Hi everyone, we’re moving right along with our look at Blues Rock music of the 1960s!
Our bands for the third week of March are: Canned Heat, The Blues Project & Savoy Brown.
And before we dig into our music of the week we should all take our hats off to the late, great Rock N’ Roll pioneer Chuck Berry who died this past weekend week at age 90.
Here’s a link to Berry’s New York Times obituary:
And his Bio page on the AllMusic site which also features a discography, should you wish to peruse it:
And on to our music posting on Blues Rock!
This week, as usual, we’ll be offering suggestions of music you can listen to both by streaming it through the library’s digital Freegal Music Service* and by checking out albums available in the library’s compact disc collection.
Our weekly music postings have the following sections:
I. Brief Artist Bios
II. Freegal Music Recommendations Of The Week (streaming music)
III. CD Music Recommendations Of The Week
IV. Videos Of This Weeks’ Artists/Groups
V. Wild Card Print Book Recommendation Of The Week (a print book that focuses on a musician, musicians, songwriters or other musical genres, styles etc. from any musical era)
VI. References (for those who’d like to know a bit more about the artists of the week).
I. Brief Artist Bios:
Canned Heat: Canned Heat was formed, in the California in the mid-sixties, by two huge blues fans Bob “The Bear” Hite and Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson. Hite sang and played harmonica and Wilson sang and played harmonica and guitar. Hite and Wilson were joined in the band’s original line-up by Henry Vestine on guitar, Larry Taylor on bass and Fred Cook on drums.
The band played great boogie blues rock and even played at two of the largest and most influential rock festivals of the 1960s – The Monterey Pop Festival and Woodstock. Despite playing some great music and getting huge exposure at the Monterey and Woodstock Festivals, the group never did break through to the main stream American audience, although they remain popular with classic rock and blues rock fans and are worthy of a listen!
Canned Heat’s best known songs are: On The Road Again, Going Up Country and Let’s Work Together. Canned Heat released the following albums in the sixties: Canned Heat, Boogie with Canned Heat, Living The Blues and Hallelujah.
Unfortunately, both Wilson and Hite died at young; Wilson in 1970 at age 27 and Hite in 1981 at age 37.
The Blues Project: The Blues Project was formed in Greenwich Village, New York in the mid-sixties, and its premier line up of that era included: Steve Katz and Danny Kalb on guitars, Andy Kulberg on bass and flute, Roy Blumenfeld on drums and singer songwriter Al Kooper on vocals and keyboards.
The Blues Project played blues based rock which sounds sort of like a cross between the blues and popular British Invasion music of the era.
After their tenure with The Blues Project, its two best known players, Kooper and Katz, went on to co-found the band Blood, Sweat and Tears. Although Kooper didn’t stay with BS&T long and was succeeded by David Clayton Thomas on vocals. After hanging out with BS&T for couple of years, Katz moved behind the musical scenes working first at A&R records and later becoming the managing director of the folk label Green Linnet Records – he has since retired and lives in New York City. The multi-talented singer/songwriter Kooper continues to record and perform.
Savoy Brown: The band Savoy Brown was one of the great British Blues bands of the 1960s. The group was formed by guitarist Kim Simmonds and really was his baby. The original band consisted of Simmonds on guitar, Bryce Portius on vocals, Martin Stone on guitar, Ray Chappell on bass, Bob Hall on keyboards and Leo Manning on drums. Simmonds was known for being both the leader and the dominant personality in the band and this lead to a great overturning of band members through the years. However, Simmonds plays great blues guitar music and has continued to record and preform concerts with Savoy Brown from its inception in the late sixties to the present day.
Savoy Brown’s sixties albums are: Shakedown, Getting to the Point, Blue Matter and A Step Further. Savoy Brown features what I would describe as heavier blues than either Canned Heat or The Blues Project – to my ears their music leans more towards 1970s blues than 1960s blues as is the case with the other two groups.
To access Freegal Music from a desktop or laptop simply click on the following link:
The Freegal Music Catalog homepage will display — it looks like this:
The Freegal Music app can be found in your app store and it looks like this:
II. Freegal Music Recommendations Of The Week:
Canned Heat – Vintage:
This album features studio recordings that were done by the group just prior to recording their first album. The Vintage album was produced by the great musician and record producer Johnny Otis and includes the songs Rollin’ And Tumblin’ (Part 1), Big Road Blues, Spoonful, Got My Mojo Working, Pretty Thing, Louise, Dimples and more.
Here’s a link to stream the Vintage album:
The Blues Project – Al Kooper’s Soul of a Man:
The Freegal Music Catalog doesn’t feature any of the albums by the Blues Project. However, they do offer a great collection by singer/songwriter and musician Al Kooper. The album is a live one titled Soul of a Man and features Kooper backed by a solid band that included members from both Blood, Sweat & Tears & The Blues Project.
