Alexis Korner Memorial Concert Vol.1 ~ Vol.3


This album is dedicated to Alexis Korner, a man who was a catalyst for the development of British Blues Music and who's passion for music made him unique.


Alexis Korner died on 1st January 1984. Ten years later a memorial concert was held at Buxton Opera House to raise funds for the Beechwood Cancer Care Centre. So successful was that concert, it was decided to repeat the exercise this year, and let the wider world share in the experience by recording the concert and releasing a three volume CD set.


Recorded at Buxton Opera House 21st May 1995

Recorded by: Fleetwood Mobile, London, England

Engineer: Tim Summerhayes

Assistant Engineer: Michelle Reynolds

Mixed at: Cavalier Sound and Vision, Stockport, England

Mixing Engineer: John Harrison

Produced by: Norman Beaker and Harry Lea for Active Music Festivals

Executive Producer: Del Taylor

Photos: David Marsden

Sleeve Notes: Harry Shapiro

Released in 1995, Indigo Records CD (IGOCD 2050, 2051,2052)

Artists and production personnel donated their services, and Indigo Records supported the Beechwood Cancer Care Centre and the McMillan Nurses.


Volume 1


Jack Bruce

1.       Neighbour Neighbour (Valier) 5:06

2.       Born Under A Bad Sign (Jones/Bell) 7:47

3.       White Room (Bruce/Brown) 6:08

4.       Sittin' On Top Of The World (Cater/Jacobs) 6:10

5.       Sunshine Of Your Love (Bruce/Brown/Clapton) 6:47

Jack Bruce (vocals, bass); Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone); Norman Beaker (guitar, backing vocals); Tim Franks (drums); Dave Bainbridge (keys)

Jack Bruce/Paul Jones

6.       Sonny Boy Williamson (Jones/Bruce) 2:49

Jack Bruce (Vocals, bass); Paul Jones (vocals, harp)

Paul Jones

7.       Room And Board (Jones) 3:03

8.       Not Me (Jones/Toffoletti) 4:14

9.       Blue Collar (Scott-Heron) 6:25

10.   Everyday I Have The Blues (Chatman) 6:29

Paul Jones (vocals, harp); Norman Beaker (guitar); Andrew Shelley (slide guitar); Lenni (sax); Dave Bainbridge (keys); Dick-Heckstall-Smith (sax); John Price (bass); Tim Franks (drums); plus on track10 Alan Skidmore (sax); Dick Heckstall-Smith (sax)

Norman Beaker Band

11.   Cross me Off Your List (Beaker) 6:21

Norman Beaker (vocals, guitar); Andrew Shelley (guitar); Lenni (sax); Dave Bainbridge (keys); John Price (bass); Tim Franks (drums)

Brian Knight/Toni Vines

12.   Honey Bee (Waters) 3:49

Brian Knight (slide guitar); Toni Vines (guitar)

Tony McPhee

13.   Groundhog Blues (Davenport) 4:29


Buxton '95 was held on Sunday 21st May and as before it was a great coming together of musicians who hadn't seen each other for a long time, in some cases twenty years or more. Pre-concert it's crocked finger afternoon tea, post concert something stronger, but all in the genteel environs of the Palace Hotel. Not that this stops Mick Abrahams regaling us with tales from the less than PC world of Stevie Marriott and I lose count of the number of times Alan Skidmore's tongue is trodden on as 'rock women' sashay across the foyer.

On stage, the somewhat haphazard rehearsals and sound checks are all that's needed for this phalanx of seasoned musicians. For them, the blues is like a warm bed – something you can slip into and know you are at home.

Jack Bruce is well received, launching into 'Neighbour Neighbour' an old crowd pleaser from Graham Bond days, Albert King's 'Born Under A Bad Sign' and then three Cream favorites guaranteed to put go faster stripes on the zimmer frame of any aging hippy.

Jack is joined by the ever ebullient Paul Jones for a duo rendition of their little heard eponymous anthem to a great harp players Sonny Boy Williamson. Paul takes over for a solo 'Room And Board'; his own 'Not Me' and a tasty version of Gil Scott Heron's 'Blue Collar', his strengths as a vocalist and harp player are often overshadowed by his skill as an entertainer and frontman for that rarest of phenomena, the successful British blues band.

Norman Beaker, a veteran of the British blues scene from the time when you couldn't get a gig unless you spat at the audience, leads his own outfit which doubles as the Indigo Records house band. 'Cross Me Off Your List' allows the band to stretch out, driven with great aplomb by drummer Tim Franks who gets a tick and gold star all to himself for being on stage as backing drummer throughout most of the five hour concert.

With the arrival of first Brian Knight with Toni Vines and then Tony McPhee, the volume might come down, but not the passion and intensity. Brian Knight is a fine slide guitar player, leader of one of the great 'could have beens' of rock history, Blues By Six, an early sixties band featuring Geoff Bradford and Charlie Watts. Tony McPhee brings Volume One to an end, just a man and his guitar, the ghost of Muddy Waters lurking on his left hand side.

