Sunday, August 4, 2013

Stone the Crows: Blind Man

Here’s a little something different from the British blues/rock band Stone the Crows. Formed in Glasow, Scotland by guitarist Les Harvey and vocalist Maggie Bell as The Power, the band was named Stone the Crows.

This name is totally lost on American audiences, as its origin is probably Australian and it is used as an exclamation of surprise. It is said that when Peter Grant, the manager of Led Zeppelin, initially heard the band – the first thing out of his mouth was “Stone the Crows.” The name stuck and Grant became their co-manager.

The band had only a cult following in the US, and they were never popular here – which is unfortunate as American audiences tend to be ignorant of the guitar wizardry of Les Harvey and the expressive vocal talents of Maggie Bell. She might be considered a cross between her contemporaries Janis Joplin and Rod Stewart.

The band released four albums from 1970 to 1972. Stone the Crows disbanded after the tragic death of Harvey when he was electrocuted when he touched a badly grounded microphone with wet hands. Keith Relf of the Yardbirds would have a similar fate in 1976 while playing his guitar at his home.

Today’s Spiritual Sunday song is somewhat of a prayer or petition of a “Blind Man.” Blues singer Josh White wrote the tune and Stone the Crows’ version features a long acoustic guitar intro by Harvey before he gets into the song proper. It comes from the band’s self titled debut album that was released on January 1, 1970. Good stuff – check them out.

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