Friday, November 29, 2013

CYRIL DAVIES and THE ALL STARS - SOMEDAY BABY (The Beginning British Blues LP, Immediate Records)

Cyril Davies was truly the father of the British blues movement, both in his age (he was born about ten years before the fellas who went on to become household names) and his early adaptation of Chicago-style electric blues as played by English musicians. Sadly, Davies died in early 1964  (at age 32) and completely missed out on the massive success of the musicians who followed in his footsteps.

While running a skiffle club in the '50's, Davies became enamored of the harmonica stylings of Chess Records/ Chicago blues legend Little Walter, and it turns out that Cyril was also a natural to play in that style. At some point in the '50's, his skiffle club morphed into London's premier blues club, and hosted many of the great American blues artists.

The group that Davies put together in 1962 (initially Blues Incorporated) featured a virtual who's who of future English stars- Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Eric Burdon and Ginger Baker (to scratch the surface) were either full fledged members or guests, who appeared on the legendary R&B From The Marquee LP. Eventually, the group splintered, as several members wanted to go in a more commercial R&B direction, while Davies and Long John Baldry continued on in a pure Chicago blues style under the name Cyril Davies & The All Stars.

It was this group that cut the blazing "Someday Baby" for Pye Records in 1962, which remained unreleased until it became a staple on several collections of cuts that Immediate Records obtained the rights to. This track is essentially a blue print for the blues wailing sound of The Yardbirds, and in itself, when combined with packed, smoky London clubs, was the soundtrack to the Mod Movement.

As Jimmy Page wrote the liner notes to the US release (on the super cool pink US Immediate label, as distributed by Columbia Records), I'm assuming that it's him on guitar here, along with Nicky Hopkins on piano.

Dig this fantastic inner sleeve!

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