Duster Bennett; born September 23rd 1946, died March 26th 1976.
This CD of Duster Bennett, is the third volume of rare and unissued material, held on tapes with his wife since 1976, containing yet further avenues of musical talent differing yet again from our first two issues.
The sixteen titles between 1965 - 1976 cover virtually the years Duster was performing right up to his tragic death. His early duo work with Top Topham well preceeded both their recording careers to follow with Blue Horizon. Top, by these recordings had already taken Blues to new heights with the Yardbirds. His recordings here are probably around the time Eric Clapton, his replacement in the band, had left to be replaced by Jeff Beck. Eric Clapton subsequently joined John Mayalls Bluesbreakers and after a short stay with them was replaced by one Peter Greenbaum. Peter Green, hailed by many as the definitive U.K. Blues guitar player, became a close friend of Duster. Their playing together had been recorded by Mike Vernon on his Blue Horizon label when Peter Green had emerged from the Bluesbreakers and was fronting his own band - Fleetwood Mac.
Duster's 'home recording sessions' with friends have fortunately survived and with this volume we include what remains of 'sessions' Peter did with Duster. "Trying So Hard To Forget" is, no doubt, a home 'run through' of this song, that was to showcase Duster on "Mr. Wonderful", Fleetwood Mac's second album. Duster recorded Peter Green's performance of Robert Johnson's "Kind Hearted Woman" and an untitled instrumental with slide guitar which gives a new dimension to the classic period of Green's career.
Green's guitar solos had a spine-chilling ability in his John Mayall/Fleetwood Mac days and it is wonderful to capture one of these moments with him on Duster's "I'm Thinking About A Woman". His playing here with Duster Bennett sums up the brilliant capability of two of Britain's premier Bluesmen performing together privately.
Before Duster moved away from London he had met guitarist Keith Randall, so when he moved north nearer to Keith, it was inevitable they would play together. With Richard Ford, they formed a band called "Thirty Days", sadly never to perform, but from these tapes three of Duster's numbers with the band have been preserved.
Finally, "Everyday", a song re-recorded by Duster not too long before his death, showcases his wonderful adaption to recording with strings, a performance of his own composition that could well have led Duster to further avenues of stardom, had he lived.
These recordings, especially the 'home recordings', were never meant to be issued, their uniqueness I hope will allow the listener to dismiss the odd hiss and pop from a domestic tape recording session in Duster's home. Unfortunately there is some 'ghosting' on one or two of the tracks, when the performance recorded is over another which has not erased properly - such were the trails and errors on reel-to-reel home recording in the mid 1960's! On "I'm Thinking About A Woman" there is damage to the tape, which has been left unedited in case of further spoiling the song.
Indigo Records will be releasing another Duster Bennett CD entitled "Blue Inside".
Thanks to Keith Randall for help on Thirty Days selections. Thanks to Jon Frost, fellow art student and friend of Stella and Duster, who provided original photographs, information and loads of help and enthusiasm.
(P) (C) 1995 Indigo Records
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