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Steamhammer

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Biography

Blues-rockers Steamhammer formed in 1968 in the British town of Worthing. The band was made up of several blues and folk band veterans who were interested in playing something new. The band was pulled onto the road almost directly after their inception by blues legend Freddie King, who needed a backing band for his European tour. By spring of the next year, they signed a contract with CBS Records and released an eponymous debut. They mixed their own material with several standards, but failed to find an audience in the over-saturated blues-rock scene. The band did become quite the live sensation, despite a lineup shift that saw original members Michael Rushton and Martin Quittenton leave the band. Their second album was another stab at the same formula, with slightly different results due to new saxophonist Steve Jollife's incredible technical skill. By the time 1970 rolled around, they recorded their "definitive" album, the critical favorite Mountains. This album gave them some minor mainstream exposure, and revealed a band who was ready to adopt the rock side of their sound much more than before. They toured afterward, but lost most of the band members throughout the journey. By the time it was over, they only had original guitarist Martin Pugh and drummer Mick Bradley in the fold. They released one more album, 1972's Speech, to poor reviews and an indifferent public. The band broke up before they could even promote the album, and Bradley died the same year of leukemia. The band never attempted to reunite, but many of the members would go on to work with each other in projects like Armageddon.

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