Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fine Canadian Blues - "Stink" (1969)

Meester Music is back....finally. I don't know what happened there, but it's great to be back!

Let's start off with one of my favourite Canadian bands, and maybe their greatest LP. I'm talking about the great McKenna-Mendolson Mainline and their LP, "Stink".

The album appeared on shelves during the second half of 1969. The band had been in London England, supposedly to hook up with bluesman John Lee Hooker. They never met up with him, but DID make a good enough impression in London that they ended up in a recording studio in June 1969 and knocked this LP off IN ONE DAY!!

Mike McKenna is the lead guitarist, a bit of a local legend around the Toronto area. He had been a member of Luke & The Apostles and also briefly with the legendary Ugly Ducklings. Even before that, he was a member of Whitey & The Roulettes, a precursor to the Mandala.

Joe Mendelson was a guitarist and singer who spotted an ad saying that Mike was looking to put together a blues band. They got together, hit it off, and started playing coffee houses in Yorkville. They attracted the attention of Denny Gerrard, great bass player with the Paupers who served session musician duties with fellow Pauper drummer Skip Prokop on "I Dig Rock 'N Roll Music" by Peter, Paul & Mary. (this is a killer cut...I HAD NO IDEA that a couple of groovy Canadians were playing on this record!!)

Gerrard would eventually be replaced by Mike Harrison (from Grant Smith & The Power), and drummer and North Bay, Ont native Tony Nolasco would join up.

If this LP doesn't get you tapping your toes, or flailing your fingers up and down your air guitar, then you are a dead man. Great blues guitar from Mike, especially on my fave cut, "She's Alright". The entire album is smokin', and you will be missing out on something special if you don't grab this one.

Mainline played many of the top venues around Toronto, and even got to be the very last ever band to perform at the legendary El Mocambo (didn't the Stones play there one night??). I will post that show a bit later.

For now, please enjoy some rocking Canadian blues. MAINLINE!!

McKenna-Mendelson Mainline - "Stink" (1969)
01 One Way Ticket
02 She's Alright
03 Beltmaker
04 Mainline
05 Think I'm Losing My Marbles
06 Drive You
07 T.B. Blues
08 Better Watch OUt
09 Bad Woman
10 Don't Give Me No Goose For Christmas, Grandma

Stink - part 1

Stink - part 2