The Groundhogs – 3744 James Road (2CD) 2006

The Groundhogs – 3744 James Road (2CD) 2006

Blues

The Groundhogs were an at-times better than average 1960s British blues band led by T.S. McPhee, whose Jack Bruce-like vocals and raggedly aggressive guitar style made the group sound at times like a looser version of Cream. This two-disc set, divided into studio and live recordings, makes a pretty solid introduction to the band. The studio disc shows the Groundhogs’ devotion to the blues, with solid covers of Howlin’ Wolf’s “No Place to Go,” Willie Dixon’s “Down in the Bottom,” and Arthur Crudup’s “Mean Ole Frisco” among the highlights. The live disc features even more blues, including the group’s cover of their namesake song, John Lee Hooker’s “Groundhog Blues,” but also features several of McPhee’s originals, like the extremely caustic “Thank Christ for the Bomb.” The Groundhogs remain somewhat of an enigma, since the talent was there for bigger and better things, but as a blues band, at least, they were as good as any Britain coughed up in the 1960s.
By Steve Leggett. AMG.
**
Disc 1

01. Smokestack Lightnin’ Howlin’ Wolf 3:09
02. No Place to Go Burnett 4:17
03. Ain’t Superstitious Dixon 4:37
04. Sitting on Top of the World Chatmon, Vinson 3:53
05. Shake for Me Dixon 3:19
06. How Many More Years Burnett 3:05
07. Nature Burnett 4:02
08. Down in the Bottom Dixon 3:47
09. Forty-Four Burnett 4:11
10. Stuff You Gotta Watch Johnson 3:04
11. Can’t Call Her Sugar London 3:00
12. Mean Ole Frisco Crudup 2:56
13. I’m Ready Dixon 2:44
14. Young Fashioned Ways Dixon 3:36
15. (I’m Your) Hoochie Coochie Man Dixon 3:58
16. Mannish Boy London, McDaniel … 3:27
17. Got My Mojo Working Foster 4:36
18. Country Blues Waters 3:18

Disc 2

01. Razor’s Edge [live] McPhee 5:59
02. I Want You to Love Me [live] Waters 4:50
03. Split, Pt. 1 [live] McPhee 6:30
04. Cherry Red [live] McPhee 13:04
05. Eccentric Man [live] McPhee 5:04
06. 3744 James Road [live] McPhee 7:01
07. Soldier [live] McPhee 4:17
08. Mistreated [live] Townsend 7:18
09. I Love You Miss Ogyny [live] McPhee 5:52
10. Garden [live] McPhee 5:28
11. Thank Christ for the Bomb [live] McPhee 3:03
12. Groundhog Blues [live] Davenport 3:58
**


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