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23 November 1968


After all the self-conscious trends in music in the past ten years or so, everyone is going back to the blues: the musicians, the fans and the clubs.

In the past year the blues has become big business — in this country, at least. When a year ago a blues group would have been lucky to get a maximum of 50 people into a club to hear them, today it's a matter of standing room only and the giants of the modern British blues scene can do no wrong.

"It's like the trad jazz boom of ten years ago,"

says Christine Perfect of the Chicken Shack, one of the five most popular groups.

"Everyone digs it, no one really knows why or even knows anything about it. It's bound to burst sooner or later, and then it'll be all back to the same faithful fifty fans a night in the clubs again."

It certainly is a boom — the blues have caused more groups to be started than any other form of music for years. And with so many people about making music, it can't be at all bad, can it?

Which are the up-and-coming names to watch?

To call Jethro Tull an 'up-and-coming group' may seem a bit of an anachronism, considering their album This Was is the hit of the month and anyone who sees them talks about nothing else for days afterwards.


Jethro Tull are on their own; the greater mass of the rest of the country's new blues bands seem to fall into two camps: the blues 'establishment', led almost exclusively by ex-members of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and the breakaways who are simply young guys who dig the blues and have decided to do something about playing their own.



Many thanks to Glenn Cornick for this article.