Don Preston

Band members                              Related acts

- Don Preston -- vocals, guitar, dobro


  supporting musicians (1970)

- Bud Deal -- sax 
- Barry Frost -- bass 
- John Hobbs -- keyboards
- Dave Johnson -- bass 

- Jerry Zarimba -- guitar 


  supporting musicians (1974)

- Barry Beckett -- guitar

- Ambrose Cambell -- 

- Pete Carr -- guitar

- Steve Faulkner -- 

- Chuck Finlay -- 

- John Gallie -- 

- Roger Hawkins -- 

- David Hood --

- Jim Horn -- 

- Neil Hubbard --

- Jimmie Johnson --

- Jim Keltner -- drums

- Jack Kelso -- 

- Jamie Oldaker -- 

- Carl Radle (RIP) -- bass

- James Rousel -- 

- Denny Seiwell -- 

- Chris Stewart --

- Casey Van Beek





- Bobby and the Midnights (Bobby Cochran)

- The Shindogs (Don Preston)

- Bob Smith (Don Preston) 

- Stillrock (Don Preston) 




Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Bluse

Company: A&M

Catalog: SP 4155

Year: 1970

Country/State: Oklahoma

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: promo copy; sticker on front, minor corner wear

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD  4980

Price: SOLD  $25.00



Before going any further, the BadCatRecords entry for Don Preston was uploaded October 06, 2016.  Based on website statistics, as of April 25, 2019, five people had looked at the entry.  At least one was Mr. Preston himself.  

So, most of the on-line interactions I have with folks I write about are pretty nice.  They may not be happy with a review, or may suggest an update or two, but they're generally pretty nice.   Against that backdrop, I'll let this email exchange speak for itself.

Dear BadCat Records:
Ordinarily, I'd be flattered by the attention given to some of my records, except for the fact that there are a number of inaccuracies on the related web page. 

 I know because I'm the ultimate source of information.  If you want to know the facts, please refer to my website, which you've noted at the bottom of that web page. Better yet, to avoid confusion, you could remove the narrative content from your website. 

Thanks very much!

My response: Could you point me to some of the inaccuracies?

Here's a couple. the album was "been here all the time" your time frame is totally wrong I was signed to A&m before mad dogs. There is so much wrong I'm not going further with this. If you really want to know the facts they are all on my sight (sic site) . Best to just take it off of google (sic Google). 

Don  April 25th 2019

I've gone ahead and stripped off the "biographical" write-up, but I'll leave the album descriptions on-line.  Who knows, maybe another twenty people will read them on the next decade.


Ever bought an album 'cause the name looked familiar?  Well that was the case when I stumbled across a copy of Don Preston's "Bluse".  Preston's name was familiar to me, though I couldn't recall where I'd seen it. Unfortunately, the seller didn't have a clue who Preston was and couldn't tell me much about the LP other than it was bluesy and he didn't like it ...  Well for 50 cents you can always take a chance ... Anyhow, turns out I was thinking of the Don Preston who was a member of Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention - totally different guy !!!

Preston's second release for A&M Records, 1970's "Bluse" was a true
solo effort. Again produced by Shyrock (Don Nix handling a couple of tracks), the set won't exactly set your musical world on fire. At the same time, Preston remained one amazing guitarist (check out his stinging leads on "Morning Rain" and "Something You've Got") and a surprisingly accomplished singer. Anyone hearing "Looking for My Baby" had to wonder how a young white guy could sound like such an aged and authentic bluesman? Musically the album offered up a pleasant mixture of blues originals and covers ("It's Only a Tear" and "Farther Up the Road") and popular soul covers ("Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won't Do)"). Elsewhere, what makes it interesting to us is that it sounds like something recorded during the same sessions as Bonnie and Delaney's "Delaney & Bonnie & Friends On Tour with Eric Clapton and Friend". All those guitar parts I thought were Clapton - apparently not ...

"Bluse" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Baby It's You (Don Preston) - 2:00
2.) Standing In My Tears (Don Preston) - 3:22
3.) You Don't Know What You Got (Don Nix) - 2:05
4.) Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won't Do) (Wilson Pickett - Steve Cropper - Eddie Floyd) - 3:18
5.) Morning Rain (Don Preston - Don Nix) - 2:55


(side 2)
1.) Looking for My Baby (Don Preston) - 2:46
2.) Something You've Got (Bill Medley) - 4:07
3.) Farther Up the Road (Robie - Veasy) - 2:41
4.) It's Only a Tear (Don Preston) - 3:57



Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Been Here All the Time

Company: Shelter

Catalog: SR 2114

Year: 1974

Country/State: Denver, Colorado

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: promo copy; sticker on front, minor corner wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2447

Price: $20.00



As far as I can tell, there isn't a single on-line review for 1974's "Been Here All the Time".   Hard to believe since Don Preston isn't exactly an obscure name ... the guy's played with Joe Cocker, Rick Nelson, Leon Russell, and George Harrison.   

mid-'70s publicity photo


Preston's next studio album, 1974's "Been Here All the Time"  found him signed to Leon Russell's MCA affiliated Shelter imprint.   Produced by Peter Nicholls, the album captured Preston at the peak of his mid-'70s career as a studio player.  You can tell the guy was good by the stunning list of players and the fact the album was recorded across five separate studios ranging from L.A.'s Criterion Studios to Apple's London Studios.   This couldn't have been a cheap album to record.  


