The Blend - 1978 The Blend

EricEric USA
edited January 19 in year-1978

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ARTIST: The Blend
ALBUM: The Blend
LABEL: MCA
SERIAL: MCA-3058
YEAR: 1978

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: image
LINEUP: Jim 'J.D' Brown - guitar, lead vocals * Steven Dore - guitar, piano, backing vocals * Ken Holt - bass * Skip Smith - drums, backing vocals * Donnie 'D.P.' Pomber - keyboards, organ, clavinet

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Hope You Find Somethin' * 02 Can't You Hear Me * 03 All I Need * 04 (Gonna Be) One Of Those Days * 05 I'm Gonna Make You Love Me * 06 Sweet Goody Two Shoes * 07 Train * 08 Long Road * 09 (I Got The) Music In Me

Background

There's never been a whole lot of rock 'roll coming out of the gorgeous state of Maine. The late Billy Chinnock called the state home and 80's soft rockers Devonsquare had some commercial success, but its close proximity to Boston found many Maine musicians basing themselves in the larger and hipper big city as opposed to slogging it out in the most rural and desolate region of New England.

It's with this backdrop we find of all things a Southern rock band called The Blend who were based in Maine's largest city of Portland.

The Blend released two albums, their debut in 1978 and 'Anytime Delight' from 1979. Neither album sold that well but the group toured extensively throughout New England sharing stages with Oak and the aforementioned Billy Chinnock as well as much larger concerts with The Who, Hall & Oates, ZZ Top and others.

The Songs

A very likable aspect of The Blend's music is their pop sense. These guys knew a good hook when they heard one like the opener 'I Hope You Find Something' with a tasty chorus and chug-a-luggin' riff.

'Can't You Hear Me' is just as cool and hooky with orchestration to boot and would have made for a great single. Very Marshall Tucker Band sounding I might add. The band boasted two lead vocalists in Steve Dore and Jim 'J.D.' Brown and both played off each other quite well. This is especially so on 'I'm Gonna Make You Love Me' with superb harmonies and a style similar to early Outlaws.

Despite its goofy title 'Sweet Goody Two Shoes' is top-notch country-rock balladry and as good as anything Poco were doing at the time, although the song quality takes a noticeable dip on the remainder of side two, almost as if they ran out of ideas. Still, I've heard far worse in this genre including any number of Black Oak Arkansas and Elvin Bishop long players

In Summary

The Blend played their last gig in Whittier, New Hampshire in 1982 with little fanfare although a few clips of the show are available over at YouTube. As of yet, no one has reissued their albums on CD, but a 2 on 1 would be welcome. In the meantime pick up their LP's and enjoy some smoking Southern rock, New England style.


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