Back in the late sixties and early seventies, a band from Los Angeles called Pacific Gas & Electric made some fame with their rock driven blues and soul dripping vocals. Led by singer Charlie Allen the band recorded several albums and recorded their biggest hit “Are You Ready?”. Worth listening is the live album Live ‘N Kicking at Lexington which features the guitar shredding hit “32-30 Blues”.
Hard driving Guitar solos are all over the place and their thriving vocals and harmonica melodies complement the sound of The Cold Heart Revue perfectly. This band knows how to bring Rock ‘n Roll, Blues and Guitar Rock out a stage. They already had a chart-topping Number #1 hit on the iTunes Blues Single Chart with “You’re A Picture on a Wall” and now they released their second EP “Renegade Heart”.
Like many other notable British Blues musicians, David Robinson of the Cold Heart Revue stands out in bad ass guitar solos and blues rocking arrangements. Their newest EP “Renegade Heart” is a shout out for the revival of hard blues rock and that is what we are waiting for!
4 Piece Blues Band The Cold Heart Revue
David Robinson ( Vocals/Lead Electric Guitar/Lead Slide ) started performing as a solo acoustic blues artist under the name ‘The Cold Heart Revue‘ in 2014. Struck by the authenticity of blues music when performed he recorded his first EP as a solo artist and decided to recruit a full band to perform on the follow-up ‘Renegade Heart’, earlier this year. ‘The Cold Heart Revue’ became a 4 piece band in2017.
Interview about The New Cold Heart Revue EP “Renegade Heart”
Curious about the recording process, the band and the blues scene in England I spoke with Frontman David Robinson about the upcoming The Cold Heart Revue Album “Renegade Heart.
BBB: “All songs on the EP contain arrangements with additions that make the music powerful. For example, The harmonica additions in “American Rain” also the Backing vocals in “Tattoo Girl”, are very appealing. Can you tell something about the recording process? And did you gather some guest musicians?”
David:”Thank you for your encouragement. I am a regular reader of your blog and I am happy to be featured in this article.” “The harmonica on ‘American Rain’ came from a need to add extra heaviness to the sound. The harmonica is a great instrument that ties hard rock to the blues and does give the song a kick. The backing vocals on ‘Tattoo Girl’ came from simple joyful exuberance and they were enjoyable to do. It also helps to differentiate the verses and the choruses. The core of each song was recorded live – the drums, bass guitar, rhythm guitar and lead guitar was recorded with the amplifiers in separate rooms and mic’d up. I then added the vocals, piano, Hammond organ and harmonica.”
When Slash left Guns N’ Roses after finishing the Illusion tours, he did not stay around the house and relax, instead he built a home studio nicknamed Snakepit. Over the years GNR made a reputation as one of the worlds wildest bands. They brought true Hard Rock ‘n’ Roll back and their gritty Blues Rocking riffs blew me away.
Forming Slah’s Snakepit after Guns N’ Roses
After the break up of Guns N’ Roses, Slash quickly put some fine musicians together including Mike Inez, Matt Sorum and Gilby Clarke . Finding a lead singer was more difficult: 40 singers auditioned and Slash found Eric Dover to be the main man. All these guys “experienced none of the heavy scrutiny they are used to when working with their home bands“. Their first album It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere was released in February 1995. On this record you’ll hear Slash’s virtuosity, and feels like one hour Blues Rock jam.
According to Snakepit.org the name came from a Bartender: “SLASH was at an airport leaving for another GNR tour, and he wanted a drink but the signs said that no liquor was served there before 5 pm. SLASH asked for a drink anyway, and the bartender said….the album title”.
Ain’t Life Grand – Slash’s Snakepit
K.C. “Mercury Blues” Douglas
K.C. Douglas was a fine blues musician from the Bay Area. Originally born Mississippi K.C. Douglas learned the Delta Blues from veteran Tommy Johnson. Alongside Johnson, K.C. would perform throughout Mississippi in several Juke Joints until 1945, when he moved to the West Coast. In de Bay Ares Folk Blues scene Douglas would performed several songs of Johnson. ( Blues Encyclopedia by Edward Komara,Peter Lee, p 280) .
K.C. Douglas from Mississippi to California
After K.C. Douglas moved to California he quickly formed a band. In 1948 his first recording “Mercury Boogie” was pressed. Mercury Boogie is a happy feeling blues song and in some ways it just sounds as a jam between the folks in the local bar. That sounds is what hear in a lot througout K.C.’s repertoire. I Imagine K.C. Douglas as a man who allways played and allways was around. A habitue of the local juke joint and a local hero.
Arhoolie founder Chris Strachwitz and K.C. met in the late fifties, and Stachwitz must have seen the heroism of Douglas like we do now. They recorded “Mercury Boogie” in 1960 later Douglas would record maybe his best song “Mercury Blues” for Arhoolie. (Arhoolie 40th anniversary collection set).
K.C. Douglas’ “Mercury Blues” was covered by a whole lot of musicians like The Steve Miller Band, Alan Jackson, and Meat Loaf. Alan Jackson´s version of “Mercury Blues” became a big hit in 1992, and was used in a Ford Trucks commercial. The rights of the song where purchased by Ford Motor Company.
K.C. Douglas didn’t get the fame like fellow west coast blues musicians like Jesse Fuller or Lowell Folsom got. Het was a local hero where he played in the pubs and coffeehouses of Oakland and the Bay Area. K.C. Was always around playing blues. That lifestyle made him the hero of the Bay Blues.