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Groundhogs!! Thoughts, stories, recollections

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Cosmiclawnmower View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 04 2017 at 16:22
I saw the Groundhogs last weekend performing a good chunk of their 1970 'Thank Christ for the bomb' lp.. and it took me back. I'm not sure what category they fit into here? Prog related, proto prog? Ive seen them countless times, good and bad but was really chuffed to hear many of the tracks from one of my all time favourite heavy-psych-prog lp played with style by 2 (I think?) the original members plus 2 younger and very good side musicians.  Any thoughts, views, recollections or stories gratefully received!
'The straight furrow is the labourers acknowledgement in the validity of art for art's sake' John Stewart Collis, 1940
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nogbad_The_Bad Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 17:10
They're on here under prog related, I always viewed them as an experimental hard rock blues band. I saw them in Newcastle in the 80's and they were excellent. My favorites are Split & Thank Christ For The Bomb. 
Ian



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote moshkito Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2017 at 17:39
Hi,

All the way to "Crosscut Saw" and "Black Diamond", this band might not be progressive, but it certainly is very strong and the compositional side of a lot of the work is beautifully done and quite tasteful, and Tony McPhee's guitar effects and their use is magnificent within the song context, and specially visible in "Crosscut Saw". When you listen to "Live Right", you know right away that you are not listening to a beginner and that you know that this man not only can play guitar, he knows how to use it.

And that has always been the special thing about The Groundhogs. Progressive or not, should not be an issue with this band, but the saddest thing, is that he never got the credit he deserved as a guitarist, even getting his backing with John Lee Hooker, and his list of solo albums goes way back to 1966, with something like 4 albums done before The Groundhogs ever came up into the scene with him.

This has always been, for me, one of those bands that are special listens, that never go away ... Family/Streetwalkers is another band that also falls into that category ... hard to say it's "progressive", though "prog-related" is nice, but hardly a good description of the work they did do so well, and so beautifully recorded and presented.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uduwudu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2017 at 07:50
Saw The Groundhogs in a pub years ago. Tony McPhee and his amazing technique (fingerstyle) a mere pint glass away. It was wonderful.

Experimental, blues, symphonic, folk, acid hard rock.

Cherry Red....!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 05 2017 at 10:54
I have the best of double vinyl from the old days and still play it now and then...
Groundhogs The Groundhogs Best 1969-72 album cover
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Cosmiclawnmower View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cosmiclawnmower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 12 2017 at 16:05
The first 2 lps were very much blues lps but after that they mixed hard rock, Psychedelic and early progressive rock up until crosscut saw and black diamond. I saw Tony Mc Phee lead a form of the band through the 80's where many of their shows were just blues hard rock shows and Bike rallies.. great but very much meat and potatoes rock n roll. This recent return to form really made me chuffed and to hear much of thank Christ for the bomb played so true to form was just  great. Of course the band were part of the 'Clearwater' management stable along with Hawkwind and High Tide in the early 70's which gave them wider exposure.
'The straight furrow is the labourers acknowledgement in the validity of art for art's sake' John Stewart Collis, 1940
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cosmiclawnmower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 12 2017 at 16:13
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Hi,

All the way to "Crosscut Saw" and "Black Diamond", this band might not be progressive, but it certainly is very strong and the compositional side of a lot of the work is beautifully done and quite tasteful, and Tony McPhee's guitar effects and their use is magnificent within the song context, and specially visible in "Crosscut Saw". When you listen to "Live Right", you know right away that you are not listening to a beginner and that you know that this man not only can play guitar, he knows how to use it.

And that has always been the special thing about The Groundhogs. Progressive or not, should not be an issue with this band, but the saddest thing, is that he never got the credit he deserved as a guitarist, even getting his backing with John Lee Hooker, and his list of solo albums goes way back to 1966, with something like 4 albums done before The Groundhogs ever came up into the scene with him.

This has always been, for me, one of those bands that are special listens, that never go away ... Family/Streetwalkers is another band that also falls into that category ... hard to say it's "progressive", though "prog-related" is nice, but hardly a good description of the work they did do so well, and so beautifully recorded and presented.

I agree, all the way from the blues lps with Jo-anne Kelly to his solo lp  '2 sides of Tony Mc Phee' , very diverse, very under-rated and a true craftsman of the guitar.
'The straight furrow is the labourers acknowledgement in the validity of art for art's sake' John Stewart Collis, 1940
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2017 at 05:42
Around 1985 I was visiting a friend in South Wales. We popped out in the evening to his local working mens club for a beer and it turned out Groundhogs were playing that night. I don't remember much about the gig now, or what they played, sadly.
Good band, TCFTB is a good album and is Split.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AZF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2017 at 08:16
A friend of mine who died in the 1995 had Split so I got that and is the only thing I have heard.
I did mean to get Thank Christ For The Bomb and the rest but just didn't get around to it.
I think they were a massive influence on Grunge!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cosmiclawnmower Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2017 at 13:43
A bit too upbeat for 'Doom' a bit too thoughtful and subtle for 'Stoner' but certainly one of the most successful 'power trios' (until the original line up split and they became a 4 piece) to come out of the UK (until Motorhead..) influenced 'Grunge'? yeah I can see that. Strangely enough, on TCFTB it sounds as if they are using Rickenbackers and the sound is quite clangy (reminds a bit of 'the Jam') but whenever I saw the TS used an SG or a strat..
'The straight furrow is the labourers acknowledgement in the validity of art for art's sake' John Stewart Collis, 1940
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