Featuring all original material, I won't try to convince anyone this was a great release.  In spite of the all-star supporting cast, few of the songs were truly memorable. Preston certainly had a likeable voice and he was a gifted guitarist, but he seemingly couldn't figure out what direction he wanted to pursue.  The result was an album that tried to be too much for too many folks and ultimately came short across the entire musical waterfront.  Sure, there were a couple of enjoyable performances.  The opener 'A Minor Case of the Blues' was a rousing rocker. 'I'm with Your Tonight' was a decent blues-rocker.   'Rainy Day Sunday Afternoon' was a country-blues number for folks who don't like country-blues.  With the exception of the bland blues number '(Keep On) San Francisco' (which Shelter tapped as a single), there weren't any really stinkers.  Ultimately mildly enjoyable, but hardly enthralling.


"Been Here All the Time" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) A Minor Case of the Blues   (Don Preston) - 4:02   rating: **** stars

An album that starts out with a screeching guitar solo isn't a bad thing in my book. Add in Preston's Southern-tinged voice and 'A Minor Case of the Blues ' got the LP off to a blazing start.  Shelter tapped it as the second promotional single:

- 1975's 'A Minor Case of the Blues' b/w 'A Minor Case of the Blues' (Shelter catalog number )

2.) I'm with Your Tonight   (Don Preston) - 3:29  rating: **** stars

Hum, so if you had to chose between listening to a blues number by Leon Russell, or Don Preston ...  Well based on 'I'm with You Tonight' the choice was easy.  Preston by a country mile.   

3.) Big Man   (Don Preston) - 3:05   rating: *** stars

Sweet, country-tinged tune with some nice finger-picking.  A country tune for people who don't like country music.

4.) What a Friend I Have In Georgia   (Don Preston) - 3:55   rating: *** stars

'What a Friend I Have In Georgia' was one of those blues-rockers that you swear you've heard somewhere else.  Something out of the Atlanta Rhythm Section catalog perhaps ?   Always loved the guitar solo on this one.  One of these days I'll figure out where I've heard it before.  The track was released as a promotional single:

- 1974's 'What a Friend I Have In Georgia' b/w 'What a Friend I Have In Georgia' (Shelter catalog number SR 40242)

5.) (Keep On) San Francisco   (Don Preston) - 3:30   rating: ** stars

Bland, MOR-blues number.  The Muscle Shoals Horns gave it a Saturday Night Live sheen.  I'll be darned as to why Shelter tapped it as a single:

- 1974's '(Keep On) San Francisco' b/w 'Free and Easy Day' (Shelter catalog number SR 40279)


(side 2)
1.) Free and Easy Day
   (Don Preston) - 2:16   rating: *** stars

Breezy, country tune that showcased some wonderful dobro work.   

2.) On the Other Hand   (Don Preston) - 3;26   rating: *** stars

Hum, not hard to image Dr. John grooving to 'On the Other Hand'.   One of those tunes that grew on you after a couple of spins.

3.) Underdog Blues   (Don Preston) - 2:53   rating: *** stars

Can't say I was a big fan of 'Underdog Blues', but I'll admit it had a nice refrain and served as a nice platform for Preston's frequently overlooked voice.  

4.) Tennessee Boat Ride   (Don Preston - Joey Cooper) - 1:51  rating: *** stars

The album's shortest tune, 'Tennessee Boat Ride' was also the album's most commercial tune.  Almost bubblegummish, this one was clearly the album's best shot at top-40 success.  Guess that explains why it was ignored.   

5.) Carry a Tune   (Don Preston) - 2:43  rating: *** stars

Kicked along by a nifty guitar solo, 'Carry a Tune' was a feel-good pop tune that wouldn't have sounded bad on top-40 radio.

6.) Rainy Day Sunday Afternoon   (Don Preston) - 3:53   rating: **** stars

Usually I detest country blues numbers, but once it got rolling along 'Rainy Day Sunday Afternoon' turned out to be a charmer.  For some reason this one always makes me think of a West Cost pop-psych band tying to be too cutesy.  The difference was Preston managed to pull if off.   Always wondered who provided the barrelhouse piano.


For anyone interested,  Preston has a small web presence at: