Angel Air Records (label)
10 April 2014 (released)
12 May 2014
The late Jackie Lomax, who passed away last year from cancer, was a singer/songwriter and guitarist who had played with various bands in the Sixties and was famously associated with Eric Clapton and George Harrison. Lomax joined Heavy Jelly back in 1970, initially a fictitious group that somehow became a real band. This long lost album (please read on) has attained cult status but due to contractual problems with Apple Records was never before available, until now!
Heavy Jelly consisted of former Aynsley Dunbar members and the drummer from The Animals, but to reveal how the fictional band became real, or how the band came to be at all for that matter, would turn your brain into… jelly! Following Jackie’s untimely death in autumn of last year, his family resolved all contracted issues with Apple Records and the label have finally, forty-four years on, given their blessing for the much-sought after album to be released. Here it is, at long last, on CD and released via Angel Air – the label were the artist has a voice (even from beyond the grave).
The album is very much a blues-rock affair of the early 1970’s, and the eight tracks are solidly crafted and with some surprise guests in tow. For example, the feel-good ‘Too Complicated’ boasts the talents of the Rolling Stones’ wind section Bobby Keys (tenor sax) and Jim Price (trumpet, trombone). Opener ‘You Better Let Me Know’ has a real Southern Rock feel to it, with blistering guitar solos by John Morshead on lead guitar and Lomax on second guitar.
The blues-factor gets cranked up on ‘Just Don’t Feel So Good’, seething harmonies perfectly carry Lomax’ distinctive voice and although nothing much out the ordinary, the track is shining example of the band’s understanding of the blues.
‘F-F-F-Females’ is another spirited blues-rock honker, though with lyrics that go “Women, here I go / hanging low/ where I go/ I don’t know / Women, push me out, pull me in / Here I go around again…” it’s fair to say that this is not exactly a love song. What it is, however, is energy-driven and full of soul, not to mention insight.
‘Bio Blues’ bears all the hallmarks of a classic blues-rock composition, while the more rock-orientated is amongst the best tracks on this album.
Closing number ‘Take Me Down To The Water’ welcomes Badfingers Pete Ham and Tom Evans on guest vocals, or harmony vocals to be more precise. It’s a track that seems to go on forever as well, though that is fine with me. The heady turn on, tune in, drop out undertones set a nice contrast to the more obvious blues-laced overtones and a gently pounding rhythm – lending the song its heartbeat.
A true gem of 70’s blues-rock and thankfully, it can be shared with the world.