What's in a name? This time you can judge a book by the cover. But there's more than only covers.
Not a loose bunch of jammers but the tight band, that's what's striking about this supergroup whose collective CV covers a great part of the British blues territory. The BBQ are Maggie Bell on vocals, her STONE THE CROWS pal Colin Allen on drums, Colin Hodgkinson who cut his teeth with Alexis Korner and played, among others, with WHITESNAKE, on bass, former Keef Hartley sidekick, Miller Anderson, on guitar, and none other than Zoot Money on keyboards. With no studio cuts under their belt, the band go for the throat with a fine selection of the blues classics and their own songs, and here, not knowing their engineer is recording the performance, the BBQ are as natural as it gets.
The rollicking shuffle of "What You Got Is So Good" is a perfect tone-setter, but this band know all the sides of their title genre to mold it the 12-bar-purest in "Penicillin Blues", to countrify the groove with Anderson-delivered "Tamp 'Em Up Solid" and "San Francisco Bay Blues" which Hodgkinson does alone over his four-string acrobatics, and to roll it out jazz-way with Money's "It Never Rains But It Pours" where Zoot's organ and Miller's guitar swing the joint while ripping it up. Surprisingly, when the beat changes for "Wishing Well", the combo sound thinner, the "Hasta la vista" remark from Maggie making the serious message of the FREE smash frivolous to link it up with the light "That's The Way I Feel".
There's a lot of humor with this ensemble - up to the Grieg quote in "Houston" - and they're equally powerful either waxing lyrical as in Anderson's "Fog On The Highway" or having a blast in the vocals-passed-around "Respect Yourself". These are the inherent features of the British blues, and till combinations such as the BBQ are possible, the great tradition is alive.