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Knights Of The Blues Table - Various Artists

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Knights Of The Blues Table (1997) - Various Artists

    Featuring »

Skip Alan, Wally Allen, Miller Anderson, Maggie Bell, Pete(r) (Constantine) Brown, Pete(r) (Constantine) Brown, Pete(r) (Constantine) Brown, Jack Bruce (John Symon Asher), Jack Bruce (John Symon Asher), Mick Clarke, (Dave) Clem Clempson, (Dave) Clem Clempson, Cyril Davies, Georgie Fame, Mark Feltham, Otis Grand, Dennis Greaves, Peter Green, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Jack Bruce/Clem Clempson, Chris Jagger, Paul Jones, Maggie Bell & Big Jim Sullivan, Lou Martin, Phil May, Gerry McAvoy, T(ony) S. McPhee, Mick Clarke & Lou Martin, Mick Taylor & Max Middleton, (David) Max(well) Middleton, Nigel Watson And Peter Green, Nine Below Zero, Brendan O'Neill, Paul Jones & Otis Grand, Pete Brown & Phil Ryan, Pete Brown/Phil Ryan/Dick Heckstall-Smith, John Povey, Duffy Power (Raymond Leslie Howard), Phil Ryan, Phil Ryan, Big Jim Sullivan, Mick Taylor, Dick Taylor, The Pretty Things, Nigel (J.) Watson

    Tracklisting »

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K.C. MoanLyrics available
  Comments: (Previously Unreleased Soundboard) Performed by Cyril Davies. This track is on the CD before the first track. To access the soundboard (track), 1) INSERT CD and PRESS PLAY. 2) Press and Hold Rewind as player scrolls to the beginning of the soundboard (approximately 4 minutes on your counter), 3) Release Rewind to hear these tracks. NOTE: Some CD players may not access the soundboard. Included courtesy of Brian and Marie Knight. Recorded at home in 1954.
Oral History Of British Blues
  Date Performance: 1996
  Comments: Performed by Pete Brown
Send For Me
  Date Performance: 1996, Running Time: 3:24
  Comments: Performed by Jack Bruce (though listed as being by "Jack Bruce/Clem Clempson" in the CD booklet) "I wanted to record "Send For Me" because the writer, Cyril Davies, was a tremendous influence on all of us lucky enough to play with him in Blues Incorporated. He showed me that it was valid to just be yourself - but I never dared to play harp while he was around!" - Jack Bruce
If You Live
  Date Performance: 1996, Running Time: 4:20
  Comments: Performed by Georgie Fame
Go Down Sunshine
  Date Performance: 1996, Running Time: 4:53
  Comments: Performed by Duffy Power. "I wanted to find something a bit unusual for this project, something out of the usual guitar/bass/drums/harmonica lineup. Then I remembered hearing a lovely track called "Go Down Sunshine" that Alexis Korner recorded which I thought would be perfect." - Duffy Power
Racketeer Blues
  Date Performance: 1996, Running Time: 3:52
  Comments: Performed by Chris Jagger and featuring Mick Jagger (appears courtesy of Warner Music Benelux B.V.) Harmonica Overdubs recorded at Westside Studios, London.
Rocks In My Bed
  Date Performance: 1996, Running Time: 3:28
  Comments: Performed by Pete Brown & Phil Ryan (though listed as being by "Pete Brown/Phil Ryan/Dick Heckstall-Smith" in the CD booklet) "'Rocks In My Bed' is one of my all-time favorite blues tracks. Joe Turner was one of my biggest influences and he did a marvelous version of this song. Also, the song contains one of my favorite mad blues lines ever - 'My baby's gone and she ain't never comin' back, she's lower than a snake in a wagon track.' Brilliant!" - Pete Brown
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
  Date Performance: 1996, Running Time: 3:47
  Comments: Performed by Miller Anderson
Blind Man
  Date Performance: 1996, Running Time: 4:56
  Comments: Performed by Maggie Bell & Big Jim Sullivan. "I first heard "Blind Man" 27 years ago while living In Glasgow, At that time, there weren't a lot of places to go hear live music, especially blues, but there was one place called Lacaze that did. I went round there one night and heard Alex Harvey doing a very powerful, soulful version of "Blind Man" end that did it for me." - Maggie Bell
Travelling Riverside Blues
  Date Performance: 1996, Running Time: 3:57
  Comments: Performed by Peter Green & Nigel Watson
Drop Down Mama
  Date Performance: 1996, Running Time: 3:01
  Comments: Performed by T.S. McPhee (billed as "Tony (TS) McPhee" in the CD booklet)
I've Got News For You
  Date Performance: 1996, Running Time: 4:52
  Comments: Performed by Clem Clempson (though listed as being by "Clem Clempson/Jack Bruce" in the CD booklet)
Nine Below Zero
  Date Performance: 1996, Running Time: 3:55
  Comments: Performed by Nine Below Zero. Mark Feltham is billed as "Billy". "The main reason for doing this track was because the band named themselves after the song, and it also seemed appropriate to the spirit of the project. Unfortunately, none of us ever had the opportunity of playing with Cyril Davies, so our use of acoustic harp instead of electric harp is our own small tribute to the man." - Gerry McAvoy
Judgment Day
  Date Performance: 1996, Running Time: 3:43
  Comments: Performed by The Pretty Things. "'Judgment Day' was one of the first songs we did as a band of 16-year old kids from Dartford, trying to get by in the world and playing the blues of Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed and Big Bill Broonzy our way. The song became a feature of our sets when we played with Cyril Davies." - Phil May
Play On Little Girl
  Date Performance: 1996
  Comments: Performed by Paul Jones & Otis Grand. Part 1 to "Play On Little Girl/T-Bone Shuffle" track. Total running time of track is 6:02
T-Bone Shuffle
  Date Performance: 1996
  Comments: Performed by Paul Jones & Otis Grand. Part 2 to "Play On Little Girl/T-Bone Shuffle" track. Total running time of track is 6:02
One More Mile
  Date Performance: 1996, Running Time: 5:08
  Comments: Performed by Mick Clarke & Lou Martin. "When I was in Killing Floor, "One More Mile" was one of our favorite songs. It was the first song we ever rehearsed as Killing Floor, but sadly, we never got to record it properly, When this project came along, I thought that this would be an appropriate time to commit the song to tape." - Mick Clarke
You Shook Me
  Date Performance: 1996, Running Time: 10:21
  Comments: Performed by Mick Taylor & Max Middleton
    Guest Appearances »