Here’s a description of the album from the record company, which gives you an even better idea of what a great, but under-sung, player Al Kooper is: “If Al Kooper isn’t a living American musical legend, no one is. Who else has performed with Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Jimmy Hendrix and countless others? And not just performed but been an important component of legendary songs (how about the Hammond organ on both Dylans’ Like a Rolling Stone and The Stones’ You Can’t Always Get What You Want)? As a solo artist he is best known for his work as a founding member of both the Blues Project and Blood Sweat and Tears. Many more famous recordings have followed and lead us to this great selection – a CD that is, in my opinion, a classic: a two-CD Al-fest. Recorded live at NYC’s Bottom Line, Al performs his great tunes from the Blues Project and Blood Sweat and Tears, as well as his solo recordings such as I Stand Alone. The excitement from the packed audience is only rivaled by the intensity Al and the band bring to such classics as I Can’t Quit Her, Somethin’ Goin’ On and New York City (You’re a Woman). It’s Blues, Jazz, Rock and Roll and a great time, as only Al Kooper can bring.”
This is a wonderful collection of music that flows smoothly on and on through all 19 songs – check it out!
Here’s the link to stream Soul of a Man:
Savoy Brown – Songs From The Road:
The Freegal Music Catalog features several Savoy Brown albums although none of their sixties albums. However, this live collection, from 2013, features a number of classic songs including: 24/7, Natural Man, Time Does Tell, Voodoo Moon, Hellbound Train, Little Red Rooster, Louisiana Blues and more.
And just as one can describe The Al Kooper album Soul of a Man as sounding like smooth whiskey – Kim Simmonds playing, if you’re not familiar with it, might be described a newly made raw whiskey as his style is a rougher one.
Here’s a link to stream the album Songs From The Road:
Bonus Freegal Streaming Suggestion: Blues Anytime – Vol.1 An Anthology Of British Blues by various artists:
While I was researching which albums from our trio of bands this week are available in the Freegal Music Catalog, I came across a gem titled Blues Anytime – Vol.1 An Anthology Of British Blues. This album digs a little bit deeper into The British Blues artists of the 1960s then we have time for this month. Major league disclaimer – I am a huge fan of the blues in general and The British Blues in particular. So I recognized the collection at once for containing some great British Blues players that aren’t well known on this side of the Atlantic, as well as some that are! The artists on this collection include, T.S. Mcphee, Jo Anne Kelly (she has a great earthy type voice), Stone’s Masonry, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton and even a jam session featuring Clapton and Jimmy Page.
This is a fun album!
Here’s a link to stream the album Blues Anytime – Vol.1 An Anthology Of British Blues:
One of These Days by Pink Floyd:
This song is one of several Pink Floyd tunes, available in the Freegal catalog, that was recorded at the B.B.C. and released under the banner of Pink Floyd: The Early Years. One of These Days was recorded in September of 1971. And the other songs in the series found in the Freegal Catalog are: Fat Old Sun, More Blues, Song 1 and Vegetable Man. Additionally, you’ll find many other Pink Floyd albums in the Freegal Catalog including Piper At The Gates of Dawn, Saucer Full of Secrets, Dark Side of the Moon etc.
Here’s the link to stream the song One of These Days:
III. Compact Discs Recommendations:
1. Canned Heat – Boogie With Canned Heat:
This is Canned Heat’s second album released in 1968. The AllMusic review of this album describes it by saying “ Canned Heat’s second long-player, Boogie with Canned Heat (1968), pretty well sums up the bona fide blend of amplified late-’60s electric rhythm and blues, with an expressed emphasis on loose and limber boogie-woogie.”
And I agree with that description! This album really is full of fun up-tempo boogie blues rock tunes including the band’s signature song On The Road Again. Other songs in this set that were included on the original album are: Evil Woman, My Crime, World In A Jug, Turpentine Moan (with Sunnyland Slim on piano), Whisky Headed Woman No. 2, Amphetamine Annie, An Owl Song, Marie Laveau, and Fried Hockey Boogie. Additionally, the album features six bonus tracks including an alternate version of On The Road Again.
Here’s a link to request the Boogie With Canned Heat CD:
2. The Blues Project – Projections:
This is considered by many to be the best album by The Blues Project. As with Canned Heat, this is their second album and it sounds to me like they needed to record their first album to get warmed up and when they went into the studio to record this one they were relaxed and ready and the songs just flowed out onto the vinyl. The songs on the album are: I Can’t Help From Crying, Steve’s Song, You Can’t Catch Me (written by the late, great Chuck Berry), Two Trains Running, Wake Me, Shake Me, Cherry’s Going Home, Flute Thing, Caress Me Baby and Fly Away.
