Archive for the ‘Eric Clapton’ Category

Willie Cobb

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Listen: You’re So Hard To Please / Willie Cobb
WillieCobb.mp3

Often referred to as Willie Cobbs, his Vee Jay singles all dropped the ‘s’, whereby Willie Cobb had his biggest selling, and most influential release from ’61. To be exact, it was Vee Jay VS 411. That record’s B side, ‘You Don’t Love Me’, unexpectedly became a most covered track half a decade later. Amongst others, The Allman Brothers Band and Quicksilver Messenger Service both lined up to incorporate it as a signature part of their respective sets.

Not being a guitarist myself, I would still venture to say, ‘You Don’t Love Me’ had both a universal message and musical simplicity that attracted many white players from the era. In fact, it was the version by John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers that not only drew my attention to the name in the writer’s bracket beneath the song, but also the similarity in guitar tones to that band’s releases around ’65-’66, when Eric Clapton was a member.

The single’s A side, ‘You’re So Hard To Please’, even better exposed the above. Way before exploring details about Willie Cobb was only a few clicks away, my luck meant stumbling on this very single amongst a one-stop salesman’s cast-off pile, often sitting untouched at my uncle’s vending business office on a Saturday morning when my Dad could, I’m sure, take me pestering for a visit no longer. I never did understand what the big deal was. They’d all stand around for a good hour and talk sports and stuff, and I’d clean out the office shelves of those nasty promos no one wanted.

My guess is Vee Jay re-serviced ‘You’re So Hard To Please’ around the time of the B sides’ discovery, thereby hoping to skim off some profits from the British blues frenzy afire amongst US college kids, all blindly insatiable for any electric blues track being hammered by their local underground stations, hence landing the pressing above.

One listen and you’ll agree, if anything was a sonic model for the Eric Clapton era John Mayall’s Bluebreakers, ‘You’re So Hard To Please’ was it.

Ray Charles & His Orchestra

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

Listen: Worried Life Blues / Ray Charles & His Orchestra
Worried

Big Maceo and Tampa Red are credited with ‘Worried Life Blues’, sometimes known and recorded as ‘Someday Baby Blues’. Combined, the song(s) clock in as one of the most recorded blues tracks ever, with Bob Dylan, The Blues Magoos, Eric Clapton, The Animals, Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters, Junior Parker, Keith Richards and B.B. King amongst the most familiar.

Ray Charles first cut ‘Someday Baby”, a very faithful version of ‘Worried Life Blues’ except for the title, on his THE GENIUS SINGS THE BLUES album. Later, this re-recorded and re-titled version made it’s way to a 7″ B side in the UK.

To some, ‘Worried Life Blues’ probably sounds like any old formula blues song 101. Despite his fetish for fur coats and loads of 70′s schlock covers, Ray Charles had the voice to always rise above the clutter, turning what might have been a throwaway single into a record I ended up playing a lot, and still do.

Alexander Jackson & The Turnkeys

Friday, August 26th, 2011

Listen: The Whip / Alexander Jackson & The Turnkeys
The Whip / Alexander Jackson & The Turnkeys

Guy Stevens, who ran Sue UK, was at his most adventurous around ’65 – ’66. Handfuls of obscure RnB records from small independent American labels were finding their way onto Sue and getting released in England monthly. One of the more bizarre chain of events involved this single.

Originally issued in the US as ‘Flea Pot’ by The Lala Wilson Band, Guy Stevens licensed the record and upon release as Sue (WI-386), changed both it’s title and artist to ‘The Whip’ by Alexander Jackson & The Turnkeys. One of the instrumentals that appealed to amphetamined Mods meant the band’s true identity started to become a topic.

Rumors of it being The Graham Bond Organization, with Eric Clapton sitting in on guitar sonically seemed possible given the single directly preceding it on Sue’s release schedule, Little Joe Cook’s ‘Stormy Monday Blues (Part 1 & 2)(WI-385), was an alias for Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds. As well, the two bands often shared nights at The Flamingo on Wardour Street. Seemed an easy possibility but alas, this was not the case.

Either way, with very few copies having sold, it’s value continues to perform like Apple stock, and rise with no end in sight.

Doris Troy

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

Jacob's Ladder / Doris Troy

Listen: Jacob’s Ladder / Doris Troy
DorisTroyJacob'sLadder.mp3

Although having recorded with The Rolling Stones, Humble Pie, Kevin Ayers, Dusty Springfield, Nick Drake, Junior Campbell and Pink Floyd, it was The Beatles, and especially George Harrision, who seemingly had the real jones for Doris Troy. Signing to their Apple label, she was afforded a self produced long player, DORIS TROY. Apple issued two singles from it, the second being a remake of the biblical folk/gospel standard, ‘Jacob’s Ladder’.

