Showing posts with label Cobra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cobra. Show all posts

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Lucille DJ interviews The Day After The Sabbath

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Interview by Lucille DJ

Many thanks to Lucille DJ (fb) at (web) for getting in touch and asking to conduct this interview, which was broadcast in instalments between the 5th of January 2015 and the 15th of February, on her weekly radio show based in Florence Italy.

"Bumping into 'The Day After The Sabbath' was like opening the door of a rusty archive of the most obscure and interesting hard rock bands that never really became famous. For me who is not only a collector but also the DJ of the radio program 'Lucyfer', having the chance to speak to Rich and getting to know how he started and built the blog was a real experience. His everlasting passion in researching long-time forgotten gems is contagious and reminds me how music still is the most universal language on earth and yet the most undiscovered one". - Lucille Mancini

Lucille DJ aka Lucille Mancini
You can hear 'Lucyfer' by Lucille DJ every Sunday from 9pm to 10.30pm C.E.T. streaming at, where it is also available as a podcast download.

Pt. 1
00.00 Introduction and TDATS backstory 1
04.32 Budgie "Crash Course In Brain Surgery" excerpt
05.31 backstory 2
10:23 Bang "Our Home" excerpt
11.06 Volume 111 - Cobra singles
13.36 Cobra "Midnight Walker"
16.54 Volume 76 Native American 1
19.14 Winterhawk "Selfish Man"
24.31 Volume 76 Native American 2
25.25 Buffy St. Marie "Keeper Of The Fire" excerpt
25.56 Volume 76 Native American 3
27.33 Jesse Ed Davis "Red Dirt Boogie Brother"
30.55 Volume 85 Ra'anan book 1
32.37 Rodriguez "Only Good for Conversation" excerpt
34.08 Volume 85 Ra'anan book 2
35.38 Morgen "Welcome to the Void"
40.18 Vol 105 Going Down 1
42.06 Moloch "Goin Down"  excerpt
43.26 Vol 105 Going Down 2
44.39 Booker T. & The M.G.'s - "Slim Jenkins' Place" excerpt
45.12 Vol 105 Going Down 3

00.00 Freedom "Going Down"
04.41 Red neck farmers rock idea
06.25 Wabash Resurrection - "In Heat"
11.11 Vol 17 first female collection 1
12.23 Linda Hoyle "Pieces of Me" excerpt
12.53 Vol 17 first female collection 2
13.55 Carman Maki & Blues Creation "Motherless Child"
20.45 Vol 109 Biker movie rock 1
22.04 Lenny Stack - The Duel (Part 1)
24.18 Vol 109 Biker movie rock 2
24.58 East-West Pipeline "You Could Be"
27.58 Vol 68 Neil Merryweather 1
28.53 Lita Ford "Ready, Willing & Able" excerpt
29.55 Vol 68 Neil Merryweather 2
31.11 Neal Merry Weather's Space Rangers "Escape" excerpt
31.36 Vol 68 Neil Merryweather 3
31.59 Heavy Cruiser "Wonder Wheel"
33.25 Heavy Cruiser "Super Girl"
37.07 Vol 96 Heat Exchange
38.59 Heat Exchange "Inferno"

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

TDATS 111: Cobra profile and interview with Rob Vunderink

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TDATS 111: Cobra profile and interview with Rob Vunderink by Rich Aftersabbath on Mixcloud
Welcome to TDATS #111. Now and again I come across bands that sounded great, but only made some singles and no albums. The first thing I always wonder is, "How come this obviously-talented band were around long enough to make a string of singles and get on a major label, but did not make an album?". It seems to be a question that arises regarding Dutch bands as often as any other nationality, if not more so, and the band that we are interested in for this episode is Cobra. They had an instantly likable brand of hook-laden rock which encompassed hard rock, pop, glam and blues in such a way that Dutch bands seemed particularly adept.

The Netherlands had a great pop scene in the '60s and '70s, and The Hague was the place to be. Bands which started there like Golden Earring, Q65, Supersister and Shocking Blue are still respected the world-over. I'd say it was second only to Hamburg as a go-to European city for aspiring musicians. Often, English names can be found in Dutch bands, such as singer Christine Holmes (ex-Family Dogg, later known as 'Kristine Sparkle') in California License and guitarist Ray Fenwick (The Spencer Davis Group, Tee-Set) who was a founder of After Tea. (Incidentally, I used a ripping Ray Fenwick track back on Vol103). Cobra had a British singer called Winston Gawke. Before his time in mainland Europe he'd already tried his hand in the UK as Winston G and had various backing groups, culminating in The Winston G Set (later called Fox & The Whip). For fact-fans out  there, The Winston G Set was also an early band for Huw Lloyd-Langton of ├┤awkШind.