Here’s a link to request the Projections CD:
3. Savoy Brown – Blue Matter:
I’m breaking with the pattern here and recommending you give Savoy Brown’s third album a listen! Blue Matter was released in 1969 and features the classic 1960s version of the band including Simmonds, Chris Youlden on vocals with “Lonesome” Dave Peverett, Roger Earl & Tony “Tone” Stevens. Songs on the album include: Train To Nowhere, Tolling Bells, She’s Got A Ring In His Nose And A Ring On Her Hand, Vicksburg Blues, Don’t Turn Me From Your Door, Grits Ain’t Groceries, May be Wrong, Louisianan Blues and It Hurts Me Too.
Here’s the link to request Blue Matter via StarCat:
Wild Card CD or DVD Pick Of The Week:
Woodstock 40th Anniversary Concert DVD:
Inspired by the mention of The Blues Project playing at The Monterey International Pop Festival earlier in this posting, this week I’m going to stay in the 1960s and, as the Wild Card Pick of the Week, recommend the 40th Anniversary Edition of the Woodstock Concert – the official title of which is: Woodstock: Three Days of Peace & Music (Two-Disc 40th Anniversary Director’s Cut).
The concert features music by Jimmy Hendrix, Joan Baez, Joe Cocker, The Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Country Joe and the Fish, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Arlo Guthrie, Sly And The Family Stone, Richie Havens and more. The Director’s Cut edition features 40 extra minutes of footage not include in the original release.
Here’s a link to request the Woodstock 40th Anniversary Concert DVD:
IV: Videos Of This Weeks’ Artists/Groups:
Canned Heat – On The Road Again
This video was recorded in front of a studio audience for the show BeatClub, which I believe was German TV show.
Here’s the link:
The Blues Project – Flute Thing
This video was recorded at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival:
Savoy Brown – Kim Simmonds / Savoy Brown
Street Corner Talking
This song was recorded in 2014 at The Franke Center in Marshall Michigan and is the title track from Savoy Brown’s 1971 album of the same name:
The 100 Greatest Bands of All Time: A Guide to the Legends Who Rocked the World [2 volumes]:
A Guide to the Legends Who Rocked the World edited by David Moskowitz. The is a great two book collection which is remincant of the Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll which was a great book but is dated now – the last edition having been published in 2001. This two volume set features biographies, discorpahies and references regarding, as the title says, The 100 Greatest Bands Of All Time – rock bands
This one-of-a-kind reference investigates the music and the musicians that set the popular trends of the last half century in America.
• Contains an alphabetical collection of entries that each profile a major group and band from the past 60 years
• Provides a selected discography and bibliography for further listening and reading for each entry
• Covers a wide variety of styles from classic rock to surf rock to hip hop
• Features sidebar entries which tie together larger popular music concepts such as the rise and influence of MTV and the phenomenon of girl bands
Here’s the link to request the book in StarCat:
VI. General References & Artist Specific References:
Al Kooper Biography by Bruce Eder
The Billboard Book of Top 40 Hits by Joel Whitburn (Billboard Books. New York. 2009.)
Kim Simmonds – Artist Biography by Charlotte Dillon
Robert Hite – Obituaries – New York Times
Sixties Rock: A Listener’s Guide by Robert Santelli (Contemporary Books. Chicago. 1985.)
Soul Of A Man AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder
Steve Katz Biography by Bruce Eder
Band Specific References:
The Blues Project Biography by Richie Unterberger
The Blues Project – Projections – AllMusic Review by Dan Forte
Canned Heat Biography by Bruce Eder
Canned Heat – Boogie with Canned Heat AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer https://goo.gl/1S5q5g
Savoy Brown Biography by Steve Huey
Savoy Brown – Blue Matter AllMusic Review by Peter Kurtz
Vintage – Canned Heathttps://goo.gl/7qfjTh
Have a great day!
P.S. If you have any questions about how to download or stream free music through the Freegal Music service to a desktop or laptop computer or how to download and use the Freegal Music app let us know! Drop by the library or give us a call at: 607-936-3713
*You must have a library card at a Southern Tier Library System member library to enjoy the Freegal Music Service. Your card can be from any library in the system, and the system includes all public libraries in Steuben, Chemung, Yates, Schuyler and Allegheny Counties and including our own Southeast Steuben Count Library in Corning, New York. Library cards are free and at our library you can obtain one by visiting the Circulation Desk and presenting staff with a form of ID that features both your name and your current address.