards and various guests (Allan Holdsworth, Darryl Way, Nico Ramsden). This effort highlighted Moerlen's talents on a variety of tuned percussion instruments, making good use of overdubbing facilities. Of particular note was the superb introduction, "Ard Na Greine", with its intertwined vibraphone, glockenspiel, marimba and tympani over layers of synthesizers. During the following months, both Moerlen and Hansford were employed by Mike Oldfield for session work and touring, so there was no new album from Pierre Moerlen's Gong until 1981's Leave It Open. This final effort carried on in a similar vein to its predecessor, albeit a more inconsistent one. Following a change in the management of the band's label, Arista, PMG were dropped and forced to split up. There followed a period of uncertainty for Moerlen. After failing auditions for a couple of French pop singers, he briefly joined Magma but didn't get on well with Christian Vander (who does?) and preferred to turn to drum teaching in his native Strasbourg. In 1982 and 1983, he also worked again with Mike Oldfield, mainly in a live setting (although he does appear in the video of "Moonlight Shadow", miming to Simon Phillips' drum parts!). Then in the spring of 1985, Moerlen received a call from Tribute, a Swedish band he'd already been in touch with three years previously. At the time, the band wanted to hire him to play drums on an album but had to give up the idea. Now Tribute was a well-established gigging band and had both a Swedish and European tour in sight. This sounded good to Moerlen who joined Tribute, ultimately staying for two years and playing on two albums : the studio effort Breaking Barriers (1986), to which he contributed the beautiful closing piece "I Felt Like It"; and the live album Live - The Melody, The Beat, The Heart (1987). While in Sweden, he also recorded an album of his own compositions (one of which, "Far East", was played live at Tribute gigs) with the help of Tribute musicians. However, he asked Hansford Rowe to add bass parts to the tapes, and thus released the album under the Pierre Moerlen's Gong name. In 1987, Tribute ground to a halt (it later reformed under Gideon Andersson's sole guidance) and Moerlen formed a new PMG line-up back in France, with Hansford Rowe, Benoît Moerlen, ex-Tribute guitarist Ake Zieden and new members Frank Fischer (keyboards) and Stefan Traub (vibraphone). That line-up would tour Germany twice between 1987-89 (as documented on a forthcoming live CD), and record yet another album, Second Wind (1989), the band's most democratic effort to date, and one of their best. Unfortunately, things weren't as great from a financial point of view, and PMG broke up for good during 1989. Both Moerlen and his brother Benoît returned to teaching, while Rowe crossed the Atlantic again to settle in Montreal. Eventually, Moerlen began to work as resident drummer in several big musicals (Evita, Les Misérables etc.) and toured in Europe and the US with them, while Rowe formed Bon with Bon Lozaga, who in the meantime had quit the music scene to run a restaurant. There was talking of reviving PMG in 1994, but eventually the project became Gongzilla, a band featuring Lozaga, Rowe and Benoit Moerlen, but not Pierre, who did however join the band on a temporary basis in 2002 for a European tour. In March 1997 it was announced that Moerlen was joining Brand X for a tour of Japan, which regular drummer Frank Katz had declined to do. This series of gigs proved successful and he stayed for a further tour of Europe in May and June. In the meantime, he had also agreed to rejoin Gong following Pip Pyle's departure, in August 1997. He stayed on for a further French tour in 1998, but left two dates into the spring 1999 European tour under controversial circumstances. After leaving Gong, Moerlen resumed teaching and worked on compositions for a new album and a new incarnation of PMG. Spring 2000 saw a couple of live appearances which proved unsatisfactory. He had just begun rehearsing a new group, when the tragic news of Pierre's sudden death was released. © http://calyx.perso.neuf.fr/mus/moerlen_pierre.html

The Beautiful South

The Beautiful South - Choke - 1990 - Go! Discs

Choke (released October 1990) is The Beautiful South's second album. It was pushed to number 2 in the charts after the release of the South's first and only number 1 single "A Little Time". The album was followed by two more singles, both of which were flops. "My Book", which became the band's first non top-40 single, peaked at number 43 and finally "Let Love Speak Up Itself", the last release from this album, only managed to reach number 51. Earlier versions of the album, regardless of format, contained only 11 tracks. The twelfth track (appearing at the end of later presses of the CD) was intended for the album from the beginning, but was removed at a late stage of production. Only in much later editions of the CD did the track finally appear, added without explanation to the end of the album. Original copies of "Choke" on cassette tape feature a long silence at the end of Side One, possibly indicating that this would have been the location originally intended for the track. [ from Wikipedia ].

"Choke" is an excellent album from "The Beautiful South". All the tracks were written by the great songwriting team of Paul Heaton, & David Rotheray. As is the case with so many albums, many critics compared it to the band's debut album, "Welcome to the Beautiful South", an album that was very hard to live up to in terms of songwriting, and musicianship. Some critics also moaned that the songs were becoming too cynical and clever for their own good. The songs ARE "cynical and clever", and that is part of The Beautiful South's quality. Listen to the great "A Little Time" track. It's a brilliantly written pop song, and there are more like it on the album. N.B: Some later CD issues of the album contain the bonus track, "What You See Is What You Get", composed by Paul Heaton, & David Rotheray. The band's "Welcome to the Beautiful South" album is a masteriece of well crafted, catchy, melodic pop rock songs with clever lyrics, and is well worth buying


