By Robin Jones, BASEQ President

In about 1972, when I was 14, an older friend, who had been to university and played harp with a uni band called Climax Chicago, started going on about “the Blues”. To give me an idea of what he was talking about he produced three LP’s from his smallish collection. When ever at his place we listened to these three records almost constantly. 

Although I was not that aware of it at the time these three LP’s and one other, would prove an excellent introduction to The Blues.  

In no particular order my mates three records were

(1)  Bill Broonzy Sonny Terry Brownie McGhee


An amazing LP of Folk Blues. Consisting of a radio program with the DJ, Big Bill, Sonny Terry and Brownie Mc Ghee swapping stories and songs, playing together and solo.

Some fantastic performances with Keys to the Highway and a track latter covered by The Yardbirds, Crow Jane, standing out for me.

(2) Gutbucket (An Underworld Eruption)

Gutbucket (An Underworld Eruption)

Not all Blues but with Captain Beefheart  growling, Gimme Dat Harp Boy, and Jo Ann Kelly playing Rollin and Tumblin’ plus The Ground Hogs and Alexis Korner it really was a “Blues explosion” for me.

(3) Dave Kelly, Keeps It In The Family

The Keeps it in the Family, of the title, referring to Dave’s sister, Jo Ann Kelly playing guitar on some of the tracks. Mainly acoustic blues but some real rocking tracks, such as Lock your door and Mojo working. In the seventies, Dave Kelly went on to join Paul Jones of Manfred Man in The Blues Band.

 Rhythm & Blues All Stars

Now as these three albums belonged to my mate John, meaning, I could only hear them at his place I had to find some Blues I could play at home as well.  My collection, at the time, only consisted of a few records so I had a look through my dad’s collection. Now my dad was mainly a fan of Trad Jazz, such as Kenny Ball and Big swing bands like Glenn Miller but I did find one gem amongst them.

Originally released 1966, in the UK, on the Marble Arch label, this record had it all.

My Babe by Little Walter, Reconsider Baby by Lowell Fulson, Muddy Waters Mojo Working and tracks by Sonny Boy Williams, Buddy Guy, Howlin Wolf and John Lee Hooker.

To Conclude …

Although I still enjoyed listening to Cream and Canned Heat these were the originals and man did they have soul.

Over the next ten years or so I managed to track down my own copies of my mates three records and one of them turned out to be a reasonable investment, with mint copies of the Dave Kelly, Keep it in the Family record, now fetching over $400, in mint condition.

I hope reading this will inspire you to check out these records and perhaps revisit the first records that inspired your love and interest in The Blues.

Robin Jones BASEQ President