In addition to being head over heals in love with sixties fashion and home decor....I obviously love the music too! In fact, my obsession with mid century style was a natural evolution of first loving the music. The Beatles and Elvis ruled my childhood. As did various sixties comps, on both record and CD. I think my folks were one of the last people on the block to keep their turn table revving well into the 90s. Thank goodness for that!
We would listen to the obvious hits; The Beatles, the Stones, Nancy Sinatra, The Kinks, The Monkees, Petula Clark, Motown greats, etc. etc. - pretty much anyone who owned the charts back in the day. Oh, and oldies radio in the car? You bet.
It wasn't until high school and beyond, though, that I learned there was soooo much more to music than what popular radio and "best of's" could offer. Digging deep often leads to some amazing music. Enter the Artwoods. These dudes were recommended to me by my super-amazing friend, Aki. She collects 60s Garage Rock music from around the globe and was kind enough to share a few of her playlists with me. She sent me the Artwoods album, Art Gallery, in it's entirety and I just DIED. I'm so grateful she shared this band with me. Art Gallery is now one of my favourite albums of the era. A cover to cover good listen of R&B rock at it's finest. Naturally, I too had to share their awesomeness. Their original record is insanely hard to come by though and can run you around a grand. Vinyl junkies be warned.
However, if you're not particular about the technology in which you play your music from....then you can totally scope these guys out on Google Play. I fricken love Google Play by the way! It's a music streaming site that is super stacked with EVERYTHING. I'm always amazed when I go searching for a Northern Soul track or a rare Garage hit and they actually have it. I've even discovered some great tunes through them since signing up for their services. And if they don't have what you're looking for - just upload it! I love tangible music like CDs and records but I'm definitely not opposed to the advances of technology that make streaming and sharing music so easy.
So who are the Artwoods? They're a group of 5 lads who formed in London in 1963. Art Wood was on vocals (hence the name!) followed by the legendary Jon Lord on keyboard/organ, Derek Griffiths on guitar, Keef Hartley on the drums, and Malcolm Pool on bass. As was often the case in the exploding music scene of the 50s and 60s, many of these fellows played in other bands before coming together to form the Artwoods. Their electric, often soulful, Blues Rock sound rivalled the likes of the Animals, the Rolling Stones, the Byrds, and the Yardbirds, but failed to get the same level of attention as their musical peers. Apparently they were a monster of a band to watch live which is easy to imagine after listening to their recordings. Sadly, this never translated into record sales for them. Their one and only album - Art Gallery - was released in 1965. The critical acclaim of this record couldn't save them and after a few bounces around various labels from '65 to '67 they officially called it quits as an outfit. Jon Lord went on to join Deep Purple, for which he is much more lauded and remembered, while the others carried on within the music scene with less notoriety.
I just love Art Wood's gritty and soulful vocals, and Jon Lords organ work is the stuff good Sixties music is made of! They make me want to join a Garage Rock cover band and shimmy and wail on a stage.
My top 5 tracks are
- Down in the Valley
- I Keep Forgetting
- One More Heartache
- Can You Hear Me
- Things Get Better
They do a wicked cover of Nancy's "Boots" too! I got that track from Aki too, but I suspect it was a b-side or a single in it's original day. You should probably just listen to Art Gallery in it's entirety though. If you like a little Blues with your Rock and Roll then they are a MUST!
Thanks for checking in!
Nicole A Go Go