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Blues And Beyond - Dick Heckstall-Smith

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Blues And Beyond (2001) - Dick Heckstall-Smith

    Featuring »

Dick Heckstall-Smith

    Tracklisting »

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Rollin' And Tumblin'
  Date Performance: 2001, Running Time: 5:05
  Comments: Dick Heckstall-Smith: "What can you say? 'McKinley Morganfield', that's what you can say! Paul is masterfully stupendous all through, as are David, Jon and my mate Eddie on National."
Millenium Blues
  Date Performance: 2001, Running Time: 5:22
  Comments: Dick Heckstall-Smith: "A 2001 tribute to Muddy Waters and Ray Charles. Pete Brown's lyrics bare their fangs for various bits of bitter memory. Gary plays the whole picture in 4 dimensions."
Watching Your Every Move
  Date Performance: 2001, Running Time: 5:41
  Comments: Dick Heckstall-Smith: "Clem and I wrote this one for Colosseum; Jon's lyrics leave you dizzy, and the magnificent Rab McCullough nails it in a savage, rampaging guitar/sax/vocal end."
Cruel Contradictions
  Date Performance: 2001, Running Time: 6:48
  Comments: Dick Heckstall-Smith: "Heavy lyric, seriously heavy performance from Peter, who seems to be inside you."
Angie Baby
  Date Performance: 2001, Running Time: 6:11
  Comments: Dick Heckstall-Smith: "For me this has always been one disturbing, sinister lyric, uncomfortable for those who think they can take it all for granted. Do they indeed really know what the real truth is? Angie may have a point (anyway, I was always on her side)."
Grind, Glitch And Snit
  Date Performance: 2001, Running Time: 4:43
  Comments: Dick Heckstall-Smith: "Well I always did like a good, lean muscular lyric. Take it to heart."
Spooky But Nice
  Date Performance: 2001, Running Time: 6:14
  Comments: Dick Heckstall-Smith: "In the two or three months (August-October) and a little bit of November 1962 - when Ginger, Jack and I were playing with the creme de la creme, the absolute best (for me) version of Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, I played this original of Cyril Davies many, many times. Fantastic - Cyril was IT every time, always was. And yes, the more I listen to Mick's playing on this, the more I hear that self-same miracle happening."
Hidden Agenda
  Date Performance: 2001, Running Time: 8:00
  Comments: Dick Heckstall-Smith: "This was twanging around in my head since the end of the 80s. I wrote out the bass line and some harmonies, then played it with some people. (The first one I played it with in public was Innes Sibun, I remember). Then I took it to Clem and said 'This is a guitar song, let's play it!' and suddenly everything began to sound right...Brown did astonishing words, and Lo! When Jack sang it, it was right."
Twilight Shuffle
  Date Performance: 2001, Running Time: 4:38
  Comments: Dick Heckstall-Smith: "This one came out of a blue sky uninvited, and completely unexpected. So at midnight one dark, moist November night, hunched under my drab shawl, I took it to Brown and abandoned it on his doorstep, having it instantly away on my toes like a thief. Behind me I left only echoing hints as to how it might be brought to adulthood (plaintive and sniveling, I think they might have been). When Paul got to it, it really, really become, for the first time, the thing that I had heard two years before."
(Dix WWW).Swamp
  Date Performance: 2001, Running Time: 6:16
  Comments: Dick Heckstall-Smith: "I have a picture of this huge, lumbering, green-eyed seaweed-covered alien Creature from the deep-down barren wetness rising to the surface, doing it's solitary, lumbering thing under the Moon for a while, and returning to the mysterious gurgling silence from whence it came, leaving behind it no sign that it had ever been. The 'lyric' is, of course, by The Creature. (You don't actually get to learn a lot of English under water.)"
Big Deal
  Date Performance: 2001, Running Time: 4:21
  Comments: Dick Heckstall-Smith: "Again, heavy lyric. Whoever it is is so gutted they've no longer even got the gumption to decide to jump. But, as before, Rab has the supernatural ability to give hopelessness a full-throated, ecstatically triumphant voice. If you don't want to have your life changed forever, make good and sure you don't dig his searing guitar and voice mix."
If You Know You Don't Love Me Why In The World Don't You Leave Me Be?
  Date Performance: 2001, Running Time: 5:32
  Comments: Dick Heckstall-Smith: "I stole this one from Jimmy Cotton, and now it's mine! My old Guv'nor John does a handsome job of a Blues in E. (I tried to get him to sing, but no, he had to go.)"
    Guest Appearances »

Pete(r) (Constantine) Brown, Jack Bruce (John Symon Asher), (Dave) Clem Clempson, Peter Green, David/Dave Hadley, Jon Hiseman, Gary Husband, Paul Jones, Eddie Martin, John Mayall, Rab McCullough, Dave Moore, Mick Taylor, Martin Wilde, Paul Williams

    Released »


    Format »

Domestic Vinyl/CD Album

    Other Appearances »
Ben Matthews (Engineer), Pete(r) (Constantine) Brown (Songwriter), Cyril Davies (Songwriter), Dick Heckstall-Smith (Songwriter), Jon Hiseman (Songwriter), Dave Moore (Songwriter), Hambone Willie Newbern (Songwriter), Alan O'Day (Songwriter), Alan Chappell (Art Direction), Ioannis (Nikolaos Vasilopoulos) (Art Direction), Jim Kozlowski (Art Direction), Alan Chappell (Design), Ioannis (Nikolaos Vasilopoulos) (Design), Arnie Goodman (Executive Producer), Pete(r) (Constantine) Brown (Produced By), Dave Moore (Produced By), Ben Matthews (Mixed By), Dave Moore (Mixed By), Shu Tomioka (Photos), Jim Kozlowski (Project Management), Ioannis (Nikolaos Vasilopoulos) (Digital Art)

    Record Label »
Blue Storm Music

    Catalogue Number »


    Running Time »


    Liner Notes »

Recorded at KD's Studio, London W4 and Temple Music, Sutton, Surrey

A View From Behind The Desk

I first saw Dick Heckstall-Smith play around 1957 at St Martin's School of Art, with the band of progressive Dixieland swing clarinetist Sandy Brown. Three years later, we did our first gig together, a poetry and jazz concert, He was the jazz, I was the poetry.

