Monday, February 03, 2014

Ernie Graham - Selftitled (Good Rock Album UK 1971)

Size: 85 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

This is one of the most hauntingly beautiful solo albums to come out of the whole English pub rock scene, and references to Bob Dylan and the Band are appropriate because the rootsy/folk-like intersections with their work are here. It's also a rival to the best work of Brinsley Schwarz, Ducks Deluxe, Eggs Over Easy, et al. (and no surprise -- the Brinsleys played on this album). 

Opening with the gorgeous, Dylanesque "Sebastian," built on a lyrical acoustic guitar part, Graham reveals himself a songwriter and player of extraordinary sensitivity -- he might easily have been another Alan Hull, or even bigger than that, had he been able to join a band with legs or hold his own career together. As it is, from that Dylan-like start, he and the Brinsleys deliver a brace of full electric numbers that rival the classic sound of the Band, starting with "So Lonely" -- the roots rock sound here is so authentically American that it will fool lots of listeners about its origins and source. 

For this album, "The Girl That Turned the Lever" and "For a Little While" are two of the finest working-class/folk-style compositions this side of "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," and "Blues to Snowy" takes Graham into Lynyrd Skynyrd territory. "Belfast" finally takes listeners to Graham's real roots, in a bracing, fiddle-driven folk-based piece from that side of the Atlantic.

Ernie Graham (born Ernest Harold Graham, 14 June 1946 in Belfast, died 27 April 2001 in London) was a singer, guitarist and songwriter, active from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s.

Ernie Graham was born in Belfast, and was training to be a mechanic, when he joined his first band Tony & the Telstars in 1965, as rhythm guitarist. When the band split Graham and two other members moved to England, where Graham met Henry McCullough. Graham and McCullough returned to Belfast and formed The People, with George O'Hara, Davey Lutton and Chris Stewart.

In 1967 the band moved back to London where they came to the attention of Michael Jeffery and were signed by him and Chas Chandler. In 1968 they changed their name to Eire Apparent and toured with Soft Machine, Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix.

Eire Apparent only recorded one album Sunrise (1969), which was produced by Hendrix, who also played on the album. Shortly after McCullough left, to tour with The Grease Band, Eire Apparent disbanded. Graham moved in with McCullough and recorded four songs with The Grease Band, but these were never issued.

Graham was then signed to Liberty Records as a solo artist, by Andrew Lauder. Sharing management with Brinsley Schwarz and Help Yourself, they all toured together as "The Down Home Rhythm Kings" package and lived in the same commune in Northwood. Both bands also backed Graham on his eponymous solo album Ernie Graham (1971). The album was well received, described as "one of the most hauntingly beautiful" albums of the pub-rock scene, and "one of the more distinctive and memorable solo albums of the period", but sold poorly.

Graham and 'JoJo' Glemser then joined Help Yourself appearing with them at the Glastonbury Festival in 1971 and playing on their second album Strange Affair (1972), although Graham had left the band before the album was released.

In 1973, Graham formed pub rock band Clancy, who were initially signed to Island Records, but issued two albums and a single on Warner Bros. Records. When Clancy broke up in 1976, Graham played with Nick Lowe  and tried to go solo, issuing Phil Lynott's "Romeo and the Lonely Girl" as a single in 1978, which was his last release.

In the early 1980s, he tried forming a band with Larry Pratt, who had briefly been a member of Clancy, but when this failed, he gave up being a professional musician, worked on the railways, including as a guard on the Orient Express, and was training to become a counsellor, but his "strong alcohol dependence"  caused his health to fail, and he died in April 2001.

Ernie Graham - Guitar, Vocals
 Brinsley Schwarz, Richard Treece - Guitar
 Bob Andrews - Guitar, Accordion, Piano, Organ, Background Vocals
 Ian Gomm - Guitar, Background Vocals
 Malcolm Morley - Guitar, Vocals, Piano
 Nick Lowe, Ken Whaley - Bass Guitar
 Dave Charles - Drums, Percussion, Background Vocals
 Billy Rankin - Drums
 Chris Cunningham - Fiddle
 J. Eichler - Vocals

01. Sebastian 5:40 
02. So Lonely 5:25 
03. Sea Fever 4:40 
04. The Girl That Turned the Lever 6:15 
05. For a Little While 6:35 
06. Blues to Snowy 4:05 
07. Don't Want Me Round You 4.27
08. Belfast 5.39

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Anonymous said...

Thanx a lot!

Rochacrimson said...

Please Chris...more Help Yourself and Ernie Graham albums!!!!
Thank you!

Bill said...

Thanks for this!

Pitu said...

very very good. thank you very much friend. All the best.

Psyclist said...

Never heard of this guy but an awesome find. Thx Chris!

Anonymous said...

Tack! Sean Tyla writes in his biography about his meetings with Ernie and Help Yourself. Nice reading. Sean Tyla Jumpin´In the Fire

Anonymous said...

I was a teenager when UA records released a great sampler called "All good clean Fun " thats where l heard Ernie and Help Yourself for the first time ... great to know these reissues are finding new listeners .... all good stuff Chris ... Thanks.

Anonymous said...

this is an excellent album, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Another fine album and a guy I had never heard of!Thank you, Chris!