Another new one (to me), and another one that challenges alphabetization. This was another splendid find from Siren Records in Doylestown from earlier this year (2020) when I raided their blues bins (thinking I was overdoing it, and not realizing I’d be spending months in lockdown with these records).
The fun and confusing thing about this beauty is that it’s by The Blues Project. Its title is “Al Kooper, Roy Blumenfeld, Danny Kalb, Tommy Flanders, Steve Katz, Andy Kulberg of The Blues Project.” That is, if you go by the cover.
If you go by the spine, it’s “Blumenfeld / Flanders / Kalb / Katz/ Kooper / Kulberg of The Blues Project.” Very alphabetical of them.
If you go by the bulk of the Discogs entries, it’s yet another different order, with Tommy Flanders up top, perhaps because he was the original singer, though he only appears on two tracks. That order appears on the label, too.
Me, I’m storing this under “Blues Project” and moving on.
All of these tracks were on previous Blues Project records, but, coming late to the Al Kooper universe, I have none of those. Though Kooper’s name is closely associated with the group, it in fact was centered around a folk/acoustic blues group from Greenwich Village called the Danny Kalb Quartet. Kooper was brought in as a session musician on the band’s audition for Columbia; instead they were signed to Verve. The band existed for about a year and a half, late 1965 to early 1967. By the time they appeared at the Monterey International Pop Festival, Kooper was gone and the band was in a state of collapse. Kooper and Katz went on to form Blood, Sweat & Tears (which Kooper also quickly left). By coincidence, on this same day I picked up “Grape Jam,” an album ostensibly by Moby Grape but also featuring Al Kooper (and Mike Bloomfield). Told ya I invaded those blues bins at Siren!