Troy & Bloomfield’s Gospel Blues

One other Roger Troy highlight, confirms Dave Widow, is “Sweet Soul Music,” the lead-off track for The Electric Flag’s 1974 reunion album The Band Kept Playing.  Fortunately, this song is available for preview on YouTube:

“Sweet Soul Music”     The Electric Flag     1974

“Sweet Soul Music” is not a cover of the big Arthur Conley hit but rather an original song by Roger Troy & Mike Bloomfield, with Troy and Buddy Miles on co-lead vocals.  Troy, in fact,  would have a hand in writing the first three tracks on The Band Kept Playing.

Musical personnel on this album:

Roger Troy:  Bass
Buddy Miles:  Drums
Barry Goldberg:  Keyboards
Nick Gravenites:  Rhythm guitar
Michael Bloomfield:  Lead guitar
Roger Troy, Buddy Miles & Nick Gravenites:  Lead vocals

The Bonnaroo Horns under the direction of Peter Graves.
Horns arranged by Peter Graves & The Electric Flag
The Muscle Shoals Horns under the direction of Barry Beckett.
Horns arranged by Barry Beckett, Roger (Jellyroll) Troy & Jerry Wexler
Guests artists would also include Richard Tee (keyboards), RichardKing Biscuit Boy” Newell (harp), Nick Marerro (percussion) & Barry Beckett (mellotron & moog)

Recorded at Criteria Studios – Miami
Mastered By: George Piros
Producer: Jerry Wexler
Production assistance:  Roger (Jellyroll) Troy

(L to R:  Buddy Miles, Roger Troy, Nick Gravenites, Barry Goldberg & Mike Bloomfield)

Electric Flag - back cover photoThe Band Kept Playing – which enjoyed release in US, UK, Canada, Germany & Japan – would be reissued on compact disc in 2002 by Wounded Bird.

Japanese Pressing – 1974

Electric Flag - Japanese Pressing

Roger Troy & Mike Bloomfield

How delightfully odd to discover that someone went to the trouble of putting together a web page tribute to Mike Bloomfield‘s 1973 CBS LP Try It Before You Buy It that (get this) only lists the songs on which Roger Troy takes the lead vocal!  What’s funny is that this web page functions more like a tribute to Roger “Jellyroll” Troy rather than Bloomfield – but doesn’t come right out and say so.

According to blues rockin’ guitarist, Dave Widow, who worked closely with Roger Troy during the latter part of his career, “One of his and my own faves was ‘Your Friends,’ which was someone else’s tune that he sang and played bass on.”   Unfortunately, no one has uploaded that song onto YouTube yet, nor am I able to post a 6-minute recording on this blog due to file size limitations.

However, someone has uploaded a Roger Troy original, “Shine On Love,”  from that same album that has a nice groove, sweet lyric, and a tasty guitar solo that kicks off with a surprise special effect.

“Shine On Love”     Mike Bloomfield & Roger Troy     1973

Main recording personnel:
Michael Bloomfield: guitar, vocals & organ
Roger Troy:  bass & vocals
Make Naftalin:  piano, organ, vibes, marimba, acc. & tambourine
Barry Goldberg:  organ
George Rains:  drums
Nick Gravenites:  vocals

Additional personnel include:
Jimmy Vincent:  rhythm guitar
Howard Wales:  keyboards
John Wilmeth:  trumpet & arranger
Mel Graves, Ron Stallings (?):  tenor sax
Harry Mann:   alto sax
Hart McNee:  baritone sax
Chuck Bennett:  trombone
Joe Bullock, Ollie Griffin, Tommy Tony:  backing vocals

Recording info:
Columbia Studios – San Francisco, CA – 1973

Mike Bloomfield & Roger Troy (photo courtesy of UltimateRockPix)

Bloomfield & Troy

Roger ‘Jellyroll’ Troy: Soul Rocker

Roger Troy‘s band, Jellyroll – as we learned from the previous piece – had inked a contract with Kapp Records around the same time Rick Powell and Wayne Perry enlisted Troy’s help on their “Pain” b/w “Gonna Have a Good Time” single.  Troy would co-write the flip side of the band’s debut single, “Help Me Over”  (what timing – this YouTube audio track was only posted three months ago):

“Help Me Over”     Jellyroll     Recorded in 1970

Roger Troy:   Lead vocals & bass
Tim Hedding:  Keyboards & backing vocals
Ed Setser:  Guitar
Stu Perry:  Drums & percussion
Les Asch:  Alto, tenor & baritone saxophones
Dave Parkinson:  Tenor sax
Bob Thorne:  Trumpet
Cosme Joseph Deaguero:  Conga

Curiously, Kapp would issue a total of two singles for Jellyroll — and “Help Me Over” would be the B-side for each one!

