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Saturday, October 01, 2022

The Blues Project: Discography 1966 - 1973

 

One of the first album-oriented, "underground" groups in the United States, the Blues Project offered an electric brew of rock, blues, folk, pop, and even some jazz, classical, and psychedelia during their brief


heyday in the mid-'60s. It's not quite accurate to categorize them as a blues-rock group, although they did plenty of that kind of material; they were more like a Jewish-American equivalent to British bands like the Yardbirds, who used a blues and R&B base to explore any music that interested them. Erratic songwriting talent and a lack of a truly outstanding vocalist prevented them from rising to the front line of '60s bands, but they recorded plenty of interesting material over the course of their first three albums, before the departure of their most creative members took its toll.
                                 

The Blues Project was formed in Greenwich Village in the mid-'60s by guitarist Danny Kalb (who had

played sessions for various Elektra folk and folk-rock albums), Steve Katz (a guitarist with Elektra's Even Dozen Jug Band), flutist/bassist Andy Kulberg, drummer Roy Blumenfeld, and singer Tommy Flanders. Al Kooper, in his early twenties a seasoned vet of rock sessions, joined after sitting in on the band's Columbia Records audition, although they ended up signing to Verve, an MGM subsidiary. Early member Artie Traum (guitar) dropped out during early rehearsals; Flanders would leave after their first LP, Live at the Cafe Au-Go-Go (1966).
                                                  

The eclectic résumés of the musicians, who came from folk, jazz, blues, and rock backgrounds, was

reflected in their choice of material. Blues by Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry tunes ran alongside covers of contemporary folk-rock songs by Eric Anderson and Patrick Sky, as well as the group's own originals. These were usually penned by Kooper, who had already built songwriting credentials as the co-writer of Gary Lewis' huge smash "This Diamond Ring," and established a reputation as a major folk-rock shaker with his contributions to Dylan's mid-'60s records. Kooper also provided the band's instrumental highlights with his glowing organ riffs.
                          

The live debut sounds rather tame and derivative; the group truly hit their stride on Projections (late

1966), which was, disappointingly, their only full-length studio recording. While they went through straight blues numbers with respectable energy, they really shone best on the folk and jazz-influenced tracks, like "Fly Away," Katz's lilting "Steve's Song," Kooper's jazz instrumental "Flute Thing" (an underground radio standard that's probably their most famous track), and Kooper's fierce adaptation of an old Blind Willie Johnson number, "I Can't Keep from Crying." A non-LP single from this era, the pop-psychedelic "No Time Like the Right Time," was their greatest achievement and one of the best "great hit singles that never were" of the decade.
                                     

The band's very eclecticism didn't augur well for their long-term stability, and in 1967 Kooper left in a

dispute over musical direction (he has recalled that Kalb opposed his wishes to add a horn section). Then Kalb mysteriously disappeared for months after a bad acid trip, which effectively finished the original incarnation of the band. A third album, Live at Town Hall, was a particularly half-assed project given the band's stature, pasted together from live tapes and studio outtakes, some of which were overdubbed with applause to give the impression that they had been recorded in concert.
                                         

Kooper got to fulfill his ambitions for soulful horn rock as the leader of the original Blood, Sweat &

Tears,
although he left that band after their first album; BS&T also included Katz (who stayed onboard for a long time). Blumenfeld and Kulberg kept the Blues Project going for a fourth album before forming Seatrain, and the group re-formed in the early '70s with various lineups, Kooper rejoining for a live 1973 album, Reunion in Central Park. The first three albums from the Kooper days are the only ones that count, though; the best material from these is on Rhino's best-of compilation.
(By Richie Unterberger)
                                      


Roy Blumenfeld (drums)
Steve Katz (guit.)
Al Kooper (key., voc.)
Andy Kulberg (bass)
Danny Kalb (guit., voc.)
Tommy Flanders (voc.)

LIVE AT THE CAFE AU GO GO (2CD) (01:57:30) 1966

 
 

 

The Blues Project – Live At The Cafe Au Go Go
Label: Verve Records – UICY-75640/1, Verve Folkways – UICY-75640/1
The Blues Project - 4 Albums Mini LP SHM-CD
Universal Music Japan 2013
Format:    2 x CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered, Stereo, Mono, SHM-CD
Country: Japan
Released: Jun 26, 2013
Genre: Rock
                        
Style: Blues Rock

CD1 - STEREO ALBUM (00:56:48)

                              


01. Goin' Down Louisiana 04:09
02. You Go, And I'll Go With You 03:49
03. Catch The Wind 03:08
04. I Want To Be Your Driver 02:30
05. Alberta 04:15
06. The Way My Baby Walks 03:14
07. Violets Of Dawn 02:59
08. Back Door Man 03:22
09. Jelly Jelly Blues 04:51
10. Spoonful 05:04
11. Who Do You Love 05:33

