Friday, June 10, 2016

The Artwoods - 2014 - Steady Gettin' It

The Artwoods 
Steady Gettin' It

01. Chicago Calling
02. Hoochie Coochie Man
03. Talkin’ About You *
04. Kansas City *
Tracks 1-4 credited to The Art Wood Combo
05. Sweet Mary
06. If I Ever Get My Hands On You
07. Oh My Love
08. Big City
09. Goodbye Sisters
10. She Knows What To Do
11. I Take What I Want
12. I’m Looking For A Saxophonist Doubling French Horn Wearing Size 37 Boots
13. These Boots Are Made For Walkin’
14. A Taste Of Honey
15. Our Man Flint
16. Routine
17. I Feel Good
18. Molly Anderson’s Cookery Book
19. What Shall I Do
20. In The Deep End
21. Brother Can You Spare A Dime
22. Al’s Party
23. Smack Dab In The Middle (17.08.65) *
24. Goodbye Sisters (17.08.65) *
25. She Knows What To Do (17.08.65) *
26. Can You Hear Me (10.05.66) *
27. I Take What I Want (10.05.66) *
28. Jump Back (10.05.66) *

01. Can You Hear Me
02. Down In The Valley
03. Things Get Better
04. Walk On The Wild Side
05. I Keep Forgettin’
06. Keep Lookin’
07. One More Heartache
08. Work Work Work
09. Be My Lady
10. If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody
11. Stop And Think It Over
12. Don’t Cry No More
13. One More Heartache (08.08.66) *
14. I Feel Good (08.08.66) *
15. Things Get Better (08.08.66) *
16. Stop And Think It Over (16.12.66) *
17. In The Deep End (16.12.66) *
18. What Shall I Do (18.03.67) *
19. Day Tripper (18.03.67) *
20. Steady Gettin’ It (18.03.67) *
21. Devil With A Blue Dress On – Good Golly Miss Molly (18.03.67) *
22. In The Deep End (18.03.67) *

Steady Gettin’ It *
Keep Lookin’ *
I Need Your Loving *
Love Have Mercy – Bony Moronie -Love Have Mercy *
Be My Lady *
Day Tripper *
How Long *
Tic Tac Toe *
Song Of The Journeyman *
Black Mountain *
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction *

* = previously unissued

Back in the mid-Sixties, The Artwoods were one of the most vital, impressive R&B bands on the circuit, fronted by Art Wood (elder brother of future Faces/Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie) and also boasting future Deep Purple organist Jon Lord, renowned drummer Keef Hartley, guitarist Derek Griffiths and bassist Malcolm Pool.

Between 1964 and 1967, the band recorded seven singles, the ultra-rare EP Jazz In Jeans and a nearly as scarce LP, Art Gallery, mostly for Decca but also for Parlophone and Fontana (the last under the pseudonym St. Valentines Day Massacre).

Their records have long been coveted by fans of 60s beat, R&B and Mod music.

Keep Lookin' is the most comprehensive anthology of The Artwoods recordings to date.

Alongside all of the bands As and Bs, this 3CD boasts four previously unissued early acetate recordings by the Art Wood Combo, several BBC radio sessions with unique tracks and a long-lost live recording in Denmark from that tail-end of their career.

The compilation benefits from the involvement of the bands guitarist Derek Griffiths and basisst Malcolm Pool, plus legendary blues producer Mike Vernon.

 The Artwoods were a band who inexplicably never quite ‘made it’ despite a lengthy career and several singles. Their biggest problem was the lack of original material, and they relied mostly on good and astute covers of American tracks for most of their material while contemporaries were experimenting with their own songs. Of course the main interest for many here is the fact that this was Jon Lord’s first professional full time group. He’s been with a combo in 1963, and when they teamed up with singer Art Wood, they changed their name to The Art Wood Combo, and eventually The Artwoods. They turned pro in 1964. Jon’s contributions are at the forefront of the band’s sound, which was rooted firmly in the British r’n’b and blues boom of the early sixties (with some later cross over into the Mod scene).

The Artwoods with Jon Lord Decca single

Although various labels have had a good go at the band’s catalogue (notably Repertoire), all are deleted and nobody has ever produced a set which rounded up all their surviving recordings until now.

The Artwoods with Jon Lord Jazz in Jeans EP

So we get the band’s seven singles, the first released in October 1964, including their only minor hit, the excellent I Take What I Want, which made the Melody Maker chart. Most of these were on Decca but the last couple were on Parlophone (In The Deep End is actually not that far removed from Mk 1 Deep Purple in direction and sound) and Fontana (where they went under a pseudonym St. Valentines Day Massacre, cashing in on the Bonnie and Clyde craze).  There is also the four track EP Jazz In Jeans, a real rarity (the original fetches hundreds).  Unusually for a band who never had a hit, the band also cut an impossibly rare album Art Gallery in 1966, which is included in full.

The Artwoods with Jon Lord Art Gallery LP

The label has also rounded up some unissued rarities, 15 in total. These include one of the band’s radio sessions (most are sadly lost), an early pre-contract acetate from 1963, and some tracks from a show recorded in 1967 in Denmark. These have circulated amongst collectors to some degree (and on bootleg, called Live at Funny Park) but I’m told that they have had access to better sources for these rarities.  It was this Danish tour which gave Jon the contacts he used when Deep Purple ventured across early in their career.

Happy belated birthday big guy!



  2. Thank you very much for this. Love this band!!