For years past and in the years to come, discussion and heated arguments regin as to whether British musicians, those playing in the blues idioms, are of any worth. Now is not the time nor place to discuss this further, but perhaps to listen to the music contained here and to detail the artist involved in this box set.
Neither John Mayall nor Eric Clapton will require any introduction. The pionerring work done by Mayall and Alexis Korner alike in the blues world is well known that they should bare both been directed onto different paths is to their credit. Forthe last two years, Mayall has been presenting, to his ever-growing audience, brand of blues which is very much his own. His incredible flate for wristing being used to the greatest advantage. Both items of 'The Bluesbreakers' on the first records are Mayall originals and both feature the spine-chilling guitarwork of Eric Clapton. Eric emerged from the depths of the rock'n'roll clique to become perhaps the finest British guitarist working in the modern blues idiom. And perhaps to prove his command of the instrument and music, three other items are included on this first record here featuring Eric, aided by Jimmy page on second guitar. The hard-driving sound of 'Snake Drive' compared with the T-Bone Walker influenced West Coast Idea (dare I say, sounding remarkably like Pee Wee Crayton). An interesting point is the addition, on 'Snake Drive', 'Tribute To Elmore' and 'West Coast Idea', of Mick Jagger (harmonica), Bill Wyman (bass), Ian Stewrt (piano) and Chris Winters (drums). The Rolling Stones, from their club appearances at The Crawdaddy, Richmond, were instrumental in being one of the very first British bands to bringthe US blues music to the ears of the 'pop' buying public. Artists such as Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Slim Harpo and Bo Diddlay were their idols in these early years.
To know who are regular visitors to John Mayall's London gigs, Savoy Brown Blues Band may not be an unfamilliar name. The two titles on this first record were originally recorded by Purdah Records and feature the band as it was some nine to twelve monthes ago - drums, bass, guitar, piano, harmonica and vocals, 'I Tried', a big selling record many years ago for Larry Davis is in the Elmore James-'Dust My Blues' mould, whlist 'Cold Blooded Woman' is an old album track from Menphis Slim. The lead-guitar work is by Kim Simmonds, Bob Hall the pianist and John O'Leary (harmonica). Other members are Brice Portius (vocals), Ray Chappell (bass) and Leo Mannings (drums).
Some may recall a group some years ago called 'John Lee's Groundhogs', whose lead-guitarist was acclaimed by many as being the greatest 'bottleneck' expoaent in the country Tony McPhee. This band having broken up, Tony formed a small unit especially for recording. Two of the four items produced are inclueded on the first record, 'Ain't Gonna Cry No More', an original based on a John Lee Hooker number, and the Willie Cobbs' famed 'You Don't Love Me'. Again, the fine blues piano work is suppllied by Bob Hall.
The same band, lend by Tony (T.S.) McPhee, is to be heard backing Jo-Ann Kelly on Bill Brooney's 'I Feel So Good', Jo-Ann has been singing and playing in folk clubs all over the country for years, but has received little acclaim outside this circle. A great admirer of Menphis Minnie, Jo-Ann is happiest when performing in the country-blues idiom, whitness Big Joe Williams's 'Ain't Seen No Whiskey', where she is accompanied by her guitarist-brother, Dave Kelly.
Stone's Masonry must be somehing of an enigmas. The band was formed by guitarist Martin Stone but never got onto the road. But two titles were recorded by the outfit for Purdah Records. Martin, a great fan of Freddy and B.B. King, plays in the former's style on 'Flapjacks', a number written by the band; Pete Shelley (organ), Keith Tillman (bass) and Michael Rilley (drums).
On this second record of this box-set of the British blues scene, we have once again brought together a few of the many dedicated blues musicians working in Britain today. It is evident that with the formation of new bands, such as Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Ainsley Dunbar's Retaliation and The Chicken Shack, that this style of music is most certainly gaining popularity throughout the nation.
Blues expert and producer Mike Vernon, on a recent visit to Birmingham, called me one day and, sounding very excited, told of a young man, Jeremy Spencer, who played very much in the mould of the greats Robert Johnson and Elmore James. Such a find was most certainly not be overlooked. From playing in a local blues combo with very little acclaim Spencer has now joined the new band of Peter Green, and is currently 'working' them with his suparb 'bottleneck' guitar style and vibrant singing. The two titles included here were recorded in the early months of this year and feature Jerremy Spencer on both piano and guitar, his own compositions based on numbers by Elmore James.
To tose who are regular visitors to the Eel Pie Island club in Twickenham. Middlesex, The Dharma Blues Band will not be an unfamilliar name. Residency for them was a Saturday night and from them spatte performances they produced quite a following. Dave Brock, no new member to blues music, was influenced very mich in his early years by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. This is very evident on the numbers featured, the John Lee Williamson 'Dealling With The Devil', and Peter Johnson's 'Roll 'Em Pete', Dave also plays guitar, Luke Francis (vocal and guitar) halls from Newcastle where he played for a while with the early Animals. The rolling piano belongs to Mike King from Wiltshire, who, having lived in North American for a while, has had contact with the blues first band. He visited his mentor Pete Johnson many times at his home and also obtained a grest deal of help from Meader Lux Lewis.