1 Tonight I Fancy Myself
2 My Book
3 Let Love Speak Up Itself
4 Should've Kept My Eyes Shut
5 I've Come for My Award
6 Lips
7 I Think the Answer's Yes
8 A Little Time
9 Mother's Pride
10 I Hate You (But You're Interesting)
11 The Rising of Grafton Street

All songs composed by Paul Heaton, & David Rotheray


David Rotheray - Guitar
Sean Welch - Bass
David Stead - Drums
Paul Heaton - Vocals
Dave Hemingway - Vocals
Briana Corrigan - Vocals


Damon Butcher – Piano, Keyboards
Pete Wingfield – Piano
Jody Kitson – Percussion
Gary Barnacle – Flute, Saxophone
Kevin Brown – Saxophone
Tony Robinson – Trumpet


Their 1989 debut was hailed for reinserting cynicism, doubt, and biting sarcasm into pop music. But when Choke arrived a year later, Paul Heaton and the Beautiful South encountered a good amount of critical blowback. "Too clever!" they cried. "Too cynical!" It was true -- kind of. As before, tales of codependence and things seen that should never have been unfolded over the course of irresistible little pop songs. But "I Hate You (But You're Interesting)" twisted the knife even deeper. While the main thrust of the song suggested sitting on a beach lost in painful memory, sprightly piano kept drowning out the seagulls like a memory too strong to shake. Maybe this sort of thing hit too close to home for some; for others, it was just an extension of the Smiths' self-love/hate. So even if Choke wasn't as successful as its predecessor, that it would give people fits at all probably pleased Heaton to no end. A lounge-y cover of "What You See Is What You Get" smirked with its own effeteness, "Tonight I Fancy Myself" gave the band's three vocalists a peppy arrangement over which to harmonize and numerous songs showcased the bracing vocals of Briana Corrigan playing off of Heaton's ironic croon. All of Choke's light, jazz-tinged arrangements had a great time concealing the Beautiful South's ghastly tales in their own way. Perhaps the only reason they were accused of being too clever was because their skewering of society was too accurate. © Johnny Loftus, All Music Guide

The follow-up to the Beautiful South's lauded debut, WELCOME TO THE BEAUTIFUL SOUTH, 1990's CHOKE furthered frontman Paul Heaton's vision of equally tuneful and cynical pop. Whilethe standout track is "A Little Time", a breezy-yet-bruising duet with Briana Corrigan that managed to top the British singles chart, CHOKE also presents a number of other Beautiful South classics, including the lively "My Book" and the soulful "Let Love Speak Up Itself". Given that Heaton and company lost a little momentum after this outing, CHOKE is widely deemed to be the end of the U.K. ensemble's first golden era. © 1996-2009, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates

A collection of eleven acerbic, pointed songs that is over and done in 37 minutes. The group's disgust with just about everything but its seductive music — tinged with horn parts straight from the Bacharach/David songbook and distinguished by a loping, easy groove — is palpable from the very first cut, "Tonight I Fancy Myself," where the singer recoils from the sight of icky-cooey lovers and bluntly states, "I choose / self-abuse." Vocalist Briana Corrigan, who isn't given much to do, brings a welcome edge to "Should've Kept My Eyes Shut," which sets harrowing lyrics of domestic abuse against bouncy pop dynamics: "I should have kept my eyes shut / My mouth should've closed / But the mixture of vomit and blood / Just crept up through my nose." In "I've Come for My Award," a disgusting, thieving captain of free enterprise allows that "Jesus was my greatest accomplice." Choke makes it clear that the Beautiful South has ample pop sense and pure venom to keep its unique act going for quite a while. © 2007 Trouser Press LLC


Following the disbandment of the British indie pop group the Housemartins in 1989, vocalist Paul Heaton and drummer David Hemmingway formed the Beautiful South. Where their previous group relied on jazzy guitars and witty, wry lyrics, the Beautiful South boasted a more sophisticated, jazzy pop sound, layered with keyboards, R&B-inflected female backing vocals and, occasionally, light orchestrations. Often, the group's relaxed, catchy songs contradicted the sarcastic, cynical thrust of the lyrics. Nevertheless, the band's pleasant arrangements often tempered whatever bitterness there was in Heaton's lyrics, and that's part of the reason why the Beautiful South became quite popular within its native Britain during the '90s. Though the group never found a niche in America — by the middle of the decade, their records weren't even being released in the U.S. — their string of melodic jazz-pop singles made them one of the most successful, if one of the least flashy, bands in Britain. Their popularity was confirmed by the astonishing success of their 1994 singles compilation, Carry on Up the Charts, which became one of the biggest-selling albums in British history. Heaton and Hemmingway formed the Beautiful South immediately after the breakup of the Housemartins, who were one of the most popular and well-reviewed British guitar pop bands of the mid-'80s. The Housemartins had earned a reputation for being somewhat downbeat Northerners, so the duo chose the name Beautiful South sarcastically. To complete the lineup, the pair hired former Anthill Runaways vocalist Briana Corrigan, bassist Sean Welch, drummer David Stead (formerly a Housemartins roadie), and guitarist David Rotheray, who became Heaton's new collaborator. In the summer of 1989, they released their first single, "Song for Whoever," on the Housemartins' old record label, Go!. "Song for Whoever" climbed to number two, while its follow-up "You Keep It All In" peaked at number eight in September, 1989. A month later, the group's debut, Welcome to the Beautiful South, was released to positive reviews. "A Little Time," the first single from the group's second album, Choke, became the group's first number one single in the fall of 1990. Choke was also well-received, even though it didn't quite match the performance of the debut, either in terms of sales or reviews. In particular, some critics complained that Heaton was becoming too clever and cynical for his own good. The Beautiful South released their third album, 0898, in 1992; it was their first record not to be released in the United States, yet it maintained their success in Britain. Following the release of 0898, Corrigan left the group, reportedly upset over some of Heaton's ironic lyrics. She was replaced with Jacqui Abbot, who made her first appearance on the band's fourth album, 1994's Miaow. While both 0898 and Miaow were popular, they were only moderate successes. Their respectable chart performances in no way prepared any observers, including the band themselves, for the blockbuster success of Carry on Up the Charts, a greatest-hits collection released at the end of 1994. Carry on Up the Charts entered the charts at number one. It was one of the fastest-selling albums in U.K. history and its success outlasted the Christmas season. The album stayed at number one for several months, going platinum many times over and, in the process, becoming one of the most popular albums in British history. Its success was a bit of a surprise, since the popularity of the Beautiful South's previous albums never indicated the across-the-boards success that greeted Carry on Up the Charts. The album wasn't released in America until late 1995, after it broke several U.K. records. The Beautiful South released their follow-up to Miaow, Blue Is the Colour, in the fall of 1996. Quench followed three years later, then Painting It Red in fall 2000, and Gaze in 2003. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine, allmusic.com

