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17 Feb 2017

Thunderhead “Thunderhead” 1975 US Southern Hard Blues Rock

















Thunderhead “Thunderhead” 1975 US  killer..! Southern Hard Blues Rock..recommended..!
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Awesome southern-fried, blues-based, heavy guitar rocker from the mid-70s featuring and produced by JOHNNY WINTER. Thunderhead '75 is the rare, unreleased studio recording that scored THUNDERHEAD a major label deal and includes nine killer alternate songs/jams that have never seen the light of day until now. Outstanding and Essential, hard-rockin', blues-based, 70s heavy guitar rocker featuring awesome riffage/vox. Highly recommended to fans of early Point Blank, Blackfoot, Skynyrd & Johnny Winter.................

Thunderhead were a briefly active hard rock/blues act formed in New Orleans in the early 70's. Their only album, "Thunderhead", was picked up by ABC/Dunhill Records and issued in 1975. Though the band enjoyed minor success in portions of the country, their relentless touring and promotion of the album was met with general indifference and the band members parted ways the following year. Several of them went on to work with Johnny Winters and in studio production and engineering.

This album is an excellent foray into bluesy southern hard rock, much like early Point Blank or Hydra. The vocal harmonies are stellar and the performances are fluid and powerful. It's quite a shock that this band has been relegated to obscurity, as the songwriting is top notch and the production is quite exceptional given the year the album was recorded. The band's gritty style is embellished with flutes and congas, making them entirely unique entries in the southern rock genre................

This 1975 ABC Records release can't decide if it is hard rock or blues rock with a hard edge, but one thing is for certain: no matter how competent the band is, the disc suffers from having no personality whatsoever. One minute they travel into Sweathog territory, the next moment they are an up-tempo Duke & the Drivers with none of the humor. Mike Dagger, certainly no relation to Mick Jagger, is on lead vocals and flute. Imagine, if you will, a growling Ian Anderson fronting Savoy Brown doing a tribute to Black Oak Arkansas with none of Anderson's clever writing skills. That's not a joke, but this record is the purest example of a band working diligently to say absolutely nothing. Lead guitarist Pat Rush and drummer Bobby Torello worked with Johnny Winter while producer/engineer John Haeny has Bob Segarini's Roxy album to his credit in that double capacity as well, though better known as engineer on albums by Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, and other musicians somewhat removed from this genre. "Lay It on the Line" is one of the better songs, a harder Atlanta Rhythm Section with flute. "Got to Get Away" has a driving chorus, and the guitar lines cook, but the song suffers from underproduction -- it sounds like an engineer did the production work, drums and cymbals fight with the guitars on this particular tune. They would have been perfect on a bill with the latter-day Bachman Turner Overdrive after Randy Bachman made his exodus. "Showdown" has some Marshall Tucker influence, the vocals are all on key, and the band plays with heart, but without a Johnny Winter guest appearance on vocals (he is thanked on the album, so maybe he slipped some guitar work in) there's no star power and the album sounds like back-up musicians cutting their own record. Nice cover photo of lightning in the clouds, the musicians all taking their best Pat Travers band poses in the dark photos on the back, and there's a competent cover of Lowell George's "Juliette" from the Dixie Chicken album that fans of Little Feat may want for their collection..... by Joe Viglione...allmusic......

Based in New Orleans, Thunderhead was formed in 1973 by members of local cover bands Paper Steamboard (singer Mike Daggar, guitarist Ronnie Dobbs, and bassist Otho T. Ware) and David and the Giants drummer Bobby Torello. Local guitarist Pat Rush was subsequently added to the lineup and after a couple of weeks of rehearsals the group began touring clubs throughout the Southeast. Signed by a Georgia-based management company, the band found a mentor in the form of Johnny Winter who tapped the band to open for him on a Southern tour which in turn led to opening slots for the likes of Kiss and ZZ Top.  Winter also indicated he'd be interested in helping the band record an album. With his support, the band went into Bogalusa, Louisiana's Studio In the Country, recording a number of demos with Winter producing (brother Edgar Winter played un-credited keyboards and provided backing vocals on several tracks). Hearing the demos ABC Records offered the band a contract, but rather than releasing the demos, the company demanded the band go back into the studio and record new material with John Haeny in the production seat. 
 Released in 1975, "Thunderhead" featured a set of good, old fashioned Southern rock that would have made bands like The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, and 38 Special proud. Mind you, these guys were not exactly creative trailblazers. You were unlikely to hear anything you hadn't heard on other Southern rock albums and much of the collection has a distinctive 'spot-the-influence' feel, \but that didn't detract from the fact these guys were excellent flag carriers for the genre. Featuring a mixture of band penned originals and outside material, tracks like 'Busted In Georgia' and 'Got To Get Away' managed to combine tough rock moves with surprisingly commercial touches including some of the best harmony vocals in Southern rock (check out 'Roll Up the Hill'). As lead singer Dagger had a great voice; fluid, but also rough enough to stand up well against the rest of the Southern rock competition while Dobbs and Rush served up excellent twin lead guitars. That said, the band's secret weapon came in the form of drummer Torello - check out his work on 'Hit and Run Driver'. ...Bad Cat.........

