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Cuby+Blizzards - Groeten Uit Grollo [With Regards from Grollo] (1967)

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Cuby+Blizzards - Groeten Uit Grollo [With Regards from Grollo] (1967)

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A1 	Another Day, Another Road	1:49
A2 	The Big Bell	3:49
A3 	Somebody Will Know Someday	6:54
A4 	So Many Roads	3:41
B1 	King Of The World	4:48
B2 	Baby, Please Don't Go (Back To New Orleans)	1:37
B3 	No Shoes	4:33
B4 	Another Land	4:36

Harry Muskee – vocals, harmonica
Eelco Gelling – guitars
Herman Brood – piano
Willy Middel – bass
Hans Waterman – drums


Look at them. Farmer boys gone astray. Sheep grazing in the background, emerging from a mouldy old shed. An angel holding a banner: “Greetings from Grollo.” Village boys from the Dutch province of Drenthe. Menacing, moody, doffed up in spray-on paisley. Every head in Holland circa 1967 knew that Cuby + Blizzards were keepers of the blues flame up North. Scandalous hair, living with loose birds in a commune and roaming the country leaving a trail of empty whisky bottles. Eelco Gelling was the Dutch Jimi Hendrix, only whiter. Less flamboyant, maybe. But smoking whenever he got hold of a pick and his Les Paul. Harry “Cuby” Muskee was the grumpy old man, even at 21. He had to be, he was a BLOOOOZE singer. Harry knew, he had been there. Pianist Herman Brood was the wild card, a timid juvenile delinquent who could not yet hold a candle to his later superstar self. But daring all the way, even in his choice of stimulants. “Medicine,” he called the little blue pills that he first got from servicemen in Germany. Helped to keep him awake during five hour barroom sessions playing everything Little Richard ever recorded. Herman, too, had paid his dues.

High time we elaborated on the “peat, gin and suspicion” theme mentioned in the Hunebed section of The Megalitic European by His Copeness. People from Drenthe kept themselves alive through the ages by hacking peat from the soggy ground of their Hunebed country, leaving it out to dry and selling it for fuel. Gin, or Dutch “jenever” kept them happy through the hard times. And hard times they were. Them were suspicious people, the Drenths. Didn’t trust no one. “When God created the Drenthe farmer,” goes an old saying, “the Drenthe farmer said to God: Get off of my land!” Cuby + Blizzards fitted neatly in that sad and lonely profile. They were drunk, often. They trusted no one. And when they made music, they were delving deep. They were smoking.

Graffity turned up along the one highway leading up North. “Cuby + Blizzards” was all it said, painted in crude letters on a concrete viaduct. The mighty Philips label let them record. Singles first, very unsimilar to the tidy pop music of The Golden Earrings and The Motions from way out west in The Hague. Cuby's “Back home” made it to the top 40 in 1966. The “Desolation” album breathed the dark depths of the inside of a Hunebed at night. (If you don’t know what I’m on about at this time, check The Megalithic European). But nothing could prepare the emerging Dutch rock world for the raw onslaught of “Groeten Uit Grollo”, the album that put Dutch psychedelica on the map. Opening track “Another day, another road” was accessible enough, Cuby’s first top 20 hit. But then came “The Big Bell”, an Eddy Boyd chestnut turned upside down with way out guitar rumblings and a voice from deep within that mouldy old shed. “Somebody will know someday” followed as a reminder that the Drenthe sky is always crying, except on those rare occasions when the peat is left out to dry. “So many roads,” mused Harry Muskee on the amount of traveling he would have to do, before all of The Netherlands would be converted to the Cuby aesthetic of way out blues with the smell of jenever on its breath.

Side two brings us John Lee Hooker and Big Joe Williams covers, telling baby not to go back to New Orleans and if you do, don’t expect Cuby to buy you new shoes. Then it’s the grand finale of “Another land” where Eelco Gelling shits and pisses all over Clapton, Beck and Pagey. Cuby + Blizzards were never made for world domination. They were suspicious of the business types who always seemed to have wads of cash when all they could spare for the band was their nightly crate of whisky. That kept them happy, but not in the long run when Robbie van Leeuwen made his fortune with Shocking Blue, Golden Earring fucked off to The States to make it with “Radar love” and Dutch rock & roll became synonimous with “Stars on 45” and Pussycat’s “Mississippi”. Harry Muskee kept plowing on, even today when he’s still singing every night and presenting radio shows that benefit from his profound knowledge of and love for the blues. But “Groeten Uit Grollo” was never just a blues record. It breathed the spirit of the Hunebed, the ancient tombs that could never have been built by human hands. It has the ghosts of ancient Drenthe inside its grooves. ---Hunebatman, headheritage.co.uk

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Last Updated (Thursday, 28 March 2019 17:17)


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