Stereo Death Breakdown


Fledg'ling Records reissues Stereo Death Breakdown by Ian Anderson's Country Blues Band, a lost gem of the British blues scene of the 1960s -- remastered from the original tapes, including two contemporary bonus tracks. At the height of the British blues boom in the late 1960s, a handful of musicians came to prominence reinterpreting the acoustic country blues of the 1920s and 1930s. Championed by Radio 1 DJs John Peel, Mike Raven and Alexis Korner, and the music press of the day like Melody Maker, the emerging stars of this mini-movement were soon snapped up by major labels. So in the winter of 1968/1969, UK musician Ian Anderson assembled a lively country blues band for his debut album Stereo Death Breakdown, gigging exhaustively alongside household name electric bands and visiting American blues legends like Mississippi Fred McDowell. Influenced by ancient 78rpm recordings of early American country blues artists like Big Joe Williams, Charley Patton, Sleepy John Estes, Tommy McClennan, Garfield Akers, Tommy Johnson and the Memphis Jug Band, and inspired to perform live by contemporary heroes like Spider John Koerner, the teenage Ian Anderson had founded the first specialist country blues club in the UK -- Bristol's Folk Blues Bristol & West. Out of this club came an English country blues compilation album Blues Like Showers Of Rain, the spark which ignited the boom by propelling artists like Jo Ann Kelly, Mike Cooper and Ian onto the nation's airwaves. Originally picked up by then fast-rising hip independent Island Records (signed by legendary head of A&R Guy Stevens), Ian Anderson's Country Blues Band's Stereo Death Breakdown had to be moved sideways at the 11th hour for release by Liberty/United Artists after pressure from a rock band on the label led by a musician of the same name. In later years -- with original Liberty vinyl copies selling for over £100 apiece -- the master tapes of Stereo Death Breakdown were thought to be lost forever, but recent detective work by Fledg'ling Records unearthed them in the vault where they'd been carefully stored. So here, remastered from those original tapes, with two extra tracks from a contemporary session and new notes by Ian, is a long-lost British blues collectors' piece, finally re-issued just in time for its 40th anniversary.