The late 60s were a time filled with English bands who had discovered
the American blues and were transforming the sound into something
uniquely British, and thus was born the British Invasion. Near the
front of that invasion was a band of Brits fronted by the legendary
Welshman Spencer Davis. The band was most well known in my
circles for producing the incredible talents of Steve Winwood,
but also included Steve's brother Muff, and superb drummer
Pete York. The Winwood brothers departed the band not long
after this concert was filmed, but the Spencer Davis Group
continued to write and perform for years after.
The performance on Gimme Some Lovin' was recorded in 1966
in Denmark (I think) for a television show and clearly showcases the
influence that the blues had in the music of Britain at the time..
Included amidst the performance is a short interview with the band
where Steve and Spencer reveal, among other things, their love of
American Appalachian mountain music
which the Danes find extremely
humorous. The performance is spectacular, with a good deal of blues
classics being represented, including a spectacularly soulful version
of "Mean Woman Blues". The band performs a splendid version
of Ray Charles' "Georgia On My Mind", with Steve
Winwood sounding more soulful than I believe he ever has since. This
was long before he was making waves with the newly emerging synthesis
technology, and was instead one of the youngest and most soulful of
the British singers - Amazing pipes for a Birmingham kid, that's sure.
"Gimme Some Lovin" is another exceptional performance featuring
the strong keyboards of Steve Winwood (an inkling of what was to come
in the next 25 years) and the brilliant drumming of Pete York (who
sites Buddy Rich as one of his favorite drummers). The show
wraps up with a nice heavy beat version of "Keep On Running",
thick with distorted guitars and brilliant vocal harmonies.
Also included on the DVD is the 1967 film documentary With Their
New Face On. This film was shot mostly in the recording studio
after Steve and Muff Winwood had departed the band, and offers a cool
bit of insight into the future of the band.
1. When I Come Home
2. Dust My Blues
3. Mean Woman Blues
5. Together Till The End Of Time
6. I'm a Man
7. Georgia On My Mind
8. Gimme Some Lovin'
9. Keep On Running
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