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Thread: The Mighty Groundhogs

  1. #1

    The Mighty Groundhogs

    Shame that such a great and relevant band does not get some more discussion here, so I thought I started a separate thread. I am on a binge today and have listened to the first 6 albums in one seat (it helps that some serious back-ache issues kept me from work). From the post-modern interpretation of the blues in Blues Obituary to the complex Split suite or to the overt "progginess" of Hogwash they never cease to amaze me. Ferocious and sophisticated at the same time, they squeezed out of the blues a unique mixture that defies any categorization.

    And Tony McPhee is one of the greatest guitar players ever.

    So, what are your favorites? And do you have any musical suggestions that could possibly match the Mighty Groundhogs?

  2. #2
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    One of my favorite bands ever. I believe I have most of the catalogue, though I'm still on the hunt for the John Lee Hooker album John Lee's Groundhogs. Coincidentally, I listened to Split and Who Will Save the World? yesterday. Have you heard The Two Sides of Tony McPhee? Great stuff with acoustic and electric blues on one side and a pile of synthesizers on the second side. I regret never having seen the band. I'm not even sure if they ever played in the USA.

    Just about the only bands I can think of that could match the Groundhogs for sheer power blues might be Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac and Blue Cheer.
    Lou

    Awarded the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval. It's not just good, it's good enough.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Lopez View Post
    Ηave you heard The Two Sides of Tony McPhee?...Just about the only bands I can think of that could match the Groundhogs for sheer power blues might be Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac and Blue Cheer.
    No, I haven't heard it, but I will soon make amends...

    Fleetwood Mac and Blue Cheer...those are considerably different bands, but yes, the same passion and inventiveness is there, I adore them both, and thanks for bringing those two names right next to the Hogs.

  4. #4
    Member adap2it's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopez View Post
    One of my favorite bands ever. I believe I have most of the catalogue, though I'm still on the hunt for the John Lee Hooker album John Lee's Groundhogs. Coincidentally, I listened to Split and Who Will Save the World? yesterday. Have you heard The Two Sides of Tony McPhee? Great stuff with acoustic and electric blues on one side and a pile of synthesizers on the second side. I regret never having seen the band. I'm not even sure if they ever played in the USA.
    .
    Hey Lou, Progday looks like a conversation spot we can indulge in Groundhoggery...I knew Tony Mcphee from the John Lee days, they played my R&B club back in 64/65.
    Dave Sr.

    I prefer Nature to Human Nature

  5. #5
    Member Koreabruce's Avatar
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    I love most of the grop's work. Lots of great, raw, bluesy guitar playing as well as thought-provoking lyrics. I think Tony still performs in some capacity though he cannot sing anymore as he had a stroke a few years back that affected his ability to speak.

  6. #6
    Progga mogrooves's Avatar
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    Terrific band, and so...uh... off-kilter. I usually reach for:

    Thank Christ For The Bomb
    Split
    Who Will Save The World?
    Hogwash
    Last edited by mogrooves; 07-20-2019 at 12:44 AM.
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  7. #7
    Member Magic Mountain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mogrooves View Post
    Terrific band. I usually reach for:

    Thank Christ For The Bomb
    Split
    Who Will Save The World?
    Hogwash
    Love the Groundhogs! Just listened to "Thank Christ for the Bomb"...phenomenal album. All the albums you listed above are their best but would also add "Solid." I can also heartily recommend "Two-Sides of Tony McPhee"
    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge." - Stephen Hawking

  8. #8
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    Split is my fav!

    Although I feel their strongest releases were from 1971 to 1974, including The Two Sides of TS McPhee which was right in the same time frame (1973):
    Split
    Who Will Save The World?
    Hogwash
    Solid

  9. #9
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    Split and Thank Christ are my favorites, great band, saw them live in the 80s in a club in Newcastle, were outstanding.
    Ian

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  10. #10
    I own and love just about everything by the Hogs. Absolutely brilliant. McPhee can really squeeze a crisp, razor sharp tone out of his guitar.