Billy Peek

Billy Peek - Can a White Boy Play the Blues - 1986 - Rivertown Records

Billy Peek is an acclaimed bluesman that has been playing on and off for in the Saint Louis, Missouri area for over 50 years. He had a local hit, "Can A White Boy Play The Blues" recorded for Marlo. However, his main claim to fame is having played and toured extensively with Chuck Berry, and Rod Stewart. Before that, Billy fronted a band in the Gaslight Square in Saint Louis, Missouri with Bonnie Bramlett (Bonnie Lee). Billy played lead guitar, and recorded and toured with Rod Stewart for a few years. He played on five of Stewart's albums. You can hear some of his work on "The Rod Stewart Sessions 1971-1998" album, and Stewart's "Blondes Have More Fun" album. Listen to Billy's guitar on Chuck Berry's "Concerto in B Goode" album. Obviously, Billy's stints with Chuck Berry, Rod Stewart, and others influenced his music, and CAWBPTB is a very much rock, blues, and soul influenced album. There is a great version of Ike Turner's "Prancin'" on the album, although all the cuts are good. Billy Peek is a good vocalist, and a top class guitar player, who has been underrated for a long time. Not unusual, considering he has mainly been a "bridesmaid" for the bigger guys. There is no questioning Billy Peek's talent. He is a great blues rock guitarist, with Grade A credentials. He penned six of the tracks on this album, and also covers songs by Sonny Boy Williamson, Don D. Robey & Joe Medwick, and as previously mentioned, Ike Turner. This is a very short album, but what's here is good. Some of Billy's best guitar work can be heard on Eric Carmen's "Tonight You're Mine" album. Promote this guy and buy his great "The Answer" album. N.B: Can anybody help out with a complete musicians credit list for this album?


1 Can A White Boy Play The Blues? (05:23)
2 Good Mornin' School Girl (03:18
3 Good Lovin' Baby (02:47)
4 Prancin' (02:40)
5 Peek-A-Boo Inn (02:56)
6 Farther Up The Road (02:52)
7 Bobbie Lolli-Bop (02:53)
8 Bad One Legged Lover (02:48)
9 Rock'N Roll Guitar Man (03:44)

Tracks 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, & 9 composed by Billy Peek: Track 2 composed by Sonny Boy Williamson: Track 4 composed by Ike Turner: Track 6 composed by By Don D. Robey & Joe Medwick Veasey

MUSICiANS [ Incomplete}

Billy Peek - Guitar, Vocals
Andy O' Connor - Drums, Percussion
Harry Simon - Saxophone


Billy Peek is one of St. Louis's greatest treasures, but his talent is truly a national music legend. He is more than an accomplished guitarist who has played with the best of them. He is an artist who gives a hard-driving combination of rock n' roll and rhythm n' blues. He is an elite member of Blues Royalty, and one of the finest rock and blues guitarists in the country. His repertoire includes 50's Chuck Berry and Ike and Tina Turner style rock and roll music along with Albert King, Elmore James and BB King style blues. An electrifying entertainer - Billy composes, performs and sings a wide variety of music with his own band which includes Dave Moreland on Bass guitar and Don Tieman on drums. He has toured with Chuck Berry and was the lead guitarist for over five years and four albums with Rod Stewart. His guitar work on such hit songs as "Hot Legs." "Blondes Have More Fun," "Passion," "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" and "Born Loose" have been heard by millions of fans all over the world. Billy played throughout St. Louis in the "Gaslight Square" era and has always had a steady following of Swing and Imperial style dancers that can't get enough of that rhythm and blues. His first solo album is packed full of original Billy Peek music featuring such artists as Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Legend Johnnie Johnson on piano. He is still getting enormous local attention and there's a reason. When he asks the title, "Can A White Boy Play The Blues?", the answer is a resounding "YES!" © KETC - © 2003-2009 MySpace. All Rights Reserved


Paul Filipowicz

Paul Filipowicz - Chickenwire - 2007 - Big Jake Records

"Filipowicz's finger-picked guitar solos come with raw emotion in every crystal-clear note." © Tim Holek - Living Blues Magazine

