While many a vinyl rarity’s value is based on its scarcity rather than actual music, this record holds a nice surprise.
Competent to the hilt, SAM APPLE PIE honed their art on the stage of London’s “The Bottleneck Blues Club”, which the band owned, and found a moderate success in Europe even before the sextet graced the pastures of the inaugural Glastonbury Festival, in 1970.
By then, their eponymous album had pleased a lot of connoisseurs, especially with the brass-wielding 7-minutes blistering murk of “Swan Song” and hot groover “Winter Of My Love”. Yet the ensemble remained in the shadows of giants like FLEETWOOD MAC: after all, the PIE had only two guitarists.
Mike Smith and Steve Jolly unleash their predatory stomp onto Bob Rennie’s bass on opener “Hawk” that sets a stall for a number of impressive solos and frame the firm focus of Sam Sampson’s booming voice, while a cover of Elvis’ hit “Tiger Man” rides a steel axe and gets propelled to the deranged recesses by future star engineer Dave Charles’ drums.
The second half of the record feels less impressive, though, save for the twin lead wrap of “Sometime Girl” and the harmonica jive of “Uncle Sam’s Blues” featuring a piano boogie courtesy of Malcolm Morley, who’d find fame as part of MAN later on. But for all its standard feel, the final coup that is “Moonlight Man” ventures off from its hoochie-coochie origin into a flute-embellished progressive field far enough to render all the album special. There were more from this band but nothing as blood-pumping.
www.dmme.net (October 2012)
…distinctive blend of blues, boogie and bonhomie.
Kevin Bryan, Stirling Advertiser (November 2012)
We love the obscure gems that are constantly being unearthed by the folks at Great Britain’s Angel Air label. The creative minds at this company seem to be on an unending quest to find and reissue things that would otherwise be lost in the mindless stacks of stuff scattered around on the planet…
This ten track album does, admittedly, have a rather dated sound. But the spirit and playfulness of the guys in the band clearly shines through. These tracks combine elements of rock, blues, and pop into an instantly warm and friendly mix…
…Plenty of cool guitar licks here and that great sounding loud hippy rock that was a staple of the time period. Cool cuts include “Hawk,” “Stranger,” “Sometime Girl,” and “Moonlight Man.”
www.babysue.com (November 2012)
Far from the progressive edge of the UK blues boom, these London good time boys made a decent name for themselves playing competently and larking about on stage – something that clearly endeared them to large numbers of people.
Record Collector, (December 2012)