  11. #11
    Member Lopez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adap2it View Post
    Hey Lou, Progday looks like a conversation spot we can indulge in Groundhoggery...I knew Tony Mcphee from the John Lee days, they played my R&B club back in 64/65.
    I'll be there, Dave, and would love to talk Groundhog.
    Lou

    Awarded the Krusty Brand Seal of Approval. It's not just good, it's good enough.

  12. #12
    Technically the first band I ever saw live, saw them supporting Taste late 1969.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Progtastic View Post
    Technically the first band I ever saw live, saw them supporting Taste late 1969.
    wow, what a pair that must have been

  14. #14
    Long time fan here. Never did get to see them, or Tony in any way shape or form. For Southern Ontarians...I got turned on to them listening to Dave Marsden on CFNY in the mid 70s...he used to always play tracks from Who Will Save The World.

    My faves are Hogwash, Split, Thank Christ, Who Will save the World... and the underrated gem Crosscut Saw.

  15. #15
    Jazzbo manqué Mister Triscuits's Avatar
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    Never listened to them much, but I have the ones that seem to be the favorites here: Thank Christ, Split ("Split Part 2" used to get some FM airplay back in the day), Hogwash, and Two Sides of Tony McPhee.
    New album THE HIPCRIME VOCAB available now!
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    Member adap2it's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lino View Post
    Long time fan here. Never did get to see them, or Tony in any way shape or form. For Southern Ontarians...I got turned on to them listening to Dave Marsden on CFNY in the mid 70s...he used to always play tracks from Who Will Save The World.
    Ah yes the Mars Bar...although I knew Tony Mcphee personally back in the mid 60's, I knew nothing of the Groundhogs until I heard Who will save the World on CHUM FM in '72/73...
    Dave Sr.

    I prefer Nature to Human Nature

  17. #17
    Thank you people for turning me towards the Two Sides of Tony McPhee. The Hunt is just incredible, sounds like some lost Battiato masterpiece, so ahead of its time that I would never guess it's been released in 1973.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Zappathustra View Post
    Thank you people for turning me towards the Two Sides of Tony McPhee. The Hunt is just incredible, sounds like some lost Battiato masterpiece, so ahead of its time that I would never guess it's been released in 1973.
    I picked that up back in the 70's, still have my copy.
    NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF STUPID PEOPLE IN LARGE GROUPS!

  19. #19
    Possibly the most underrated guitar player ever, the guy is Peter Green and Jimmy Hendrix caliber


  20. #20
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    And do you have any musical suggestions that could possibly match the Mighty Groundhogs?

    I don't know about matching them, but would you consider the Edgar Winter Group or Alvin Lee's Ten Years After as being in the same vein?

  21. #21
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    The 1969-72 albums are all excellent. They were quite big in the UK during this era, strong chart positions. I get the impression they were more or less unknown in the US though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mister Triscuits View Post
    Two Sides of Tony McPhee.
    This is one I haven't heard in years but the suite 'The Hunt' on the second 'side' is quite a departure. A synthesiser suite with partially-spoken anti-hunting lyrics.

    I have not heard anything much after Solid. I saw McPhee's Groundhogs live twice in 2008, though (the second time with Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash and Focus).

  22. #22
    Member Mythos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SunRunner2 View Post
    And do you have any musical suggestions that could possibly match the Mighty Groundhogs?

    I don't know about matching them, but would you consider the Edgar Winter Group or Alvin Lee's Ten Years After as being in the same vein?
    Maybe Savoy Brown as well...

  23. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by SunRunner2 View Post
    And do you have any musical suggestions that could possibly match the Mighty Groundhogs?

    I don't know about matching them, but would you consider the Edgar Winter Group or Alvin Lee's Ten Years After as being in the same vein?
    These are relevant names, but I don't see the level of sophistication and eclecticism that Groundhogs had already achieved with Split.

    A band that comes in mind is Edgar Broughton Band, but maybe this association is random.

  24. #24
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    Listening to the first album, Scratching The Surface. The name of the band sounds familiar but have no recollection of ever hearing them.

  25. #25
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    BTW, what is their strongest album, or generally considered their best?

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