Paul Filipowicz is Wisconsin's present day powerhouse of the electric blues guitar. His 35 plus years of sweat soaked incendiary no-holds-barred live performances have granted him rave reviews in over fifty publications like Living Blues, Big City Blues, King Biscuit Time, Blues Access, Blues Review, Real Blues, newspapers, web sites, and radio and satellite deejays around the world. His song writing and guitar work has been heralded as moving, direct and to the point by none other than Chicago blues legend Jimmy Dawkins. Paul's five award winning albums are played on the Internet and on US radio and internationally. His recordings have charted #8 Chinatown and #25 Midnight at the Nairobi Room on the prestigious WKNON, Dallas TX, Living Blues Poll. His Chinatown earned Blues Album of the Year and Blues Artist of the Year 2005, Madison Area Music Awards and placed him #8 Chicago Blues New Releases 2004 from Real Blues magazine, plus he has been listed on many other national and international radio and magazine charts. His songs have been used in the movie sound tracks, Night in the Holem (Gila Monster Meidia) and Serlian Blue (Dadda Loco Productions). In print and live, Paul's Hard-Core-Chicago sound has been compared to Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Magic Sam, Freddy King, Albert Collins, Son Seals, John Lee Hooker, just to name a few. Paul has logged thousands of miles in thousands of venues from roadhouses in Texas, Mississippi, Buddy Guy's Legend's in Chicago, Michigan, St. Louis, New Mexico, Colorado, concerts and festivals state side to gigs as far away as The River Sounds, Ulan Bator, Mongolia. He has been heralded in the press as "One of the Midwest's best blues guitarists, and Madison's living legend". Paul's list of artists with whom he has performed is both extensive and impressive. They include Hound Dog Taylor, Luther Allison, Magic Slim, Clyde Stubbelifield, Jimmy Dawkins, Jim Schawall, Rev. Charlie Edmonds, Lucky Lopez, Milwaukee Slim, Lee Gates, Ken Sadayk, James Solderg, Lefty Dizz, Brian Lee, Madison Slim, Brewer Philips and too many more to list. © 1996 - 2009 CD Universe

Paul Filipowicz has described his music as "West side Chicago guitar with a little Texas sugar on top". "Chickenwire" is a good, no messin' live raw blues rock album. Paul compoded 12 of the tracks on the album, and is a very talented musician. His "Go For The Throat" album is well worth seeking out.


1. Texas Strut
2. OK Buster
3. Most Dogs
4. Chickenwire
5. Fire Fly
6. Guitar Man
7. Metro Line Mambo
8. Chinatown
9. Hot Chili
10. She Used To Be My Baby
11. Serves Me Right to Suffer
12. Mongolian Twist
13. 10,000 Footprints
All songs composed by Paul Filipowicz, except "Serves Me Right to Suffer", by Jimmy Dawkins


Paul Filipowicz - Guitar, Vocals
Ray Wright - Bass
Brian Howard - Drums
Calvin Owens & His Houston Horns [ N.B: On this album, the horns were overdubbed at a later date ]


Honest artist, deeply in love with the music he plays, Paul Filipowicz gives us a courageous album he has recorded live, which is something that could at first sight seem easy but it is not really true, because if any musician or band have instrumental or technical lacks, a live performing makes them evident. But this does not happen on singer and guitar player Paul Filipowicz performing, because he really knows what he is doing, and becomes the leader of the pack, with his powerful flaming guitar skills. His energetic straight rock-blues keeps the intense climax along the whole cd, not only with his guitar solos but also with his dramatical voice he takes full advantage of despite his stylistic limitations. Twelve Paul Filipowicz own songs and a Jimmy Dawkins’ version, complete cd based on terrific electrifying work that will act like an electroshock for the most neurotic brains. VERY GOOD. © www.lahoradelblues.com/index.html

This is Paul's first "Live-No Jive" recording. Smokin' hot blues guitar with solid backing just jumps off the disc. You can feel the Saturday Night Juke Joint July heat sizzle as they bump, grind, slide and shuffle through. © cdbaby.com

SHORT BIO [ "Paul Filipowicz is his music, and that music speaks for itself". © www.paulfilipowicz.com/bio.htm ]

Singer, songwriter, guitar, harp. Born Chicago 3/24/50. He was raised in the Lockport, Ill. corn fields in the 1950’s. "My sisters played piano in church and of course we all sang there. About the only other music we could get was the radio." One night while cruising the dial Filipowicz pulled in a radio station out of Tulsa, OK. They played Wolf, Sonny Boy (II) and Muddy Waters back to back. That was his first exposure to blues. He first witnessed live blues in 64 or 65, while waiting outside a club on Chicago’s South Side “It was boiling hot about 2p.m. and these people were all dressed up and going into this air-conditioned club.” Otis Rush and his band were tearing it up right there in broad daylight. Electric guitar was it! Learning by ear was about the only way to go about a blues education in those days. “I was playing without a pick and the first time I heard Magic Sam it clicked. The phrasing was what I was hearing.” Over the 30 plus years of fronting his own band, Filipowicz has played venues from the mid-west to Denver to stints in Texas and Mississippi. Some of his fondest memories are the shows with “Hound-Dog Taylor “and “Mighty Joe Young” in the 70’s. “That’s where I met Ken Saydak, he was with Joe then, I never thought we’d be working together some day”. Ken appears with Paul on “Chinatown”. After a version of Sam’s “All Your Love” Joe told Paul “That was nice, keep it up”. “Mr. Taylor would even grunt when he’d see me”. Lefty Dizz “Man he just won a thousand bucks playin cards the night before, did we have a time.” Jimmy Dawkins would take Paul aside and give him pointers. Luther Allison was a great friend. He once told Paul “I know you’re a bluesman and you know you’re a bluesman and every time you take the stage you got to prove it”. “That knowledge is always with me, It seems just like yesterday, I am truly blessed” Paul said. He will make a special guest appearance at the “2004 Luther Allison Celebration” August 15, 2004, “Luther’s Blues” Madison WI. With 4 critically acclaimed CD’s under his belt, including two “Top 20 Texas Blues New Releases” in a row (1998 “Never Had It So Good”#14 and 1999 “What Have You Done For Me Lately” #7 Real Blues mag.) Paul’s original slashing guitar style has been established and documented. His latest release “Chinatown” is the logical next-step for a bluesman that has over the years warranted comparisons in such publications as, “Living Blues”, “Blues Revue”, “Soul Bag”, “Blues Access” and “Big City Blues", to such a diverse
group of great’s as John Lee Hooker, Albert King, Buddy Guy, and Albert Collins just to name a few. © www.paulfilipowicz.com/bio.htm


