The Second Disc

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Early Years of Jon Lord, Keef Hartley Chronicled on The Artwoods’ Box Set “Steady Gettin’ It”

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The ArtwoodsToday, The Artwoods might be best remembered as footnotes in the stories of a number of other famous bands. Frontman and namesake Art Wood was the oldest brother of Faces/Rolling Stones man Ronnie. Organist Jon Lord went on, of course, to found Deep Purple. And drummer Keef Hartley would, among other credits, form The Keef Hartley Band. RPM Records has recently celebrated the music of the mod R&B revivalists with the release of the 3-CD box set Steady Gettin’ It: The Complete Recordings 1964-67.

The Artwoods formed in 1963 and remained active through 1967, along the way becoming a popular live attraction. Like so many other bands, the roots of The Artwoods could be found in other groups. Art Wood, a onetime student at the Ealing School of Art (which also has David Bowie, Pete Townshend and Freddie Mercury among its alumni), made his name in music with his own nine-piece big band The Art Wood Combo and then as a vocalist for bluesman Alexis Korner’s rotating Blues, Incorporated lineup. Korner inspired Wood to reform his own Combo, this time as a blues quartet. After experimenting with a floating line-up similar to that of Blues, Incorporated, Wood set out to form a more consistent group.   Guitarist Derek Griffiths and keyboardist Jon Lord were both members of semi-pro band Red Bludd’s Blusicians when Bludd leader and bassist Don Wilson proposed a merger with the Art Wood Combo. In early 1964, Wilson, Lord and Griffiths joined Art Wood and his drummer Reg Dunnage.

That iteration of the group was short-lived. In March 1964, Don Wilson broke both his legs, forcing him out of the band. Malcolm Pool was recruited from The Roadrunners to take on bass duties. As The Art Wood Combo, this line-up of the band recorded four songs for an acetate (all of which are released on RPM’s set for the very first time) and attracted the attention of Decca Records. But there was one more important shift before the group transformed into The Artwoods. In late summer 1964, drummer Dunnage declined to continue with the band. Other drummers were sought including Mitch Mitchell who actually played a few dates with the group. Enter Keith “Keef” Hartley, Ringo Starr’s replacement in Rory Storm and the Hurricanes. With Hartley in place, the group decided (likely under the advice of Decca’s Mike Vernon, per the comprehensive liner notes included in the box) to change its name. The Artwoods were born.

Hit the jump to find what’s on Steady Gettin’ It!

Between 1964 and 1967, The Artwoods released a number of singles and EPs as well as one full-length album. Those eighteen single and EP sides on Decca, Parlophone and Fontana – including originals by Jon Lord and his bandmates and covers of such unexpected fare as Lee Hazlewood’s “These Boots are Made for Walkin’,” Jerry Goldsmith’s “Our Man Flint” theme and E.Y. Harburg and Jay Gorney’s Great Depression standard “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime” – are all included on the first disc of this set. The Artwoods also paid numerous visits to the BBC, and eighteen never-before-released live tracks from the Beeb (plus one previously issued interview) are also included on Discs 1 and 2. Many of these songs weren’t recorded elsewhere by the group such as covers of The Beatles’ “Day Tripper,” Sam Cooke’s “Shake” and The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” The second CD has the complete November 1966 release of Art Gallery, The Artwoods’ lone long-player. Finally, the third CD presents a live concert from Funny Park, Denmark capturing The Artwoods in 1967 before their disbanding.

Steady Gettin’ It is packaged in a compact clamshell box with each disc housed in a mini-LP-style jacket.  Simon Murphy has remastered all tracks for stellar sound with the exception of the concert. A note truthfully states that the live tracks “suffer from poor sound quality,” but the performances do crackle with the band’s onstage energy. The set’s enclosed 38-page booklet is worth the price of admission alone, with a detailed essay about the band’s history plus full credits, discography and a load of photos and memorabilia. The notes bring The Artwoods’ story right up through the present day (more or less!), culminating in the 2007 reunion during which Ronnie Wood joined Malcolm Pool, Derek Griffiths, Jon Lord and Colin Martin, who replaced Hartley in spring 1967. Ronnie was carrying on the spirit of his brother Art, who had passed away the year before.

