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Climax Blues Band: A Lot of Bottle (remastered)

After the moderate success of their second album Plays On in 1969, British act Climax Blues Band regrouped once again at A.I.R. Studios with producer Chris Thomas in London in mid 1970 for a follow-up that would once again see the band changing their direction slightly. After the experimental Plays On, which saw CBB shift slightly away from their Chicago blues style towards jazz, psychedelia, and progressive rock, A Lot of Bottle once again returns to the blues, and some very solid blues it was. On board once again were Colin Cooper (vocals, sax, harmonica), Pete Haycock (vocals, guitars), Derek Holt (bass, vocals), George Newsome (drums), and Arthur Wood (keyboards), with a little help from Anton Farmer on additional keyboards.

As the band took a step back into their blues boots, there's a wealth of scorching Haycock guitar throughout A Lot of Bottle, especially on barn burners like "Reap What I've Sowed" (featuring some ripping slide licks), the more traditional sounds of "Every Day", and alongside Cooper's tasty sax lines on the blues/jazz/rock of the instrumental "Brief Case". On "Alright Blue? /Country Hat (reprise)" the band comes across not unlike the Peter Green version of Fleetwood Mac, while Willie Dixon's "Seventh Son" is given plenty of groove, highlighted by a wailing Haycock guitar solo. "Morning Noon and Night" has plenty of rock elements, thanks to some dramatic vocals by the band, strong keyboards, and another sizzling solo from Haycock, while Holt's thick bass lines & Cooper's harmonica propel the otherwise swampy, Delta blues of "Louisiana Blues". The album ends with "Cut You Loose", a fun romp with plenty of sax solos and swirling organ.

As with the other CBB reissues from Esoteric, there are a few bonus tracks here, and they are red hot. Sizzling live versions of "Flight" (the great jazz-fusion gem from the previous album), "Seventh Son", and "Reap What I Have Sowed" (complete with Haycock's scalding slide guitar) are complemented by a jazzy take on "Spoonful" that sounds like a cross between Santana and The Allman Brothers Band. Plenty of adventurous sax, organ, and guitar passages on this one, with Holt & Newsome really rumbling underneath with some intricate rhythms. The overall sound on this remaster is quite good, and the booklet contains a lengthy essay on the band and this album, along with some vintage black & white photos. Nicely done as always from the folks at Esoteric!

Track Listing
1) Country Hat
2) Every Day
3) Reap What I've Sowed
4) Brief Case
5) Alright Blue? / Country Hat (reprise)
6) Seventh Son
7) Please Don't Help Me
8) Morning Noon and Night
9) Long Lovin' Man
10) Louisiana Blues
11) Cut You Loose
Bonus Tracks
12) Spoonful
13) Flight (live)
14) Seventh Son (live)
15) Reap What I Have Sowed (live)

Added: March 7th 2013
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Esoteric Recordings
Hits: 1823
Language: english

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