Between the Cracks is a semi-regular feature of The Rock and Roll Report. Its purpose is to help rescue, from the dustbin of history, some of the great albums of the late sixties and early seventies that are ignored by the so-called “classic rock, all the hits all the time” corporate radio stations, and which have been forgotten by almost everyone except a few diehard fans. If you’re dissatisfied with a lot of the music that’s being offered today, there’s plenty of great old stuff out there just waiting to be re-discovered.
Blodwyn Pig – “Ahead Rings Out” (A&M Records, 1969)
Blodwyn Pig was founded in 1969 by Mick Abrahams, who was the original guitarist with Jethro Tull. After the release of Jethro Tull’s first album, Abrahams lost a power struggle with Ian Anderson over the musical direction of the band and struck off to form his own group. Comprising Abrahams on guitar and vocals, bassist Andy Pyle (who has played with practically everybody at one time or another), drummer Ron Berg, and saxophonist Jack Lancaster, Blodwyn Pig offered up an energetic blend of blues and jazz flavored hard rock. At times, “Ahead Rings Out” is reminiscent of Jethro Tull, but for the most part it offers up a unique and original sound built around Abrahams’ tasty guitar work and Jack Lancaster’s jazzy sax riffs (at times, he even played two saxes simultaneously in the manner of the great Rahsaan Roland Kirk).
The band also possessed a wicked,off-beat sense of humor as is evidenced by the cover of “Ahead Rings Out.” It’s a head shot of a real pig sporting headphones, sunglasses, and a nose ring, and with a suspicious looking hand rolled cigarette jutting from its mouth. Anyone who was around in St. Louis during the seventies will instantly recognize it as the old logo for rock station KSHE-FM.
Mick Abrahams’ whimsical liner notes are also quite entertaining, and feature such off-the-wall comments as, “For best results when listening to this number dip your head into a large bucket of red paint, dial 999, and run gaily into the street stark naked, shouting death to the evil trouser worm and his wicked accomplices.” To Blodwyn Pig, that’s what rock and roll was all about, and it’s hard to argue with a sentiment like that!
Today, Mick Abrahams is still going strong, and off and on over the years has kept Blodwyn Pig alive in one form or another. He has also released several solo works. For more information, visit his website at http://www.mickaby.freeola.com/index.htm