While the Groundhogs never enjoyed even a shadow of the commercial success of pretty much all their British blues-rock brethren, fans of the style will be surprised when they finally do come across the Groundhogs' excellent early '70s albums. Led by the unpredictable but precise guitar-work and Clapton-ish vocals of Tony McPhee, the Groundhogs formed in London in 1963; their first triumph was touring as the backing band for John Lee Hooker throughout the decade. Three albums -- Thank Christ for the Bomb, Split and Who Will Save the World? The Mighty Groundhogs! -- came out in 1970, '71 and '72, respectively, and represent the band's creative peak. Standard flashiness and a string of unfortunate hog-pun album titles marked their later output. Although they continue to tour (in one form or another) even today, it's the trinity of those early albums that rock fans tend to gravitate toward. McPhee has a knack for pentatonically satisfying riffs that often either ascend or descend and are followed by blaring, explosive lead breaks.
The Groundhogs Concert Films
Live At The Astoria
Runtime: 1 hr 21 minFilmed at Londons Astoria on February 20th 1998, this was the first complete Groundhogs live show ever to be filmed. The band were touring in support of their album Hogs In Wolfs Clothing, their tribute to the great Howlin Wolf, and the show starts and finishes with tracks from that album but also features songs from across their career going right back to Still A Fool from their 1968 debut album Scratching The Surface. The line-up is Tony (T.S.) McPhee guitars & vocals, Eric Chipulina bass, Pete Correa drums.
The Groundhogs Top Tracks
Down and Dirty
Runtime: 1 hr 27 min“I always like stories about people that drink and have drug problems and women problems,” said Johnny in the film. “It’s just interesting.” Johnny Winter: Down & Dirty, the definitive, feature-length documentary by acclaimed Lemmy co-director and producer, Greg Olliver, will be available worldwide on March 4, 2016, on DVD and iTunes. The package will feature never-before-seen photos and bonus footage, including extended interviews and his final studio performance, a solo resonator version of the Son House classic, “Death Letter.” Produced independently through Secret Weapon Films in NYC, director Greg Olliver was welcomed into the Johnny Winter family during the final two years of Johnny’s life, capturing the making of his Grammy-winning Step Back (Best Blues Album, 2015), and traveling the world from Beaumont to Hong Kong. Winter continued to perform over 200 sold out shows a year until his death on tour in Switzerland in 2014. The film also features Clive Davis, Edgar Winter, James Cotton, Billy Gibbons, Warren Haynes, Luther Nallie, Joe Perry, Tommy Shannon, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks and more.
Drama y Luz
Runtime: 48 minThis mini-documentary takes fans behind the scenes as Mana records their highly anticipated new release. The film includes never-before-seen footage plus interviews from the band members as they record and produce their first studio album in almost five years. After two decades of breaking all types of sales and concert attendance records, the super group from Guadalajara, Mexico prepare themselves to present their first studio album in almost five years, Drama Y Luz. Without a doubt, this is the most anticipated album to hit the Latin marketplace in years. Twelve new recordings are available on this production and all songs were written by the band members themselves.
On this production, Mana has made sure they satisfy their diverse group of fans while not making much of a change to their formula and style of writing that has kept them the as the top Latin act over the past couple of decades. Mana deliver the raunchy, rock sound of their earlier days in songs like "Mi Reina De Dolor" and at the same time, deliver beautiful, heartfelt ballads such as "Vuela Libre Paloma" and "Amor Clandestino." Drama Y Luz will become another amazing collection for all Latin music fans as it delivers a production that took more than a year to create in recording studios throughout the world, and the end result is Mana at their best.
Ghost Blues: The Story Of Rory Gallagher
Runtime: 1 hr 22 minThe complete and fully authorized story of Rory Gallagher, Ghost Blues follows Rory s life and career from his upbringing in Cork, his early days with a show band, the brief success of Taste and then his legendary solo career leading up to his health problems in later life and tragic death at the age of just 47. There are archive interviews, both audio and visual, with Rory and contributions from many of his friends and admirers including his brother Donal, Bob Geldof, The Edge, Cameron Crowe, Slash, Johnny Marr, James Dean Bradfield, Ronnie Drew, Bill Wyman, Martin Carthy, band members Ted McKenna and Gerry McAvoyand many more.
Live 30th Anniversary Concert
Runtime: 1 hr 36 minThe 30-year history of Wishbone Ash has hardly been smooth, with numerous personnel changes and gradually fading popularity since the band's most acclaimed album, Argus, was released in 1972. What you'll witness here, then, is an inspiring and altogether good-natured example of survival embodied by original Wishbone guitarist Andy Powell. Looking youthful at 50, his formerly long hair now shaved off altogether, Powell remains a virtuoso ax-man, matched by fellow ace Mark Birch (temporarily filling the shoes of the departed Ted Turner) to recreate Wishbone's signature twin-guitar sound. As the sole survivor of Wishbone's original lineup, Powell happily presides over the group's considerable legacy, epitomized here by outstanding performances of the Ash classics "Phoenix" and "Blowin' Free." The concert's a no-frills affair with an occasionally uneven mix, but the music comes through with clarity and gusto, reminding us that Wishbone Ash's unique blend of musicianship remains influential some three decades later.