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 Long John Baldry — Good To Be Alive [Reissue] (2013)

 

Long John BaldryGood To Be Alive [Reissue]
Born: January 12, 1941 in East Haddon, Northamptonshire, England
Died: July 21, 2005 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Year Of Release: 2013
Origin label: GM Records, Casablanca Records
Record Label: Pacemaker Entertainment Ltd. / PACE092
Genre: Blues Rock, Folk, British Blues
Total Time: 40:21 min
Tracks:
01. "Gasoline Alley" (Rod Stewart, Ron Wood)     3:40
02. "High and Low" (Geoff Thomas)     3:43
03. "Song for Martin Luther King" (Baldry)     4:15
04. "Good to Be Alive" (Colin Allen, Zoot Money)     4:05
05. "Rake and Ramblin' Boy" (arranged by Baldry)     3:27
06. "Let Me Pass" (Bo Diddley)    3:19
07. "I Wish I Was a Rock" (Derroll Adams)     1:19
08. "Brand New Day" (Al Kooper)     3:18
09. "Up in the Trees" (Neil Shepherd)     2:51
10. "Let's Go" (Chas Jankel)     2:40
11. "Maggie Bell" (Baldry)     3:06
12. "She" (Chris Ethridge, Gram Parsons)     4:39
Producer: Jimmy Horowitz

Long John Baldry — Good To Be Alive [Reissue] (2013)