Robert (Crackle) Ahwai, Jeff Allen, Jack Bruce (John Symon Asher), (Dave) Clem Clempson, Les Davidson, Ed Deane, Pascal (Junior) Delmas, Mark Feltham, Kuma Harada, Charlie Hart, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Mike Hobart, Mick Jagger, Bob (Robert J.) Jenkins, Alex Keen, Ronnie Leahy, Chico Lopez, Malcolm Mortimore, Tristan Powell, James Powell, Henry Thomas, Neal Wilkinson, Steve Wren

    Released »


    Format »

Domestic Vinyl/CD Album

    Other Appearances »
Ben Elliott (Engineer), Matt Gregory (Engineer), Tristan Powell (Engineer), Ray Alfred (Songwriter), Mose Allison (Songwriter), Bennie Benjamin/Benjamin-Phariss (Songwriter), Tewee C. Blackman (Songwriter), Pete(r) (Constantine) Brown (Songwriter), Gloria Caldwell (Songwriter), Leroy Carr (Songwriter), James Cotton (Songwriter), Cyril Davies (Songwriter), Willie Dixon (Songwriter), Sleepy John Estes (Adams) (Songwriter), Lonnie Johnson (Songwriter), Robert Johnson (Songwriter), J.B. Lenoir (Songwriter), Sol Marcus (Songwriter), Bryan Morrison (Songwriter), Don Robey (Deadric Malone) (Songwriter), Joseph Wade Scott (Songwriter), T-Bone (Aaron Thibeaux) Walker (Songwriter), Sonny Boy (Aleck Ford Rice) Williamson (Willie) (Miller) (Songwriter), Ioannis (Nikolaos Vasilopoulos) (Art Direction), Steven Jacaruso (Art Direction), Linda Loiewski (Art Direction), Ioannis (Nikolaos Vasilopoulos) (Design), Steven Jacaruso (Design), Linda Loiewski (Design), Arnie Goodman (Executive Producer), Anthony P. Roger (Executive Producer), Neil (The Curmudgeon) Slaven (Liner Notes), Pete(r) (Constantine) Brown (Produced By), Ben Elliott (Mixed By), Skip Alan (Arranged By), Skip Alan (Arranged By), Wally Allen (Arranged By), Wally Allen (Arranged By), Phil May (Arranged By), Phil May (Arranged By), John Povey (Arranged By), John Povey (Arranged By), Duffy Power (Raymond Leslie Howard) (Arranged By), Dick Taylor (Arranged By), Dick Taylor (Arranged By), The Pretty Things (Arranged By), Tristan Powell (Mixing Assisted By), Al Staehely, Jr. Esq (Legal Counsel), Jim Kozlowski (Project Management), Jim Kozlowski (Project Supervision), Joe Gastwirt (Mastered In HDCD By), Ioannis (Nikolaos Vasilopoulos) (Front Cover Digital Art), Ioannis (Nikolaos Vasilopoulos) (Front Cover Digital Retouching), Shu Tomioka (Session Photography), Rita Weigand (Page 15 Brown/Roger/Elliott Photo By)

    Record Label »

    Catalogue Number »


    Running Time »


    Liner Notes »

The birth of British Blues four decades ago is inextricably bound up in the questing spirit of jazz bands led by men like Ken Coyler and Chris Barber, musicians who recognized the close affinity between jazz and blues. Both men were assisted in their early explorations by the flamboyant "Balkan terrorist" Alexis Korner.

