Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1967-69)
- John McCoy -- vocals, harmonica
- Mick Moody -- lead guitar
- Terry Popple -- drums, percussion
- Terry Sidgwick - bass, backing vocals
- Borderline (Mick Moody)
- The Company of Snakes (Mick Moody)
- The Mike Cotton Sound (Mick Moody)
- Juicy Lucy (Mick Moody)
- The Little House Band (Mick Moody)
- M3 (Mick Moody)
- The Majesticaites (Mick Moody)
- Mick Moody (solo efforts)
- The Moody Marsden Band
- Snafu (Mick Moody)
- Snakehammer (Mick Moody)
- The Snakes (Mick Moody)
- Whitesnake (Mick Moody)
- Young and Moody (Mick Moody)
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: Somewhere Down the Line
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: promo copy; small sticker on back cover
Catalog ID: SOLD 4932
Price: SOLD $70.00
I've always been amazed at how many English bands got caught up in the mid and late 1960s blues explosion. It almost seems like there was a UK blues bands for every citizen of the world ... Well, here's another one to add to the list.
Signed to Chris Blackwell's Island Records (A&M acquiring US distribution rights), Tramline featured the talents of singer John McCoy, lead guitarist Mick Moody, drummer Terry Popple, and bassist Terry Sidgwick. Produced by Blackwell, 1968's "Somewhere Down the Track" showcased the band's intense commitment blues genre. The only non-blues selection was a strange cover of Stephen Stills 'Rock and Roll Woman'. Blues material like 'Harpoon Man' and 'Sorry Sorry' was never less than competent and professional, but with the possible exception of pseudo-funky 'Look Over Yonder Wall' and the pretty instrumental 'Mazurka' the album simply didn't generate a great deal of excitement or do much to expand the musical envelope. Still in his teens, Moody was certainly a talented slide guitar player (check out his work on the country blues instrumental 'National Blues'') though the band's full hearted devotion to the blues didn't exactly give him a platform to showcase those talents. Similarly, as lead vocalist/harmonica player McCoy was a decent, if somewhat anonymous performer. Unfortunately that description was pretty apt to the entire album - 'decent, but anonymous.' Always loved the cover photo.
Down the Track" track listing:
1.) Harpoon Man (Wayne Moss - Neil Wilburr - Ken Buffrey - C. McCoy) - 4:03 rating: *** stars
To be honest, the first dozen times I heard 'Harpoon man' the song did nothing for me. It sounded like an okay, but pedestrian slice of English blues. While it'll never be a track that makes my desert island list, over time I've grown to appreciate John McCoy's double time vocals and his frenetic harmonica.
2.) National Blues (instrumental) (Mick Moody - Thomas) - 3:24 rating: *** stars
'National Blues' was a surprisingly enjoyable slice of acoustic country-blues highlighted by Mick Moody's slide guitar (or was it a dobro) ? Wonder if he trotted this track out in his Whitesnake days ?
3.) Sorry Sorry (Mick Moody - John McCoy - Terry Popple - Terry Sidgwick) - 8:58 rating: ** stars
The first disappointment, 'Sorry Sorry' was a traditional slice of Chicago-styled electric blues. Yeah, McCoy's slinky blues voice would have fit right at home on Chicago's south side, but stretched out over eight plus minutes ... well it made for a long listening experience.
4.) Look Over Yonder Wall (Mick Moody - John McCoy - Terry Popple - Terry Sidgwick) - 4:40 rating: **** stars
'Looked Over Yonder Wall' sounded like the band had been listening to more than their share of Albert King and some of the Stax blues catalog. Sporting a nifty McCoy lead vocals, it was easily side one's most commercial tune.
While McCoy's vocal was a bit ragged, their cover of The Buffalo Springfield's 'Rock and Roll Woman' was the album's most interesting number. Musically it didn't tray to far from the original arrangement, but it was interesting to see that an English blues-rock outfit could churn a decent country-rocker. It left you wondering what the could have achieved had the been willing to expand their repertoire beyond the blues-rock influences.
2.) Somewhere Down the Line (Taylor) - 3:37 rating: *** stars
Maybe it's just my ears, but 'Somewhere Down the Line' had a very mid-'60s rock sound. Not a criticism since I liked the tune. It also had one of Moody's most entertaining solos.
3.) Mazurka (instrumental) (Mick Moody - Terry Popple - Terry Sidgwick) -2:50 rating: ** stars
maybe because it included a lengthy Terry Popple drum solo, the instrumental 'Mazurka' always struck me as sound like filler. Yes, it had a pretty melody, but just didn't make all that much of an impression.
4.) Statesboro Blues (Taj Mahal) - 3:38 rating: ** stars
Another pedestrian blues performance. Professional, but hardly endearing.
5.) Killing Floor (Chester Burnett) - 4:55 rating: **** stars
Unlike the previous track, their cover of 'Killing Floor' brought energy and enthusiasm to the mix. Moody's little guitar riff was insidiously catchy.
Moody went on to play with Juicy Lucy, Snafu, and enjoyed considerable mid-1990s success as a member of Whitesnake.
A white label promo copy of the US pressing of Tramline's 1
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: Moves Of Vegetable Centuries
Grade (cover/record): --
Catalog ID: --
I've never heard it, but there's also a second LP - 1969's "Moves Of Vegetable Centuries" (Island catalog number ILPS-9095).
Vegetable Centuries" track listing:
1.) Pearly Queen - 3:40
2.) Sweet Satisfaction - 3:34
3.) You Better Run - 2:17
4.) Grunt - 7:04
2.) I Wish You Would - 5:25
3.) Good Morning Little Schoolgirl - 2:32
4.) Harriet's Underground Railroad - 3:56
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