American Blues

Band members               Related acts

- Frank Beard - drums, percussion (1968-69)
- Doug Davis - keyboards (1968)
- Dusty Hill - vocals, bass (1968-69)
- Rocky Hill - guitar (1968-69) 



- The Cellar Dwellers (Frank Beard)
- The Warlocks (Dusty Hill)
- ZZ Top (Frank Beard and Dusty Hill) 





Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  The American Blues Are Here

Company: Karma

Catalog: KLP-1001

Year: 1969

Country/State: Texas

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor ring wear

Available: SOLD

GEMM catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD

Cost: $66.00


As teenagers living in Dallas, Texas, brothers Dusty (guitar) and Rocky (bass) Hill played in a series of local bands, including The Starliners and The Deadbeaters. Their efforts attracted little notice until they formed The Warlocks, who managed to release a pair of unsuccessful local singles (see separate entry). By 1968 the lineup had expanded to include former Cellar Dweller drummer Frank Beard and keyboard player Dough Davis. Simultaneously, the band decided The Warlocks had run their course. Opting for a new name (The American Blues) and a new sound, the group was signed by the local Karma label.

Recorded at Robin Hood Brian's Studio, the quartet's 1968 debut "The American Blues Is Here" teamed them with producer Scotty McKay. Rather raw and ill-focused, the album found the band fumbling around for a style. Taking stabs at a variety of genres, including blues (check-out the weird reworking of Tim Harden's "If I Were a Carpenter"), psych and hard rock, the results weren't particularly ground breaking. Needless to say, sales proved non-existent, though the album attracted the attention of major label MCA.

"The American Blues Is Here" track listing:
1.) If I Were a Carpenter
2.) All I Saw was You
3.) She'll Be Mine
4.) Furgue for Lady Cheriff
5.) It's Gone
6.) Keep My Heart In a Rage
7.) Mercury Blues
8.) Melted Like Snow
9.) Mellow


Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  The American Blues Do Their Thing

Company: Uni

Catalog: 73044

Year: 1969

Country/State: Texas

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: bent lower right corner, minor ring wear

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4529

Price: $80.00

Cost: $66.00


Released by MCA's Uni subsidiary, 1969's "The American Blues Do Their Thing" was a major improvement. Self-produced, the collection found the band opting for a major change in direction. Written by the Hills, material such as the lead-off "You Were So Close To Me", "Captain Fire" and "Just Plain Jane" found the band attempting to capitalize on San Francisco-styled psychedelics. Elsewhere, the collection found the group mining a more conventional rock format; "Wonder Man" and "Shady" reflecting a distinctive Cream-influence, while the blazing "Comin' Back Home" (complete with Beard and Rocky Hill meltdown solos) offered up a nice Hendrix imitation. Sure, it was largely derivative, but that didn't lessen the enjoyment factor. A commercial failure, Uni promptly dropped the band. (On a personal note, we've always wondered about the discrepancy between the front and back covers showing a trio and the liner notes listing four members.) Beard promptly left to join the newly formed ZZ Top, quickly recruiting Dusty as bassist (see separate entry). 

"The American Blues Do Their Thing" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) You Were So Close To Me (Dusty Hill - Rocky Hill) - 3:24
2.) Wonder Man (Dusty Hill - Rocky Hill) - 2:26
3.) Just Plain Jane (Dusty Hill - Rocky Hill) - 2:34
4.) Shady (Dusty Hill - Rocky Hill) - 2:05
5.) Comin' Back Home (Dusty Hill - Rocky Hill) - 5:35

(side 2)

1.) Captain Fire (Dusty Hill - Rocky Hill) - 3:18
2.) Chocolate Ego (Dusty Hill - Rocky Hill) - 3:04
3.) Nightmare of a Wise Man (Dusty Hill - Rocky Hill) - 3:24
4.) Dreams (Dusty Hill - Rocky Hill) - 2:52
5.) Softy To the Sun (Dusty Hill - Rocky Hill) - 2:33

The two collections have been reissued several times. The debut was released by the Microdot label (catalog AB-1). The sophomore set was reissued in 1987 by the English See For Miles label (catalog number SEE 99).  We also have a copy of the reissue which is your for $20.00.



Back to Bad Cat homepage/search