When Eddie Boyd appeared inThe Hague with the Blues Festival in 1965, at the first big blues concert ever to be heard in Holland, members of a group from Assen, Drenthe, Cuby and the Blizzards, were watching him. This group had started around Christmas the year before and consisted of: leader, singer and harmonica-player Harry Muskee, then 23 years old, formerly journalist at a local paper; 18-yearold guitarist Eelco Gelling, photographer at the name paper; 19-yearold basuguitarist Willy Middel and two others, who since then have disappeared. Harry Muskee, 'Cuby', had been bass-player and singer in Dixielandband (appropriately called something like 'The Old-Fashioned Group' and through this he had come in touch with the at that time yet to be discovered blues. When he formed his own group, which played in a cellar in Assen, he played a lot of Rhythm and Blues, just like the British groups who started the new trend of group-playing in pop music had done; like them he found in the blues (especially the Pontwar, 'Chicago' blues) an agressive individualism and emotional expressiveness which fitted in well with his own musical ideas. Cuby and the Blizzards turned into fuIl-pros after name time, stuck to the repertoire of their own choice as much as possible, developed a local reputation in the North and begon to make records the first in October 1965, the month when Eddie Boyd visited our country.
At the moment they have acquired a large following as the mast popular blues-influenced group of the Netherlands; their mast successful achievement on record until now hou been their first album, 'Desolation' (Philips XPL 655 022), recorded in November 1966. This induded versions of John Lee Hooker's 'Hobo Blues' and 'Let's Make It', TBone Walker's 'l'm In Love', 'Gin House Blues' and Eddie Boyd's 'Five Long Years', together with three original compositions, and It showed the natural ease with which the group plays its brand of blues nowadays. Particularly the young guitar player Gelling seems a gifted musician, shawing a sometimes remarkable resemblance to Buddy Guy. One of the advantages of the approach of 'C + B', as they are usually called today, is that they try to integrate their favourite examples from the bluesfield in a new style of their own - as opposed to the rather pretentions efforts afname young white folk and blues singers who laborlously try to recreate a past they were never part af. Since 1966 Cuby lives the country-life of his neighbours at the farm in Grollo. After three days of rehearsing there (Eddie Boyd slept in the cupboard-bed; they had to stop at 7 p.m. because the little children of the village have to go to sleep then), they made their way to Hilversum, where Boyd, Gelling, Middel and 18-yearold Hans Waterman on drums recorded the present album the 9th of March. As Boyd was handling the vacals, Cuby had to content himself with a cao chingrole;he played this role with enthousiasm, because in those three days an atmosphere of mutual friendship and a lot of fun had been built up (Eddie Boyd's favourite saying is 'mellow, man, mellow' and he possesses a great capacity to enjoy himuelf). The record contains ten compositions by Boyd (name originals, name re-recordings, e.g. 'Mr. Highwayman' from the Victar-days and 'Nuttin' 'But Trouble' and 'Twenty-four Hours' from his Chess-period), on two of which he plays organ, and Willie Dixon's 'Little Red Rooster', made famous by versions of Howlin' Wolf, Same Coake and The Rolling Stones. Apart from the musical qualities, the album also is a lasting souvenir to the years when an 52-yearsold American bluessinger could be accompanied by three Dutch boys, aged 21,20 and 18. A combination nobody would have dreamt of a few years ago, but which became possible in a period when the blues was, for the first time, not only an obscure form of lowdans American negro entertainment, but also a vital musical form which was accepted by a new generation in other parts of the world as a very fine means of expression. (Review plucked from internet many years ago)
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