Country Rock ‘n’ Roll ‘n’ Durty Blues
Roach Records – 12” Triple Vinyl – Out Now
Sometime the planets align in mysterious ways in a bizarre moment of serendipity, or kismet, as they say in the U, S of A.
Quite why I referred to that vast terrain over the Atlantic in that way will soon become apparent. But for now, let’s discuss the recent Cherry Red release ‘Keeping Control – Independent Music from Manchester 1977-1981’, 3CD Box Set. This vast expanse of vinyl, (if you’re lucky) or 3CD box set came out in June 2023, and much like its predecessor, the colossal 7CD box set ‘Manchester: North of England, A Story Of Independent Music Greater Manchester 1977-1993’ covers a plethora of independent releases from our fair city, including output from Tony Davidson’s TJM, Tosh Ryan’s Rabid and other independent and obscure labels from the era.
The recent release includes a little-known track called We Want It Legalized, by Accident on The East Lancs Road. This could easily be brushed over, but for the fact that I have just been asked to review an album by a one, Andy Sharrocks – Country Rock ‘n’ Roll ‘n’ Durty Blues (CRRDB), the same Mr Sharrocks who recorded aforesaid ‘up the dope’ classic! Apparently, Accident… played many gigs for legalise cannabis campaigns in the late ‘70’s and early ‘80’s with Sharrocks at the helm. The band supported The Fall, Crass and others and their singles are now seriously rare. Andy has worked with many notable artists over the years – one of his previous albums, Dirt features ex-Rolling Stone Mick Taylor and Manfred Mann’s Paul Jones.
Spin forward 40 years and the former Manchester punk has released his magnum opus; a personal campaign, a work of passion, call it what you will, but it’s a triple vinyl album, containing 36 tracks of what he describes as ‘unashamedly derivative’, original rock and roll.
The strictly limited release (just 500 copies) is out now on Roach Records, a little-known label based in Northwich in Cheshire. It comes with Campbell’s ‘gumbo’ soup can image on the front and listening instructions on the back. All in all, a pretty impressive presentation.
Sold to me as ‘if you like the Rolling Stones, then you’ll like this’, it really is much more than that. CRRDB is a sprawling album of original rock and blues that takes you on a ride from the early days of Howling Wolf and Muddy Waters to modern Americana, There are even elements of Captain Beefheart on tracks like Old Leather Coat where Andy’s signature growl weaves it way through the song, He’s roped in a huge cast of characters to help him, including Danny Bourassa on electric guitars, Phil Watts on drums, Phil Cawsey on bass and vocals, Michelle Turnball on vocals and a wider band of contributors on everything from trombone to cello.
Many of these tracks could have been recorded any time in the last 80 years. Take George’s blues with its fiddle accompaniment or Lay Your Hands Off My Banjo, which need no explanation.
A true labour of love, grab a few beers and sink into three hours of authentic Britticana, as Andy calls it!
Buy the album here: https://andysharrocks.net/
Andy on facebook
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