Sunday, September 20, 2009

Spencer Davis Group: Dust My Blues

After last night there can be only one choice. On this 1967 recording from Finnish TV Spencer sings while Steve Winwood plays a mean Blues guitar.

Life must have seemed good to Davis in 1967. He had a cheesy pop star haircut and the group he led had had two number one hits. Legend has it that the Winwood brothers favoured naming the group after the loquacious Davis so that he could do all the press interviews while they stayed in bed.

Then Steve Winwood, who was nine years younger than Davis, left to form Traffic with some younger musician friends he liked to jam with, and life became more difficult.

Davis recruited new players replace the Winwood brothers (Muff went into producing at the same time that Steve left), but never enjoyed much success again. Some of the later Spencer Davis Group tracks like Time Seller and After Tea still sound good today in a mildy psychedelic way.

Incidentally, Elton John was one of the people Davis auditioned and rejected in this period. Another of his connections with rock history is that he used to date and play as a duo with Christine Perfect, who became Christine McVie and a member of Fleetwood Mac.

Spencer Davis now lives in California. Introduced by John Steel at his Market Harborough concert last night as having come "all the way from Los Angeles," he modestly replied, "I've just come from Wakefield."

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