With the current success of John Mayall & his Bluesbreakers, it is important therefore enough to include him here on this second record as well. His 1965 band featuring Roger Dean on guitar play out heavily on the Mayall composition 'So Sorry' and the slower 'Someday After A while', the popular number by Freddie King. Other members in this early years included John McVie (bass), Hughie Flint (drums) and Nigel Stranger (tenor).
Another artist very much influenced by Robert Johnson is Tony (T.S.) McPhee. His version of Johnson's 'When You Got A Good Friend' is included on record 2, side 2, second guitar being added by Neil Slaven. This title, along with 'Someone To Love Me' and the two featured on record 1 show very well the versatillity of McPhee.
So much has been written about Eric Clapton since his emergence from the rock'n'roll era to join John Mayall, that it is extreamly difficult to produce some original words for these notes. Once can only listen to the three titles included on record two, recorded many months ago with Jimmy Page, and think how much this one artist has influenced so many performers today, not only in the blues field but in many other style of music as well.
In the early months of 1966 four titles were recorded for Puardah Records by the then unknown Savoy Brown Blues Band. Since that early date the band have gained immence popularity throughout the country and, naturally enough, have suffered personal changes as well. The two titles featured on record 2, the remaining were included on record 1, see the line-up at Kim Simmonds (Lead-guitar), Bob Hall (piano), John O'Leary (harmonica), Ray Chappell (bass), Leo Mannings (drums) and Bryce Portlus (vocals).
With the current explosions of Blues across the world pop scene, singular instrumentarlists such as Mayall and Clapton have become accepted as fine blues musicians as opposed to just pop minions.
It is interesting to look back to the birth of the British blues scene when one man pionerred a sound that was to give incentive to every group of that time. This man was the late Cylil Davis. Robbed by an eady death of the fruits of his labours, he and his group, 'The All Stars', showed the path to many. Cyril was the first man to emulate the sound of the Chicago Blues Band in England, with his harmonica electrified in the style of Little Water he sets a standard which helped many groups such as The Rolling Stones , The Yardbirds and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers.
Eighteen months after Cyril's death the 'All Stars' tapes were recorded with the original members, Carlo Little (drums), Nicky Hopkins (piano), Cliff Barton (bass), with the addition of Jeff Beck on lead guitar who was not one of the original members.
After Eric Clapton sprit from The Yardbirds and entered his historic partnership with John mayall, It did not take long for him to earn the reputation of being Britain's number one exponent of the blues guitar. These recordings were made around this time and as precious little exists of his ability on record between The Yardbirds and the first John Mayall and Eric Clapton albums, I thought it essential to make these tapes available to the serious collector to illustlate the transitional period which helped to build Eric's fantastic reputation.
The Santa Barbera Machine Head was born five years ago and died after a bad attack of talent. Every member of the band was individually so good that attractive ofers from other sources prevented it from reaching frultion and really receiving the acclaimit deserved. The members of the Santa Barbera Machine Head contained of Jon Lord (organ), Ronnie Wood (lead guitar), Twink (drums) and Kim Gardener (bass).
Jon Lord has since joined Deep Purple; who at this moment are riding very high in the US charts with 'Hush'. He originally started with The Artwoods and soon became the outstanding member, from a humorous was well as a musical point of view. Ronnie Wood first came to power as lead guitarist with the English Birds, and when they disbanded he switched to bass and joined Jeff Beck who now heads one of the formost bands in the blues field and who's recent concert at the Fillmore will go down in musical history. Twink joined Tommorow, who backed Keith West and since their break-up has joined The Pretty Things and is with them now rock'n'rolling better then ever. Lastly, Kim. He was with The Creation for while and they became very big in Germany. He has not as yet risen to the heights he deserves but just as the others have - so will he.
Stuff Smith featureing Fred on piano, this band have the distinction of being the only blues band to carry a full size upright piano from gig to gig. Keith Hall on drums and Fingers Phill on bass make up a really driving rhythm section. The guitarist is Rocky Burnette who has since left to go solo and believes that his life is entirely controlled by the stars. He'll soon be a star himself.
Now known as 'The Thump' this band is still exciting audiences with its brand of raw blues.
This is the fourth record of set of Immediate's now famous series of 'Blues Anytime', released the first time as a complete box-set with four records. It represents a period in the development of popular music's progress which is both valid on it's own merit and interesting in the light of historical objectivity.
The most important aspect of the music from called 'The Blues' only non-musicians really need to categorise something which is fundamentally nothing more than good bonett simple music・Is the feel which artist who have adopted that style imbue their works. This side of the Atlantic produced a new generation of young people some few years ago who felt that music more intensely than ever before. Some of these musicians have moved on to different fields like Clapton and Jeff Beck who were featured on different records of this box. Artist on this final records, the fourth, who represents the best in British Blues include Jerremy Spencer (of Fleetwood Mac fame) heavily disguised as Earl Vince & The Valiants. Rod Stewart who now sings his own band of hard scraped soul with the Jeff Beck Group and Paul Williams who was a featured member of The Alan Place Set before leading his own band. The early works of these young people, including vocalist Jo-Ann Kelly combine to make this record 4 which goes very well with the other three records make a retrospective which is a must for your collection and an invaluable guide to what made British groups the finest in the world today.