Kevin Bryan’s record reviews

John Lee Hooker,” Cook With The Hook” (SALVO SVX 030)­ This absorbing audio­visual treat extends over three discs, serving up the cream of John Lee Hooker’s musicaloutput between 1948 and 1961 alongside a DVD featuring the great man’s performance at arather curious festival held in an active landfill site in Massachusetts in July 1974. Mississippiborn Hooker’s intense and mesemeric approach to music­making influenced a whole host ofaspiring young bluesmen on both sides of the Atlantic during their formative years and many ofhis finest creations are given an airing here,including “Boom Boom,” “Crawlin’ King Snake,” andhis first hit single,”Boogie Chillen.The Pretty Things,”Live at the 100 Club” (LMS 001 LP)­ This limited edition vinylP has been released to mark the 50th anniversary of the release of The Pretty Things’uncompromising debut album. Founder members Dick Taylor and Phil May and their recentlyrecruited sidekicks set up shop in London’s 100 Club four years ago to record a new live versionof their first long­player, with their energised renditions of dusty old crowd­pleasers such as“Honey,I Need,” “13,Chester Street” and Bo Diddley’s”Pretty Thing” providing an object lesson inthe art of growing old disgracefully.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 29th June 2014, 2:08 pm
Music news EMN-141206-063622001
Music news EMN-141206-063622001

Greenslade,”Large Afternoon” (Angel Air SJPCD 411)­ Greenslade’s keyboarddominated brand of prog rock attracted a deluge of critical plaudits during the band’s creativeheyday in the mid seventies,but a series of insoluble management problems finally prompted theband to give up the ghost in 1976. Dave Greenslade decided to reform the quartet almost aquarter of a century later,joining forces with his old friend Tony Reeves and new members JohnYoung and Chris Cozens to record “Large Afternoon.” The finished product lacked some of theinventiveness and originality of their early work but is well worth investigating nonetheless,with“On Suite” and “Cakewalk” emerging as the best of the bunch.

Royal Southern Brotherhood,”Heartsoulblood” (Ruf 1204)­Royal SouthernBrotherhood’s sublime blend of rock,blues and funk represents a glorious throwback to thegolden era of Southern rockers such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers some forty yearsor so ago,and Gregg Allman’s guitar toting son Devon is coincidentally one of the driving forcesbehind the quintet’s muscular sound. The latter’s interplay with fellow guitarist Mike Zito is oneof the most appealing features of this splendid set,and the dynamic duo are in particularly finefettle on stand­out tracks such as “World Blues,” “Groove On” and “Rock and Roll.”

“Breezy Sugar­The Pure Essence of Chicago Rock & Roll” (Fantastic VoyageFVTD 197)­Rock historian Stuart Colman’s latest wide­ranging anthology focusses attention onsome of the vibrant performers who ventured into Chicago’s recording studios during the latefifties and early sixties. The windy city’s contribution to the history of rock and roll has tended tobe under­valued over the years but the 75 tracks on offer here certainly repay closerinvestigation,with familiar names such as Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley rubbing shoulders withsome fascinating obscurities culled from the dusty archives of long forgotten labels likeFascination,Artistic and Falcon.