BEFORE POP WAS KING

October 10, 2008 – 3:17 am

The J Geils Band will probably be remembered for Freeze Frame and Centerfold yet they built their chops playing the blues. Here are two burning hot sets that might explain why The J Geils Band are Bill Graham’s favourite band at the Fillmore East.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

J GEILS BLUES BAND
Montreal 1968 [no label, 2CD]

Live at the New Penelope Club, Montreal, Canada, September 1968. Very good soundboard.

Those of us who know of the J Geils Band only through the early ’80s singles such as Freeze Frame and Centerfold will be in for a surprise. Before they were seen as a pop band, probably adult rock might be a better term, they were such a hardcore blues band that in 1971, The Allman Brothers named the J Geils Band as their favourite local band.

As noted on jgeils.com, Geils himself was a Southside-style slide guitarist who counted not only the Chicago blues masters but also Steve Cropper, Jimi Hendrix, and James Brown’s guitarists among his many influences. Stand-up bassist Danny “D.K.” Klein was also a major soul fan, and harmonica wizard Magic Dick drew heavily from a wide array of blues and jazz musicians, ranging from Little Walter to Roy Eldridge, King Curtis to John Coltrane.

Before joining the band, DJ and singer Peter Wolf recalled: “They were a great band, really smooth. They knew everything there was to know about Chicago blues.” Formed in 1967, the band began to build a reputation in the Boston clubs and when Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf or John Lee Hooker came through town, The J. Geils Blues Band served as their hosts. Along the way, the “Blues” was dropped but there was no shortchanging the music.

As Wolf said, The J. Geils Band “felt obligated to give 100 per cent of ourselves to our audience. We were a bunch of guys who had the passion and wanted to share it.” Keyboardist Seth Justman, who joined the band in 1969, said: “There was a love affair between this band and its audience. We wanted people to know that we were gonna give it all that night… Whatever we had in the tank, that tank was gonna be empty at the end of the show.”

Early J Geils Blues Band recordings are not that common so fans should be thankful to tedders who unearthed this stellar set and shared it on the internet.

While the rhythm section of bassist Danny Klein and drummer Steven Bladd is rock solid, it is harp player Magic Dick Salwitz who takes the spotlight. But then fans of the band will have no problem finding their own favourite moments.

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality stereo MP3s - sample rate of 192 kibit/s).

These tracks are no longer available for download. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you want to download these tracks at a later time.

Disc 1 (1st Set)
1. Dust My Broom
2. Look Over yonder
3. Slow Blues Jam
4. You Don’t Love Me
5. Orange Driver
6. Something You Got
7. Smokestack Lightin’ (w/ band into in middle)
8. Rock Me Baby

Disc 2 (2nd set)
1. Blues Instrumental
2. Somebody’s Gotta Go
3. Help Me
4. Peter Wolf Intro (?)
5. Everything’s Gonna Be Alright
6. It Hurts Me Too
7. Black Night
8. Do The Funky Broadway? (w/ band into at end) ��

Lineup:
J. Geils - guitar
Peter Wolf - vocals
Danny Klein - bass
Pittsfield Slim aka Magic Dick (Dick Salwitz) - harp
Steven Bladd - drums

A good introduction to the J Geils Blues Band would probably be 1972’s live Full House. Order the album here.

  1. 10 Responses to “BEFORE POP WAS KING”

  2. You can get a lossless torrent of this at: http://www.demonoid.com/files/details/1639141/775222/

    By Don B on Oct 10, 2008

  3. OK, but on demonoid.com, I need an invitation code

    By thunder on Oct 11, 2008

  4. Thunder - If you can give me an e-mail address I will get you an invite code.

    By Don B on Oct 11, 2008

  5. Thanks: [email protected]

    By thunder on Oct 11, 2008

  6. SAW THESE GUYS 4-5 TIMES AROUND THE
    LIVE-FULL HOUSE ERA IN THE BOSTON GARDEN
    THEIR “HOME”.THESE TWO SETS REALLY KICK
    ASS! KEEP UP THE EXCELLENT WORK!!!
    THANKS

    By BTLFAN on Oct 11, 2008

  7. As always Thanks!

    By Tom on Oct 17, 2008

  8. would it be possible to get an invtation code to demonoid.com there are some things i would like to dowload from there

    By mike on Apr 11, 2009

  9. Demonoid’s open right now for new members

    By bill on Apr 12, 2009

  10. hi,
    would be great if you could put it up again.
    love these guy’s so much.
    thanx.

    By angelpop on Oct 14, 2014

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