Music That You Need to Hear
We live in a time where you can find any music in just a few seconds on the various streaming services and amazing live concerts on YouTube. I find myself falling down musical rabbit holes for hours! I have recently become aware of a few albums that I never knew existed. For someone raised on great Blues-Rock, finding this stuff is like finding presents under the tree on Christmas morning.
A couple of weeks ago a customer and I were talking about music and he turned me on to an album released just this past May titled “John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – Live in 1967” appeared. The lineup featured Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, and of course John Mayall. This is the lineup that launched Peter Green into the big leagues, following Eric Clapton briefly in the Bluesbreakers before starting up the original Fleetwood Mac. Sadly, we have only three Mac albums with the original and scintillating Peter Green before he fell victim to drugs and mental health problems.
Back in ’67 a Dutch fan named Tom Huissen surreptitiously recorded the Blues breakers at several venues in Europe; these recordings have now been unearthed and cleaned up as much as possible. The result is relatively lo-fi, but musically is a tremendous find as the band sounds fantastic and Greenie is on fire throughout.
Eddie Hazel burst on the scene with the early psychedelic Funkadelic, playing some of the most scorching guitar of the era on tunes like “Maggot Brain”. Sadly, he too developed a serious drug problem and actually spent time in prison. After the first three Funkadelic albums, Hazel appeared significantly on only one more album, the wonderful “Standing on the Verge of Getting It On”. He did a couple of solo things that were ok over the subsequent years. Eddie passed away in 1992, so I was shocked to locate a live 1990 performance, “Eddie Hazel A Night for Jimi Hendrix Live at the Lingerie Club , Hollywood 1990”. He is playing with some group called “Krunchy” and the sound quality is pretty terrible. Truthfully, Krunchy is pretty terrible too, but listening to Eddie freaking Hazel playing Hendrix covers more than makes up for any shortcomings. His playing was still amazing, and he is joined by Bernie Worrell for a “Maggot Brain” finale. There is also an album of rehearsals, but I found the sound quality so poor that it was not enjoyable.
My final selection here is not some super secret live recording by long gone giants. I stumbled upon a concert on YouTube of “Bbm Live”, recorded in 1993 at Rockaplast. As in Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and the underrated Gary Moore taking Clapton’s place as they blast through a stream of Cream covers. What makes this interesting is how good Moore was at playing Clapton. Some of you may know that Moore bought Peter Green’s famous ‘holy grail’ Les Paul, and he’s playing it here. The guitar tone is fantastic; the whole thing is pure pleasure. They did a studio album also, which was decent but not memorable.
We have so little music by Green, Hazel, and Cream that even relatively rough sounding recordings are a treasure all these years later.
- John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers Live 67 https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCQXaEoLO2qDTObDBm9oZIiBHq8YvNs8U
2. Eddie Hazel A Night for Jimi Hendrix Live at the Lingerie Club , Hollywood 1990
3. BBM Live (Bruce, Baker, Moore)