The Dutch quickly assimilated the popular hard rock sounds of the time, and one thing I like was their ability to mix these heavy sounds with a certain pop, almost glam sensibility, avoiding getting too cheesy, but remaining endearingly fun. Good examples of this were Blue Planet, Big Wheel, Panda, Inca Bullet Joe and many more. I hope to focus on some more of these names in later episodes...

Back to Cobra. They made five singles (including one under the name of Island), all of which are great. I have contacted the original guitarist of Cobra, who does an excellent job on all the singles, his name is Rob Vunderink. He still works successfully in music and has been a member of distinguished Dutch progsters Kayak since 2001. One of Rob's other notable successes was as a founding member the pop rock band Diesel, which had a number-one single in Canada from an album which was also popular in the US around 1980.

The other two main members of Cobra were Michiel Driessen (drums - later in Livin' Blues, Sun, Flair and Monte Carlo) and Paul Heppener (Bass - ex-Confrontation, later in CentaurDrama, Shocking Blue, Fontessa and Belgian band Otger Dice).

references and further reading
Obscure Bands Of The 50's & 60's > Further reading on The Winston G Set
Kayak online | muziekbase | Dutch Sixties Beat Groups

Island - Move Over / Super Woman
Cobra discography

(as Island) Move Over / Super Woman
Imperial 5C 006 24256

Cobra - The War Will Soon Be Over / Midnight Walker

The War Will Soon Be Over / Midnight Walker
Polydor 2050 078

Cobra - I'm in Love / I Feel Down

I'm in Love / I Feel Down
Polydor 2050 121

Cobra - Don't Do Like I Do / Schoolgirl Blues

Don't Do Like I Do / Schoolgirl Blues
Polydor 2050196 (released in Germany & Netherlands)

Cobra - So Dissatisfied / What's Next

So Dissatisfied / What's Next
Polydor / 2050167

Rob Vunderink interview

Rob in Kayak (2014)
Rob in Kayak (2014)

Rob (left) in The Counts
Rob (left) in The Counts
Q01. Hi Rob, Thanks for your time! Firstly, can you tell us about your beginnings in music?
I was born in Nijmegen. The Van Halen brothers lived here, as did Nina Simone. I got my first guitar when I was sixteen, because I loved the Beatles. Why guitar? That's what they played. I never had lessons, I taught myself and I was in a school band. At a certain point I joined a local top band called The Counts [links: 1, 2] and they had a manager, who became my personal manager also.

Q02. What happened after The Counts?
My manager called and said the singer of the Yardbirds was looking for a guitarist in Nijmegen. These had been a peculiar German version of The Yardbirds [a bogus, or 'tribute' version] without any real Yardbirds. The singer was Winston Gawke from the UK. I started a band with Winston which was first called Jasper Mule. At this point we also had Joop van Kesteren (bass, ex-Counts, who later went on to Grass) and John Lejeune (drums, ex-Corporation, later to Livin' Blues).

Q03. What music were you personally in to at the time?
I liked Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and other hard rock bands.

Q04. Can you tell me about Island's "Move Over / Super Woman" Single? I know it had some connection to you and Winston. It is fantastic, Super Woman sounds like a lost Led Zep song! I have only heard this side as it was included in a comp at the time called "Hey June", I've not heard the flipside.
Winston attracted John van Setten as our manager. John had managed a band called Island previously, which had ceased to exist by this time. He arranged a recording session for us and the resulting songs, "Super Woman / Move Over", were released as an Island single. We had nothing to do with the old Island and it was a one-time occasion. 

1. Michiel Driessen 2. Rob Vunderink
3. Winston Gawke 4. Paul Heppener
I'm in Love single (1971)
Q05. How did Cobra come about?
We moved to the Hague in 1969, Michiel Driessen and Paul Heppener then took the roles of drums and bass respectively, and the Cobra lineup was made. At one time Cor van der Beek (Shocking Blue - drums) had one or two rehearsals but didn't join. We got ourselves a record deal with Polydor and after my suggestion for calling the band Grizzley, Winston came up with 'Cobra'.

