Hawg Stop Blues Fest
Ten Years After wasn't on the A-list of bands coming to these shores in the British blues/rock boom of the '60s -- unlike Cream, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers or the original Fleetwood Mac. But Nottingham's Ten Years After secured its slice of classic rock fame with a blistering rendition of "I'm Going Home" at Woodstock (a highlight of the subsequent movie) and the non-bluesy FM radio staple "I'd Love to Change the World." The original lineup of Alvin Lee (vocals, guitar), Chick Churchill (keys), Ric Lee (drums, no relation to Alvin) and Leo Lyons (bass) also built a rep as a popular live draw, when the band could really stretch out its material. The 2006 lineup of TYA does not include Alvin Lee, but because of their collective front, that's not so much a hindrance as, say, an Ian Anderson-less Jethro Tull.
Stepping into the breach is Joe Gooch, a white-hot guitarslinger and adequate vocalist half as old as the rest of the band members. He fronts the group in concert and on the 2005 release Now. Featuring nine new originals and live versions of their two best-known hits, it's a serviceable effort that for every great track ("When It All Falls Down," "Time to Kill," "Long Time Running") has two more textbook blues-rock numbers that probably come across better live than they do on disc. And since Ten Years After is headlining an all-day blues festival at a biker bar, that's all that will matter to a ready-to-party crowd.
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