Photo courtesy of the Roger “Jellyroll” Troy Facebook page

Roger TroyAccording to the person who posted this audio track on YouTube, Troy’s musical career would include a professional association with these artists:  The Fendermen, The Hollywood Argyles, Michael Bloomfield & Friends, Maria Muldaur, Mick Taylor, Lonnie Mack, Nick Gravenites, Jerry Garcia & Howard Wales, Mike Finnigan, Timmy Goshorn & Larry Goshorn of Pure Prairie League, and Dave Widow.   This same person would also note that at least three of the band members (Tim Heding, Ed Setser & Les Asch) had prior experience with James Brown, Bobby Byrd, Alfred “Pee Wee” Ellis, and/or The Dapps.

1970 Kapp LP

Jellyroll LP coverRoger Troy would have a hand in writing all but two of the songs on their debut Kapp LP. Discogs.com has this historical note about the album:

“This LP probably was released in 1970.  At the very least, a promotional copy was available to radio as early as July 1970.  It was listed on playlist reports by WLOF (July 17), KTLK (August 13), and KLIV (September 3).”

German 45 issued in fancy picture sleeve

Jellyroll German 45         US 45                                                  New Zealand 45

Jellyroll 45Jellyroll NZ 45

Ohio Valley + Muscle Shoals = Rick Powell

I am eternally grateful that a hometown musical troupe – The Raisins – just happened to be one of the greatest rock bands of the 1980s.  Amusing to recall in retrospect my adolescent disbelief when a friend once informed me that Rick Powell‘s musical life was not wholly enveloped by The Raisins — that, in fact, he had played on 1978’s The Leblanc-Carr Band’s Live from the Atlantic Studios album.

Rick “Bam” Powell — the “writing-singing drummer” who joined forces early in his career with the aforementioned Wayne Perry, as well as Roger “Jellyroll” Troy (later with Mike Bloomfield & The Electric Flag) — would cut his first piece of wax providing the soul-rockin’ vocals for “Gonna Have a Good Time” on Randy McNutt’s Beast imprint:

[Pssst:   Click on the triangle above to play “Gonna Have a Good Time” by Rick Powell & Little Flint]

Did I mention that Powell was a high-schooler at the time?  Powell would record the song with his own group – The Chamberly Kids – along with Wayne Perry’s outfit, Little Flint.

Recorded in 1970/71 –  Released in 1973 – Distributed by Counterpart Records

Little Flint 45

Randy McNutt, who produced some of Powell’s earliest recordings, would include both versions on his CD compilation, Souled Out:  Queen City Soul-Rockers of the 1970s.  For the (unreleased) Chamberly Kids session, Powell was excited to work with Roger Troy, whose band, Jellyroll, had just been signed by Kapp Records.  According to McNutt, “Wayne [Perry] joined him on harmonies and Roger ‘Jellyroll’ Troy, leader of the band Jellyroll, played bass.  During the memorable session at Jewel, Jellyroll’s car was repossessed and he wore red, white, and blue shoes.”

Rick Powell recording at home in 1974 (photo courtesy of Randy McNutt)

Rick Powell - 1974As Powell recounted later to McNutt:

“One day I got a call from a guy who claimed he managed LeBlanc and Carr in Muscle Shoals, Alabama,” Powell says.  “I asked him, ‘All right, who’s pulling my leg?’  But he was their manager, and he was offering me a job as one of their two drummers.  I auditioned and got the job.  Later, they cut back to just one drummer—me.  I toured and recorded with them for the better part of four years.  We were on the road constantly.  It was insane, really.  We opened for a bunch of hit acts—Robert Palmer, England Dan & John Ford Coley, Taj Mahal, and others.  I was based out of Muscle Shoals, where I visited the famous studio where the Swampers [studio musicians] cut the hits.  I feel like a small part of history.”

Sticker Shock:  Wayne Perry & Little Flint’s “Pain” b/w “Gonna Have a Good Time” 45 – categorized overseas as “northern soul mod” (!) – can fetch upwards of $100.

This drummer sings, you know

Rick 'Bam' PowellGood News for Music Fans:  Rick Powell, who once declared he has “no intention of quitting — they’ll have to drag me off the stage when they’re through with me,” has an excellent album of “funky pop rock” = 2009’s Eat the Fat, Drink the Sweet = that is yours for the taking at CD Baby.  Watch out for “Step by Step” – that one is particularly infectious.

Larry Nager’s 1999 biographical profile for The Cincinnati Enquirer is also very informative.

Powell’s soul-rockin’ Adrian Belew-produced B-side for 1983 Raisins 45

Raisins 45-21981 Debut Raisins 45                                   Final Raisins 45 from 1984

Raisins 45-1Raisins 45-3

insert for 1981 debut 45 “Quarters” b/w “Tour Guide”

Raisins