Hear The Artwoods’ mod fusion of rhythm and blues, rock, pop and soul on this box set which is available now from Cherry Red’s RPM Records imprint. You can order the set below!

The Artwoods, Steady Gettin’ It: The Complete Recordings 1964-67 (RPM BX 524, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

CD 1

  1. Chicago Calling
  2. Hoochie Coochie Man
  3. Talkin’ About You
  4. Kansas City
  5. Sweet Mary
  6. If I Ever Get My Hands on You
  7. Oh My Love
  8. Big City
  9. Goodbye Sisters
  10. She Knows What to Do
  11. I Take What I Want
  12. I’m Looking for a Saxophonist Doubling French Horn Wearing Size 37 Boots
  13. These Boots are Made for Walkin’
  14. A Taste of Honey
  15. Our Man Flint
  16. Routine
  17. I Feel Good
  18. Molly Anderson’s Cookery Book
  19. What Shall I Do
  20. In the Deep End
  21. Brother Can You Spare a Dime
  22. Al’s Party
  23. Smack Dab in the Middle
  24. Interview
  25. Goodbye Sisters
  26. She Knows What to Do
  27. Can You Hear Me
  28. Interview
  29. I Take What I Want
  30. Jump Back

CD 2

  1. Can You Hear Me
  2. Down in the Valley
  3. Things Get Better
  4. Walk on the Wild Side
  5. I Keep Forgettin’
  6. Keep Lookin’
  7. One More Heartache
  8. Work Work Work
  9. Be My Lady
  10. If You Gotta Make a Fool of Somebody
  11. Stop and Think It Over
  12. Don’t Cry No More
  13. One More Heartache
  14. Interview
  15. I Feel Good
  16. Things Get Better
  17. Stop and Think It Over
  18. In the Deep End
  19. What Shall I Do
  20. Day Tripper
  21. Steady Gettin’ It
  22. Devil with a Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly
  23. In the Deep End

CD 3: Live at Funny Park, Denmark, 1967

  1. Steady Gettin’ It
  2. Keep Lookin’
  3. I Need Your Loving
  4. Love Have Mercy/Bony Maronie
  5. Be My Lady
  6. Day Tripper
  7. How Long
  8. Shake
  9. Tic Tac Toe
  10. Song of the Journeyman
  11. Black Mountain
  12. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

CD 1, Tracks 1-4 previously unreleased, from acetate
CD 1, Tracks 5-6 from Decca single F 12015, 1964
CD 1, Tracks 7-8 from Decca single F 12091, 1965
CD 1, Tracks 9-10 from Decca single F 12206, 1965
CD 1, Tracks 11-12 from Decca single F 12384, 1966
CD 1, Tracks 13-16 from Jazz in Jeans, Decca EP DFE 8654, 1966
CD 1, Tracks 17-18 from Decca single F 12465, 1966
CD 1, Tracks 19-20 from Parlophone single R 5590, 1967
CD 1, Tracks 21-22 from Fontana single TF 883, 1967
CD 1, Tracks 23-30 previously unreleased BBC sessions
CD 2, Tracks 1-12 from Art Gallery, Decca LP LK 4830, 1966
CD 2, Tracks 13-23 previously unreleased BBC sessions
CD 3, Tracks 1-12 previously unreleased

Written by Joe Marchese

October 23, 2014 at 09:55

Posted in Box Sets, News, The Artwoods

2 Responses

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  1. I really enjoy that labels are digging up these obscure releases by bands I have never heard of. I love discovering them for the first time all these decades later. Real Gone Music had unearthed several as well. Keep em coming guys!

    Zubb

    October 23, 2014 at 12:50

  2. I tried contacting the Cherry Red label via their website, and got no response. Obviously, the “Disc 3” of the Artwoods set is a very primitive audience recording, but I have noted that during the last two & a half minutes of a lengthy rendition of the song “Shake”, there is a repetitive clicking sound. Is it an inherent fault in the recording, or is it a mastering glitch? I’d like to know, but have been unable to get an answer.

    Philip Cohen

    October 23, 2014 at 14:27


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