Category ALBUM FOCUS

A MENTAL FOIBLE

It’s an album that looks both forward and backwards yet is entirely of its time. Infused with a spirit of exploration, it manages to sound uncertain and confused. A new player is feeling his way while the ghost of a departed leader haunts every groove. Flashback… Pink Floyd manager Peter Jenner was convinced Syd Barrett […]

CATHEDRALS, SONGS AND NABS (CSN)

Funny how bits of music-related fluff stick in the old bonce. Something passes through the cranium and waves a vague kind of greeting to the odd neurone or two, quickly fading into obscurity like the second Kajagoogoo single. Then, when you’re having a pleasant browse through the racks of your favourite recorded music emporium, this […]

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SIR REG!

It’s odd to think of Elton John as a Sixties artist. But Reginald Dwight first played and recorded in that decade of innocence and transformation, most notably with Long John Baldry in Bluesology. A solo career and an enduring song-writing partnership with fellow Englishman Bernie Taupin beckoned, as did one of the most famous name-changes […]

COUSIN HOOKER

Earl Hooker was an unsung hero of electric blues guitar. Born near Clarksdale, Mississippi, in 1930, Earl (middle name Zebedee) moved to Chicago with his family but left home at an early age to go play music. And play he certainly did, adding his Robert Nighthawk influenced slide playing to recordings by Sonny Boy Williamson, […]

HERE’S ONE I PREPARED EARLIER

I Find somewhere to sit, it doesn’t matter where. Imagine a musician entering the space and preparing to perform. Count to two hundred and seventy-three in beats as close to a second apart as you can manage. Applaud as the performer exits the space. You have just created a mental facsimile of the most famous […]

INNER RADIANCE

Edward Larry Gordon was a part-time actor and occasional zither player who supplemented his thespian income by busking in New York. In possibly one of the finest synchronicities in popular music, Brian Eno—in the Big Apple to work with avant-garde trumpeter Jon Hassell—placed a note in the busking Larry’s hat that read, ‘Would you like […]

LET IT GROW

When 461 Ocean Boulevard was released in July 1974, it is extraordinary to note that Eric Clapton, at twenty-nine years of age, was a veteran of The Yardbirds, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, and Derek and the Dominos. Not to mention two solo albums. Under 30 with more than fifteen album credits. Not bad, […]