Q06. How did Cobra get signed to the Polydor label?
We just went there and talked to Freddy Haayen, who was director and producer for Golden Earring. He produced us himself, including our first single, 'The War Will Soon Be Over (My Love)' which became a hit in Holland.

Q07. Was there a big rock scene in The Hague in the early '70s?
The Hague was called 'beat city'. Lots of big Dutch bands were from the Hague, like Golden Earring, The Motions, Q65, Supersister and more. Every Tuesday evening musicians would hang out in a place called De Maraton [inc. Q65 and Golden Earring - wiki]. So yes, a big rock scene and a fun place too.

Q08. Did Cobra play many gigs or festivals?
We played all over Holland, both clubs and festivals. We opened up for Ten Years After in Amsterdam in the early seventies. Alvin Lee was a star then because of Woodstock. 

Paul Heppener (bass)
Q09. Can you tell us about the four 45s that Cobra released on the Polydor label?
I think 'The War Will Soon Be Over' was recorded at the Phonogram studio in Hilversum. I remember it must have been early January 1970. Haayen produced us and Cees Schrama played keyboards [aka 'Crazy Casey', also of Golden EarringCasey & The Pressure Group - wiki, RYM]. The second single was called 'I'm In Love' and it was a Haayen production too, record at the Soundpush Studio in The Hague. The third single was called 'So Dissatisfied', written and produced by Craig Bolyn from the US [ex-Nazz, prod. Ash Tray], same studio as the first one. The fourth single 'Don't Do Like I Do' was produced by former Earring drummer Jaap Eggermont, who would peak at Billboard #1 in the band 'Stars On 45' in the '80s. It was recorded at Soundpush also.

Q10. Do you have any favourite Cobra songs? Can you remember anything about playing any of them, like ones which were hard to play?
I really like So Dissatisfied. I like the bass playing in I'm In Love. There was nothing hard about playing these songs.

Q11. I really like Cobra's music, and all the members put in a great performance. While it’s generally got an anthemic sing-along melodic style like 'The War Will Soon Be Over (My Love)', there's glam rock ('Don't Do Like I Do'), and couple of heavier rockers like 'Midnight Walker' and 'I'm in Love'. There's also some slow blues like 'Schoolgirl Blues'. Can you explain your thoughts on the band’s versatility and what influenced the sound of Cobra?
Winston was the one who got the band together and he wanted a blues/rock band like Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple. He introduced me to the guitar playing style of Rory Gallagher. The War Will Soon Be Over was the odd one out, actually, but the combination of acoustic and electric playing intrigued some people. Later Winston proposed a style more like Mother's Finest, but that never came off. For blues influence we listened to BB King.

Q12. Who were the creative leaders of the band, if there were some?
The song writing was done by Winston and me. No songs were written by Michiel and Paul. I think him and me were the creative leaders, if indeed there were any. 

Q13. There is some extra orchestration on the song 'So Dissatisfied', which sounds like a mellotron/keyboard. Is this correct, and can you remember who played it, or was it put in later?
Craig Bolyn experimented with the Moog synthesizer and he got it on board during the recording. He also added some low string guitar work during the guitar solo.

First Patricia Paay LP (1969)
First Patricia Paay LP (1969)
Q14. 'Don't Do Like I Do' has some female backing vocals. Who did these vocals and how did that come about?
It was Jaap Eggermont's idea. He hired Dutch singer Patricia Paay [radio host, glamour model and television personality - wiki]. We hated Eggermont's production, he fucked it up and didn't even put his name on the record, so he knew he fucked up. The single was a flop.

Q15. 'What Next' is a mini progressive epic. It talks about world war, racism, greed and other such issues. It's longer, more philosophical, and quite different to all your other songs. What's the story behind that? It also has a very nice emotive guitar solo at the end, is that you playing?
That was Winston's work, those words. It was the time of hippies, peace and grass, so Winston was just exploiting the mood of the time, really. And yes, it's me on guitar.

Q16. What equipment did you use for your guitar sound in Cobra?
At first I used a Fender Stratocaster, later a Gibson SG which I've still got and used when recording Diesel's 'Sausalito Summernight', which peaked at Billboard #25 and #1 in Canada in 1981. For amplification I used Marshall.

