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Is Here

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Album Review

Despite their name, the Dallas, Texas-based group the American Blues had very little to do with the blues; instead, they played a fusion of hard rock, psychedelia, country-rock, and what would come to be known as progressive rock. They had a following in Dallas, but they didn't make much of an impact out of town. However, after the American Blues broke up, they contributed bassist Dusty Hill and drummer Frank Beard to ZZ Top, which is the main reason their debut album, The American Blues Is Here, is remembered today. The band is in good form here; then as now, Dusty and Frank were a solid rhythm section, and Rocky Hill (Dusty's brother) was a fine lead guitarist, but the material is a long way from the lean, bluesy rock that would make the bassist and drummer famous, and a slow, swaggering version of "Mercury Blues" is not just the best track here but also the only indication of what lay in store for them. The American Blues Is Here is a trademark example of late-era Texas psychedelia, and an interesting curiosity for ZZ Top completists.


Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s

Formed in Dallas, Texas, USA, in 1968, the American Blues evolved out of local club attraction the Warlocks when Rocky Hill (guitar), Dusty Hill (b. Joe Hill, 19 May 1949, Dallas, Texas, USA; bass), Doug Davis (organ) and Frank Beard (b. 11 June 1949, Frankston, Texas, USA; drums) took their new name upon adopting a more ‘progressive’ sound. The American Blues Is Here, released on the local Karma Records label, featured their reworking of Tim Hardin’s ‘If I Were A Carpenter’ and generated sufficient...
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Is Here, American Blues
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