Groundhogs - Solid (Classic Bluesrock UK 1974)

Selasa, 23 Oktober 2012

Size: 90.1 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

On the surface, the Groundhogs could easily have become one of the dozens of British "blooze and boogie" bands that cropped up in the late '60s and early '70s in the manner of Savoy Brown or Foghat, but Tony (T.S.) McPhee's ideas and ambitions were just eccentric enough to push the band into directions too challenging for most mainstream listeners, and as with much of their catalog it's McPhee's sense of invention that makes 1974's Solid memorable. Recorded in McPhee's home studio with Clive Brooks on drums and Peter Cruickshank on bass, most of Solid's nine numbers are anchored by the sonic overdrive of McPhee's guitar playing, which twists blues figures through psych and progressive frameworks, while the doomy poetics of his lyrics don't so much establish the mood of the songs as reinforce the tone of the music. While Brooks and Cruickshank are a fine rhythm section, giving these songs the muscle and backbone to make the most of their hard rock leanings, this is obviously McPhee's show, and an impressive show it is. Not too many guys would think to lay a Mellotron or a fuzzy synthesizer over a heavy blues jam, or run his recordings through such a remarkable maze of phase shifting and ping-pong panning, but in his own small way McPhee's music is in the grand tradition of the great eccentrics of British rock, and that windmill-tilting spirit is what Solid is all about -- it's not a freak masterpiece like Thank Christ for the Bomb or Who Will Save the World?, but if you dug the twists and turns of those albums you owe it to yourself to give this a listen. 

The Groundhogs is a British blues band founded in late 1963, that toured extensively in the 1960s, achieved prominence in the early 1970s and continued sporadically into the twenty-first century.

Originally formed in 1962 as The Dollar Bills by brothers Pete and John Cruickshank (born in 1943, in Calcutta, West Bengal, India) in New Cross, London, Tony McPhee, the lead guitarist in an instrumental group called the Shcenuals, joined the group later that same year. McPhee steered them towards the blues and renamed them after a John Lee Hooker song, "Groundhog's Blues".

John Cruickshank suggested they became John Lee's Groundhogs when they backed John Lee Hooker on his 1964 UK tour: they later supplemented Little Walter, Jimmy Reed and Champion Jack Dupree when they toured the UK. McPhee featured on Dupree's From New Orleans to Chicago (1966) alongside Eric Clapton. The Groundhogs issued "Shake It" b/w "Rock Me" on the Interphon record label in January 1965.

Their line-up on their first album, Scratchin' the Surface, released in November 1968, consisted of Tony McPhee (born Anthony Charles McPhee, 22 March 1944, at Redlands House near Humberston, Lincolnshire, England) as singer and guitarist; bassist Peter Cruickshank (born 2 July 1945, in Calcutta, West Bengal, India); Ken Pustelnik on drums (born 13 March 1946 on a farm near Blairgowry, Angus, Scotland) and Steve Rye on harmonica (born 8 March 1946 in London – died 14 July 1992, in London). In 1969, the single "BBD" (Blind Deaf Dumb) flopped in the UK but hit number one in Lebanon.

The group's album releases Thank Christ For The Bomb (May 1970); Split (March 1971); and Who Will Save the World? The Mighty Groundhogs (March 1972), recorded as a trio without Rye, all reached the Top 10 in the UK Albums Chart. Split reached number 5, spending 27 weeks in the UK Albums Chart and achieved gold record status, while a single release from the album, "Cherry Red", was featured on BBC Television's Top of the Pops programme on 22 April 1971.

They supported The Rolling Stones on their 1971 British tour at the request of Mick Jagger and released an album of their live set on the Stones tour, recorded at Leeds University and called Live at Leeds. All these albums and live shows were performed by the classic power trio of Cruickshank, McPhee and Pustelnik. 1974's album Solid saw a last return to the charts.

After breaking up in 1976 they came back as a largely live act almost a decade later with a different line-up. At times in the 1990s McPhee alternated two line-ups, one with a second guitarist. After years of performing and recording for a loyal following, original manager Roy Fisher put together a short-lived 'original line-up' to celebrate their fortieth anniversary. McPhee left the band again in order to pursue an acoustic career, leaving Cruickshank and Pustelnik to continue, subsequently forming 'The Groundhogs Rhythm Section' with invited frontmen, latterly with Eddie Martin, while McPhee embarked on a major tour in 2004 with Edgar Winter and Alvin Lee and issued an acoustic blues album Blues at Ten.

McPhee put together a new band in 2007, with long-time Groundhogs bassist Dave Anderson (ex-Hawkwind) and Marco Anderson on drums. This trio toured England in 2008 with Focus and Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash. The 2009 line-up of Tony McPhee's Groundhogs comprised McPhee, Anderson and previous long-term drummer Mick Jones. Their rhythm section's latest recruit, Bob Bowles, joined in March 2010.

01. Light My Light 6.23
02. Free From All Alarm 5.14
03. Sins of the Father 5.29
04. Sad Go Round 2.55
05. Corn Cob 4.46
06. Plea Sing, Plea Song 3.43
07. Snow Storm 3.28
08. Joker's Grave 8.41

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