Q17. I've been told that it was particularly hard for Dutch rock bands to get label money/backing to record a whole album in their home country back then, and they were often encouraged to focus on writing radio-friendly pop singles, in search of a 'hit'. Because of this, many bands with great hard-rock potential like Cobra made singles which may have been aimed more at commercial acceptance than what the bands actually wanted to sound like, and unfortunately made no albums. What are your thoughts on this? Did these issues affect Cobra?
It's the same everywhere: mainstream radio plays music for the average audience. If you want publicity you have to appeal to a large audience. We were moderately good in getting attention. It all went wrong when Eggermont overdid it with his pop song approach. By that time the band had grown tired of struggling. Myself and bass player Paul Heppener were especially unhappy with the situation.

Q18. 'The War Will Soon Be Over (My Love)' reached number 33 in the Dutch charts for two weeks. later-on 'So Dissatisfied' spent three weeks at #31. Did this encourage Cobra to aim higher?
You must first score better with singles before a recording company will spend money on you to make an album, we never got that far.

Q19. Do you think Cobra had the potential be more successful?
The band could have been bigger with some guidance and a better management.

Q20. How did the band end?
Paul Heppener and I made the decision to leave. We didn't like the lack of development, we disliked the manager who was filling his own pockets. Then Pim van der Linden joined on bass simultaneously with Ben de Bruin on guitar. Cobra lasted for a couple more years without success.

Q21. Is there anything notable you can tell me about what happened to any of the other guys after Cobra was finished?
Michiel Driessen made a living from having a duo with a keyboard player at parties. He bought his own apartment in the city of 's-Hertogenbosch so he must have been doing well. Winston went into business, he said. He must be a pensioner now, being 71 or 72 years old. Paul Heppener played in a group called Drama, and then later was in Shocking Blue, until singer Mariska Veres died. Ben de Bruin played with Rob Hoeke [and Herman Brood's Flash & Dance Band].

Q22. Do you have any final Cobra memories to share?
No, except that we had a lot of fun and I would not like to have missed the experience.

So there you have an explanation for how an original band with some initial success and lots of potential could lose momentum and fade away in the harsh pop world. I will be getting some stories on equally good bands from the same period later, so keep TDATS book-marked.

I asked Rob some further questions regarding his career after Cobra.

Q23. What did you do after Cobra? Can you tell us a little about how you came to play for Maywood (Dutch pop duo)?
After Cobra and an unsuccessful band called Centaur [also with Paul Heppener] I met guitarist Mark Boon who played in Smyle. Smyle's singer Bas Muijs sounded just like John Lennon and did the Beatles stuff for Eggermont's Stars on 45 later. Boon and me formed a band called The Hammer. Take a look here:

I play that red Gibson SG, as you can see. This was on a famous Dutch TV show around Sjef van Oekel. The Hammer had the same manager as Kayak. Pim Koopman was Kayak's drummer who later started producing artists like Maywood and Pussycat, for which Mark and myself were often hired as studio musicians.

Q24. It seems the band you started called Diesel had some great success, #1 in Canada! Can you tell me some more about them?
Later Pim joined Mark and me to form Diesel. Diesel had two hits in the Netherlands and Belgium with Goin' back to China and Down in the Silvermine. We recorded an album, Watts In A Tank. The opening song is Sausalito Summernight, written by Mark Boon and myself. [Sausalito Summernight on youtube] Both the album and the single got charted in the USA and Canada. In 1981 we toured the States and Canada for seven weeks, about forty gigs. Already before the American hit guitarist/singer/composer Mark Boon and bass player Frank Papendrecht had left. Later drummer/producer/composer Pim Koopman left to. Before the tour Mark rejoined. After the tour we recorded another album, without Pim, which flopped. I left. In 1987 Pim and me got together again, singer Jeroen Engelbert joined (he's the singer on the live version of Sausalito Summernight with Kayak in 2010 [below]). In 1987 we had another hit with the song Samantha. Diesel disbanded again in 1989. In 2000 Pim, me and some other guys recorded an album of covers with three original songs. The album was called Diesel on the rocks, You can find it on iTunes.

Q25. How did you come join Kayak late in its career?
Much later in 2001, when Kayak got together again, Pim asked me to join for one gig because guitarist Rob Winter had to play elsewhere. I never left. Here you can see Kayak playing Diesel's Sausalito Summernight during the Pim Koopman Tribute Concert at the Amsterdam Paradiso in 2010, one year after Pim's death:

Thanks for your time Rob, and thanks for the music!

