Friday, March 31, 2023

Johnny Fuller And The Phillip Walker Band - Fullers Blues (1974 us, stunning electric blues, 2015 remaster)

Johnny Fuller was a West Coast bluesman who left behind a spate of 1950s recordings that jumped all kinds of genre fences with seemingly no trace of his Mississippi born roots. He was equally at home with low down blues, gospel, R&B, and rock & roll, all of it imbued with strong vocals and a driving guitar style. Although his Mississippi roots were never far below the surface of his best work, Johnny is usually categorized as a West Coast bluesman. 

Making the Bay Area his home throughout his career, Fuller turned in classic sides for Heritage, Aladdin, Specialty, Flair, Checker, and Hollywood; all but one of them West Coast-based concerns. His two biggest hits, "All Night Long" and the original version of "The Haunted House," improbably found him in the late '50s on rock & roll package shows, touring with the likes of Paul Anka and Frankie Avalon! By and large retiring from the music scene in the '60s (with the exception of one excellent album in 1974), Fuller worked as a garage mechanic until his passing in 1985.
by Cub Koda

Recorded in 1974, Fuller's Blues was Johnny Fuller's much-belated full-length debut, and it also turned out to be his last record. That's too bad, because it certainly illustrates what he was capable of achieving. He runs the gauntlet here, pulling out jumping R&B numbers and acoustic blues with equal aplomb. It's an exhilarating listen -- it's just too bad there weren't more like it.
by Thom Owens
1. Tin Pan Alley (Bob Geddins) - 3:26
2. Fools Paradise (Bob Geddins, Johnny Fuller) - 3:06
3. Strange Land (Bob Geddins) - 4:35
4. 1009 Blues - 4:13
5. You Got Me Whistling - 2:49
6. But Bruce (David Ii) - 3:03
7. Bad Luck Overtook Me - 3:02
8. Hard Luck Blues - 3:15
9. Crying Won't Make Me Stay - 3:02
10.Miss You So (Larry Chatman) - 2:55
11.A Good Letting Alone - 4:01
12.Mercy, Mercy - 3:01
All songs by Johnny Fuller except where indicated

*Johnny Fuller - Guitar, Organ, Piano, Vocals 
*Phillip Walker - Guitar
*Tony Matthews - Guitar
*Dennis Walker - Bass
*Zaven 'Big John' Jambezian - Harmonica
*Johnny Tucker - Drums
*Arthur Woods - Piano 
*David Ii - Tenor, Baritone Saxophone 
*Mike O'Connel - Trumpet 

rep> Killing Floor - Killing Floor (1969 uk, effective hard blues rock, 2007 limited edition)

Killing Floor came together in 1968 when singer Bill Thorndycraft and guitarist Mick Clarke met up in a South London blues band. After one unsatisfactory gig with the band the two decided to form a new unit together..Bill suggested the name Killing Floor.

Bill had already met drummer Bazz Smith while touring in Germany, and ads in the "Melody Maker" music paper brought responses from bass player Stuart (Mac) McDonald and pianist Lou Martin.

The band rehearsed hard in various South London pubs and rehearsal rooms, learning a repertoire of Chicago blues standards, but adding their own rock influences. Their first live performance was at London's "Middle Earth" with Captain Beefheart, and soon the band was playing at all the blues clubs of the time, including appearances at London's Marquee club with The Nice and Yes. Favourite venues included the Blues Loft in High Wycombe where they literally brought the house down..the footstomping of the crowd bringing down the ceiling in the room below! 

The first album was released in 1969 on the Spark Label, a subsidiary of the Southern Music publishing group, and licensed in the USA by Sire Records. It got good reviews and airplay, and the band played sessions for John Peel, Johnny Walker, Alexis Korner and other national radio shows. 

The band was very much a part of the developing "blues boom" of the '60's which created many great bands. Free's Paul Kossof and Simon Kirke jammed with the band while waiting for their own tour to begin, and Robert Plant witnessed their version of "You Need Love" sometime before Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" was recorded. The band played concerts with Jethro Tull, Ten Years After and many other names of the time. 

In May 1969 the band was offered the chance of backing Texas blues legend Freddie King on his next U.K. tour. The package toured for three weeks, including concerts with Howlin' Wolf and Otis Spann. A further tour with Freddie followed a few weeks later, and a third tour was only called off after Freddie failed to receive his advance payment from the tour promoter. The band also backed up Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup, the writer of some of Elvis Presley's early hits.

Towards the end of 1969 the frustrations of the music business proved too much and the band split, with various members finding new projects to follow. But after a while a four-piece Killing Floor came together again. Blues music at this time, having been the "in" thing for the last year was now moving out of fashion, and it was hard for Killing Floor to find work in the U.K. The answer was to go abroad, with frequent trips to Germany and Switzerland.
1. Woman You Need Love (Willie Dixon) - 4:47
2. Nobody By My Side (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 4:51
3. Come Home Baby (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 4:03
4. Bedtime Blues (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 7:27
5. Sunday Morning (Martin) - 1:00
6. Try To Understand (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 2:35
7. My Mind Can Ride Easy (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 2:26
8. Wet (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke, Martin, Smith) - 0:39
9. Keep On Walking (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 4:56
10. Forget It (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke) - 5:30
11. Lou's Blues (Martin) - 2:37
12. People Change Your Mind (McDonald, Thorndycraft, Clarke, Smith) - 8:20

Killing Floor
*Bill Thorndycraft - Vocals, Harp
*Mick Clarke - Lead Guitar
*Lou Martin - Keyboards
*Bazz Smith - Drums
*Stuart McDonald - Bass

1971  Out Of Uranus (Japan remaster)

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