Vinegar Joe (band)

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Vinegar Joe
Origin London, England
Genres Rhythm and blues
Years active 1971–1974
Labels Island Records
Associated acts Dada
Past members Elkie Brooks
Pete Gage
Robert Palmer
Steve York
Dave Thompson
Conrad Isidore
Rob Tait
John Hawken
John Woods
Mike Deacon
Keef Hartley
Jim Mullen
Pete Gavin
Alan Powell

Vinegar Joe[1] were a British R&B band. They issued three albums on Island Records, but were best known for their live shows and launching the solo careers of Elkie Brooks and Robert Palmer.

History[edit]

Vinegar Joe evolved out of Dada, a 12-piece Stax-influenced, jazz-rock fusion band. Dada released one, eponymous, album in 1970, with a line up including vocalist Elkie Brooks and guitarist Pete Gage.[2] Singer Robert Palmer, formerly with The Alan Bown Set, and bassist Steve York both joined Dada after the album had been recorded, and the four were signed by Ahmet Ertegun of Atlantic Records for USA and Chris Blackwell of Island Records for the UK and rest of the world to form Vinegar Joe in 1971, adding keyboard player Dave Thompson. The band was without a drummer. Conrad Isidore[3] and Rob Tait drummed on the first album. Tim Hinkley added keyboards alongside Dave Thompson and it was Hinkley who appeared on the cover of the first album.Their debut LP Vinegar Joe was released in April 1972 on Island Records in the UK and Atco Records in the US.[2]

Tim Hinkley took over from Thompson on keyboards and was succeeded by John Hawken. Drummer Rob Tait played the first series of live shows succeeded by John Woods . Mike Deacon took over on keyboards. During recording of their second album, Rock'n Roll Gypsies, also released in 1972, Keef Hartley played drums. Guitarist Jim Mullen also joined the band for this record and stayed played on the US tour . Drummer Pete Gavin joined the band prior to the US tour and recording of their third and final album Six Star General released in 1973. The band dissolved at in the spring of 1974. Alan Powell played drums during the band's final weeks.

Although Vinegar Joe never achieved significant record sales, they received considerable press coverage and toured extensively, playing numerous sell-out concerts, especially on the British university circuit.[4]

Subsequently, Brooks and Palmer went on to enjoy success as solo musicians. Gage became a record producer and arranger, working with Brooks, his wife, until their divorce, and a range of successful musicians like Joan Armatrading and specialising in upcoming rockabilly and punk bands such as Restless, King Kurt and others.

Album discography[edit]

  • Dada - Dada, Atco Records, 1970 (pre-Vinegar Joe)
  • Vinegar Joe - Island Records (UK), Atco Records (U.S.) 1972 (re-issued on Lemon)
  • Rock'n Roll Gypsies - Island Records (UK), Atco Records (U.S.) 1972 US #201
  • Six Star General - Island Records (UK), Atco Records (U.S.) 1973
Compilations
  • Six Star Gypsies 1994
  • Speed Queen of Ventura: An Introduction to Vinegar Joe 2003

Former members[edit]

  • Elkie Brooks: vocals (1971-1974)
  • Pete Gage: guitars (1971-1974)
  • Robert Palmer: vocals (1971-1974)
  • Steve York: bass (1971-1974)
  • Dave Thompson: keyboards (1971-1972)
  • Conrad Isidore: drums (1971-1972)
  • Rob Tait: drums (1971-1972)
  • John Hawken: keyboards (1972)
  • John Woods: drums (1972)
  • Mike Deacon: keyboards (1972-1974)
  • Keef Hartley: drums (1972-1973)
  • Jim Mullen: guitars (1972-1974)
  • Pete Gavin: drums (1973-1974)
  • Alan Powell: drums (1974)
Additional musicians
  • Dave Brooks - tenor sax
  • Tim Hinkley - keyboards
  • Nick South - bass
  • Gasper Lawall - percussion

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vinegar Joe biography by Bruce Eder at Allmusic
  2. ^ a b Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 237. CN 5585. 
  3. ^ Conrad Isadore (Isidore) at Allmusic
  4. ^ Interview on Woman's Hour, BBC Radio 4, Wednesday 31 March 2010

External links[edit]

Steve York's official site