As well as his musical career, Rob currently writes a weekly column for De Gelderlander newspaper, based in the Gelderland region of Holland. He gives special attention to healthcare, education, employment issues, and social absurdities. You can read his related blog here.

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And thanks for reading! Rich

© Richard Sheppard /
If you liked this one, you may like:
Vol96: Interview with Craig Carmody of Heat Exchange.
Vols 35, 63, 64, and 86: All Dutch-themed specials.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Day After The Sabbath 79: Dusty Track [heavy blues special]

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Dose o' blues number two....which now makes for three so far; Vol54Vol79 and Vol108. A few screaming, agonising blues crucifixions mixed in with the usual unstoppable fuzz, coming at you like the train that just keeps'a rolling.......

Arthur Lee
Arthur Lee was the guitarist with LA's psych band Love, he also made a few solo albums along the way before his unfortunate death from leukaemia in 2006. Our intro track is from the time of his first, 1972's 'Vindicator', and is included on the bonus-tracks version. It's such a great riff in this track and it's almost like doom rock, and we all know that blues and doom are pretty much the same thing....Fun Fact: "Lee’s [pre-Love] composition, 'My Diary' was his first to do well. It was written for R&B singer Rosa Brooks who performed and recorded it. The song included a man by the name of Jimi Hendrix (think you may have heard of him) on the electric guitar. Lee had seen him play with the Isley Brothers and asked for him. This is considered by many to be the first known studio recording of Jimi Hendrix playing guitar."

Track 2 is from a fave album of mine by the UK's Jodo. I have never been able to find a lot of info on them, though the members are Earl Jordan (vocals), Jon Taylor (guitar), Rod Alexander (bass) and William E. Kimber (drums). They made one very accomplished hard bluesy rock album in 1971 called 'Guts'. Earl Jordan is known to have sung in the 'Green Bullfrog' sessions with members of Deep Purple that I used back on Vol59. Guts is chock-full of awesome playing, swaggering riffs, and was engineered by Martin Birch who later worked with big names like Sabbath and Iron Maiden.

Mahogany back cover
Mahogany were a UK band who's guitarist John Mackay was also in a pub band called Brewers Droop with a young Mark Knopfler. I have not found much info on Mahogany but have found a scan of the album's  rear jacket with liner notes so here it is word-for-word, by american journalist/critic 'Marion Fredi Towbin' : "Produced by Tony Clarke, Engineered by Robin Thompson. There has been a lot of talk lately of a blues revival, nourished in Britain and overflowing to our shores. Names like John Mayall, Jo-Ann Kelly and Eric Clapton have become increasingly well-known and respected Stateside, and appearances by British blues artists have drawn S.R.O. crowds at the Fillimore East and West as well as the numerous smaller clubs and concert auditoriums throughout the United States. Now there's a new British blues group to reckon with, MAHOGANY. On This, their début Epic album, MAHOGANY proves that original blues material (they composed everything on the album), if played with skill and vitality, can elicit from an audience that pure gut level reaction - "I've-Been-There-Too" - which has always been the earmark of the blues. 
       MAHOGANY is comprised of four young performers, each of whom has had extensive musical experience prior to joining the group: Stephen Darrington (organ), Joseph Southall (bass), John Mackay (lead guitar, lead vocalist) and Paul Hobbs (drums). Although there are only four members of MAHOGANY, their musical skill is considerable; between three of them they play no less than ten instruments including trumpet, violin and classical guitar. (Drummer Paul Hobbs says somewhat apologetically that he only plays drums as they are, for him, "a lifetime.")
       (As I write this, I'm listening to MAHOGANY, drinking a fine English Tea, and thinking about the American Revolution--the 18th-century one. What, I wonder, would our great-great grandaddies--who severed their lives so totally from that of British subjects--think of our 20th-century coming together?)
       Back to the blues . . . like the great blues artists (and I'm thinking Muddy Waters in particular), MAHOGANY'S  music doesn't bring you down. Organist Stephen Darrington describes his compositions as "innumerable drunken 12 bar blues" filled as they are with wronged lovers, drinking bouts, packing up and parting times--but like the best of blues they're exhilarating, cathartic, and sometimes even happy."


I found the Hurriganes while researching for the Finnish TDATS (w.i.p), they are not really heavy enough to fit usually but this track goes nicely in this comp, they were apparently a very important band in Finland and highly regarded. 'It Aint What You Do' is taken from their most popular album, 1974's 'Roadrunner'.