In a world where authenticity was de rigeur, singer/guitarist Alexis Korner was a visionary. Right from his earliest experiments with 'skiffle' playing in the Barber band, he was never content with merely recreating songs which were largely drawn from Huddie Ledbetter's vast repertoire. His appreciation ranged wide enough to encompass both the electric blues of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf and bebop masters Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker. When another Barber bandsman, Lonnie Donegan had a pop hit with "Rock Island Line" in 1956, Alexis resolved to chart his own course deep into the blues heritage.

He was helped in his endeavour by Cyril Davies, a panel-beater by trade who had an even greator fixation on Leadbelly's music. As well as playing harmonica, Cyril wielded a 12-string guitar with the same intensity as his idol. He too became tired of skiffle, and with Alexis started the Barrelhouse Blues Club, the first of their many attempts to bring blues to the attention of a public obsessed With trad Jazz. The urbane Alexis called his on-off relationship with the mercurial Cyril "...a great working mismatch", but together or apart, each loved the blues with a supreme passion.

The band began to roll with regular gigs at the Roundhouse and the Marquee, each becoming a landmark venue for blues and jazz. While Alexis played a blues interval on tour with the Barber band, Cyril recruited guitarist Geoff Bradford and pianist Keith Scott. As 1962 began, the pair joined musical swords in Britain's first electric blues band, Blues Incorporated, with Cyril relinquishing guitar in favor of the harmonica. On bass was Malcolm Cecil, who along with Bob Margouleff would later become Tonto's Expanding Head Band and still later produce Stevie Wonder.

The Golden Age of British Blues began that same year with the opening of the Ealing Club in West London. Blues Inc. now had Art Wood (older brother of Ron) and Long John Baldry as vocalists and with Charlie Watts often steering the drumkit. In keeping with the open policy advocated by Alexis, the band featured a 'cast of thousands' that at one time or another included Mick Jagger, Dick Taylor and Keith Richards (until then members of Little Boy Blue & The Blues Boys). Elmo Lewis (aka Brian Jones), Paul Jones, saxman Dick Heckstall-Smith, Brian Knight, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Graham Bond.

Unlike Alexis and Cyril, this younger generation of blues enthusiasts combined its hard-bitten realities with the mainstream of black American popular music. Their heroes recorded for Chess, Vee-Jay and King, Cameo-Parkway and Tamla-Motown, and they regarded Chuck Berry, Bo Didley, Jimmy Reed and Arthur Alexander just as important as Muddy and Wolf. As The Blues Boys became The Rolling Stones, as Eric Clapton and Tom McGuinness formed The Roosters before joining The Yardbirds and Manfred Mann, as John Mayall moved The Blues Syndicate from Manchester to London to become The Bluesbreakers, as Eric Burdon joined The Alan Price Combo and they became The Animals, they all looked to Blues Incorporated as the touchstone of their craft.

By marrying rock rhythms to the blues beats, British Blues was born. It was a vital juncture in the worldwide development of popular music, a crucial fusion of the traditional and the contemporary, an explosion that has continued to reverberate down the decades. This is the time that Knights Of The Blues Table celebrates.

Several members of Blues Incorporated's fluctuating ranks are featured here, among them Jack Bruce, Mick Jagger, Dick Heckstall-Smith and Paul Jones, along with notable contemporaries Pete Brown, Maggie Bell, Big Jim Sullivan, Georgie Fame, Duffy Power, Dick Taylor and Phil May. Their ranks are further strengthened by such luminaries as Mick Taylor, Miller Anderson, Mick Clarke, Clem Clempson, TS McPhee, Chris Jagger, Otis Grand and Nine Below Zero. There will be a second volume of this set titled Knights Of The Blues Table Volume 2, which will serve as a complement to the assembled figures here.

The most welcome participant in these proceedings, though, is Peter Green, marking his return to the recording studio and the music he loves. He has recorded three tracks for this project, the first of which is included here (with the other two to be presented on the second set) and which amply illustrates his abiding love for all eras of the blues. He wields his guitar to stirring effect on a stunning performance of Robert Johnson's 'Travelling Riverside Blues" with fellow Splinter Group guitarist Nigel Watson.

