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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Blues Incorporated - "R&B From The Marquee"

Blues Incorporated - R&B From The Marquee
CD, Album, UK, 1962

Ground zero for British blues.  On paper it is a weird image of Europeans singing American black music.  But then again, why not?   What is important to me is the location.  And the title of this album says it all for me.  The Marquee Club.  Nevertheless this album is recorded in a recording studio somewhere in North London, and not in the legendary club.  But the pop/cultural monster that is in me pretends that this is a live recording in a rainy Soho night. 

Musically I don’t think it’s an important record, but on a historical cultural level super important.  So many British musicians probably owned or seen this band that it is probably tattooed on their DNA in some form or fashion.   The key players in this group is Alexis Korner on acoustic guitar, Cyril Davies on harmonica and vocal, Long John Baldry on vocals, and Dick Heckstall-Smith on saxophone.  A super band of sorts in the early era of Cliff Richard mania U.K.  

One thing I do imagine, and I think it is real, is these characters must have been a fascinating bunch.   Total obsession of a certain music, always makes a great character.  I will always love this album cover and the name of the band.  It is very romantic to me.