Saturday, 28 April 2018

Tramp "Put A Record On" 1974 UK Blues Rock ( Fleetwood Mac, Manfred Mann, The Sunflower Blues Band,Savoy Brown,John Dummer Band)


Tramp  "Put A Record On" 1974 UK Blues Rock ( Fleetwood Mac, Manfred Mann, The Sunflower Blues Band,Savoy Brown,John Dummer Band)
full vk


Tramp were a side-project / offshoot of blues-era Fleetwood Mac, featuring Mick Fleetwood on drums, and Danny Kirwan on guitar. 
I’m guessing though that the band line-up here was a side-effect of Fleetwood Mac’s woes at around the time this album was recorded … the Mac were in limbo, what with frontman and principle songwriter Peter Green becoming a recluse, Jeremy Spencer joining the Children of God cult, and all sorts of legal complications arising over rights to the band’s name. 
All in all, it was a low point for former band members, and it was still some time prior to Fleetwood Mac rebranding themselves into mega-stars with their new ‘Corporate Rock’ sound via the Fleetwood Mac and Rumours albums of 1975 and 1977 respectively. 
Given th pedigree though, I was hoping the obscure Put a Record On would turn out to be an overlooked and long lost classic of blues-era Fleetwood Mac. Mick Fleetwood’s presence on percussion wasn’t likely to be of any musical consequence of course, but Kirwan particularly had been a prominent contributor - on a par with Peter Green - to Fleetwood Mac’s excellent early albums. 
But unfortunately this album is a major disappointment … the production is pretty scruffy, with most tracks sounding like rough run-throughs, first takes, or even demo recordings. Vocal duties are split between one Dave Kelly and his sister Jo Ann Kelly, but neither of them can carry a tune, or sing particularly well, and so lend the whole enterprise a rather amateurish air. 
At best, Dave Kelly sounds like either a poor man’s Roger Chapman (of UK Art Rockers Family) on “Now I Ain’t A Junkie Anymore” and “What You Gonna Do” (where he indeed sounds like a druggy junkie having a crack at singing), else he comes across like Leon Redbone having a very 'off’ day (“Maternity Orders”). 
As for his sister, well - for a white lass - Jo Ann Kelly does have a remarkably 'black’ and bluesie voice, sounding rather like early Nina Simone, but again her singing here comes across as rather offhand and scruffy, no better than a mediocre karaoke singer. 

For an album released in 1974, the music itself is more akin to 1950’s R&B than to 1960’s UK blues, the best aspects being some intermittent stride piano from Bob Hall (ex Groundhogs and Savoy Brown), and some tasty honkin’ saxophone from one Dave Brooks. 
But the songwriting is mostly routine, and the overall impression is of a band no better than you’d hear at a holiday camp, or playing a boozy knees-up at your local pub. A couple of the compositions would’ve had promise if they’d been handled better, and wouldn’t sound out-of-place on an album by Family were they better produced … and sung by Roger Chapman. 
Put a Record On was Tramp’s second (and last) album, by all accounts the debut from five years earlier was a lot better. So - given the lengthy time between releases - this album looks very much like ex Fleetwood Mac members just filling in time and moonlighting while their legal wrangles were being sorted out. Probably best forgotten methinks. …..~


Tramp were a British blues band active during the late 1960s and early 1970s on an intermittent basis. This on/off activity and the loose, transient nature of the band’s line-up were reflected in the group’s name. 
The line-up centred around the brother-sister pairing of Dave Kelly and Jo Ann Kelly, and included various members of Fleetwood Mac, plus various session musicians. The band released two albums; Tramp in 1969, and Put A Record On in 1974. All members participated in many other projects before, after and even during their time with Tramp. 


LINER NOTES 
Recording sessions involving musicians who do not regularly work together can be notoriously unproductive, the shelves of second hand record shops are littered with dusty remnants of what might have been a great session. 
Happily 'Tramp’ is a very fine exception to this rule, perhaps because although there is plenty of creative and spontaneous playing on these tracks, the songs themselves, written by Bob Hall and Dennis Cotton, are economical, witty and tightly constructed; there are no twelve minute guitar solos on this record. Every musician contributed hugely to the overall strength of performance that is obvious throughout the set. Dave and Jo-Anne Kelly are renowned for their ability as blues singers, and they tackled each song whole-heartedly, often adding new ideas whilst actually recording. Bob Hall is surely the finest boogie pianist in Britain, and has never played better than on these sessions. Bob Brunning is also a highly experienced bass player who has worked and recorded with many blues giants, forming a unit with Bob Hall which has become much in demand by impressed visiting American performers, many of whom have invited them back to the States to form a permanent band! Mick Fleetwood has been the mainstay of Fleetwood Mac for a long time, and when one listens to this exciting playing on this album, one can see why - listen to his inspired and absolutely spontaneous drum lead in during the entirely unrehearsed piano break in 'Too Late For That Now’ which leads incidentally to one of the most exciting solos heard in a long while. Danny Kirwan plays crisply and economically, showing his ability, unusual among rock guitarists - to know when not to play, nevertheless turning in some pleasing solos. Dave Brooks proves just how easily he recently stole the show on some of the '73 American Blues Legends performances, and last but not least, percussionist Ian Morton adds a lot of excitement to the proceedings. Here then is a fresh and exciting album representing of more than worthwhile gathering together of some well known musical 'Tramps’. ….~


