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Medicine Head: Radio Sessions 1971-1977

Championed by influential British D.J. John Peel and signed to his Dandelion record label in 1969, blues rock outfit Medicine Head released a handful of vastly underrated albums between 1970 and 1977. Led by principal members John Fiddler (guitars, vocals) and Peter Hope Evans (harmonica, jews harp) Medicine Head were an incendiary live act that helped pave the way for raw, minimalist blues rock throughout the 70's. Although the duo effectively folded up shop with the advent of punk rock in 1977 their influence can still be felt today, thanks in part to this excellent collection compiled by the folks over at Angel Air Records. Radio Sessions 1971-1977 is crammed to hilt with no less than seventeen tracks culled from the bands various U.K. Radio One appearances on programs such as Top Gear and the legendary John Peel Sessions.

As you make your way through this electric collection of music you're able to get an immediate sense of the unmistakable abilities of these two individuals, both as players and as songwriters as they offer up a nice cross section of material that ranges from quiet introspective ballads to raunchy sounding, balls to the wall rockers. Songs like "But The Night Is Young", "Morning Light", "Only To Do What Is True" and "His Guiding Hand" provide a nice change of pace and Fiddler voice is in fine form throughout, but for my money it's the plethora of stripped down, scorching electric blues tracks that really made Medicine Head a force to be reckoned with. Fiddler's chugging guitar riffs and searing slide work duel it out with Evans' blistering mouth harp playing on "Coast To Coast" and "To Train Time" that it sounds like a high speed, out of control locomotive barreling down the tracks. Likewise they get equally down and dirty on "Medicine Pony", "Rock 'n Roll Kid", "One And One Is One" (a top 10 hit in the U.K. singles charts in 1973) and their souped up arrangement of Robert Johnson's "Walkin' Blues".

The word underrated is used so frequently to describe bands that either didn't make it or never received their due, and it almost sounds like a worn out cliché but trust me these guys were underrated with a capital U. The great thing is time has been kind to these songs and these recordings sound extremely fresh and vibrant. Whether you're a Medicine Head junkie that has probably come across these recordings in some form or another over the years, or you're just curious to find out what they were all about, Radio Sessions 1971-1977 is a top notch release from top to bottom that will satisfy both the diehards as well as the newbies.

Track Listing
1) (And The) Pictures In The Sky
2) Coast To Coast
3) To Train Time
4) Medicine Pony
5) But The Night Is Young
6) Rock n' Roll Kid
7) Rainy Day Blues
8) Morning Light
9) Only To Do What Is True
10) Instant Karma Kid
11) How Does It Feel?
12) One And One Is One
13) Rising Sun
14) Walkin' Blues
15) Slip And Slide
16) (I Ain't Cryin) Over You
17) His Guiding Hand

Added: March 2nd 2010
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks
Score:
Related Link: Angel Air
Hits: 1250
Language: english

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