Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Blues Band

November 1979 until July 1980 proved to be a busy period for Ian Stewart outside the Rolling Stones. Besides touring and recording with Rocket 88, Ronnie Lane, and old friends Brian Knight and Geoff Bradford, Stu also recorded with the Blues Band, with another old pal, Paul Jones (born Pond) on vocals and harmonica.

Bill Wyman recalls: "As Brian Jones celebrated his twentieth birthday on 28 February 1962, the powerful forces that actually formed the Rolling Stones came into play. Brian met a young man named Paul Pond, later to become prominent under the name Paul Jones as a founder-member of Manfred Mann. Paul led a blues group called Thunder Odin's Big Secret. When his guitarist left he asked Brian to join him 'because he was pretty good".

In the following months, while rehearsing with the embryonic Rolling Stones at the Bricklayer's Arms pub, Brian Jones, supported by Stu, tried without success to persuade Paul Pond, who in the meantime also had been singing with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, to join his rehearsal group, but Paul decided that his university studies came first.

Pond then carried on, and worked as a musician, actor, and television and radio presenter, before forming the Blues Band in 1979, a band firmly rooted in rhythm & blues music. The band's first line-up also consisted of Dave Kelly (vocals, guitar), Gary Fletcher (bass), Tom McGuiness (guitar), and Hughie Flint (drums).

During recordings for the band's second album, "Ready", in May and July 1980, Stu joined the band and played piano on some four tracks, among which Willie Dixon's 'Twenty Nine Ways' and a Blues Band original, 'The Cat'. Early 1981 Stu recorded one more track ('Bad Penny Blues') with the band, which still performs across Europe with almost the same line-up.

Adapted from the following sources: Bill Wyman, Stone Alone, Penguin Books, 1990; and various wikipedia pages.

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