Dick suffered in the tiny London jazz scene of the time for being too intelligent and broad-minded. The prevalent opinion was that if you'd been well educated, had a hyphenated name and a degree, you couldn't possibly have the right feeling in you to play jazz and blues with any conviction (A fine example of the reverse is the posh Sue Lawley’s notorious interview with John Lee Hooker on Desert Island Discs, where she insists, over the vehement denials of JLH, that he must have come from incredible poverty and suffering in order to play like that) In fact, he could just flat out play, and so can Dick.

Dick and I have now done hundreds of sessions together, from my own first record as singer with the strange Battered Ornaments (where I dragged Dick in as co-producer) to this wonderful record, Dick has been involved with the Blues for a very long time, influenced by Sidney Bechet and Wardell Gray, both innovative blues players Dick was the fist jazz musician to join the legendary Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated. Some jazz musicians undoubtedly became involved with the R&B boom in Sixties Britain because of the prevailing cruel economics, but Dick's heart had always been in the Blues, and over the years, through long stints with John Mayall, Jack Bruce and the Hamburg Blues Band, he has developed a unique vision of this music.

Purists may comment on the lack of traditional forms on this record, but they’d be missing the point; real Blues has always found its own shape. Listen to Sleepy John Estes' amazing "Drop Down Mama" and try to count the bars and work out the time signatures!

I have to say that I encouraged Dick when we were writing our songs for the record to push out the boundaries a little, and I don't regret it. I hear too many blues records with the same stuff on them and I don't want to be responsible for any more of it!

Dave "Much" Moore and I have now co-produced three very different Dick Heckstall-Smith records, and we have evolved our own working procedures. "Much" has more technical knowledge than me, and is often able to communicate with engineers in a language for which I would need a translator. I am more generally concerned with logistics, i.e studios, musicians and schedules, and for relaxation I get involved with performance and structure. "Much" and I, both very patient (aren't we, Dick?), have learned to deal with Dick's occasional studio excesses. On one record, Dick tried eight different tenor sax mouthpieces on a track where only he could tell the difference. On this recording, it was Dick's last minute radical musical changes (and sudden “great ideas”) and his antique and uniquely temperamental electronic sax setup.

In conclusion, I'd like to thank Blue Storm Music for helping realize this long dreamed-of project. Dick has been winning European Blues Polls for years, and now the rest of the world will be able to find out why.

Pete Brown

(Thanks to)

My Guests: Paul Jones, John Mayall, Mick Taylor, Paul Williams, Peter Green, Pete Brown and Jack Bruce.

The Band: David Hadley on bass guitar, Gary Husband, Martin Wilde and Jon Hiseman on drums; Clem Clempson, Rab McCullough and Eddie Martin on guitars; and 'Much' Moore on keys.

The Production Team: The man with the Vision, Pete Brown, the gentle man of iron with the in-yer-face nifty-grifty Dave Moore; the ever gimlet-eared, ever-musical man of broad-focus detail behind the desk, Ben Matthews.

Shu Tomioka, who took all the session photographs.

Pete Grant, WebMaster Extraordinaire, who always pays exhaustive (and sometimes exhusting) attention to the DHS Website.

Without Arnie Goodman, Jim 'Koz' Kozlowski, Mike Carden et al at Blue Storm Music, 'Blues & Beyond' would have got about as far as the swamp at the bottom of my garden. Thanks, guys, for your support; thanks, and thanks again. Thanks, also, to Eagle Rock. The uniquely essential role you play can't ever be exaggerated. You are the ones that get our music out, and into the ears of the people; without you, all the labours of the rest of us are suddenly nothing.

The Safest Place In The World is available from Quartet Books Ltd.
27 Goodge Street
London W1P 2LD
PH: 0207 636 3992

Visit Dick Heckstall-Smith online at:

(P) (C) 2001 Blue Storm Music.
For information email:

    Reviews »
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Great for what it is but all may not enjoy it
Review written by John Fitzgerald, November 13th, 2004

Peter is listed as lead vocals, lead guitar and harp on "Cruel contradictions" but as Heckstall-Smith has had to play back seat for many years, he rightfully gets the main leads here. However, the real treat is that Peter's vocal on this slow blues number (though somewhat rusty) seems to encompass more confidence than some other recent vocal appearances by Green. Although the songs that are present on this disc are longer than you may expect to find on a modern day blues album surprisingly (and disappointingly) most of the improvisation is by Dick himself which as I say is well overdue for the underrated saxophonist but given the guests on board, doesn't make this sound as varied as one would hope but it's pretty pleasant stuff overall. Other highlights are the instrumentals "Spooky but nice" (with Mick Taylor), "(Dix WWW) swamp" and "If you know you don't love me why in the world don't you leave me be" (with John Mayall). There's also the rocking humorous "Millennium blues" and some mean harp from Paul Jones on the lead off nugget "Rollin' and tumblin'" but perhaps, an acquired taste.

    Last Modified »
    Tracklisting »
Discography entry submitted by Pete Grant.