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4 Reviews
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The spark that started the British blues boom, 21 Aug 2010
By 
G. E. Harrison (Cheltenham, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I've still got my vinyl copy of this record which was the first ever blues record by a British blues band (although Alexis and Cyril had recorded together before but more in the country blues idiom). In truth this is very jazzy, with the band consisting of mainly jazz players like Keith Scott on piano, Spike Heatley on bass and Graham Burbridge on drums but the jazzy instrumentals "Gotta Move", "Spooky But Nice", "Finkle's Cafe" and "Down Town" do all work very well.

Cyril Davies handles most of the vocals in a confident and very authentic way and his harp playing was miles ahead of any other British players at the time. A very young Long John Baldry also guests on vocals for "Rain is Such a Lonesome Sound", "How Long, How Long, Blues" and "I Thought I heard That Train Whistle Blow" and while his voice is already developed he doesn't have the relaxed authority of Davies. The ensemble playing is fine throughout but only Davies on harp or Dick Heckstall-Smith on tenor really contribute telling solos.

This record may sound a bit strange now but I still like its slightly eccentric line up and for many British people this would have been their introduction to blues and especially the songs of Muddy Waters like "I Got My Mojo Working" and "Hoochie Coochie Man" which are both featured. Many of the songs swing like mad and their raw enthusiasm makes up for the basic live sound and the unsophisticated approach. The overall sound mixes the Chicago blues that they aspired to with their roots in jazz and folk to produce a very individual sound that is uniquely British and of its time.

Make no mistake though this record was an underground classic and was the spark that started the British blues boom of the early 60s. Alexis Korner was mentor to the Rolling Stones, Paul Jones, John Mayall and Free and many of the blues-based bands that followed in the 60s and 70s. Unfortunately Cyril Davies sadly died before he could get the credit that he deserved or develop further but both Alexis and Cyril were pioneers of playing blues in Britain.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Blues Album, 18 Jan 2010
By 
K. Cliffe "Owls fan" (Polperro Cornwall) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I used to own this album on vinyl but sold a lot of LPs some time ago when moving house and downsizing. I got good money for it so I was delighted to be able to buy it again so cheaply. Alexis Korner is of course the Godfather of British R and B but for me the star of the album is Cyril Davies both for his singing and for his magnificent harmonica playing. Buy this album, it's tremendous quality and value!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CYRIL DAVIES - Superb harp player, 25 July 2013
G E Harrison of Cheltenham - your review is great. The vinyl original is one of my treasured records.

I can only add that anyone who wants to hear more Cyril Davies on harp should listen to his track Country Line Special - I am sure you can download it from many sites so I won't mention any particular site. Turn the sound up high and be prepared for lift off!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Classic Album, 30 Dec 2013
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Bought the LP years ago and still have it, but wanted the album on my MP3 player. Now I have it.

I don't think there is one bad track on this album. Cyril Davis really drives the band and was a great loss to music in the UK.

Buy it if you like early Stones and all the other early 60's UK bands, you won't regret it.
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