The Thunderhead Band was formed by Mike dagger, OT Ware, Bobby T and Ronnie Dobbs In 1974. Shortly thereafter Pat Rush was added and rehearsal began. Once out on the road, Johnny Winter, who became friends with the band during visits to New Orleans, offered to produce the group’s first album. They went to “The Studio in the Country” in Bogalusa, La and recorded nine songs and shopped the album to the major labels. ABC records liked the band but wanted a different producer. A new album was recorded and released, but politics within the record industry left Thunderhead hanging with no tour and as a result they disbanded in 1976
Now in 2009, Mike Dagger and Bobby T decided to reform the band with some new members and finally release the first album that was produced by Johnny.
The “new” Thunderhead Band is a powerful guitar driven hard rock, with influences reaching back into the 70’s style southern rock bands. Powerful vocals, strong rhythms, driving bass lines with guitar harmonies and accents on flute and harp, will put a smile on the face of even the most critical rock enthusiasts.
The Band:
The power behind The Thunderhead Band comes from the drums of Bobby “‘T” Torello. The original drummer for Thunderhead hails from New Haven Conn, with over 45 years of experience playing with greats such as Johnny Winter, Michael Bolton, Black Oak Arkansas, Grace Slick and National Tours and two MTV Videos with Michael Bolton. Bobby T. has also done two albums with Sean Chambers of Florida, and 2 years with Tony Stampley and Southern Renagade out of Nashville.
Lead Vocals are by Mike Dagger, also a founding member of the band, who, after taking a break to work as a Fire Fighter for 26 years, is back at the top of his game (also playing Flute and Harp) Mike kept his chops in various cover bands over the years and has opened for Joe Cocker, Edgar and Johnny Winter, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Peter Frampton, Zappa, Dr. John, ZZ Top and many more.
Three new faces to The Thunderhead Band: Chris Bickley, and Jeremy Barrett .
Chris Bickley Lead Guitar: Hailing from the southern part of the United States, Chris Bickley relocated to Connecticut and is becoming one of the most sought-after session players in the tri-state area. Possessing a great wit and sense of humor, he brings a passion and fire to all his performances. He currently is a session guitarist for Horizon Music Group.
Chris is endorsed by Zion Guitars, Bulletproof Guitars, and Modtone Guitar Effects.
Jeremy Barrett Lead / Slide Guitar/Vocals: With roots in southern rock and 25 years of experience Jeremy honed his skills in “The Whiskey River band “for the last several years opening for many National acts such as Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker, Foghat, to name a few.
Dom DeMonico Bass and Vocals:Growing up on a steady diet of guitar driven, hard rocking, high energy music thanks to my older cousin's record collection, There was never a doubt about the road I would take!..............

Credits
Bass – Otho T. Ware
Engineer – John Haeny
Lead Guitar – Ronnie Dobbs
Lead Guitar, Steel Guitar – Pat Rush
Lead Vocals, Flute, Percussion – Mike Dagger

Tracklist
A1 Busted In Georgia 3:43
A2 Lay It On The Line 3:39
A3 Got To Get Away 3:51
A4 Showdown 3:18
A5 Hit And Run Driver 4:49
B1 Breaux Bridge Rag 3:17
B2 Juliette 3:00
B3 Armed Robbery 3:46
B4 More Than I Can Chew 4:24
B5 Rock Me, Roll Me 4:12

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