Review: Climax Blues Band – The Official Bootleg

Posted on: Sunday, Mar 23, 2014

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Climax Blues Band – The Official Bootleg

(ATA – promotional/sampler)

Originally forming in Stafford way back in 1968, as The Climax Chicago Blues Band, the name was shortened to the Climax Blues Band in 1972 and since then through the decades the outfit have continued to produce their own blend of funk, blues, rock, soul and jazz. This release sees the current line-up recorded last year at The Leek Blues Festival in Staffordshire, with the music mixed by the legendary Roy Wood.

The six-piece line-up consists of several long-standing band members and a few more recent recruits, namely: Neil Simpson (bass), Les Hunt (guitar and vocals), Graham Dee (vocals), George Glover (keyboards), Chris Aldridge (saxophones) and Roy Adams. This 12-track promotional release sees the band in fine form, with a choice of fine blues standards and some band originals, which all highlight their very fine musicianship.

The album is dedicated to founder member Colin Cooper (saxophone and harmonica), who sadly passed away in 2008; and since then original guitarist and vocalist, Pete Haycock died last year. The band more than uphold the high standards of the past on this most enjoyable release from a group of seasoned professionals who obviously love what they do. As well as polished covers such as “So Many Roads”, “Spoonful”, “I’m Ready” and more, highlights are probably the very funky “Chasing Change” from the big “Gold Plated” album of 1976; and the timeless hit “Couldn’t Get It Right”.

The back catalogue is visited for the soulful ballad “Last Chance Saloon” from 1981’s “Lucky For Some” album; and another standout of this set is “Towards The Sun”, a strutting, driving rocker from the “Tightly Knit” release which hails from way back in 1971. The band sound to be having a ball on this set, and come definitely recommended if they head your way.


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