Complete Blue Horizon Sessions

The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions

by Duster Bennett

It turns out that Britain's best bluesman in the so-called white blues boom of the 1960s wasn't Eric Clapton, Peter Green, John Mayall, Eric Burden, Stevie Winwood or any of the other obvious contenders. It was Tony…  See more details below


It turns out that Britain's best bluesman in the so-called white blues boom of the 1960s wasn't Eric Clapton, Peter Green, John Mayall, Eric Burden, Stevie Winwood or any of the other obvious contenders. It was Tony Bennett, or Tony "Duster" Bennett to be exact, a one-man band who combined a ragged and raw punk energy with sly songwriting skills to produce a body of work unlike any other in Europe or anywhere else. Bennett played seemingly every instrument imaginable, from kazoo to piano (sometimes all at once), and his voice, although technically not impressive, was uniquely his own and he somehow made it a completely expressive vehicle. Duster released a handful of albums and some scattered singles in his lifetime (he died in a car accident in 1976 when he was just 28 years old), most of them for Mike Vernon's Blue Horizon Records, and although his recorded work was critically well received, he never enjoyed commercial success. This two-disc package includes all three of Bennett's LPs for Blue Horizon (Smiling Like I'm Happy, the live set Bright Lights and 12dbs) plus the various singles he released for the label between 1968 and 1970, and it makes for a steady delight, full of propulsive songs that continually take sudden, quirky turns. Keeping time on a kick drum and hi-hat while churning out a ragged, arresting rhythm on guitar and interjecting wild, horn-like harmonica figures between his vocal lines, Bennett projects an immediate, combustible energy that is impossible to ignore. His shuffle rhythms may be drawn from Jimmy Reed and Slim Harpo (he covers songs by both men here), but he amps things up from swampy laconic to extremely urgent and creates a very real kinetic tension in the process. But his hidden strength is in his songwriting, which is full of wry humor and surprisingly sly phrasal turns that mark him as a true original. Songs like "I'm Gonna Wind Up Ending Up Or I'm Gonna End Up Winding Up with You" and "If You Could Hang Your Washing Like You Can Hang Your Lines" are unlike anything else in the blues world, and for all their apparent syntactic complexity, they unwind naturally and easily. "Jumping at Shadows," which was covered by the Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac, may well be the best original blues song to ever come out of Britain, while "Trying to Paint It in the Sky" is simply a great song by any standards. Other highlights on this wonderful collection include the racing "Worried Mind," the punk-paced and raw "Jumpin' for Joy," the country-tinged "Slim's Tune," and the blistering attack of "40 Minutes from Town." This guy was really something special. Bennett had his own home studio and turned out scores of demo recordings, many of which have been compiled on several fascinating albums from Indigo Records (I Choose to Sing the Blues, Comin' Home, Blue Inside, Jumpin' at Shadows and Shady Little Baby). He also recorded an album of funk, soul and blues for the Australian label Toadstool called Fingertips. Released in 1975, Fingertips turned out to be Bennett's last official studio album. Castle/Sanctuary's double-disc Bright Lights Big City from 2003 draws highlights from all of these sources and makes a good introduction to the full range and all too brief career of this amazing musician.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Blue Horizon


Disc 1

  1. Hard to Resist
  2. It's a Man Down There
  3. Things Are Changing
  4. Worried Mind
  5. Life Is a Dirty Deal
  6. Country Jam
  7. Trying to Paint It in the Sky
  8. Times Like These
  9. My Lucky Day
  10. Got a Tongue in Your Head!
  11. Jumping at Shadows
  12. 40 Minutes from Town
  13. Shame, Shame, Shame
  14. My Love Is Your Love
  15. Shady Little Baby
  16. Raining in My Heart
  17. Jumpin' for Joy
  18. God Save the Queen/Introductions/She Lived Her Life Too Fast
  19. Just Like a Fish
  20. What a Dream
  21. Just Like I Treat You
  22. Talk to Me

Disc 2

  1. I'm the One
  2. I Wonder If You Know (How It Is)
  3. My Babe/She's My Baby
  4. Honest I Do
  5. Bright Lights Big City
  6. Fresh Country Jam
  7. I'm Gonna Wind Up Ending Up or I'm Gonna End Up Winding You Up with You
  8. Rock of Ages Cleft for Me
  9. Slim's Tune
  10. I Choose to Sing the Blues
  11. Sugar Beet
  12. I Love My Baby
  13. Vitamin Pills
  14. Everyday
  15. Act Nice and Gentle
  16. Woman Without Love
  17. That Mean Old Look
  18. Sweeter Than Sugar
  19. On Reconsideration
  20. Hill St. Rag
  21. If You Could Hang Your Washing Like You Can Hang Your Lines
  22. I Want You to Love Me

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Duster Bennett   Primary Artist,Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Harmonica,Mandolin,Percussion,Piano,Celeste,Drums,Bass Drums,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Harmonium,Electric Piano,Tambourine,Vocals,Snare Drums,Hand Clapping,Foot Stomping,Hi Hat
John Almond   Organ,Tenor Saxophone
Mick Fleetwood   Drums
Mike Vernon   Claves
John McVie   Bass,Bass Guitar
Dave Bidwell   Drums
John Cloury   Drums,Vocals
Peter Green   Bass,Guitar
Kenny Lamb   Drums
Herb Lovelle   Drums
Tony Mills   Bass,Bass Guitar
Ham Richmond   Keyboards
Andy Silvester   Bass Guitar
Stella Sutton   Vocals
Fiachra Trench   Violin,Cello,Viola,String Bass
Phil Wainman   Drums
Ernestine Pearce   Background Vocals
Viola Billups   Background Vocals
Gerry Jermott   Bass,Bass Guitar
Anthony "Top" Topham   Guitar
Johnny Almond   Organ,Tenor Saxophone

Technical Credits

Juke Boy Bonner   Composer
Willie Dixon   Composer
Jimmy McCracklin   Composer
Jimmy Holiday   Composer
Duster Bennett   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Mike Vernon   Producer,Liner Notes,Reissue Producer
Ray Davies   Composer
Jerry Chesnut   Composer
Elmore James   Composer
James Moore   Composer
Mike Ross   Engineer
Eddie Shuler   Composer
Stella Sutton   Composer
Top Topham   Liner Notes
Fiachra Trench   Director,String Arrangements,String Director
Jerry West   Composer
Mike Fitzhenry   Engineer
Joe Bennie Pugh   Composer
Ewart Abner   Composer
Duncan Cowell   Original Transfers
Simon Cantwell   Art Direction
Pearl Woods   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Stella Bennett   Composer
Mike Hankinson   Engineer
Mo   Contributor
Peter Sarner   Engineer
Anthony "Top" Topham   Liner Notes

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