Groundhogs

3744 James Road: The HTD Anthology

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The Groundhogs were an at-times better than average 1960s British blues band led by T.S. McPhee, whose Jack Bruce-like vocals and raggedly aggressive guitar style made the group sound at times like a looser version of Cream. This two-disc set, divided into studio and live recordings, makes a pretty solid introduction to the band. The studio disc shows the Groundhogs' devotion to the blues, with solid covers of Howlin' Wolf's "No Place to Go," Willie Dixon's "Down in the Bottom," and Arthur Crudup's "Mean Ole Frisco" among the highlights. The live disc features even more blues, including the group's cover of their namesake song, John Lee Hooker's "Groundhog Blues," but also features several of McPhee's originals, like the extremely caustic "Thank Christ for the Bomb." The Groundhogs remain somewhat of an enigma, since the talent was there for bigger and better things, but as a blues band, at least, they were as good as any Britain coughed up in the '60s.

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