Bonus Tracks

12. Hoochie Coochie Man 02:34
13. Parchman Farm 03:33
14. Have You Ever Had The Blues? 02:45
15. Alberta (Alternate Version) 04:53


Flac Size: 350 MB


CD2 - Mono Album (01:00:41)

                                       


01. Goin' Down Louisiana 04:08
02. You Go, And I'll Go With You 03:50
03. Catch The Wind 03:08
04. I Want To Be Your Driver 02:31
05. Alberta 04:18
06. The Way My Baby Walks 03:16
07. Violets Of Dawn 02:59
08. Back Door Man 03:23
09. Jelly Jelly Blues 04:52
10. Spoonful 05:05
11. Who Do You Love 05:36

Bonus Tracks

12. Bright Lights, Big City 04:55
13. Who Do You Love (Alternate Version) 06:17
14. Violets Of Dawn (Studio Version) 02:56
15. Back Door Man (Studio Version) 03:18

Flac Size: 279 MB

PROJECTIONS  (2CD) (01:48:47) 1966

 
         



The Blues Project – Projections
Label:    Verve Forecast – UICY-75642/3, Verve Records – UICY-75642/3
The Blues Project - 4 Albums Mini LP SHM-CD
Universal Music Japan 2013
Format:    2 x CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered, Stereo, Mono, SHM-CD
Country:Japan
Released:Jun 26, 2013
Genre:    Rock
Style:    Blues Rock, Psychedelic Rock

CD1 - STEREO ALBUM (00:52:40)

                                  


01. I Can't Keep From Cryin' Sometimes 04:29
02. Steve's Song 05:01
03. You Can't Catch Me 04:18
04. Two Trains Running 11:30
05. Wake Me, Shake Me 05:22
06. Cheryl's Going Home 02:41
07. Flute Thing 06:05
08. Caress Me Baby 07:16
09. Fly Away 03:36

Bonus Track

10. Love Will Endure 02:19

Flac Size: 311 MB

CD2 - MONO ALBUM (00:56:06)

                                     


01. I Can't Keep From Cryin' Sometimes 04:30
02. Steve's Song 05:01
03. You Can't Catch Me 04:21
04. Two Trains Running 11:38
05. Wake Me, Shake Me 05:22
06. Cheryl's Going Home 02:41
07. Flute Thing 06:06
08. Caress Me Baby 07:23
09. Fly Away 03:37

Bonus Tracks

10. When There's Smoke, There's Fire 02:38
11. No Time Like The Right Time 02:44

Flac Size: 252 MB
 
LIVE AT TOWN HALL (01:16:21)  1967

                                         



The Blues Project – Live At Town Hall
Label: Verve Records – FTS-3025
The Blues Project - 4 Albums Mini LP SHM-CD
Universal Music Japan 2013
Series: Rise Of Blues Rock
Format:    CD, Reissue  Aug 1, 1989
Country: Japan
Released: 1967
Genre: Rock, Blues
Style: Blues Rock

STEREO ALBUM


01. (Electric) Flute Thing 10:31
02. I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes 05:36
03. Mean Old Southern 02:40
04. No Time Like The Right Time 02:53
05. Love Will Endure 02:27
06. Where There's Smoke, There's Fire 02:33
07. Wake Me, Shake Me  08:40

MONO ALBUM


08. (Electric) Flute Thing 10:31
09. I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes 05:36
10. Mean Old Southern 02:40
11. No Time Like The Right Time 02:52
12. Love Will Endure 02:27
13. Where There's Smoke, There's Fire 02:34
14. Wake Me, Shake Me 08:38

Bonus Tracks

15. Lost In The Shuffle 02:58
16. Gentle Dreams 02:39

Flac Size: 393 MB

PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE  1968

 
                  



The Blues Project – Planned Obsolescence
Label: One Way Records (6) – OW 32642
Format:    CD, Album, Reissue
Country: US
Released: 1996
Genre: Rock
Style: Blues Rock

TRACKS


01. If You Got To Make A Fool Of Somebody    4:35
02. Calypso    3:51
03. Frank 'N' Curt Incensed    3:30
04. Turtle Dove    3:28
05. Mojo Hannah    3:31
06. Niartaes Hornpipe    2:11
07. The Endless Sleep    3:58
08. She Raised Her Hand    3:43
09. Dakota Recollection    12:37
10. Gentle Dreams    2:40

Flac Size: 245 MB

LAZARUS  1971 - THE BLUES PROJECT  1972

                                                            


                                            

The Blues Project – Lazarus/The Blues Project
Label: Acadia – ACA 8072, Evangeline Recorded Works – ACA 8072
Format:    CD, Album, Compilation, Reissue, Remastered
Country: UK
Released: 2004
Genre: Rock
Style: Classic Rock, Blues Rock

LAZARUS  1971   
       

                                

                         