Get Back / Doris Troy

Listen: Get Back / Doris Troy
Get

Both Apple 7′s luckily had non-LP B sides from the album sessions. For the flip of ‘Jacob’s Ladder’, the basically still current ‘Get Back’ was used. In general, the overall recording approach for the project was very 1970, it’s a total Mad Dogs & Englishmen shamble/jam. No musician credits are listed on the album sleeve although it’s widely accounted that Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Stephen Stills, Leon Russell, Bill Wyman and Peter Frampton all joined George Harrison in it’s recording.

Casey Jones & The Governors

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

CaseyJones, Casey Jones & The Govenors, Huey Piano Smith, Philips, Eric Clapton, Tom McGuiness

Listen: Don’t Ha Ha / Casey Jones & The Governors CaseyJonesHaHa.mp3

Casey (real name Duncan) Jones left Liverpool for London stumbling around with rotating-door lineups that included Eric Clapton and Tom McGuinness in his band The Engineers. Like a few before them, off to Germany they went. Why I’m not sure. I always thought England was the happening place in the 60′s. It was in Hamburg that Casey Jones & The Governors formed and had some success as a live band, basically reinventing RnR standards of the day with a Beat Goup twist.

I picked this up in one of those 39ยข bins of flop 45′s at a Two Guys Department Store near the Thruway in Syracuse back in ’74. It was a treasure trove, predominantly loads of Philips/Smash/Mercury/Fontana titles, for some reason.

Listen once and you’ll hear that it’s Huey Piano Smith’s ‘Don’t You Just Know It’. Smith is credited as writer and the title switch fooled me into thinking it was an original for years.

Derek & The Dominoes / Duane Allman / Elton John / Toe Fat

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad (Mono Edit)/ Derek & The Dominoes

Listen: Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad (Mono Edit)/ Derek & The Dominoes DerekWhyDoesLove.mp3

Bad Side Of The Moon / Toe Fat

Listen: Bad Side Of The Moon / Toe Fat ToeFat.mp3

Toe Fat US Picture Sleeve
US Picture Sleeve: Front (above) / Back (below)


Toe Fat US Picture Sleeve

On December 4, 1970, Derek & The Dominoes/Elton John/Toe Fat played the Syracuse War Memorial. Truth be told, I went to this show more to see Toe Fat than either Derek & The Dominoes or second on the bill, Elton John. It was all about those obscure UK bands for me, and with Cliff Bennett on lead vocals, Toe Fat, despite the dreadful name, were of big interest.

It was Elton John’s first US tour and to be fair, I was pretty curious. He was great by the way, just a three piece then with Nigel Olsson and Dee Murray. He proceeded to do ‘Bad Side Of The Moon’, despite it being the current single for Toe Fat, who played it as well just before his set. Still remember John Glascock on bass, later in Chicken Shack when I booked them at my college in December 71 and eventually joining Jethro Tull. He had a definite groove to his style and probably made the band swing the way they did.

This show, reviewed below, was one of only two that Duane Allman played live with Derek & The Dominoes. Like the poorly written recap, journalist Terry Lee clearly had no clue about this major moment, despite the roar of the audience when Eric Clapton brought Duane Allman out for the second song onwards. I recall an interview with Duane whereby he mentioned doing Syracuse and Tampa only. Despite his participation on LAYLA, it was one of the lucky moments to see it all live. Years later I quite appreciated the whole Delaney & Bonnie & Friends/Leon Russell feel, and admittedly this show was spectacular despite walking in as a Toe Fat fan. Probably the world’s only.

Derek, Elton, Toe Fat Review

Delaney & Bonnie & Friends

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Never Ending Song Of Love - Delaney & Bonnie & Friends

Listen: Never Ending Song Of Love – Delaney & Bonnie & Friends 06 Never Ending Song Of Lov.mp3

I never got too deeply into that American country sound, the occasional single by The Band or Poco once in a while, I guess. In hindsight, the more country/blues, loosely shambled records actually appeal from time to time. Seems like everybody has forgotten about Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. Probably best known for letting Eric Clapton join their band after the success of The Cream, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and The Yardbirds was just too much to handle, they seemed to fade away as soon as he left. Don’t know about you, but I never hear them anywhere. Bonnie Bramlett got into a scrabble with Elvis Costello after he’d made a racial slur towards blacks in a hotel bar once. So I do give her props for that. Once in a while, I like the laziness of their back porch sound to be honest.