Robben Ford & The Blue Line

Robben Ford & The Blue Line - Live At Doc Ricketts Lab, Monterey, California, 2/3/1992 - 1992 - unof.

Good album from Robben Ford. For an album of this "type", sound quality is above average, and very listenable. If you check the track listings, you will see that there are some "irregularities" in a few tracks. There may be more than those listed. However, these unof. recordings always contain a few imperfections, as regards track listings, sound, and lengths. Overall, it is a great album from one of the world's leading blues/jazz rock guitarists and his band. If you have any comments or corrections regarding this album, please post them. There is info on the "Robben Ford Anthology: The Early Years" album @ ROBFOR/ANTH/TEY


CD 1

1 Intro :20
2 The Brother 4:30
3 Prison Of Love 4:53
4 My Love Will Never Die 6:55
5 You Cut Me To The Bone 7:58 [N.B: This track comes to an "abrupt" end ]
6 I Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues 8:16
7 Band Intro 1:14
8 Waiting For The Miracle 6:52
9 Audience
10 Step On It

CD 2

1 Bad Luck Blues 10:17 [ N.B: Although listed as "Bad Luck Blues" @ 10.17, this track is only a 2o second band intro ]
2 He Don't Play Nothin' But The Blues 5:40
3 Talk To Your Daughter 9:05
4 Help The Poor 10:09
5 Fool's Paradise 9:15


Robben Ford - Guitars
Roscoe Beck - Bass
Tom Brechtlein - Drums


Robben Ford (Born:Dec 16, 1951 in Ukiah, California), has had a diverse career. He taught himself guitar when he was 13 and considered his first influence to be Mike Bloomfield. At 18, he moved to San Francisco to form the Charles Ford Band (named after his father, who was also a guitarist) and was soon hired to play with Charles Musselwhite for nine months. In 1971, the Charles Ford Blues Band was re-formed and recorded for Arhoolie in early 1972. Ford played with Jimmy Witherspoon (1972-1973), the L.A. Express with Tom Scott (1974), George Harrison, and Joni Mitchell. In 1977, he was a founding member of the Yellowjackets, which he stayed with until 1983, simultaneously having a solo career and working as a session guitarist. In 1986, Ford toured with Miles Davis and he had two separate periods (1985 and 1987) with Sadao Watanabe, but he seemed to really find himself in 1992 when he returned to his roots: the blues. Ford formed a new group, the Blue Line, and has since recorded a couple of blues-rock dates for Stretch that are among the finest of his career. In 1999, he released Sunrise on Rhino and Supernatural on Blue Thumb.(c) Scott Yanow, All Music Guide

BIO (Wikipedia)

Ford was born in Woodlake but raised in Ukiah, California, and began playing the saxophone at age 10, picking up the guitar at age 13. Robben and his brothers Mark (mouthharp) and Patrick Ford (drums) had a band they named the Charles Ford Blues Band in honor of their father. Ford began playing professionally at age 18 when the Charles Ford Blues Band got a gig backing Charlie Musselwhite. The band also recorded two albums The Charles Ford Band and Discovering the Blues. Next Ford put together a band with Bay Area musicians that became Jimmy Witherspoon's backup band. Ford recorded two albums with Witherspoon, Live and Spoonful'. The Ford Blues Band reunites periodically, and released live albums in the 1980s and 1990s. In the 1970s, Ford began to branch out into Jazz fusion, and joined L.A. Express led by saxophonist Tom Scott in 1974. That same year they backed George Harrison on his American tour. In addition to recording fusion albums, they served as Joni Mitchell's backup band on Hissing of Summer Lawns and her live album, Miles of Aisles. After leaving L.A. Express in 1976, Ford recorded his solo album, The Inside Story with a band that was to become the Yellowjackets. He went on to play a starring role on the first two Yellowjackets albums, although he was listed as a guest artist due to recording contract arrangements. Ford worked briefly with Miles Davis in 1986; he can be heard on Davis' Montreux box set. Ford released his next album, called Talk to Your Daughter in 1988, a return to his blues roots. In 1989 he joined Philippe Saisse, Marcus Miller and J.T. Lewis in the cast of The Sunday Night Band for the second and final season of the acclaimed late-night NBC television musical performance program, Sunday Night. His best work in the 1990s include Robben Ford and the Blue Line, and Tiger Walk. In addition to recording and touring with his own blues band, Ford continued to tour and play with other bands/artists such as Jing Chi (his fusion band), Gregg Allman and Phil Lesh. He has received nominations for four Grammy Awards. Several Ford tribute bands exist, a statement to his artistry and popularity with the cognoscenti. Ford was named one of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century" by Musician magazine. Ford uses Dumble Amplifiers. When travelling abroad he tends to use rented Fender amplifiers along with a Zendrive overdrive pedal by Hermida Audio. Guitar manufacturer Fender used to make a Robben Ford signature guitar, although lately Ford tends to favour Gibson Les Pauls and a custom-made model by Sakashta Guitars. Ford is married to the cabaret singer, Anne Kerry Ford, and collaborated with her on various projects.

