Groundhogs
Blues Obituary
Imperial Records 1969

Music - 4 stars

Groundhogs
Hogwash
United Artist 1972

Music - 4 stars

Groundhogs, Blues Obituary - front cover

front cover

Groundhogs, Blues Obituary - rear cover

front cover

Review

As you may have guessed from the title, the Groundhogs are a blues band. This early period album is a mainly live in the studio affair with minimal overdubs. Tony T.S. McPhee's guitar has the raw bite of Chicago by way of the delta with a bit of John Lee Hooker thrown in. Six of the songs are originals by McPhee with "Natchez Burning" a reworking of a traditional song as a slow, urban, electric number. The last song on the album,"Light Was The Day" is a preview of things to come as the bands music turned more progressive.

When I look at this cover I am reminded of the classic Monty Python bit about the undertakers that all wind up in the casket. I wonder who influenced whom here because both projects were done in 1969.

- TPW

Groundhogs, Hogwash - front over

front cover

Groundhogs, Hogwash - front over open

front cover open

Groundhogs, Hogwash - front over

inside gatefold open

Review

This album is a guitar based progressive allbum where the Groundhogs still use a blues base but add more complex timing shifts and synthesisers. Some of the tracks really rock like "James Road","Sad is the Hunter" and "S'one Song". "Earth Shanty" finds the band in full progressive mode with synthesiser orchestrations. All of the tracks are McPhee originals. I see this album as a prototype of music such as "Rush's" "Permanent Waves". The album, like many progressive albums is not without it's excesses, a one minute flanged drum solo, but that is a small point. This was a very creative band

The packaging is what vinyl is made for, a triple gatefold, that could turn into a poster.

- TPW