VARIOUS ARTISTS – Shake That Thing: The Blues In Britain 1963-1973

The British blues boom was arguably one of the most important movements in musical history. Not only did it launch the careers of various guitar heroes – players much loved for decades afterwards – but the guitar driven sounds also paved the way for a whole universe of rock music. With that in mind, it’s interesting how few compilations have celebrated the British blues scene. Aside from Grapefruit Records’ excellent ‘Crawling Up A Hill’ box set, any other releases have been label specific, leaving a huge gap in the market for a set to explore some of the more niche sounds from the era.

‘Shake That Thing: The Blues In Britain 1963-1973’ is perfect in that regard. This three CD set from Grapefruit casts a much wider net than their earlier box set, but never loses site of its core objective. Bluesy sounds are out there, front and centre, at all times, but it also looks beyond the usual suspects to celebrate blues laden tunes shared by other singer songwriters, folkies and rock bands during a hugely transitional period.

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FOGHAT – The Complete Bearsville Recordings 1972-1975

Arguably the most American sounding act to ever come from the south of England, Foghat quickly became big stars in the US, but are often massively overlooked by UK audiences when it comes to classic rock. One of the most underrated bands from the 70s and 80s, their best work comes with plenty of enthusiasm, and a whole lot of muscle. Even at their peak, they never really strove for originality, but there’s so much about their sound that should have placed them in a similar standing with the early ZZ Top. Whereas the bearded ones’ early releases continue to be praised by UK rock fans and press alike – particularly 1973’s ‘Tres Hombres’ – the best that Foghat seem to have been afforded, at least in terms of popular culture, is a song or two on an occasional film soundtrack.

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