John Cipollina/Nick Gravenites Band – West Coast Legend Vol.1

January 01, 1970

(SPV Records)

When the late John Cipollina, the chief architect of such archetypical West
Coast jam bands as Quicksilver Messenger Service and Copperhead, and Nick
Gravenites, revered blues belter with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and the
Electric Flag, found themselves together on stage in Dortmund Germany in
November 1980, it proved nothing less than a historic reunion. The two men had
achieved legendary stature, derived in part from the roles they played in
advancing the experimental origins of the San Francisco rock scene during the
late ‘60s and early ‘70s.  In many ways,
it was a union that seemed all inevitable, given that the two men had
frequently collaborated during Quicksilver’s formative years. Now, thanks to
the fledgling Rockpalast series (named for the popular German television series
that showcased live music in a variety of European locales), this concert has
been preserved intact, and the results are as spectacular now as they were at
the time.


Not surprisingly, the set list was rooted in their common
bond in blues and boogie, with several entries drawn from their individual back
catalogs. Cipollina offers “Pride of Man,” Quicksilver’s signature song, while
Gravenites evokes the passion of purpose that distinguished his contribution to
Janis Joplin’s canon, “Buried Alive in the Blues.”  Searing takes on more obscure songs like
“Junkyard in Malibu” and “Signs of Life,” along with covers of Quicksilver’s
staple “Who Do You Love” and the Spencer Davis Band chestnut, “Keep on Running”
prove equally incendiary. The four-man band – including bassist Al Staehely and
drummer Marcus David – proves especially adept at coalescing around a single
purpose, and while the set breaks no new ground, it still reflects what was
undoubtedly one sensational show.


DOWNLOAD: “Signs of Life,” “Pride
of Man,” “Buried Alive in the Blues” LEE ZIMMERMAN


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