(Harry Shapiro)


Volume 2


Chris Farlowe

1.       I Think It's Going To Rain Today (Newman) 3:08

2.       Love Me Baby (unknown) 3:21

3.       Stormy Monday (Walker) 5:47

Chris Falowe (vocals); James Litherland (guitar); Mick Abrahams (guitar); Norman Beaker (guitar); Dave Bainbridge (keys); Dick Heckstall-Smith (sax); Lenni (sax); John Price (bass on Track2); Colin Hodgkinson (bass on Track3); Tim Franks (drums); Pete Brown (percussion)

Zoot Money

4.       Wild Women And Desperate Man (Korner/Thorup/Edwards) 4:41

5.       Geneva/Good Luck Soul (Trad.arr.Korner) (Hudson) 5:34

6.       Captain America (Korner/Edwards) 5:51

7.       Let The Good Time Roll (Theard/Moore) 7:20

Zoot Money (keys/vocals); Colin Hodgkinson (bass); Ray Warleigh (sax); Alan Skidmore (sax), Tim Franks (drums)

The Detonators

8.       She's Dynamite/Please Try To See It My Way (Whittaker) (Whittaker) 6:58

9.       Morning Glory (Ellington/Stewart) 2:07

Norman Beaker Band

10.   Cry To Me (Beaker) 3:54

James Litherland

11.   Another Time Baby (Litherland) 2:53

James Litherland (guitar/vocals); Norman Beaker (guitar); Dave Bainbridge (keys); John Price (bass); Tim Franks (drums); Lenni (sax)

Mick Abrahams

12.   Billy The Kid (Trad.arr.Abrahams) 4:25

Mick Abrahams (guitar, vocals); Pete Brown (percussion)

Tony McPhee

13.   Death Letter (House) 4:44

Brian Knight/Toni Vines

14.   K.C. Moan (Blackman) 3:20

Brian Knight (slide guitar, vocals); Toni Vines (guitar)

Dave Berry

15.   Route 66 (Troup) 3:13

Dave Berry (vocals); Brian Wood (lap steel guitar); Norman Beaker (guitar); Andrew Shelley (guitar); Dave Bainbridge (Hammond organ); Mike Sanchez (piano); John Price (bass); Tim Franks (drums); Lenni (sax)


Buxton '95 was held on Sunday 21st May and as before it was a great coming together of musicians who hadn't seen each other for a long time, twenty years or more in some cases. Many stood in the wings watching in appreciation of their fellow musicians repairing afterwards to the old world splendour of the Palace Hotel to relive tales of the road. Terms of endearment were reserved for managers past; "And if I ever lay my hands on that git ..."

This volume kicks off with the biggest voice in the show turning in what is possibly the star performance of the night. Chris Falowe's A'Capella on 'It's Going To Rain Today'. Chris is most adept at picking just the right songs for his voice – 'Stormy Monday' could have been written for him.

Zoot Money pays the most up front tribute to Alexis by showcasing four songs closely associated with the great man including an Alexis favorite 'Doggone My Good Luck Soul' plus a rousing version of 'Let The God Time Roll'. Zoot's deceptively cool roustabout style belies an acute sense of timing and emphasis without which, of course, there ain't no swing. Great New Orleans shuffle beats on 'Wild Women And Desperate Man' from drummer Tim Franks who carried off the 'Man Of The Match' award for being on stage almost for the duration of the five hour concert. Too often, we think of blues as simply a vehicle for dexterous lead guitar forgetting how much weight and class the horn players can bring to any blues performance amply demonstrated on Zoot's songs by Alan Skidmore and Ray Warleigh.

The Detonators (formerly the Finger Poppin Daddies) so impressed Indigo that they bought the band. Well, not quite, although, I hope they're checked the small print. Norman Beaker's self-penned 'Cry To Me' featuring his own band is followed by a trio of British guitar heroes. James Litherland was Colosseum's guitarist before Dave Clempson, and played on a number of sessions in the 1970's including the first album of a very promising band called Bandit, but otherwise seem to have been frustratingly low profile for such a robust talent. Mick Abrahams gets a big cheer for his powerful 'Billy The Kid' and rightly so. He shot to fame with Jethro Tull then walked away from truckloads of dosh when he felt it was becoming the Ian Anderson Show. Genuinely without regrets, Mick carries a torch for Alexis, regarding him very much as a father figure who proffered sound advice when the chips were down. A stellar performer whose playing continues to thrill. Unassuming Tony McPhee saves it all for the stage and a vibrant version od son House's 'Death Letter'. Tony is one of many guitarists who, once away from the demands of arena rock, files gratefully back to the roots. Unlike Tony and Mick, stardom never did beckon for Brian Knight, but he kept the faith in a way that his mentor and panel beating boss Cyril Davies would have gruffly approved.

