AB SKHY – A B Skhy

AB Skhy hail from Milwaukee and purvey a straight-ahead electric blues sound, heavy on the horns and with jazzy undertones. This is their debut album, which was released in 1969, and consists of a mixture of covers and original material. ‘You Upset Me Baby’ sets out their stall from the beginning, with some good Hammond organ and guitar interplay, but with the horn section being just a bit overpowering in places. ‘Just What I Need’ eschews the horns for Hammond and harmonica, and sounds all the more authentic for it, as does the Chicago blues sound of ‘24 Hours A Day’. ‘Camel Back’ is a rollicking Hammond organ instrumental, with horn accompaniment kept to a bare minimum, and it really sounds as if the band are enjoying themselves. ‘Understand’ is the first slow blues of the album, and it gives the band a chance to shine, with a great guitar solo and effective Hammond backing over a subtle horn arrangement. Although ‘Love Isn’t’ and ‘Of All Sad Words’ both have bluesy undertones, they are quite commercial songs, and the flute in the latter even gives it a slightly progressive edge. The blues are back for ‘Love May Cure That’, with the band once again showing that this is the music that they love. This album is out on CD, and is one of the better US blues albums that I have heard. The did make a second record in 1970, but by then the keyboard player had left and been replaced by a second guitarist, and even though it was produced by Kim Fowley I have not been tempted to try it, but fans of Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield will certainly find something to enjoy on this album.