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Groundhogs Scratching the Surface album cover
3.26 | 19 ratings | 1 reviews | 28% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1968

Songs / Tracks Listing

1 Rocking Chair 4:06
2 Early in the Morning 4:47
3 Waking Blues 2:23
4 Married Men 4:34
5 No More Doggin' 4:52
6 Man Trouble 6:22
7 Come Back Baby 3:49
8 You Don't Love Me 4:07
9 Still a Fool 6:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Tony McPhee / Vocals, lead guitar
- Pete Cruikshank / Bass
- Ken Pustelnik / Drums
- Steve Rye / Harmonica

Releases information

Vinyl LP World Pacific WPS-21892
1990 Scratching the Surface [Bonus Tracks] CD BGO BGOCD15
1998 Scratching the Surface [180 gram], [Gatefold], [Reissue], [Remastered]
Vinyl LP Akarma AK 038

Thanks to alberto muņoz for the addition
and to easy livin for the last updates
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GROUNDHOGS Scratching the Surface ratings distribution

(19 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(28%)
Good, but non-essential (33%)
Collectors/fans only (6%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

GROUNDHOGS Scratching the Surface reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Travellin' band

Formed in the early 1960s, The Groundhogs were first known as The Dollar Bills before Tony TS McPhee joined a short while later and proposed a name change. Named after a John Lee Hooker song, the band were also briefly called John Lee's Groundhogs when they backed the great bluesman on a tour.

McPhee quickly took control of the band, guiding them towards a blues style. They toured for several years, releasing the odd single, but it would be 1968 before this their first album appeared.

Very much of its time, 'Scratching the surface' has similarities with what Creedence Clearwater Revival ('Susie Q') were doing around the same time. Indeed, McPhee's lead guitar style is similar to that of John Fogerty. With a simple line up of vocals, lead guitar and harmonica, backed by bass and drums, the songs here are straightforward blues songs adapted for a rock environment. We have simple repeating verses, regular lead guitar intervals, and harmonica intermissions. The pace varies between foot tapping rockers and more traditional blues standard swaggering, but the music is unashamedly blues throughout.

Side two of the LP release has the two longest tracks, 'Man trouble' and 'Still a fool' both running to well over 6 minutes. The latter was released in edited form as a single (the single edit can be heard on the remastered album), but both tracks are simply slightly longer variants on the blues themes which prevail throughout the album.

Tony McPhee's talents as a singer are shown to be adequate here, and his guitar prowess unquestionable The title though was in retrospect more accurate than intended, this album doing nothing more than scratch at the surface of what the Groundhogs would go on to achieve.

For those, like myself, who find the blues to be a rewarding diversion, this is an album worthy of investigation. For those looking for the prog (or 'Prog related') side of the band, there will be little of interest here.

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