The 5th track is from a Dutch (Nijmegen) band called Cobra. They shared drummer Cor van der Beek with another band that appears here later, Livin' Blues, and made a string of singles between 70-73. 'Midnight Walker' is the b-side to the more commercial 'The War Will Be Over Soon'.

Track 6 comes from another UK band, Ipsissimus. It seems they took their name from the tenth level of Aleister Crowley's magical order, the A∴A∴ 'Lazy Woman' is an absolute stormer and this band had talent. The single a-side was an equally-cool cover of the Rupert's People/The Fleur de Lys track Hold On. It was produced by Norman Smith of Beatles/Pink Floyd fame and I thank this page for the information.

Track 7 and we are half-way through. I must thank my online friends over at Sonidos Primitivos, they post albums and make the odd compilation of their own too, and it was this one on which I heard 'The Underground Electrics'. They are apparently yet another name used by the heavy fuzz psych-exploitation session band I used back on Vol16, 'The 31 Flavors', aka 'Firebird'. They made one Crown label album 'Hey Jude' as the electrics and you can find more info at HeavyPsychManBlog or RedTelephone66. 'The Syndicator' is a simplistic song but the sound is as crunchy as a peanut butter sandwich made with extra bolts.

Track 8 gives this volume it's name. Freedom were a UK band that had connection to a few other notable bands, by Clark Hutchinson bassist Walt Monagan (see Vol74), and Procul Harum (singer Bobby Harrison). Bobby Harrison and early Freedom member Ray Royer had both been in the original incarnation of Procol Harum for their début 'Whiter Shade Of Pale', but were ejected soon after for Robin Trower and Barry Wilson.

So, by the time of the 2nd album, 'Freedom', which I have used here, the lineup stabilised to a heavy blues power trio with a really strong three-part harmony thing going on as Walt Monaghan (bass), Roger Saunders (guitar) and Bobby Harrison (drums, vocals) were all great singers. 'Dusty Track' is a long song with a relaxed pace, but that riff never tires...

No prizes for guessing where the The Illinois Speed Press were from. They started life as The Rovin' Kind and moved to California. By the time the band had recorded their first album the core of the band was Paul Cotton (guitar, vocals) and Kal David (guitar, vocals) and they played together to give the band a very cool dual guitar sound, credited as inspiring Ronnie Van Zant and Gary Rossington to form Lynyrd Skynyrd. They were a regular at the Whisky a Go Go in Hollywood, and played at the first Newport Pop Festival, held in Costa Mesa, California, which was the first festival to record an attendance of over 100,000 paying rock fans. Kal David also played on the 'Merryweather & Carey' album that is featured in the TDATS Neil Merryweather special; Vol68. Paul and Kal have played some reunion shows under the speed press name in recent years.

Livin' Blues
Livin' Blues (from Den Haag, Holland) were a long-lasting blues troupe (recording into the 90's) who's lineup over the years was like a who's who of Dutch rock history, touching on Brainbox, Cobra (as mentioned previously), Shocking Blue, Q65, Sandy Coast and Gold Earring to name just a few. The track I have used here is two consecutive tracks that appeared on their third album, 1971's 'Bamboozle'. I particularly like the way 'Overture' morphs into a progressive jam around the halfway mark, but keeps the bluesy harmonica the whole time.

Next up is Boston's Dirty John's Hot Dog Stand. The album 'Return From the Dead' is a rollicking good-time blast of horns, blues and psych. It has recently been re-issued on the UK Kismet label. I have found a few brief accounts of this very short-lived curiosity: "Ace guitarist Kenny Paulson played on early rock classics such as Suzy Q by Dale Hawkins, and Tallahassee Lassie by Freddie Cannon before his career was derailed by heroin addiction. Following debilitating stints in jail and hospital in the late 1960s, he cleaned up and formed this quartet with former Ill Wind guitarist Carey Mann. Their sole album of guitar-led rock was released in June 1970, though sadly Paulson succumbed to his addiction in 1981."

"Good ole boy blues bar rock with gruff vocals- still the kinda thing you can hear coming out of an unlit local dive on some endless afternoon whenever the door swings open. Fuzz is definitely in evidence & one song is particularly Blue Cheer-ish & has sharp breakbeats as well (a version of 'Blue Skies'). Kenny Paulson played in Dale Hawkins' band & on Freddy Cannon records, & this band pairs him up with a guy from Ill Wind."

