One night at a club, he met English guitarist Pete Gage, leader of the Ram Jam Band, and Gage saw in Washington a potential leader, and when Geno was introduced, he got the job! Thus was born Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band, which quickly caught the attention of clubs and led to the inevitable record deal. Then, of course, there was Geno Washington and the Ram Jam Band, perhaps the most famous British soul band, if only for the tribute paid to them by Dexy and The Midnight Runners. Jimmy and his band, as well as bands like Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames, Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band, Chris Farlowe and the Thunderbirds, Mike Cotton Sound, Almost Blues, Fix, Herbie Goins and the Nightimers, Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers offered the best: their vision of the genre. Much of the Ram Jam Band’s repertoire is drawn from the Stax and Atlantic catalogs. So here you can enjoy their renditions of songs like “Hold On I’m Comin’,” “Knock On Wood” and “In The Midnight Hour” as well as songs from other soul sources – including Motown. Last month, BGO Records released a fine retrospective of Jimmy James and the Vagabonds, one of the many British bands that sold their interpretation of American soul to British audiences in the 1960s. Three of the four albums were performed as “live” sets to fit the band’s reputation as an exciting live attraction, but in fact only Running Wild was actually “live”-recorded at Bolton’s Casino Club. Where Georgie Glory breathed the freshness and sophistication of Jimmy James, Geno was all about excitement and brilliance, and those qualities ensured that if his name appeared on a club poster, the venue would sell out. The band recorded numerous singles and four LPs – Hand Clappin’, Foot Stompin’, Funky Butt Live, Shake A Tail Feather Baby, Hipsters, Flipsters, Finger-Poppin’ Daddies and Running Wild. Soul and Jazz and Funk is an independent soul news and review site compiled by Charles Waring and Bill Buckley, two of the most experienced and respected soul music writers in the UK. Geno, named after a soccer star, he came to Britain with the U.S. Army and threw himself into his weekend on the London club scene.Hand Clappin’ andHipsters Flipsters’ are live studio recordings thanks to the audience response and the MC’s warm-up. You hardly ever listen to the radio, Little American Soul was launched in the UK, while a visit from American soul stars is sporadic at best. Surprisingly, this collection offers a remarkable glimpse into the life of British soul in the 1960s. All four albums are wild and bustling, in fact much more “live” than many actual live recordings.
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