Perhaps I had my hopes too high for “Put a record on” after hearing the classic first Tramp album (which was selftitled from 1969) but I don’t think the addition of Dave Brooks on sax and Ian Morton on percussion was a good idea as I found those parts intrusive and most of the material on this album is given a forced funk type sound which is just not as appealing as the raw, more improvisational approach used (and that worked so well) on the first Tramp album. Having said that, it is not horrible as the peppy opener “Too late for that now” is a highlight of the material here but that is followed by a draggy funk called “Now I aint a junkie anymore”. “What you gonna do” was co written by Brunning and it is one of the better funk pieces enclosed here. However, the slight reggae feel on “Like you used to do” is rather silly sounding and just doesn’t work. “You gotta move” is a punchy rapid swing though let it be known that this track was oddly omitted from the CD version of PARO (when released on CD on it’s own, it is included on the “2 on 1” Tramp CD called “British blues giants”). The title track starts off side two and maybe I would’ve thought better of it had I heard this version first but having heard the definitive Brunning Sunflower Blues Band version (from the “Brunning Hall Sunflower Blues band” album from 1971) of this song first, this (& it’s various outtake versions that have since appeared on Jo Ann Kelly outtake compilation CD releases) sounds as if it was attempted to be played in a commercial vein for no good reason (other than the obvious one of wanting a hit single and that was not what Tramp was originally about, or so I thought). “Funky monkey” is a busy sax/guitar funk which is probably the most rocking tune on this album but again, it must be said that it’s nowhere near as effectively rocking as the rocking material on the first Tramp album. “Beggar by your side” could’ve been a good slow burning blues had it included a more empty arrangement but the sax and chirpy guitar riffs really annoy here.“Paternity orders” is a piano ragtime attempt but the hard strumming acoustic guitar part hardly even seems worth it as it gets buried under the rest of the production for the most part and the closing “It’s over” is a fitting stroll in the classic 50’s “Blueberry hill” mold. On it’s own, this album probably is not a bad funk platter but as a reunion record, it’s disappointing to say the least…..~



Memebrs: 
 
MICK FLEETWOOD - Drums 
Founder member of Fleetwood Mac. He played on all their hit records and is currently spending most of his time touring the U.S.A. He is an old friend of Bob Brunning who he played with in Fleetwood Mac. 

DANNY KIRWAN - Guitar 
Replaced Peter Green as the lead guitarist in Fleetwood Mac and previously had his own band 'Boilerhouse’. He is currently forming a new band and is touring the U.S.A. He appeared on Volume One of Tramp, replacing Peter Green as he was unavailable. 

DAVE BROOKS - Sax 
Tenor Player for Manfred Mann, currently freelancing and doing session work. 

DAVE KELLY - Vocal 
Lead guitarist and vocalist with the John Dummer Band, he has made several albums with John Dummer and also two under his own name. 

JO ANNE KELLY - Vocal 
Sister of Dave Kelly, she was once dubbed by Melody Maker as Queen of British Blues Singers and has made two albums under her own name. She has toured the U.S.A. and is returning for a further visit. 

BOB BRUNNING - Bass 
Bass player with Fleetwood Mac and Savoy Brown. He left to continue his career as a teacher, he is working with Tramp and is also a member of a band he got together with Bob Hall, The Sunflower Blues Band. 

BOB HALL - Piano 
Together with Bob Brunning, he has recorded and toured with a number of American Blues men. He co-wrote all the songs on the album and has made over thirty LP’s with various bands including Savoy Brown. 

IAN MORTON - Percussion 



Line Up: 
Bass – Bob Brunning 
Coordinator [Cd Artwork] – Yumie Takei 
Design, Art Direction – Norman Batley 
Drums – Mick Fleetwood 
Engineer – Paul Holland 
Guitar – Danny Kirwan 
Liner Notes [Japense] – Kiyohiro Shiroya 
Percussion – Ian Morton 
Photography By [Cover] – Vic Savage 
Piano – Bob Hall 
Producer – Barry Kingston 
Remastered By – Yoshiro Kuzumaki 
Saxophone – Dave Brooks 
Vocals – Dave Kelly , Jo-Ann Kelly 



Tracklist

1 Too Late For That Now 4:53 
2 Now I Aint A Junkie Anymore 3:07 
3 What You Gonna Do 3:02 
4 Like You Used To Do 4:04 
5 You Gotta Move 2:38 
6 Put A Record On 3:17 
7 Funky Money 5:43 
8 Beggar By Your Side 3:38 
9 Maternity Orders (Keep On Rolling In) 2:24 
10 It’s Over 2:31 

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