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Everything Stops for Tea

Long John Baldry

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Album Review

Like its companion It Ain't Easy, the second half of Long John Baldry's early-'70s comeback Everything Stops for Tea initially attracted the most attention via its producers, former Baldry sidemen Elton John and Rod Stewart. The two superstars each handled one side apiece and, though neither shines with the same generous idiosyncrasies that saw the earlier LP sparkle, still they power Baldry to some marvelous heights — most notably the should-have-been-a-hit cover of "Iko Iko," and a glorious "You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover." With Baldry's musical tastes now drawing folkier textures into his blues (and eschewing the big ballad pop altogether), it's a varied and oft-times eclectic collection. But the strength of Baldry's performance smooths over any rough edges that might have tripped other singers and, though It Ain't Easy remains the superior of these two albums, this one really isn't that far behind it.

Biography

Born: 12 January 1941 in England

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Like Cliff Richard, Chris Farlowe, Slade, Blur, and eel pie, Long John Baldry is one of those peculiarly British phenomena that doggedly resists American translation. As a historical figure, he has undeniable importance. When he began singing as a teenager in the 1950s, he was one of the first British vocalists to perform folk and blues music. In the early '60s, he sang in the band of British blues godfather Alexis Korner, Blues Incorporated, which also served as a starting point for future rock...
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Everything Stops for Tea, Long John Baldry
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