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The Blues Train

Album: The Blues Train
# Song Title   Time
1)    Ride The Train
2)    Missin' You
3)    Pain In My Head
4)    Some Body To Love
5)    Hootchie Kootchie Man
6)    Busted In Chicago
7)    A&R Man
8)    Coast to Coast
9)    Whole Lot O'Blues
10)    Got My Eyes on You
11)    Mojo
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • If most people's appreciation of Canadian rock during the late '60s and early '70s begins and ends with the Guess Who, they are missing out on a host of great lesser-known bands. One of the most intriguing of those bands is the Blues Train, a sensational psychedelic blues combo that, like the Crazy People, put out an album on the Vancouver exploit label Condor. That immediately brings into question who exactly played on the album, since one theory holds that the same studio house band was responsible for all the label's product. Regardless of band makeup, though, The Blues Train is valuable on its own considerable merits. It houses some truly excellent music, and if it is not a proper band, it certainly comes across as the work of a legitimate unit -- and a pretty outstanding one at that.
  • As the band moniker implies and in keeping with perhaps the primary influence on the rock & roll scene of the era, there is a heavy identification with blues, including covers of Willie Dixon's "Hootchie Kootchie Man" and the traditional "Mojo" alongside convincing, like-minded originals like "Ride the Train" and "Busted in Chicago." There is some scorching guitar throughout, and a bass drum pulse that frequently mimics the chug of a train, an enduring symbol that holds romantic sway over the music (as the band itself articulates in the original liner notes). Joe Sanchez is (presumably) the main songwriter in the band, having contributed four of the 11 songs, and he turns out a few sensational tunes in "Missin' You," "A&R Man," and "Coast to Coast." The former song, with its chugging, jostling roadhouse groove and Tin Pan Alley piano, is Harry Nilsson on a prescription of the blues, while "Coast to Coast" is flawless honky-tonk blues with a dollop of sarcastic whimsy, again reimagining Nilsson as a grizzled old bluesman. If the Blues Train sounds like a bar-band version of the Grass Roots on occasion (which isn't even a bad thing, come to think of it) or overly emotes at others to pound home its love of the blues, the group never sounds like a pale imitation of the real thing. The Blues Train is a surprising delight -- scraggly, robust, and catchy with a wonderful sense of its place and purpose. It is perhaps even one of the strongest still unknown (and likely to remain so) blues-rock albums of the era. ~ Stanton Swihart
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