CREDITS:
Long John Baldry  Twelve-string Guitar, Vocals
Dave Ball  Guitar
Dennis Ball  Bass
Andy Bown  Guitar
Terry Cox  Drums
Mike Driscoll  Drums
Lesley Duncan  Vocals
Jon Field  Violin
Mick French  Violin
Kay Garner  Vocals
Sue Glover  Vocals
Jimmy Horowitz  Keyboards
Chris Hughes  Saxophone
John Mealing  Organ
Sam Mitchell  Resonator Guitar [Dobro], Lap Steel Guitar
Tony Newman  Drums
Neil Shepherd  Vocals
Pete Stanley  Banjo
Liza Strike  Vocals
Photography By – Steve Campbell
Description:
≡  Good To Be Alive - (1973/1975) is probably one of Long John's most unknown records particularly in North America. Arguments can be made that this record is one of LJB's best records and it's a personal favorite of John's. The release of 'Good To Be Alive' in 1973 on GM Records (Gaff Mgt.) in England was the third great record that John had recorded in three years along with It Ain't Easy (1971) and Everything Stops for Tea (1972). This set of 3 recordings definitely marks a peak in Long John Baldry's recording career.
≡  Part of the problem with the record being unknown to North American fans is the fact it wasn't released until 1975 on Casablanca Records. It has always been my contention that if this Folk, Blues, and Roots-Rock recording had been given an international release on a major label in 1973 then John's career would have sky rocketed. This album was recorded in the spring of 1973 and it features some stunning slide guitar by Sammy Mitchell. John does a wonderful duet with the great session singer Liza Strike on 'She' a song by Graham Parsons. The title track, 'Good To Be Alive' is a great rocker written by Colin Allen and Zoot Money. John does a acoustic version of the traditional folk song 'Rake and A Rambling Boy' which in many ways is semi-autobiographical and Bo Diddley's 'Let Me Pass'. There is a strong interpretation of 'Gasoline Alley' that highlights the first side of the record. Also a rare Baldry written song, 'Maggie Bell' an acoustic tribute to the great Scottish singer of Stone The Crows fame. It would be nice if this record was someday recognized for its greatness by a proper North American CD release. Author: Jeff Edmunds
TRACKLIST:
01 - Gasoline Alley (Rod Stewart, Ron Wood)
02 - High and Low (Geoff Thomas)
03 - Song for Martin Luther King (Baldry)
04 - Good to Be Alive (Colin Allen, Zoot Money)
05 - Rake and Ramblin' Boy (arranged by Baldry)
06 - Let Me Pass (Bo Diddley)
07 - I Wish I Was a Rock (Derroll Adams)
08 - Brand New Day (Al Kooper)
09 - Up in the Trees (Neil Shepherd)
10 - Let's Go (Chas Jankel)
11 - Maggie Bell (Baldry)
12 - She (Chris Ethridge, Gram Parsons)
CREDITS:
Long John Baldry - guitar, vocals
Dave Ball - guitar
Dennis Ball - bass
Terry Cox, Tony Newman - drums
Jimmy Horowitz - keyboards
Pete Stanley - banjo
John Field, Mike French - fiddle
Sam Mitchell - steel guitar
Chris Hughes - tenor saxophone
Lesley Duncan, Lisa Strike, Suzy Glover, Kay Garner - background vocals
Website: http://johnbaldry.com/
The Marquee Club: http://www.themarqueeclub.net/long-john-baldry
JOHN WILLIAM BALDRY — January 12, 1941 - July 21, 2005 Long John Baldry passed away at the Vancouver General Hospital, July 21/05 at 10:30pm after fighting a severe chest infection. He was surrounded by friends and loved ones and is now at peace. John Baldry will be remembered by his music and the love he generously gave to all those who came in contact with him. Our world is a lesser place without him, for John was a person that enhanced this world with his enormous presence and talent. Long John Baldry rocks with God. — John Frank GarciaGo to the Globe and Mail homepage
≡  He had a right to sing the Blues! Globe and Mail Book Review: 10/20/07 by Peter Feniak
≡  It Ain't Easy: Long John Baldry and the Birth of the British Blues: by Paul Myers (Greystone Books)
≡  Picture a 6ft, 7' English dandy who could bawl the blues like LeadBelly. That was Long John Baldry, a legendary figure in the early British blues scene - born in East London in January, 1941, died in Vancouver in July, 2005, as a Canadian citizen, a beloved mentor and performer, and one of the music world's great eccentrics. 
≡  LJB MEMORIAL SERVICE: THANK YOU! — St. Lawrence's Church London/Sunday, 22nd July, 2007.
