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 Post subject: Jodo - Guts (1971)
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2015 10:29 am 
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Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:42 pm
Posts: 192
Location: North London, UK (was NZ till 2009)
Jodo's "Guts" LP is a favourite album which I found way back, and have often wondered about as there is so little information out there, making it something of an enigma. Spurred on by recently finding an original copy of the LP, I have contacted Rod Alexander, founding member and guitarist of Jodo. The word 'Jodo' is the name of a Japanese martial art using a short staff, read on though, as this may not be the reason for the band's name... (n.b. according to liner notes on the Green Bullfrog Sessions, Jodo's former name was 'Biskit').

Interview here: http://www.aftersabbath.com/2014/05/jod ... rview.html

The 1971 album 'Guts' is a really great blues rock album, with catchy songs and great performances from all the members. There's healthy doses of heavy riffs to keep you grooving, along with those is plenty of canny pop sensibility and some earthy blues, even some topical lyrics on race issues in the track "There's Still Time". All round, it's one of those albums which makes you think, "This band had the chops to contend with the big boys, and be successful. How come they seem to have been completely passed-by at the time, and more or less forgotten now?". It's a slick, well executed set, clearly catching on to the blues rock boom of bands like Cream and Led Zep, but in there with the seriously big riffs is an accessible and light-hearted angle, with a spirit of fun that's evident when compared to those two giants.

There are a few things that have helped to shroud Jodo in mystery. The first being the cryptic album cover, showing an old picture of a man with a bicycle. It gives away nothing about the band, no band pictures and barely any credits, a ploy which may have worked for Pink Floyd, but isn't going to do any favours for a little-publicised band's first album. Another is that they were seemingly an English band, but their sole album was never released in the UK, only in the US and bizarrely, in New Zealand, all to little fanfare.

Further searching finds that vocalist Earl Jordan later released at least one solo album, and was a member of a German singing troupe , The Les Humphries Singers. This group, started by Englishman Les Humphries, also included John Lawton, who was the singer in Lucifer's Friend (see Vol2 and Vol30) and Uriah Heep for a spell. Earl also contributed vocals to the jam album par-excellence, "The Green Bullfrog Sessions". If allmusic.com is correct, he also contributed on a Starlight Express soundtrack LP. Earl seems to have worked on a few musicals, including the Eddie Hardin/Roger Glover-helmed prog rock opera "The Butterfly Ball" (1974), a clip from which shows Earl singing Old Blind Mole. I am not sure that the audio is Earl's voice there though.

Drummer Brian "Chico" Greenwood has come up from time to time in my searches also. He played on the Trifle album and he is credited on many albums of the period, including those from acts such as Moonrider, Jasper, Ace, Nicky James, The Electric Banana and Phil May.

Vocalist William E. (Bill) Kimber has been hard to find background on, it appears he was in South Africa for some time in the former half of the sixties, singing and playing rhythm guitar in The Couriers. I have also found some evidence of solo UK singles made just after that. After Jodo, he and Rod Alexander formed a duo called Axe, who made a few singles between '72-'74, at least one of which ("Running Wild") included Chico Greenwood. I have been unable to confirm this, but I think Bill quit being a performer in the latter part of the '70s and is the same Bill Kimber who went into music publishing/ management, becoming A&R manager for RCA records and having success working with well-known pop acts like The Bay City Rollers, Bucks Fizz and most notably, signing The Eurythmics. I found some of this information here.

Bassist Jon Taylor is the most elusive member. He played in "Jasper" with Chico, and awesome band Killing Floor. He was also a belated, but important member of Litttle Free Rock, and the story of how he joined them can be found at The Official Little Free Rock Web Site.

As for Rod himself, I found a useful account of his career here. http://www.fenderstrat.co.uk/RodAlexander.htm After starting out with local Cumbrian bands, he moved to London. Amongst other things, he caught a break with Australia's top artiste Johnny Young and toured Australia and Europe. After Jodo he had a lot of work, including Joe Brown's band, Blackwater Junction, session work with the likes of Brotherhood of Man, Mike Berry and Johnny Howard's 18 piece big band. While still producing and writing music, Rod entered other types of work such as music management, and a stint with Europe's distributor of Fender guitars, Arbiter. Rod continues in music with Triangle Writers UK and the Alexander Dale Band.

Further reading: http://www.aftersabbath.com/2014/05/jod ... rview.html


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 Post subject: Re: Jodo - Guts (1971)
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 4:01 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2012 7:47 pm
Posts: 2413
Location: Concordia
If you dig the Led Zep debut, you will dig this. A bit derivative? Yes. A lost classic? Yeppers.

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