Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock
The very things that made the Blues Project one of the most phenomenal bands of the '60s are the same things that made the band a short-lived one. Drawing on a crazy quilt of influences--including folk, pop, jazz, psychede... more »
The very things that made the Blues Project one of the most phenomenal bands of the '60s are the same things that made the band a short-lived one. Drawing on a crazy quilt of influences--including folk, pop, jazz, psychedelia, and, yes, blues--the band was known to perform scorching versions of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf classics one minute, then turn around and do mellow contemporary tunes by the likes of Donovan and Patrick Sky the next. A band whose onstage energy was boundless, their studio work didn't always come across quite as well, and sharply divided attitudes about approach and repertoire (plus assorted personal problems) eventually sundered the band. Anthology is the best available sampling of the group's oeuvre, collecting material from their albums on Verve and Capitol and tossing in some rare singles, solo material, and previously unreleased tracks for good measure. You don't often hear the Blues Project mentioned in reverent tones, as are other, similar acts of the era, and that's too bad. This set makes a case for their veneration. --Daniel Durchholz
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'Projections' into the future...
Jason A. Levine | Seattle, WA USA | 11/30/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I first heard the Blues Project about ten years ago. While intrigued by their unique, very-60s, psychedelic meets jazz-blues sound, I was always a bit put-off by the horrible recording quality. Well, rest assured that 'they finally got it right'. On ANTHOLOGY, we finally get to hear the Blues Project as they were meant to be heard. The first disc, primarily of outtakes and tracks from the Live at the Au Go Go set are fresh and rocking. You can actually HEAR the bass and bass drum, and the stereo image is much more 'in the club' feeling..Occasionally, the vocals are kinda buried, but hey, this was 1965! As far as disc 2, the PROJECTIONS tracks will astound you. Granted, certain tracks are stilled marred by some VERY bad recording & distortion from way back when (primarily the first track) but Steve's Song, Flute Thing and especially Two Trains Running sound fresh and allow you to experience a whole new level of stereo separation that was NEVER there before. A true gem, and a VERY welcomed remastered collection...IT'S ABOUT TIME!"
Important Node in the Genesis of American Rock
B. Marold | Bethlehem, PA United States | 09/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"`The Blues Project Anthology' gives us a virtually complete picture of the best work of that very seminal band, `The Blues Project' which flourished for but two years in the very heart of the sixtys, that cauldron in which virtually every new strand of popular music, especially every strand of Rock was born and brought to a rapid maturity.
The group, `The Blues Project' was formed by Danny Kalb and named after a famous Elektra vinyl album done in 1964 of `A Compendium of the Very Best on the Urban Blues Scene'. On this album, Kalb appears with Dave Van Ronk, John Koerner, Geoff Muldaur, Dave Ray, Ian Buchanan, Mark Spoelstra, and Eric Von Schmidt, most of whom were `household names' among budding hippy homes.
The tie between this album and the very name of the group itself gives a very misleading impression of the group's music. Of the thirty-six tracks on the two CD's in this album, a minority are what one can properly call blues. On the other hand, the band did perform a very similar function to the `John Mayall Bluesbreakers' in England, where this band itself never made a big impression, yet a whole pantheon of great future rock performers performed under Mayall's wing for some time. Similarly, `The Blues Project' was the spawning ground for Al Kooper, Roy Blumenfeld, Tommy Flanders, and Steve Katz. While none of these may raise an eyebrow today, in the 1960s and the early 1970s, most of these performers had great cachet, especially Kooper who went on to do `Super Session' albums and form the original `Blood, Sweat, and Tears'.
Musically, `The Blues Project' seems to have a lot more in common musically with contemporaries `Buffalo Springfield', `The Byrds', and `The Velvet Underground' than they do to the leading American blues performer of the time, the `Paul Butterfield Band' or the new English Import, `Cream' with blues guitarist extraordinaire, Eric Clapton.
The value of this album exceeds its inherent musical qualities, even though those qualities are not to be taken lightly. The performers and the pieces form an important node in the path of American popular music, especially for the numbers written by Kooper, such as `I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes' have graduated to the rock legend locker.
For anyone reading this review who do not know `The Blues Project', but are interested in music of the 1960s, I suggest you turn in half your early Beach Boys albums and all your 5th Dimension collection for this one. (I take that back about the Beach Boys).
This Experiment Mostly A Success...But...
BluesDuke | Las Vegas, Nevada | 08/19/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"They're generally considered a few pegs below the likes of the Butterfield Blues Band and John Mayall's Blues Breakers for helping to kick start the 1960s blues revival. But the Blues Project (they took the name of an earlier Elektra sampler on which three had played) at their best had their own substance and ethic. "Live at Cafe Au Go Go" was the best of their original albums; "Projections" the best of their studio work. ("Planned Obsolescence," billed as the fourth Blues Project album, was actually the test flight of what became Seatrain - bassist/flutist Andy Kulberg had assembled a new band to fill out their Verve Forecast contract and threw forth a new style, a hybrid of folk, rock, and jazz completely distinct from the Project's style. For that matter, Seatrain themselves deserve a hearing today.) Though plagued by musical indecision and personality conflicts in the end, at their best the Blues Project - particularly guitarist Danny Kalb, keyboard ace Al Kooper, and Kulberg - lived up to their legend. And for the most part you get their best here, though "Live at Cafe Au Go Go" deserves a complete, remastered reissue."