Monday, September 28, 2009

Eddie BOYD And His Blues Band Featuring Peter Green 1967

Eddie BOYD And His Blues Band Featuring Peter Green 1967
Label: Gott Discs


In 1967, producer Mike Vernon put Chicago pianist Eddie Boyd into the studio with John Mayall and the then current version of The Bluesbreakers: Peter Green on guitar, John McVie on bass and Aynsely Dunbar on drums - there were also horn players for one track and T.S. McPhee taking over for Green on two others. In three days they cut a whopping eighteen songs, sixteen of which make up this album. Boyd preferred a slower paced style of playing, with even his faster numbers having a more swinging feel rather than really rocking. Dunbar was probably not the best choice for a player like Boyd and it's here that John McVie really earns his reputation. Compare "Steakhouse Rock" with "Rack 'Em Back". Both of these are swinging instrumentals - the former just piano and drums. Dunbar starts off way too busy and one can only imagine the look on Boyd's face that got him to finally ease up before the number mercifully ends. The second has McVie beautifully controlling and containing Dunbar's excesses through an even faster number and the resulting tension as the players race to the finish make this a highlight. Peter Green shines in his too few moments. His still strong Clapton influence is clearly heard in the opening track "Too Bad - Part One" as he darts between the heavy piano chords with perfect, stinging fills and in his too brief solo. There is a second version of this song, titled "Too Bad - Part Two" which is really more like an alternate take, but Green's playing and slightly more expansive solo shows the style of playing he would soon begin developing further with his own band. Boyd's heavy hand and preference for short arrangements don't leave Green much room, but he offers strong support on the numbers he plays on and gets to stretch a bit in the closer "Night Time is the Right Time". Special word should be granted to T.S. McPhee for his slide playing on "Save Her Doctor" and "Dust My Broom". He runs some nice variations on the all too familiar riff of the latter, making it one of the album' s stronger numbers.
Mayall's early work as a sideman on sessions such as these is a sadly overlooked aspect of his career. On his three numbers here, each a piano / harmonica duet, he truly shines; his playing perfectly capturing the feel and tonality of his idols like the second Sonny Boy Williamson. These tracks all rate as highlights.
Over all, this is a very enjoyable set, not as strong as Fleetwood Mac's recording with Otis Spann a few years later, "The Biggest Thing Since Colossus" but recommended for fans of traditional blues with a spot of British flavor.
By Richard J. Orlando.
UK reissue of Mississippi-born Chicago blues pianist's second album, originally released in 1967 on Decca, features 16 tracks with such British blues boom luminaries as the the entire Bluesbreakers band, John Mayall, Peter Green, John Mcvie, & Aynsley Dunbar. Gott Disc. 2004.
Eddie Boyd- (Piano);
Tony McPhee- (Guitar);
John Mayall- (Harmonica);
Harry Klein- (Baritone Saxophone);
Albert Hall- (Trumpet);
Rex Morris, Bob Efford- (Tenor Horn);
John McVie- (Bass Guitar);
Aynsley Dunbar- (Drums);
Peter Green- (Guitar).
01. Too Bad - (Part 1, with Peter Green)     2.48
02. Dust My Broom - (with Peter Green)     2.39
03. Unfair Lovers - (with Peter Green)     3.36
04. Key to the Highway - (with Peter Green)     2.35
05. Vacation From the Blues - (with Peter Green)     2.07
06. Steak House Rock - (with Peter Green)     4.15
07. Letter Missin' Blues - (with Peter Green)     3.46
08. Ain't Doin' Too Bad - (with Peter Green)     3.14
09. Blue Coat Man - (with Peter Green)     2.32   
10. Train Is Coming, The - (with Peter Green)     4.29
11. Save Her, Doctor - (with Peter Green)     2.53
12. Rack 'Em Back - (with Peter Green)     3.30
13. Too Bad - (Part 2, with Peter Green)     2.50
14. Big Bell, The - (with Peter Green)     4.46
15. Pinetop's Boogie Woogie - (with Peter Green)     2.28
16. Night Time Is the Right Time - (with Peter Green)     3.07

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