≡  A big thank-you to everyone who came last Sunday for the Memorial Service held for John at St. Lawrence's Church, a place that he loved and knew so well. Family, school friends, fellow musicians and performers, close personal friends, colleagues and fans all mingled together to remember his talent and his life. The service included John's music and eulogies were read by Roger Baldry and John Bloss. A eulogy sent by Holger Petersen of Stony Plain Records was read by Robert Baldry and John's 6 year old great-niece, Claudia, read a prayer. Classical music was played at the beginning and end of the service on the famous Handel's organ. Following the service a large picnic was held in the nearby Canons Park. — Melanie and Roger Baldry.
≡  THE MAKING OF A LEGEND - by Rod Stewart (Reader’s Digest/Dec/2004) - John had a knack for discovering talent. Ginger Baker, Jeff Beck and Brian Jones all worked with him early on. Elton John played piano in one of his bands, other Rolling Stones too – Charlie, Ron Wood, and Keith. In 1962, when The Rolling Stones were just getting started, they opened for him in London. Eric Clapton has said many times that John was one of the musicians that inspired him to play the Blues. And for their internationally televised special in 1964, The Beatles invited John to perform his version of 'I Got My Mojo Working'. — The Making of a Legend by Rod Stewart
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Biography by Richie Unterberger
Like Cliff Richard, Chris Farlowe, Slade, Blur, and eel pie, Long John Baldry is one of those peculiarly British phenomena that doggedly resists American translation. As a historical figure, he has undeniable importance. When he began singing as a teenager in the 1950s, he was one of the first British vocalists to perform folk and blues music. In the early '60s, he sang in the band of British blues godfather Alexis Korner, Blues Incorporated, which also served as a starting point for future rock stars Mick Jagger, Jack Bruce, and others. As a member of Blues Incorporated, he contributed to the first British blues album, R&B at the Marquee (1962). He then joined the Cyril Davies R&B All Stars, taking over the group (renamed Long John Baldry and His Hoochie Coochie Men) after Davies' death in early 1964. This band featured Rod Stewart as a second vocalist, and also employed Geoff Bradford (who had been in an embryonic version of the Rolling Stones) on guitar.
In the mid-'60s, he helped form Steampacket, a proto-supergroup that also featured Stewart, Julie Driscoll, and Brian Auger. When Steampacket broke up, he fronted Bluesology, the band that gave keyboardist Reg Dwight -- soon to become Elton John -- his first prestigious gig. He was a well-liked figure on the London club circuit, and in fact the Beatles took him on as a guest on one of their 1964 British TV specials, at a time when the Fab Four could have been no bigger, and Baldry was virtually unknown.
Ironically, his greatest commercial success came not with blues, but orchestrated pop ballads that echoed Engelbert Humperdinck. The 1967 single "Let the Heartaches Begin" reached number one in Britain, and Baldry had several other small British hits in the late '60s, the biggest of which was "Mexico" (1968). (None of these made an impression in the U.S.)
The commercial success of his ballads led Baldry to forsake the blues on record for a few years. He returned to blues and rock in 1971 on It Ain't Easy, for which Rod Stewart and Elton John shared the production duties. The album contained a tiny American chart item, "Don't Try to Lay No Boogie-Woogie on the King of Rock'n'Roll," and Stewart and John split the production once again on the 1972 follow-up, Everything Stops for Tea. Baldry never caught on as an international figure, though, and by 1980 had become a Canadian citizen. He continued to record, and did commercial voice-overs as well as the voice of Doctor Robotnik in children's cartoons. After battling a severe chest infection for several months, Long John Baldry passed away on July 21, 2005, while hospitalized in Vancouver. He was survived by his partner, Felix "Oz" Rexach, a brother, Roger, and a sister, Margaret.
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Notes:
Canadian citizenship:
≡  After time in New York City and Los Angeles in 1978, Baldry settled in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he became a Canadian citizen. He toured the west coast, as well as the U.S. Northwest. Baldry also toured the Canadian east, including one 1985 show in Kingston, Ontario, where audience members repeatedly called for the title track from his 1979 album Baldry's Out! – to which he replied, "I'll say he is!"
