Who was/is Cochise ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more
(B. J. Cole)
recorded 1971 at Phonogram Studio, Marble Arch, London, England; produced by Cochise
with Mick Grabham: electric and acoustic guitars, piano, organ, vocals; B.J. Cole: pedal steel guitar, Dobro, cello; Ricky Wills: bass guitar, percussion, backing vocals; John Gilbert: lead vocals; John 'Willie' Wilson: drums, percussion, backing vocals
Liberty LBG 83428 (LP-UK); United Artists UAS 5518 (LP-US)
The presence of two British and one Canadian act on this volume attests to the spreading word. Named for an Apache tribe, Cochise started in London circa '69. B.J. Cole wasn't just Britain's go-to steel guitarist, he was pretty much the U.K.'s only steel guitarist. Led Zep's manager, Peter Grant, placed him with Stewart Brown, and the Yardbirds' Keith Relf. Cole and Brown left to join Mick Grabham, who'd been in Plastic Penny. Two Cambridge musicians, Rick Wills and Willie Wilson, rounded out their group. Sharing space with Reg Dwight (yet to be Elton John) at Dick James' studio in New Oxford St., London, they cut some demo tapes that came to the attention of Andrew Lauder, who headed up U.A.'s eclectic British division.
"They weren't country rock - more rock with a bit of country,”said Lauder. "What really interested me was what B.J. Cole's steel guitar brought to it, and how he used it in a rock context. Even in America, there weren't many bands doing that.”Cole found a willing partner in Grabham: "Mick and I played off each other a lot. His heavy rock style was tempered by a great respect for country guitarists like James Burton, and I just couldn't wait to get the pedal steel out of its straitjacket. This unlikely interplay gave Cochise a unique instrumental sound.”Stewart Brown left after the first LP and was replaced by John Gilbert on the second LP, 'Swallow Tales.' They spent days at Philips' Marble Arch studio. Time was cheap. "Nobody told us to stop, so we just kept on going,”said Cole. "A lot of work went into the harmonies.”And it shows on Lost Hearts.A little precious, maybe pretentious, it at least took the music somewhere it hadn't been. Lauder believed he could break the band in the States, and a cover of Buddy Holly's Love's Made A Fool Of Youalmost proved him right. As it was, Cochise folded in '72. Cole and Grabham made solo records for UA before Cole retreated to session work and Grabham joined Procul Harum.
Various - Truckers, Kickers, Cowboy Angels Vol.04, The Blissed-Out Birth Of Country Rock 1971 (2-CD)
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