Thursday, December 17, 2009
McKenna Mendelson Mainline - No Substitute 1975
Born Birrell Josef Mendelson, on July 30th, 1944 in Toronto, Ontario Canada, Joe taught himself to play his sister’s Gibson guitar at age eleven. His musical idols were Little Richard, Jimmy Reed, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis.
In 1964 at age nineteen, Joe Mendelson became a professional singer-songwriter-musician. His debut was at The Depression coffee-house in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Four years later he formed a bluesy rock band with guitarist Michael McKenna. They made five albums under the banner Mainline. In 1972, Joe recorded his first of many solo albums. Mr. Middle of the Road (on GRT) was very much a solo effort, in that he played all the instruments, sang and wrote the songs.
1975 marked the beginning of Joe’s career as a painter. He recorded two more albums, Sophisto, and a reunion LP with Mike McKenna entitled No Substitute. He also became known as Mendelson Joe.
From 1979 to 1981 Mendelson recorded three more albums for the Stompin’ Tom- owned Canadian label Boot Records. – “Not Homogenized”, “Jack Frost” and the controversial “Let’s Party”. In 1984 Stony Plain Records released “Some of The Best of Mendelson Joe/The Name of The Game Ain’t Schmaltz”. Several of Joe’s songs have been covered by the likes of guitar-genius Amos Garrett, crooner Noel Harrison and even the characters of Sesame Street.
By 1988, Mr. Joe was becoming very skilled at producing his own records, along with guitarist Colin Linden. When singer Geddy Lee of RUSH heard Joe’s latest master tape, Lee encouraged his label, Anthem, to release “Born To Cuddle”. In 1981, Anthem released the hard edged bluesy “
Addicted” LP, along with the support video “Passion”.
Throughout the years ’92 to ’98, Mendelson continued writing and recording his songs*. His work reflects his passions and convictions. The romantic lament “I Think of You” shows Mr. Joe’s softer side.
01. Meet You Beat You (2:18)
02. Sometimes (2:36)
03. Do My Walkin' (2:21)
04. Get To You (5:22)
05. Dictator (4:11)
06. Digging The Holes (2:44)
07. No Substitute (3:02)
08. I've Been Lucky (1:55)
09. Give It To Me Straight (7:17)
10. It's Been A Treat (2:28)