≡  In 1979, he teamed with Seattle singer Kathi McDonald to record a version of The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin", following which McDonald became part of his touring group for two decades. The song made the lower reaches of the US Billboard charts but was a top 5 hit in Australia in 1980. He last recorded with the Stony Plain label. His 1997 album Right To Sing The Blues won a Juno Award in the Blues Album of the Year category in the Juno Awards of 1997.
Discography:
Solo Albums:
(1964) Long John's Blues
(1966) Looking at Long John
(1967) Let the Heartaches Begin
(1969) Wait For Me
(1971) It Ain't Easy
(1972) Everything Stops for Tea
(1973) Good to Be Alive
(1976) Welcome to Club Casablanca
(1979) Baldry's Out!
(1980) Long John Baldry
(1980) Boys In The Band
(1982) Rock with the Best
(1983) The Best of Long John Baldry (features two previously unreleased songs 'Something You Got' and 'River's Invitation')
(1986) Silent Treatment
(1987) Long John Baldry & Friends
(1987) Live - Iowa State University (released In 2009)
(1989) A Touch of The Blues (Features the 'Long John Baldry & Friends' album with the addition of three new studio recordings
(1991) It Still Ain't Easy
(1992) Midnight In New Orleans (German release that features Baldry singing 'As Long as I Feel The Spirit')
(1993) On Stage Tonight - Baldry's Out!
(1997) Right To Sing The Blues
(1999) Long John Baldry Trio-Live
(2002) Remembering Leadbelly
Bootleg Albums:
(1972) Live In Paramount Seattle
(2002) Live In Toronto!
Appearances On Other Albums:
(1962) R&B From The Marquee (1964) (Baldry sings on tracks 2, 7, 11, 12, and 13)
(1964) The Steampacket: The First R&B Festival (Tracks 6 and 12 only)
(1965) Steampacket: The First Super Group
(1971) Every Picture Tells a Story (Track 2 only)
(1973) Mar y Sol: The First International Pop Festival (Sings 'Bring My Baby Back' this track is part of the additional material on the 2005 'Everything Stops For Tea' reissue)
(1975) Dick Deadeye: Soundtrack (Baldry provided the voice of The Monarch of The Sea and sings as the character on this album)
(1975) Sumar á Sýrlandi (Rare album of the Icelandic group 'Stuðmenn' that features Baldry singing 'She Broke My Heart')
(1996) Bone, Bottle, Brass or Steel (Track 2 only)
(1996) Born To Fly: Theatre In The Sky Performance (Baldry sings one track and helps narrate another)
(1997) Jimmy Witherspoon with The Duke Robillard Band (Track 7 only)
(1997) Stony Plain - Absolute Blues 2 (Compilation that features an unreleased version of 'Black Girl' sung with Kathi McDonald)
(1998) You Got The Bread... We Got The Jam (Tracks 2, 3, 6, 9, and 11)
(1999) Come Sing With Us - A Collection of Children's Folk Songs (Track 10 only)
(2000) Carlo Little Allstars - Never Stop Rockin' (Tracks 2 and 6 only)
(2001) The Best of Pooh and Tigger Too (Track 18 Only)
(2005) The British Blues All Stars: Live at Notodden Blues Festival (Tracks 6, 7, 11, and 12. These are Mr. Baldry's last recorded performances)
(2006) Saturday Night Blues: 20 Years (CBC; Baldry sings an acoustic version of "It Ain't Easy")
TV / DVD:
(1985) Long John Baldry: Rockin' The Blues
(1987) Long John Baldry: It Ain't Easy – Live at Iowa State University (Released: 2005)
(1993) Ohne-Filter Musik Pur - Long John Baldry: Live In Concert
(1993) Leverkusen Blues Festival '93
(1993) Long John Baldry Live at The Waterfront Blues Festival
(1997) Leverkusen Blues Festival '97
(1998) Long John Baldry: Café Campus Blues
(2001) Happy Birthday Blues: Long John Baldry & Friends
(2005) Montreal Jazz Festival featuring Long John Baldry
(2007) Long John Baldry - In The Shadow of The Blues
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Tracklist in deails:
A1  Good To Be Alive Drums – Mike Driscoll
Organ – John Mealing
Piano – Jimmy Horowitz
Soloist, Guitar – Bob Cohen (2)
Written-By – Colin Allen, Zoot Money  3:39  
A2  Let Me Pass Written-By – Bo Diddley  3:17  
A3  Rake And A Rambling Boy Arranged By – Long John Baldry
Banjo, Mandolin – John Field
Vocals – Lesley Duncan  3:27  
A4  High & Low Written-By – Geoff Thomas*  3:40  
A5  Gasoline Alley Backing Vocals – Kay Garner
Written-By – Rod Stewart, Ron Wood  3:39  
A6  I Wish I Was A Rock Written-By – Derroll Adams  1:20  
B1  Up In The Trees Vocals, Written-By – Neil Shepherd  2:52  
B2  Brand New Day Backing Vocals – Kay Garner
Written-By – Al Kooper  3:15  
B3  Song For Martin Luther King Acoustic Guitar – Andy Bown
Written-By – Long John Baldry  4:20  
B4  Maggie Bell Written-By – Long John Baldry  3:04  
B5  Let's Go Written-By – Chas Jankel  2:34  
B6  She Vocals – Lisa Strike*
Written-By – Chris Ethridge, Gram Parsons  4:40 header image

 

 Long John Baldry — Good To Be Alive [Reissue] (2013)

 

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