6:00 AM GMT 22/06/2011
One-man band country-blues passion play, from deepest Surrey
My distrust of the blues has already been chronicled at length here and now, after much rumination, I feel I’ve unearthed the source of this deep-rooted prejudice. I bought said album back in 1982; 15 years old and keen to comprehend the revered cornerstones of the British rock ‘canon’. I didn’t get it, and I still don’t. It sounded like a bunch of smug bores lazily riffing through standards with nothing of the passion, fire or chaos I’d foolishly hoped for. ‘Librarian music’, as one of my friends put it. So if I stayed away too long from the blues, I stayed away longer from the British blues revival. Reading the liner notes to this Blue Horizon comp of tracks by ’60s Thames Valley sensation Tony ‘Duster’ Bennett it’s obvious that here was a musician too scruffy for the revival purists. Criticised for being nervous, edgy and excitable, Bennett and his 1952 Gibson Les Paul Gold Top now sound wild, rough, passionate, and sometimes too fast for his own time-keeping. On tracks like Worried Mind, Got A Tongue In Your Head and Jumping At Shadows he captures that thumpingly magical four-track brutalism that Billy Childish and Jack White consider the Holy Grail of authentic rock, all with a twist of Joe Strummer in the vocal. His later, gentler stuff sounds like Pete Molinari, or Graham Coxon. After splitting with Blue Horizon he wound up (like Terry Reid and Donovan) in the interminable red tape of Mickie Most’s RAK label. On March 26 1976 he died in a car crash, after falling asleep at the wheel while on his way home from a gig with Memphis Slim. Eric Clapton is 62.
Posted by Danny_Eccleston at 6:00 AM GMT 11/07/2008
Fleetwood Mac – Then Play On (Warner Bros/Reprise, 1970)
The White Stripes – De Stijl (Sympathy For The Record Industry, 2000)
Wild Billy Childish & The Buff Medways – Medway Wheelers (Damaged Goods, 2005)
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