John Hammond

John Hammond - You Can't Judge a Book by the Cover - 1993 - Vanguard

Great collection of John Hammond's early electric guitar work on Vanguard Records, with artists including Charlie Musselwhite, members of The Band, Mike Bloomfield, Duane Allman, and Spooner Oldham. Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, and Garth Hudson can be heard on tracks from the two '60s Vanguard releases, "So Many Roads", and " Mirrors". John Hammond, like many artists on this blog, is one of the great Blues revivalists, traditionalists, and preservationists. John is a very underrated guitarist, and this album demonstrates how good his electric guitar work can be. The album contains 13 blues covers by greats like Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins, and others. Listen to John Hammond's "Hot Tracks" album, and his "Big City Blues" album is well worth buying.


You Can't Judge a Book by the Cover (Dixon, Willie)
I Can't Be Satisfied (Morganfield, McKinley)
Midnight Hour Blues (Carr, Leroy)
I Hate to See You Go (Jacobs, Little Walter)
My Babe (Dixon, Willie)
Shake for Me (Dixon, Willie)
Long Distance Call (Morganfield, McKinley)
My Starter Won't Start (Lightnin' Hopkins)
Southbound Blues (Calloway/Williams)
I'm Leavin' You (Burnett, Chester aka Howlin' Wolf)
I Live the Life I Love (Dixon, Willie)
Help Me (Bass,Ralph/Williamson, Sonny)
Gambling Blues (Jackson, Lil Son)


Barry Beckett , Keyboards
John Hammond , Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals, Slide Guitar
Duane Allman, Robbie Robertson , Guitar
Eddie Hinton , Guitar, Piano
David Hood, Tommy Cogbill, Jimmy Lewis , Bass
Randall Bramlett, Spooner Oldham, Michael Bloomfield , Piano
Garth Hudson , Organ (Hammond)
Levon Helm, Kenneth Buttrey , Drums
Roger Hawkins , Percussion, Drums
Charlie Musselwhite , Harmonica


With a career that spans over three decades, John Hammond is one of handful of white blues musicians who was on the scene at the beginning of the first blues renaissance of the mid-'60s. That revival, brought on by renewed interest in folk music around the U.S., brought about career boosts for many of the great classic blues players, including Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, and Skip James. Some critics have described Hammond as a white Robert Johnson, and Hammond does justice to classic blues by combining powerful guitar and harmonica playing with expressive vocals and a dignified stage presence. Within the first decade of his career as a performer, Hammond began crafting a niche for himself that is completely his own: the solo guitar man, harmonica slung in a rack around his neck, reinterpreting classic blues songs from the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. Yet, as several of his mid-'90s recordings for the Pointblank label demonstrate, he's also a capable bandleader who plays wonderful electric guitar. This guitar-playing and ensemble work can be heard on Found True Love and Got Love If You Want It, both for the Pointblank/Virgin label. Born November 13, 1942, in New York City, the son of the famous Columbia Records talent scout John Hammond, Sr., what most people don't know is that Hammond didn't grow up with his father. His parents split when he was young, and he would see his father several times a year. He first began playing guitar while attending a private high school, and he was particularly fascinated with slide guitar technique. He saw his idol, Jimmy Reed, perform at New York's Apollo Theater, and he's never been the same since. After attending Antioch College in Ohio on a scholarship for a year, he left to pursue a career as a blues musician. By 1962, with the folk revival starting to heat up, Hammond had attracted a following in the coffeehouse circuit, performing in the tradition of the classic country blues singers he loved so much. By the time he was just 20 years old, he had been interviewed for the New York Times before one of his East Coast festival performances, and he was a certified national act. When Hammond was living in the Village in 1966, a young Jimi Hendrix came through town, looking for work. Hammond offered to put a band together for the guitarist, and got the group work at the Cafe Au Go Go. By that point, the coffeehouses were falling out of favor, and instead the bars and electric guitars were coming in with folk-rock. Hendrix was approached there by Chas Chandler, who took him to England to record. Hammond recalls telling the young Hendrix to take Chandler up on his offer. "The next time I saw him, about a year later, he was a big star in Europe," Hammond recalled in a 1990 interview. In the late '60s and early '70s, Hammond continued his work with electric blues ensembles, recording with people like Band guitarist Robbie Robertson (and other members of the Band when they were still known as Levon Helm & the Hawks), Duane Allman, Dr. John, harmonica wiz Charlie Musselwhite, Michael Bloomfield, and David Bromberg. As with Dr. John and other blues musicians who've recorded more than two dozen albums, there are many great recordings that provide a good introduction to the man's body of work. His self-titled debut for the Vanguard label has now been reissued on compact disc by the company's new owners, The Welk Music Group, and other good recordings to check out (on vinyl and/or compact disc) include I Can Tell (recorded with Bill Wyman from the Rolling Stones), Southern Fried (1968), Source Point (1970, Columbia), and his most recent string of early- and mid-'90s albums for Pointblank/Virgin Records, Got Love If You Want It, Trouble No More (both produced by J.J. Cale), and Found True Love. He didn't know it when he was 20, and he may not realize it now, but Hammond deserves special commendation for keeping many of the classic blues songs alive. When fans see Hammond perform them, as Dr. John has observed many times with his music and the music of others, the fans often want to go back further, and find out who did the original versions of the songs Hammond now plays. Although he's a multi-dimensional artist, one thing Hammond has never professed to be is a songwriter. In the early years of his career, it was more important to him that he bring the art form to a wider audience by performing classic — in some cases forgotten — songs. Now, more than 30 years later, Hammond continues to do this, touring all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe from his base in northern New Jersey. He continued to release albums into the new millennium with three discs on the Back Porch label, including Ready for Love in 2002, produced David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, In Your Arms Again in 2005, and Push Comes to Shove in 2007. Whether it's with a band or by himself, Hammond can do it all. Seeing him perform live, one still gets the sense that some of the best is still to come from this energetic bluesman. © Richard Skelly, allmusic.com


