Ten Years After: Back Making Records, With Two New Band Members

30th June 2017

Title: A Sting in the Tale

Woodstock had a lot to answer for. If it wasn’t for the film of that music festival (the only piece of the entire event that made any money), it is quite possible that a host of music stars, that we all take for granted, would have struggled to get their careers off the ground or may have sunk without trace in a short peiord or may have remained unknown. Who knows? What we do know is that many artists received a welcome ‘leg up’ from Woodstock. Ten Years After being one of them.

Who can forget Alvin Lee on the night-time stage, giving the audience I’m Going Home with a level of facial gurning that was of international standard. That appearance blew away the audience and, through the film, made stars of the band itself: eight Top 40 albums in the UK and 12 on the Billboard 200 chart between 1967 and 1974.

As was…1970

Once Positive Vibrations hit the streets in 1974, though, the band decided to call it a day. But that wasn’t the end, reunions occurred on a regular basis in 1983, 1988 and 1994. To the shock of many, Alvin Lee died in 2013 after complications formed via a supposedly routine medical procedure.

Founder members, Ric Lee and Chick Churchill decided to put the band back together again in 2014 with legendary bass man, Colin Hodgkinson and blues vocalist/guitarist Marcus Bonfanti. This album is the result.

The album itself offers solid blues-based rock, even though there is less of an edge to the group, these days. The music packs a punch in terms of the arrangement and the musicianship is accomplished and, even though the ideas are less than sparkling or innovative, fans will derive much pleasure from this album which provides a rolling groove with ‘funky bits’. It’s great to see the band pushing forward once more.