DUTC#10 March 12, 2023

The focus for this week is on two very different groups and two very different songs. Even though only seven years separate these two songs (1969-1976), they represent, I feel, a musical shift that took place during this period of time. I suppose one way to look at this shift is that the song I’ve chosen from 1969 coincides with the peak of American troops in Vietnam (despite the fact that it is a British band), while the 1976 selection comes three years after the end of the United States’ involvement in the war in 1973. While I am certain that both these styles of music were being produced in both these time periods, it does give one pause when thinking about the musical output from this country and the UK between 1965 (when the first ground troops landed in Vietnam) and 1973 when US involvement ended. When I think back to what I was listening to in those days (I was 19 in 1969, 26 in 1976), it definitely leaned heavily towards my selection for 1969. Enjoy the music!

Blind FaithBlind Faith were an English “supergroup” featuring Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, and Ric Grech. The music press were eagerly anticipating what lay ahead for the group, especially because of the success of each of the member’s former bands, including Clapton and Baker’s Cream, and Windwood’s former group Traffic. However, the band split after only a few months, producing only one album, along with a three-month long summer tour. The group started with some informal jamming by Clapton and Winwood in early 1969 following the break-ups of Traffic and Cream. Baker joined them in rehearsals, and they then decided to form a group. Grech joined as the fourth member from his band Family. In May of that year, they began recording their eponymous debut album, which drew some controversy as the album featured a front cover photograph of a topless 11-year-old girl. When it was released in the United States, it had a different cover.

The first Blind Faith concert was on 7 June in front of an estimated 100,000 fans in Hyde Park, London, but they felt that they had not rehearsed enough and were unprepared. They had subsequent performances in Scandinavia and the United States, but because of the lack of material they ended up playing old Cream and Traffic songs, to the delight of the crowds, but it disillusioned the band, and ultimately led to the break-up. The one album has many great tracks, but “Can’t Find My Way Home” is still their most beloved song, and according to some sources, one of the most covered songs in rock history, although I take that as just a tad hyperbolic! Having said that, the song was covered by the likes of House of Lords, Joe Cocker, Styx and John Welton, as well as being recorded in different genres, including hard rock, soul, and pop. There are also many theories as to what the song’s lyrics mean, with many saying they are about drugs, which seems plausible given the lines: “Well, I’m near the end and I just ain’t got the time / And I’m wasted and I can’t find my way home.” Works for me, not that I would know anything about being “wasted.” Yeah, right!! It is definitely in my top ten of favorite songs from that era.

Blind Faith – “Can’t Find My Way Home” – (Original acoustic version) – 1969.

Sugar Lime Blue

For over a decade, Sugar Lime Blue has been committed to recording music that draws from several genres, and their latest effort is no different.  Recorded at the Historic Blackbird Studio in Nashville, TN, “The Blackbird Sessions” is a crossroads album in many ways for Sugar Lime Blue, signaling the end of an era while simultaneously ushering in a new one. Started prior to the Covid pandemic with basic tracking completed shortly after the release of their 3rd album, Narcoluptuous (added on 120 FM Stations), production came to a standstill at the loss of founding member and bassist Russ Dean in 2020.  

Despite the loss, Ashley and Dave Beth remained committed to seeing the album to completion and enlisted the help of bassist, Joe Bass (Brian Howe), and keyboardist, Scott Guberman (Phil Lesh) to complete studio tracking. During this time, the band also re-established a live presence, embarking on several multi state-state tours over the summer adding members Luis “Slice” Echeverria on Keys and Ikaika Pekelo on Drums who also contributed on the album.  

Sugar Lime Blue remains a strong presence in the Americana/Jam Band scene, having played national festivals alongside mainstays Umphreys McGee, Moe, Ween, The Wood Brothers, and Buddy Guy among others.  At four albums in and over a decade of experience, SLB has performed nearly 1000 concerts and has been featured in national and international Press.

I found their cover of “Can’t Find My Way Home” to be one of the best I’ve ever heard.

Sugar Lime Blue “Can’t Find My Way Home” – 2018

Hall & Oates

Daryl Hall and John Oates, commonly known as Hall & Oates, are an American pop rock duo formed in Philadelphia in 1970. Daryl Hall is normally the lead vocalist, while John Oates plays electric guitar and provides backing vocals. The two write most of the songs they perform, separately or in collaboration. Their greatest success came between the mid-1970s to the late-1980s with a fusion of rock and roll, soul music and rhythm and blues. The duo reached the US Top 40 with 29 of their 33 singles between 1974 and 1991. Six of these peaked at number one, including my selection, “Rich Girl” (1977).

They employed a wide variety of session musicians on their recordings over the years, but they did have a long working relationship with several musicians who appeared on many of their works as well as touring with them. They include guitarist G.E. Smith, bassist Tom “T-Bone” Wolk, and multi-instrumentalist Charles DeChant. They also collaborated with sisters Sara and Janna Allen on songwriting and composing. “Rich Girl” was a smash and their first No.1 hit.

I will readily admit that while I was aware of them as duo back then, and certainly heard their music being played on the radio, they were not exactly my go to in my late twenties when I wanted to listen to music. However, over time I did manage to appreciate their accomplishments. Oddly enough, it was when I heard the cover version of this song that I am featuring here, that I went back to listen to many of their songs again – 47 years later. As they say, better late than never!

Hall and Oates – “Rich Girl” – Album: Bigger Than Both Of Us – 1976

The Hindley Street Country Club (HSCC)

The Hindley Street Country Club are a cover band from Adelaide, South Australia, formed in 2017 by Constantine Delo and Darren Mullan. Widely regarded by their fans as the “greatest cover band in the world”, the group has achieved a staggering quarter of a billion views on their official YouTube channel, which now has almost 600,000 subscribers.

Delo is in charge of picking the songs and the arrangements. He will tell whoever else is playing that day if he wants the song played in a slightly different key, or if a chord needs changing, any way they can make the song their own. However, it is Mullan who owns the studio and who is in charge of recording, making them the perfect team. The two founding members team up with a variety of local musicians, many of whom are local legends, to produce and perform covers of hits from the 70s, 80s, and 90s. These live performances are broadcast weekly on a Friday afternoon.

Performing much loved hits from the past fifty years has made them popular with audiences of all ages, but they seem to appeal to the over fifties in particular. Speaking to Manopod, a lifestyle podcast for men over fifty, Delo said he covers music that takes you back to a time where you have your whole life ahead of you. To him, music is “like love: you think you pick it, but it picks you”.

The group’s name pays homage to Hindley Street, Adelaide, and its buzzing live music scene, where many of the band’s ever-changing line up started out. But they do not limit themselves to only playing with established musicians. While they may appeal to a more mature crowd, The Hindley Street Country Club have been known to perform at schools, inviting young, budding musicians to join them for a jam session or two.

I absolutely loved their rendition of this song by Hall & Oates as well as many of their other covers. I will definitely be doing a future DUTC on this group and some of their amazing covers.

Hindley Street Country Club (HSCC) “Rich Girl” – Nov. 2022

Los Angeles 2023

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