01. It's Alright  (Arranged By – Danny Kalb/Written-By – Big Joe Turner, Pete Johnson)  3:15
02. Personal Mercy  (Written-By – Roy Blumenfeld)  4:03
03. Black Night  (Arranged By – Danny Kalb/Written-By – Traditional)  5:40
04. Vision Of Flowers  (Written-By – Danny Kalb)  3:16
05. Yellow Cab  (Written-By – Tim Hardin)  2:46
06. Lazarus  (Arranged By – Danny Kalb/Written-By – Traditional)  9:00
07. Brown Eyed Handsome Man  (Written-By – Chuck Berry)  3:15
08. Reachings  (Written-By – Danny Kalb)  2:53
09. Midnight Rain  (Written-By – Roy Blumenfeld)  2:38
10. So Far So Near  (Written-By – Donald Kretmar)  2:50


THE BLUES PROJECT 1972       

                                

                         
 
11. Back Door Man  (Written-By – Willie Dixon)  3:34
12. Danville Dame  (Written-By – Tim Hardin)  5:00
13. Railroad Boy  (Arranged By – Blues Project/Written-By – Traditional)  3:14
14. Rainbow  (Written-By – Tommy Flanders)  4:25
15. Easy Lady  (Written-By – Gilbert Peltz)  3:03
16. Plain And Fancy  (Written-By – Tommy Flanders)  4:30
17. Little Rain  (Written-By – Ewart G. Abner Jr., Jimmy Reed)  5:10
18. Crazy Girl  (Written-By – Danny Kalb)  3:21
19. I'm Ready  (Written-By – Willie Dixon)  4:25

Flac Size: 242 MB

REUNION IN CENTRAL PARK 1973

 
           



The Blues Project – Reunion In Central Park
Label: Repertoire Records – RR 4116-WZ
The Blues Project - 4 Albums Mini LP SHM-CD
Universal Music Japan 2013
Format:    CD, Album
Country: Germany
Released: 1990
Genre: Rock, Blues
Style: Modern Electric Blues

TRACKS


01. Louisiana Blues  (Harmonica – Steve Katz/Lead Vocals – Danny Kalb)  4:28
02. Steves Song  (Lead Vocals – Steve Katz/Mellotron – Al Kooper)  3:52
03. I Can't Keep From Cryin' Sometimes  (Lead Vocals – Al Kooper)  6:31
04. You Can't Catch Me  (Guitar [Rhythm] – Al Kooper/Harp – Steve Katz/Lead Vocals – Danny Kalb)  4:29
05. Fly Away  (Lead Vocals, Synthesizer – Al Kooper/Percussion, Harp – Steve Katz)  4:30
06. Caress Me Baby  (Lead Vocals – Danny Kalb)  8:10
07. Catch The Wind  (Lead Vocals – Steve Katz)  4:25
08. Wake Me Shake Me  (Lead Vocals – Al Kooper)  9:49
09. Two Trains Running  (Lead Vocals – Danny Kalb)  14:20

Flac Size: 364 MB

17 comments:

  1. Super ! Only have 3 Blues Project of these. Didn't know that the later years are also interesting. I will take care of this. Thank you.

    I received a number of interesting boxes again yesterday & today.
    Keef Hartley Band (only had the first three as a copy); Bachdenkel; Chicken Shack 70-73 ( although not as goodd as the old ones, still worth buying); The Elmer Gentry's Velvet Opera; The Foundations (pop soul) probably not for you. I like it and there are real pearls to be found it.
    Harry Nilsson A's & B's and many unique pieces...

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  2. Very nice the entry with the many photos and posters a pleasure to look at.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. Josef, I see you also have a love for this kind of poster art. I have spotted a few table books with this kind of content but haven't managed to buy any so far, partly due to lack of space. But I know that if I started collecting books it would be hard to stop.

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    2. Anonymous i am glad that you like posters from Avalon Ballroom, Fillmore etc...also so much. I used to have around 10 original posters, which unfortunately got lost at some point. A friend of mine had his entire room, where his music collection was, covered with the posters back in the 1970's. A glorious sight.

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    3. Back then you could still get the posters very cheaply. Today i think you have to lay out a lot of money for the originals.

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  3. Thanks a lot!!!
    I don't know this band!!! I've started listening to 'Planned Obsolescence' and it sounds great!!!
    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Blues Project was really a great band. Take all their albums if you like BLUES

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    2. How can one not have heard of the Blues Project ? That's a mystery to me.

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  4. Great Band!!
    I have them all except the Mono Versions. I heard them first at Age 12 in 1972.
    By the Way, this is a great Blog.
    Very inspiring.

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  5. What a great band, I had only heard Projections so far and the subsequent live album. Another great post Kostas!

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  6. A great band, indeed! Very difficult to categorize their music. And another great presentation! Congratulations.

    ReplyDelete