The Smokin' Joe Kubek Band featuring Bnois King

The Smokin' Joe Kubek Band featuring Bnois King - Cryin' For The Moon - 1995 - Bullseye Blues

In 1989, Smokin' Joe Kubek met guitarist/vocalist Bnois King at a Dallas jam session. They became good friends, and blended their styles (Smokin' Joe is a rocking fierce picker and slider, while Bnois is a jazz-influenced player, who can produce amazing solos), into one of the most potent guitar combos ever to come out of the Southwest. Kubek has said, “I pull the blues out of him, and he pulls the jazz out of me. Bnois knows so much about jazz it’s amazing.” Calling themselves The Smokin’ Joe Kubek Band Featuring Bnois King, they signed to Bullseye Blues and in 1991, released their debut CD, "Stepping Out Texas Style". The band grew out of Texas and began touring nationally. After a successful string of Bullseye albums, they signed to Blind Pig Records in 2003.Their popularity has strengthened on their great Texas blues rock music, and the band's dynamic live shows. The band tour relentlessly, usually playing over 150 dates per year across the US, Canada and Europe. "Cryin' For The Moon" is a good album of Texas guitar-slinger traditional blues rock. Buy Smokin' Joe Kubek's brilliant "Texas Cadillac" album.


1 In One Hand (And Out The Other) - Bnois King/Smokin' Joe Kubek
2 You're My Brand - Bnois King/Smokin' Joe Kubek
3 You Haven't Hurt Me - Ron Levy
4 Corn Palace - Bobby Chitwood/Bnois King/Smokin' Joe Kubek/Kenneth Stern
5 If It's The Last Thing I Do - Bnois King
6 One More Song - Bobby Chitwood
7 Cryin' For The Moon - Smokin' Joe Kubek
8 Changes Made - Bnois King
9 We Had To Wait - Ron Levy
10 Step On It - Bnois King/Smokin' Joe Kubek
11 You're So Hard To Understand - Bnois King/Smokin' Joe Kubek/Ron Levy
12 The Life You Save (Could Be Mine) - Bnois King


Smokin' Joe Kubek (guitar, slide guitar)
Bnois King (vocals, guitar)
Bobby Chitwood (bass)
Kenneth Stern (drums)
Jim Spake (tenor & baritone saxophones)
Scott Thompson (trumpet)
Ron Levy (Hammond B-3 organ)
Rusty McFarland (cowbell)


Another young Texas axeman from the old school, Smokin' Joe Kubek issued his band's debut disc in 1991 on Bullseye Blues, Steppin' Out Texas Style. Kubek was already playing his smokin' guitar on the Lone State chitlin circuit at age 14, supporting such musicians as Freddie King. Soon, he formed his own band and began playing a number of bars across Dallas. In the '80s, he met guitarist/vocalist Bnois King, a native of Monroe, LA, and the duo formed the first edition of the Smokin' Joe Kubek Band. The Smokin' Joe Kubek Band began playing the rest of the Southwest in the late '80s. In 1991, they signed to Bullseye Blues, releasing their debut, Steppin' Out Texas Style, the same year. Following its release, the band launched their first national tour. For the rest of the '90s, the Smokin' Joe Kubek Band toured the United States and toured frequently and issued records like 1993's Texas Cadillac, 1996's Got My Mind Back, and 2000's Bite Me. In 2003 Kubek and guitarist/vocalist Bnois King released Roadhouse Research on the Blind Pig label. The duo's second release for Blind Pig, Show Me the Money, came out in 2004. A single-disc collection of some of the best tracks from the Bullseye Blues years, Served Up Texas Style, came out in 2005. A third album from Blind Pig Records, My Heart's in Texas, was released in 2006. Another joint effort with King, Blood Brothers, appeared in 2008. © Bill Dahl, allmusic.com


Another young Texas axeman from the old school, Smokin' Joe Kubek issued his band's debut disc in 1991 on Bullseye Blues, Steppin' Out Texas Style. Kubek was already playing his smokin' guitar on the Lone State chitlin circuit at age 14, supporting such musicians as Freddie King. Soon, he formed his own band and began playing a number of bars across Dallas. In the '80s, he met guitarist/vocalist Bnois King, a native of Monroe, LA, and the duo formed the first edition of the Smokin' Joe Kubek Band. The Smokin' Joe Kubek Band began playing the rest of the Southwest in the late '80s. In 1991, they signed to Bullseye Blues, releasing their debut, Steppin' Out Texas Style, the same year. Following its release, the band launched their first national tour. For the rest of the '90s, the Smokin' Joe Kubek Band toured the United States and toured frequently and issued records like 1993's Texas Cadillac, 1996's Got My Mind Back, and 2000's Bite Me. In 2003 Kubek and guitarist/vocalist Bnois King released Roadhouse Research on the Blind Pig label. The duo's second release for Blind Pig, Show Me the Money, came out in 2004. A single-disc collection of some of the best tracks from the Bullseye Blues years, Served Up Texas Style, came out in 2005. A third album from Blind Pig Records, My Heart's in Texas, was released in 2006. © Bill Dahl & Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