"A strange and crude psychedelic blues-rock album from a short-lived band based in Boston circa 1969-1970. One member (PJ Colt) later released a solo album in 1976 (associated with "Skunk" Baxter of Ultimate Spinach, Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers fame). Several vocalists ranging from a growly split-octave style to white-bread blues style to rock-n-roll howl style. An intriguing record on an unlikely label (Flying Dutchman). Mostly original compositions with a couple of covers (Blue Skies, Next Time You See Me). The originals range from hard-rock Led Zeppelin riff-based arrangements (I Won't Quit), to Johnny Winter style white-bread blues (Hard Drivin' Man). Some are beyond comparison (Waiting For Yesterday, River) and have melodic but unusual chord structures and are steeped in psychedelic washes of wah-wah or slap-back guitars and elaborate horn arrangements. The album is extremely rare, and even more so because a manufacturing error resulted in many copies with only one playable side." [The Dragonfly @ RYM]

Ernie Joseph
Big Brother Ernie Joseph was a Californian commune/family type group who recorded their first album in Hollywood. Before Big Brother, singer-guitarist Ernie Joseph was known as Ernie Orosco and was in many Santa Barbara outfits including Ernie and The Emperors, Ernie's Funnys and Giant Crab (for Giant Crab see Vol27). I have used their rip-roaring cover of a blues standard "St. James Infirmary Blues" which was popularised by Lois Armstrong but actually has roots in an English folk song about a soldier who uses his money on prostitutes, and then dies of a venereal disease! Ernie Joseph puts in an impassioned performance on this track which sounds like it must have been one of his career-best.

Burning Plague
Nearing the end now, we have a Belgian (Brussels) band called Burning Plague. They emerged from the split of Brussels band 'Four Of A Kind', the other splintering group that resulted was Kleptomania (see Belgian special Vol61). They made one album which  is now regarded as one of the very best of it's kind from Belgium and during their brief spot in the lime-light they played festivals like Belgium's premier Bilzen Rock & Jazz festival in 1970. Even so, English-born guitarist / singer / main composer Michael Heslop was disappointed with the CBS label support so dismantled the band and joined Doctor Downtrip (see Vol46 and Vol61), who made a few great tracks but didn't really go anywhere with their 3 albums which grew less and less interesting.

So another volume ends, I hope you enjoyed this dose of blues catharsis, and it plays out with 'Bad Luck Feeling' from The Meating, a really excellent progressive blues single. I thank the brilliant Aussie blog Rock On Vinyl for this info: "The Australian blues veteran, Matt Taylor has been playing his brand of Australian-twinged blues music since the mid-'60s. His first band, the Bay City Union, was formed in March 1966 and was one of Australia's first traditional Chicago blues bands. They issued one single, "Mo'reen"/"Mary Mary," in April 1968 before breaking up in July 1968 due to a general lack of interest in blues bands. Taylor briefly sang with the Wild Cherries before forming the Horse, and then briefly stepped in as lead singer with Cam-Pact for a two-week tour of Sydney during early 1970. He then joined blues band Genesis in February, who released a collaborative single with Carson County Band, titled "Bad Luck Feeling"/"Back Home" under the banner the Meating. They toured until August 1970 when Taylor left to join Chain."

Track list:

01. Arthur Lee - You Want Change for Your Re-Run (1972)
       from album 'vidicator'
02. Jodo - Nightmare (1971)
       from album 'guts'
03. Mahogany - Best Woman, Best Friend (1969)
       from album 'mahogany'
04. Hurriganes - It Ain't What You Do (1974)
       from album 'roadrunner'
05. Cobra - Midnight Walker (1971)
06. Ipsissimus - Lazy Woman (1969)
07. The Underground Electrics - The Syndicator (1968)
       from album 'hey jude'
08. Freedom - Dusty Track  (1971)
       from album 'freedom'
09. The Illinois Speed Press - Get In The Wind, Pt. II (1969)
       from album 'the illinois speed press'
10. Livin' Blues - Bamboozle / Overture (1972)
       from album 'bamboozle'
11. Dirty John's Hot Dog Stand - And Now I'm Comin' Home (1970)
       from album 'return from the dead'
12. Big Brother Ernie Joseph - Saint James Infirmary (1971)
       from album 'confusion'
13. Burning Plague - Life Is Nonsense (1970)
       from album 'burning plague'
14. The Meating - Bad Luck Feeling (1970)

Thanks for listening! Rich