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Album Reviews Albums reviews with Tony Burke: July 8, 2024

Muddy Waters, Having a rave up! and Edgar Broughton Band

Muddy Waters
Hard Again/ I'm Ready/ King Bee
(Floating World)

★★★★

 

MUDDY WATERS made his recording debut for Len and Phil Chess’ Aristocrat Records (later Chess) in 1947 becoming the world’s best known blues artist. But in 1975, when All Platinum Records bought Chess, they announced they only would release Chess’s back catalogue. Muddy became redundant as a recording artist.

Having appeared at The Band’s 1976 farewell concert, Blue Sky Records came to the rescue with the album Hard Again produced by Johnny Winter to critical acclaim. Muddy waxed three more albums for them (including a live set not included here) for them between 1977 and 1981 with Winter producing.

Supported by the wailing harmonica’s of James Cotton and  Walter Horton, Pinetop Perkins’ piano, and Johnny Winter’s blistering slide guitar Muddy recreates Mannish Boy, Champagne And Reefer, I Can’t Be Satisfied and I’m Ready. What a comeback!

Having a rave up! 
The R&B Sounds Of 1964
(Grapefruit) 

★★★★

 

MERSEYBEAT smashed into the UK charts in 1963 but by 1964 many British groups had raided the back catalogues of Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Jimmy Reed and lesser-known artists with exotic names like Slim Harpo who sang he was a King Bee, Chicago’s Billy Boy Arnold and Lazy Lester who bragged he was a Lover Not A Fighter.

The Pretty Things (hounded by the papers for singer Phil May’s flowing locks), the Animals with Eric Burden, the Spencer Davis Group fronted by 14-year-old Stevie Winwood who sang like Ray Charles, packed clubs to the rafters.

Others with 15 minutes of fame (but not hits) included Stockport’s Toggery Five, Oxford’s The Primitives, and Sheffield’s own — erm  — The Sheffields.

Four hours of great ’60s music and a wonderful booklet. Historic stuff.

Edgar Broughton band
Gone Blue — The BBC Sessions
(Esoteric)

★★★★

 

EDGAR BROUGHTON’S band were the doyens of late 1960s/early ’70s free festival’s and the college circuit playing anarchic power rock. The BBC sessions are from John Peel’s Top Gear and Sunday Concert; Sound Of The ’70s and In Concert’s from 1969-1973 with 32 unreleased tracks.

As BBC live sessions were wiped. Those that survive were from BBC World Service “pop” programmes fronted by DJs such as Brian Matthew with un-hip intros, with one such including an announcement that Edgar’s band would be playing free gigs for “children” in seaside towns! 

Local councils put a stop to it. They were not having dope smokers and anarchists singing Out Demons Out to exorcise the White House, the stomping crowd-pleaser Call Me A Liar and Dropout Boogie played on the back of a lorry on their promenades.

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