One of the great unsung legends of the late-'60s British blues boom, Dr. K's Blues Band's eponymous debut album is a heavyweight mix of original material (penned, for the most part, by pianist Richard Kay -- the Dr. K of the title), and well-arranged standards. "Key to the Highway" and "Messin' With the Kid" both receive invigorating workouts, with the star of the show being guitarist Geoff Krivit, a tastefully imaginative player cut firmly in a John Mayall's Bluesbreakers-type vein. The majority of the cuts are surprisingly short. Just three top three minutes, including Krivit's own brooding "Walking" and Kay's "Long Distance Call"; for the most part, the Blues Band simply throw themselves at a song, say everything that needs to be said, and then move on. This emphasis on brevity does hamstring the album somewhat, although there are a few grand surprises -- "Rolty's Banjo Shuffle," for example, doesn't actually feature a banjo, while the distinctly psychedelic title "Strobe Lemming's Lament" emerges a boogie-down Dr. K piano showpiece. Even the number most frequently cited as a highlight of the album, "Crippled Clarence" (another pounding piano boogie) is just 120 seconds long. It does, however, serve as a powerful introduction to the album's true pièce de résistance, slide player Roger Rolt's "Pet Cream Man," an echoey, atmospheric 12-bar blues that is as distinctive as any Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack, or Groundhogs opus, and for which Dr. K's Blues Band merit so much more than the footnote they currently occupy.
AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson