Sunday, December 6, 2020

King Biscuit Boy with Crowbar's Official Music Turns 50!

This year (2020), Official Music, the legendary album by King Biscuit Boy with Crowbar turns 50 years old. It was the explosive debut for both Crowbar and King Biscuit Boy, who sang lead on all the tracks. The recording featured the late, great Biscuit's biggest hit - his definitive cover of Corrina, Corrina as its first single.


Local Musician Comments

Original Crowbar Guitarist John Gibbard
There was little, if any pre-production work done before recording Official Music. Most of the material had been worked up while we were performing as "And Many Others", Ronnie Hawkins backup band.
It was a pretty loose session. I remember there was a galvanized metal tub filled with ice and beer on the floor of the studio.
The Dr. Music players joined in at one point, and audibly arranged horn parts etc. 'on the fly'. Their input made a huge difference!
It was a rare air experience for me, as it was my first recording session.

Paul Panchezak (Trickbag drummer, played in a touring version of Crowbar as well as King Biscuit Boy's solo band)

I first heard this record when it received an exclusive preview by Nevin Grant on CKOC

Bob Bryden (singer, guitarist for the Canadian band, Christmas)

(Official Music is) still a knock-out. It was the success of this album which led Daffodil to also sign Christmas. We opened for Richard several times. 

Peter Temple

I had this album as a kid. (I still have the vinyl copy). I was dabbling in both guitar and harp. It was this album that turned me toward playing Harp as my primary instrument. Richard was as important to me as Little Walter, Paul Butterfield, and Charlie Musselwhite were.

I remember woodshedding to 'Biscuit Boogie', 'Hoy, Hoy Hoy', 'Corrina, Corrina' to name a few. That was no easy task, to sit in the basement, picking up the stylus and putting it down over and over again to figure out what he was doing. It was may fav band, & album for a couple of years till Biscuit left.

The first time I heard him live, was when I was 16. It was at the Sauble Beach Pavillion. The 'King' title was very appropriate at the time. He was among the best. I recall meeting Richard at 'The Station Hotel' in Kitchener. This was approx around 1990, and he was in his final few years. He had declined a little bit, but was excellent in the 2nd set. We sat and talked between sets, and it was a wonderful time, sitting with one of my harmonica hero/mentors. 

Its too bad he had some demons that he could not overcome, however, I remember all the positives, and how great he was, and basically what a nice guy he was. And yes he could also sing really well. RIP Richard Newell AKA King Biscuit Boy, 

Our mini-review:

This album is arguably the best Canadian Blues album of all time. Biscuit and the boys were firing on all cylinders and helped make a musical statement that Hamilton was the Great White North's home of the Blues. A must for all serious Blues fans.


Links: King Biscuit BoyMore KBB StoriesCrowbarMore Crowbar StoriesVideos above courtesy of King Biscuit Boy, Crowbar - TopicMore Album 50th Anniversaries

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