Monday, 3 June 2013

Featured Artist: Blodwyn Pig

Blodwyn Pig
A quirky detour of late-'60s British progressive/blues rock, Blodwyn Pig was founded by former Jethro Tull
guitarist Mick Abrahams, who left Tull after the “This Was” album. Abrahams' falling-out with Anderson was said to have originated in differences between the two on original materia - Abrahams wishing to stay close to Jethro Tull's blues and jazz roots, Anderson wishing to develop less overt blues and jazz material.
Abrahams was joined by bassist Andy Pyle, drummer Ron Berg, and Jack Lancaster, who gave the outfit their most distinctive colorings via his saxophone and flute.
On their two albums, they explored a jazz/blues/progressive style somewhat in the mold of (unsurprisingly) Jethro Tull, but with a lighter feel. They also bore some similarities to John Mayall's jazzy late-'60s versions of The Bluesbreakers, or perhaps Colosseum, but with more eclectic material. Both of their LPs made the British Top Ten, though the players' instrumental skills were handicapped by thin vocals and erratic (though oft-imaginative) material.
With Abrahams and Lancaster in the lead, Blodwyn Pig recorded two albums, “Ahead Rings Out” in 1969 and “Getting To This” in 1970. Both reached the Top Ten of the UK Album Chart and charted in the United States; “Ahead Rings Out” displayed a jazzier turn on the heavy blues–rock that formed the band's core rooted in the British 1960s rhythm and blues scene from which sprang groups like The Yardbirds, Free and eventually Led Zeppelin.
Saxophonist–singer Lancaster (who often played two horns at once, like his idol Rahsaan Roland Kirk) was at least as prominent in the mix as Abrahams; some critics thought this contrast bumped the band toward a freer, more experimental sound on the second album.
The single "Summer Day" from “Ahead Rings Out” failed to chart, but the quartet became something of a favourite on the underground concert circuit.
Largely due to Abrahams's disillusionment with the business side of music, Blodwyn Pig eventually became an on-again, off-again concern; Lancaster at one point became a record producer, and Pyle eventually joined Savoy Brown.
Over the years since their original formation, Blodwyn Pig reformed several times, usually with Abrahams and Lancaster leading the group, and recorded two more albums in the 1990s.

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