Archive for the Wilko JOHNSON Category

Wilko JOHNSON – Barbed Wire Blues 1995

Posted in BLUES, Wilko JOHNSON on December 15, 2010 by whoisthemonk

Wilko JOHNSON – Barbed Wire Blues 1995


Best-known as the guitarist in Dr. Feelgood, one of British pub rock’s greatest bands, Wilko Johnson went on to a long solo career playing the kind of rootsy, R&B-based rock & roll he loved. Born John Wilkinson (which he inverted to come up with his stage name) in 1947, Johnson grew up in the coastal Canvey Island area, and played around the local music scene during the ’60s (often in jug bands). He studied at Newcastle University beginning in 1967, but returned home during breaks to keep up his musical activities. In 1971, after returning from a trip to India, he joined the band that became Dr. Feelgood, and quickly became one of their focal points thanks to his maniacally intense stage presence. Dr. Feelgood played locally for a couple of years and made their debut in London in the summer of 1973; their distinctively scruffy image and menacing energy soon made them a hot commodity on the pub rock circuit. The band released their debut album, Down By the Jetty, in 1975; Johnson stayed for two more studio albums (Malpractice and Sneakin’ Suspicion) and the chart-topping live document Stupidity, contributing a number of fine original songs. However, tensions between Johnson and the rest of the group led to his departure toward the end of 1977.

Johnson soon formed a backing band called the Solid Senders, which featured keyboardist John Potter, bassist Steve Lewins, and drummer Alan Platt. They signed to Virgin in 1978 and released the LP Solid Senders that year. The following year, Johnson joined Ian Dury’s Blockheads, where he remained until 1980; there he met bassist Norman Watt-Roy, who later became a regular collaborator. In early 1981, Johnson released his second album, Ice on the Motorway, and two years later issued the EP Bottle Up and Go! with Lew Lewis; several small-scale LPs, mostly for European labels, followed over the ’80s: 1984’s Pull the Cover, 1985’s Watch Out!, 1987’s Call It What You Want, and 1988’s Barbed Wire Blues. The latter was the first recording with his new regular group the Wilko Johnson Band, which featured Watt-Roy and drummer Salvatore Ramundo, and remained a concert fixture around England for the next decade or so. In 1998, Johnson finally had the opportunity to release another album, Going Back Home for Mystic. Johnson began to cut back on his concert appearances in 1999, but still found the wherewithal to cut Live in Japan 2000 the following year.
By Steve Huey. AMG.
01. Living in the Heart of Love
02. I Keep It to My Self
03. Waiting for the Rain
04. Turned 21
05. Barbed Wire Blues
06. If You Want Me, You’ve Got Me
07. Letting the Night Go by
08. Take Me Back
09. The Hook (Little Darling)
10. Out in the Traffic

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