All the musicians who appear on this disc were asked to record either their favorite blues track or a track that was influential on them personally. Of course, none of this could have happened if Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies had not laid the groundwork. Regrettably, Cyril died before he could realize his full potential. He and Alexis parted company at the beginning of 1963 with Cyril forming his own band, The All Stars. In the course of the year, he recorded a pair of singles, "Country Line Special" and "Preaching The Blues", before his death from leukemia on January 7, 1964 at the age of 32. His songwriting talent is represented here with the inclusion of a previously unpublished song, "Send For Me", performed, appropriately, by Blues Inc. graduate Jack Bruce; in addition, there is an extremely rare, haunting track featuring Cyril himself titled "KC Moan", recorded in his home in 1954. After Cyril's death, Long John Baldry continued with Blues Inc., renaming them The Hoochie Coochie Men, thereby ensuring that Blues Incorporated would enjoy several more years of joyous music-making.

Long before John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd donned their dark glasses and porkpie hats, Britain had its own Blues Brothers. Cyril Davies died before he could make the impact on the blues world that was his to impart. Alexis Korner went on to be dubbed "The Father Of British Blues", but he would surely have wished for some of that credit to be bestowed on his one-time partner. Together they stood at the crossroads of a new development in blues and showed everyone a new way. The performances collected here on Knights Of The Blues Table salute their achievements and their memory.

Neil Slaven

Neil Slaven is a free-lance writer, occasional record producer and a regular contributor to Mojo Magazine. He has co-authored the definitive Chess Discography and was a co-founder of Blue Horizon Records with Mike Vernon. Recently he completed a blography of Frank Zappa.

These recordings are dedicated to the memory of Cyril Davies (who fathered the Blues in Britain with Alexis Korner) and to those musicians who followed them but sadly, are no longer with us: Graham Bond, Duster Bennett, Brian Jones, Jo-Ann Kelly, Alex Harvey, Steve Marriott, Ian Stewart, Nicky Hopkins, Rory Gallagher, Paul Kossoff, Les Harvey, Keith Relf and Chas Chandler.

?A large measure of thanks are extended from the Viceroy Entertainment Group to the following, all of whom were instrumental in helping make this project a reality: Jeff Allen, Paul Aaronson, Lucy Aubree at Marathon Music, Bob Brunning, Margrit Seyffer, Pete Brown, Lisa Bardsley, Gintaras Baltoushis, Sherry Daly at Munro Sounds Ltd., Ben Elliott, Joe and Ira Gastwirt at Ocean View Digital, Arnold Holland, Kenny Jones, Jim Kozlowski, Bob Laul, Rupert Lowenstein, Jim Pitulski, Tristan Powell, Lise Price, David Pegg, Mich Reynolds, Anthony Roger, Don Spielvogel, Neil Slaven, Ai Staehely Jr., Stuart Taylor, Shu Tomioka, Clare Turner, the staff at The Church Studios, George and Johannes at Vivid Images and all the musicians whose time, talent and love of the music buth defined this project and made it shine.

Recorded at The Church Studios, London, October-December 1996

Mixed at Showplace Studios, Dover, NJ, January 1997

Mastered in HDCD at Ocean View Digital, Los Angeles, February 1997

Photo Of Brown, Roger And Elliott On Page 15 (C) 1997

For mail Order information and Catalog, write:
Viceroy Entertainment Group
547 W. 27th Street
New York, NY 10001
(212) 465-2357
E-Mail: and

(C) (P) Viceroy Music Entertainment Group.

A Lightyear Entertainment Release
350 Fifth venue, Suite 501
New York, NY 10118

Distributed in the U.S.A. by WEA

Oceanview Digital Mastering

Printed/Made in the U.S.A.


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    Reviews »
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A varied and satisfying collection
Review written by Noel Hodda, November 14th, 2004

This recording brings together an almost eclectic group of British Blues Artists to celebrate the memory of Cyril Davies and other late great artists. Despite the variety it all hangs together well. Highlights include Miller Anderson's version of 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood'; Peter Green and Nigel Watson's version of 'Travelling Riverside Blues' and Paul Jones/Otis Grand's 'Play On Little Girl/T-Bone Shuffle'. You may find yourself dipping in and out more often than playing it all in one go, but that doesn't lessen the quality on offer here.

For generalist British blues fans mainly
Review written by John Fitzgerald, November 14th, 2004

A rather low key affair, this various artists collection of blues numbers are mainly acoustic save for some electricity supplied by Clem Clempson & Nine Below Zero on their respective efforts among a couple of others such as John's & Bob Weston's pals respectively in Mick Taylor with Max Middleton. The rest is basically acoustic stuff which includes Peter with the old faithful Nigel Watson on a cover of Robert Johnson's "Travelling riverside blues" which I'd say is probably better than the version that appeared on the Splinter group album, but although there is a rather impressive list of deep British blues luminaries present, it's deserved that it's low key as it's mediocre stuff overall. Probably a better document for those interested in investigating British blues artists in general though.

    Last Modified »
    Tracklisting »
Discography entry submitted by Jeff Kenney.