Dave Berry? You mean the Dave Berry, the geezer in leather trousers who used to wind the mike lead around himself on Ready Steady Go? The very same. He rang concert organizer Norman Beaker asking to be on the show, recalling the days before the hits when, as he shows here, he could cut the R&B rug with the best of them.

(Harry Shapiro)


Volume 3


Blues Shouter

1.       Three Hundred Pound Of Joy (Dixon) 3:20

2.       Big Ten Inch Record (Weismantel) 3:40

3.       Don't Play That Song (Ertegun/Nelson) 5:06

Brian Knight/Toni Vines

4.       Meet Me In The Bottom (Weaver) 2:58

5.       Hard Travellin' (Knight) 2:36

Brian Knight (slide guitar, vocals); Toni Vines (guitar)

Norman Beaker Band

6.       No Reason To Believe In Me (Beaker) 4:44

Norman Beaker (guitar, vocals); Andrew Shelley (guitar); Lenni (sax); Dave Bainbridge (keys); John Price (bass), Tim Franks (drums)

Mike Sanchez

7.       Be Careful (Graham) 3:10

8.       Reconsider Baby (Fulson) 3:25

9.       Down The Road Apiece (Raye) 4:26

Mike Sanchez (keys, vocals); Lenni (sax); Norman Beaker (lead guitar); Andrew Shelley (rhythm guitar); John Price (bass); Tim Franks (drums)

Dave Berry

10.   Just A Little Bit (Thornton/Thompson/Bass/Washington) 3:04

Dave Berry (vocals); Brian Wood (lap steel guitar); Norman Beaker (lead guitar); Andrew Shelley (guitar); Dave Bainbridge (Hammond organ); Mike Sanchez (piano); John Price (bass); Tim Franks (drums)

Tony McPhee

11.   I Can't Be Satisfied (Waters) 2:08

Herbie Goins

12.   Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon) 9:00

13.   Shuffle (Beaker/Goins) 5:06

14.   Woke Up This Morning (King/Taub) 7:10

Herbie Goins (vocals); Dick Heckstall-Smith (sax); Chris Barber (trombone); Umberto Sacchi (guitar); Norman Beaker (guitar); Dave Bainbridge (keys); John Price (bass); Lenni (sax); Tim Franks (drums)


Musicians can be great friends, but hardly see each other unless they pass in the night at the motorway service station or airport departure lounges. So this concert was a great coming together, a chance to catch up, swop insults and feel worthy all at the same time.

This volume opens with a cracking singer who started life as Val Harris and now belts out ballistic blues under the moniker of Connie Lush. Her performance on admirably risqué songs like "Three Hundred Pounds Of Joy" and "Big Ten Inch" exudes grit and passion and while purists might blench, the blend of raunchy female blues vocal and edgy rock guitar can be richly compelling. "Don't Play That Song For Me" shows the interplay between Connie and guitarist John Lewis to best effect, leaving one aching for more. If there was any justice Connie Lush should be dripping with all the accoutrements of success.

Brian Knight and Toni Vines bring a taste of blue collar blues to the night's music. Brian's got that real dusty, road weary slur – you can just see him landing up in Dogbreath, Nevada with just hiss guitar, looking to make a few dollars singing the blues. And as he stands by the roadside, a customised pick-up races past with Norman Beaker's "No Reason To Believe In Me" blaring from the stereo, driving music for cool desert nights.

Big Town Playboy keyboardist Mike Sanchez has rubbed shoulders with the High and Mighty – an album of Gene Vincent covers with Jeff Beck called Crazy Legs and a guest spot playing at Eric Clapton's wedding. Here he takes center stage with the Norman Beaker band and some of that foot stomping boogie woogie piano that Alexis loved so much. The band stick around for the return of Dave Berry with Roscoe Gordon's "Just A Little Bit", and then the stage clears once more for Tony McPhee and his shimmering slide guitar for a haunting version of Muddy Water's "I Can't Be Satisfied".

Last but no stretch of the imagination least comes the magnificent Herbie Goins. A regular vocalist with Blues Incorporated, he was the star on what was probably Alexis' finest album "Live At The Cavern", the closest vinyl ever came to expressing the power of the band in full flight. Not that the band remembered too much about it; cosmic be vying pre-concert rendered the rest a misty blur, but it still sounded great. For many of the audience at that time, Herbie was the first genuine black American blues singer they had ever seen and whenever he sang, the band went to another level. Here he fronts an all-star band including Chris Barber and Dick Heckstall-Smith with that loose limited delivery that help defined 'cool' all those years ago.

Alexis was never comfortable in the studio. Live was him milieu; he loved the immediacy, the audience reaction, the uniqueness and variety of each single performance. He would have love this concert and his friends did him proud.

(Harry Shapiro)