Ten Years After - Slow Blues In 'C'
Recorded Live: 8/4/1975 - Winterland - San Francisco, CA
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Alvin Lee - lead vocals, guitar
Chick Churchill - organ
Leo Lyons - bass
Ric Lee - drums
Extraordinary blues/rock guitarist Alvin Lee had already begun pursuing his solo career in earnest by the time he returned for the 28th and final U.S. tour of the original Ten Years After. Upon completion of the 1975 tour, TYA would split up and not return until a reunion was staged in 1989.
Although a cult fave, the band burst onto the world music scene after it appeared in the documentary film, Woodstock, one of whose highlights was the performance of "I'm Goin' Home" by Lee and the band. This show, recorded at Bill Graham's Winterland ballroom, opens with a rockin' (but incomplete) version of the band's radio hit, "Rock & Roll Music To The World." They follow it with one their classics, "Love Like A Man." Muddy Water's "Good Morning Little School Girl," is next, and leads to long and tasty slow blues.
A 20-minute version of "I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes" is followed by a 12- minute but incomplete "I'm Going Home." After a souped-up version of Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen," Lee and the band close with two of their own hits: "Choo Choo Mama" and "Baby, Won't You Let Me Rock 'n' Roll You."
One of the biggest blues/rock acts on the planet between 1969 and 1974, Ten Years After could attribute their far reaching success to two things: Promoter Bill Graham and their appearance in the landmark music documentary Woodstock. Graham was among the earliest U.S. promoters to book the band, and he made them a staple act at both the Fillmore East and West, and of course, Winterland.
By the time this show was recorded. TYA had become primarily a vehicle for Alvin Lee's blistering guitar work, its songs comprised of equal parts rock, blues, and jazz. In 1972, the band would leave Decca Records (the label that signed them in 1967), and move to Columbia's corporate home. Columbia would take the band in a more radio friendly/pop driven direction (hence, the hit single "I'd Love To Change The World"). Frustrated with the popular music trend, Alvin Lee left the band, which disbanded soon after the second Columbia release in 1975.
The original lineup made one reunion LP and did one more tour in 1988/89 before disbanding again. In 2003, Ric Lee assembled the group again, although Alvin would not participate. He was replaced by guitarist Joe Gooch, and the band is still recording and touring today.