Smokin Joe Kubek was born on November 30, 1956 in Grove City, Pennsylvania. Shortly after he was born his family moved to Irving, Texas where he grew up Kubek was playing in Dallas clubs at the age of 14. Three years later, he took a deeper interest in blues, prompted by Eric Clapton and Peter Green, and formed his first band. Shortly afterwards, he played rhythm guitar behind Freddie King until King's death in December 1976. After a short spell with Robert Whitfield's Last Combo, he joined Al Braggs" band. Examples of his work can be heard on Braggs" 1979 production of tracks by R. L. Griffin. He also recorded with Charlie Robinson, Big Ray Anderson and Ernie Johnson, and on Little Joe Blue's album, "It's My Turn Now". In 1989, he teamed up with inger/guitarist Bnois King, from Monroe, Louisiana, whose soul-tinged vocals and jazz-orientated style contrasted well with Kubek's more strident finger and slide techniques. "The Axe Man" is an album of covers recorded before their Bullseye Blues debut. Subsequent releases have consolidated their reputation as a solid, entertaining band. Smokin' Joe Kubek is one of those people who was born to play the guitar. Kubek has the technique and the chops to burn up any stage and has been doing so for the past 27 years. A guitar prodigy at the age of 14 the Texas born guitar slinger frequented the Dallas bar scene during the 1970's and early 80's playing with Stevie Ray Vaughan and people like the three Kings, B. B., Albert and Freddie. He was even ready to go on tour with Freddie King before his death. Kubek, with his staggering arsenal of instruments, effects and technique, delivers a frenzied, flame-throwing guitar display that is tempered by the remarkable accompaniment of Bnois King's jazz influenced guitar. Kubek, coming from the blazing Texas blues/rock background, found in Bnois King's smoothh. jazz guitar stylings a finesse and fat chord sound that was a perfect complement to his technique. The combination just clicked with a seamless mesh of styles. King lays down a bed of smooth supporting jazz chords on his hollow bodied Gibson that allows Kubek to take center stage and play with almost reckless abandon. Together this dynamic duo has recorded 7 albums for Bullseye Blues & Jazz Records, the newest being the 2000 "BITE ME." So buckle up and get ready for a one-two punch, thrill-a-minute ride of high-octane Texas blues. Muscling his way through the proceedings both live and on disc, Kubek will pull, bend, pick, and push his strings well beyond what you'd think they'd normally endure as he runs through his and King's songs. Using Hendrix-style crybaby wah-wah leads and ear-bleeding, Johnny Winter-meets-Elmore James slide work on songs such as the title/leadoff cut and the shuffling "She's It," he brings things to a boiling point with screeching and shimmering lines that rattle speaker cones and make the fillings in your teeth vibrate. Then, applying the brakes, he runs through some of the sweetest, most beautiful slow blues on "I'm Here for You" and "Cryin' By Myself" with shimmering high notes, hanging in the air above heavy turnarounds. Throughout, King (no relation to Freddie) will comp along on his Gibson, shout lyrics, and, in general, make the whole package complete. This union began during a regular Monday-night gig in Dallas when Kubek invited King to sit in and found that King's softer, jazz-based guitar and vocals perfectly complemented Kubek's headier rock-inspired guitar work. Although the partnership is a natural, Kubek still seems amazed that it worked at all. Months earlier, the two shared an uncomfortable meeting that he still recalls today. "We laugh at it now," he says, "but when we first ran into each other, it was in some club dressing room a while before I'd invited him to sit in with my band. Neither of us remembers why we were there, because it wasn't our gig. We never said a word to each other. We just kinda sat there and looked at each other. It was weird." The pair became fast friends and eventually found themselves on the road in support of their first Bullseye disc, Steppin' Out, released in 1991. On early tours, the band did weeks in the Northeast in the dead of winter in an old Ford van, without heat. "It was kinda like that movie Alive," Kubek notes with a laugh. "We'd drive all bundled up. And it got so cold sometimes, I'd actually think of building a fire inside the thing just to keep warm. Then to top it off, every hotel we stopped at only had heat int the rooms when you rented 'em. So they never got warm. I had to sleep with my hair dryer the whole time. The goal was just to get home alive." In 1991, they signed to Bullseye Blues, releasing their debut, Steppin' Out Texas Style, the same year. Following its release, the band launched their first national tour. For the rest of the '90s, the Smokin' Joe Kubek Band toured the United States and toured frequently and issued records like 1993's Texas Cadillac, 1996's Got My Mind Back, and 2000's Bite Me. In 2003Kubek and King released Roadhouse Research on the Blind Pig label. The duo's second release for Blind Pig, Show Me the Money, came out in 2004. A single-disc collection of some of the best tracks from the Bullseye Blues years, Served Up Texas Style, came out in 2005. A third album from Blind Pig Records, My Heart's in Texas, was released in 2006. [ © www.smokinjoekubek.com/bio.htm ]