Mick Abrahams — Revived!
(Gonzo Multimedia HST277CD, 2015, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2015-06-06Way back in ’68 after the release of the first Jethro Tull album This Was, Ian Anderson and guitarist Mick Abrahams came to irreconcilable differences about the direction the new group would take going forward, resulting in the guitarist’s exit from the group. The following year Blodwyn Pig’s debut LP Ahead Rings Out hit the street with Abrahams at the helm, with a second to follow in 1970. Since that time he’s had a long string of solo releases, with the Mick Abrahams Band, and periodic reformations of Blodwyn Pig, never straying far from his blues-rock roots. On this latest release, Abrahams, now in his 70’s and in the wake of some health problems, is revisiting some blues and R&R classics he’s always wanted to do, with a strong cast of supporting musicians including Bill Wyman, former Steely Dan guitarist Elliott Randall, legendary Manfred Mann singer Paul Jones, Abrahams’ eventual replacement in Jethro Tull, Martin Barre, Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden, and many others. Together they cover a number of rock and roll classics, like “Poison Ivy,” “Boney Maronie,” Chuck Berry’s “Nadine,” The Coasters’ “What About Us,” “I’m a Hog for You” where Abrahams is joined by Rhythm Kings singer Beverly Skeete, and “Bright Lights, Big City” with Abrahams and Paul Jones singing, the latter also contributing a great harmonica performance, with Marsden handling all the guitars. Interestingly enough, there are a couple cuts here where Abrahams doesn’t play or sing at all! But it’s not all cover tunes, in fact a handful of Abrahams originals are here, some co-written with Randall, and the Blodwyn Pig classic “Summer Day” is here in two different versions, one with Hammond organ by Josh Phillips, the other a more stripped down version without. In the companion DVD, Abrahams presents an introduction where he candidly discusses recent health issues, and introduces the various musicians that played on these sessions, and then it moves on to excerpts from the sessions themselves. Nothing earth-shattering here, just some rock and roll veterans having a whole lot of fun and reviving some great tunes in the studio.
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more