Review: Mick Abrahams – Cat Squirrel Blues

Posted on: Thursday, Sep 12, 2013

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Mick Abrahams – Cat Squirrel Blues

(Secret: SECDD067)

In 1968 Mick Abrahams tried to lead the group Jethro Tull in a blues-rock direction and ended up leaving the band; he went on to lead the moderately successful Blodwyn Pig and his own Mick Abrahams Band, whilst Jethro Tull went on to international fame. This two CD set offers material he recorded at various concerts around Britain and Europe in 2003 – 2004.

The first disc is more or less a solo performance, and reveals Mick’s roots in the blues of Brownie McGhee and Lightnin’ Hopkins and the sacred songs of Sister Rosetta Tharpe – classic 60s blues boom material, and with maybe a side helping of early Ry Cooder. All the numbers are well-performed and convincingly delivered, and Mick’s stage presence is strong and entertaining.

The second disc is electric with the band, opening with the lively blues-rocking ‘You Got It Wrong’. Mick’s signature tune ‘Cat Squirrel’ – originally by Dr Ross – gets a worthy and lengthy workout, and is a reminder of his Jethro Tull days, whilst Blind Alfred Reed’s ‘How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live’ is again Cooder-ish and ‘I Wonder Who’ is a tribute to Alexis Korner.

Despite the recording dates and different locations, the sound of this second disc is very firmly rooted in the late 60s blues boom (try ‘The Victim’, not the kind of number heard often these days), and overall this release makes a very fine addition to any collection of UK blues.

NORMAN DARWEN

www.secretrecordslimited.com

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