The Blues Project came together in NYC's Greenwich Village in 1965. The original quintet was guitarists Danny Kalb and Steve Katz, bass and flautist Andy Kulberg, drummer Roy Blumenfeld and vocalist Tommy Flanders. Session musician Al Kooper joined after the band failed a COLUMBIA audition. Although his keyboard skills were limited, Kooper contributed respectable vocals and good original songs.
In 1966, they recorded “Live At Cafe Au Go Go” and “Projections” for the Verve Forecast label. By early '67 when work began on “The Blues Project Live At Town Hall” (FT/FTS 3025), Kooper had left the group (Katz followed him later in the year).
There's only one cut here actually recorded at Town Hall. The balance is other "live" a performances at Stony Brook College, plus studio tracks with added applause. Kooper's "No Time Like the Right Time," the group's only charting single, is a studio take augmented with applause that's reminiscent of the Animals. "Mean Old Southern" rolls as fast as an express train at full throttle. The extended "Flute Thing" opens with organ and flute playing in unison.
"I Can't Keep From Crying" is a fairly standard rocker. "Love Will Endure" features Katz's baritone vocal. It's another simulated "live" recording. "Where There's Smoke" is a decent Kooper leftover. The album closing "Wake Me, Shake Me" nicely illustrates how Blues Project sounded in-concert: tight, intense and improvisational.
by Annie Van Auken
1. Introduction / Electric Flute Thing (Al Kooper) - 11:19
2. I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes (B.W. Johnson, Arr. by Al Kooper) - 6:00
3. Mean Old Southern (Unknown) - 2:50
4. No Time Like The Right Time (Al Kooper) - 3:06
5. Love Will Endure (Patrick Lynch, Patrick Sky) - 2:37
6. Where There's Smoke, There's Fire (A. Kooper, I. Levine, B. Brass) - 2:45
7. Whake Me Shake Me (Arr. by Al Kooper) - 9:19
8. Electric Flute Thing (Al Kooper) - 10:28
9. Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes (B.W. Johnson, Arr. by Al Kooper) - 5:34
10.Mean Old Southern (Unknown) - 2:39
11.No Time Like The Right Time (Al Kooper) - 2:50
12.Love Will Endure (Patrick Lynch, Patrick Sky) - 2:24
13.Where There's Smoke, There's Fire (A. Kooper, I. Levine, B. Brass) - 2:31
14.Whake Me Shake Me (Arr. by Al Kooper) - 8:36
15.Lost In The Shuffle (John McDuffy, Joel I'Brien) - 2:55
16.Gentle Dreams (Steve Katz, Andy Kulberg) - 2:39
Tracks 8-16 Mono versions
The Blues Project
*Danny Kalb - Lead Guitar, Vocals
*Al Kooper - Organ, Vocals
*Steve Katz - Rhythm Guitar
*Roy Blumenfeld - Drums
*Andy Kulberg - Bass
Other Blues Projects
1966 Live At The Cafe Au Go Go
1968 Planned Obsolescence
1973 Reunion in Central Park