Brian Auger & The Trinity

Brian Auger & The Trinity was an English jazz-rock/soul band that released three albums between 1967 and 1969 on Marmalade — two with singer Julie Driscoll — followed by a 1970 fourth on RCA Victor. They scored a 1968 UK Top 5 hit with the Bob Dylan cover “This Wheel’s On Fire.” Auger, a specialist in Hammond organ, subsequently led Oblivion Express through a string of 1970s albums.

Members: Julie Driscoll (vocals, guitar), Brian Auger (keyboards, piano, vocals), Gary Boyle (guitar), Dave Ambrose (guitar, bass, vocals), Clive Thacker (drums, percussion)


Background

Auger (born Brian Albert Gordon Auger; July 18, 1939) spent his early childhood in London with a player piano in the family household. By age three, he took a interest in the notes, holes, and patterns generated by the instrument. A 1944 German air raid destroyed the Auger home but left the family unscathed.

Young Brian spent two years in a temp-living arrangement with another family in Leeds, where Auger gained proficiency on their proper piano. After the Augers reunited, he gave neighborhood concerts from the bay window in their new family home. With absolute pitch, Auger self-taught himself the latest pop radio hits.

Meanwhile, Auger’s older brother collected records by Big Band jazz leaders (Count Basie, Duke Ellington), whose music influenced the young keyboardist. Auger grew fascinated with the texture and harmony of modal pianists like Bill Evans and the visceral feel of post-pop players like McCoy Tyner and Herbie Hancock. Auger sought a middle ground between jazz technique and R&B grit.

By age sixteen, Auger played in local combos with setlists comprised of Jazz Messengers material. As his reputation grew, Auger secured backing-band slots on English tours by American jazz figures, including Billie Holliday. Inspired by soul-jazz organist Jimmy Smith, he gained proficiency on the Hammond B3 organ, a little-played instrument on the London jazz and R&B scenes (due to the instrument’s bulkiness). 


Trinity (Mk 1)

In July 1963, Auger formed the first edition of Trinity with drummer Phil Kinorra and Irish bassist Rick Laird.

Auger won the 1964 Melody Maker jazz poll. He earned his first major rock credit with the harpsichord riff on “For Your Love,” the March 1965 third single and inaugural hit by London R&B lightning rods the Yardbirds.

Brian Auger’s Trinity released their first single, “Fool Killer” (b/w “Let’s Do It Tonight”) in May 1965 on Columbia. Their second single, “Green Onions ’65” (b/w “Kiko”), followed in October.

A. “Fool Killer”
B. “Let’s Do It Tonight”

A. “Green Onions ’65”
B. “Kiko”

Yardbirds manager (and Crawdaddy Club owner) Giorgio Gomelsky produced both singles and introduced Auger to his seventeen-year-old secretary Julie Driscoll.


Steampacket

In August 1965, Auger formed Steampacket with guitarist Vic Briggs (The Echoes), bassist Rick Fenson (Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages), drummer Micky Waller (The Flee-Rekkers), and three vocalists: newcomer Julie Driscoll and Hoochie Coochie Men singers Rod Stewart and Long John Baldry. Due to conflicting contracts, Steampacket never released any material but did record nine songs that later surfaced on a 1970 archival album on the French BYG label.

In early 1966, Stewart departed Steampacket for Shotgun Express, an R&B band with singer Beryl Marsden and the nucleus of beatsters The Cheynes: keyboardist Peter Bardens and drummer Mick Fleetwood.


1967

31 Mar 1967

A. “Tiger” (2:29)
B. “Oh Baby, Won’t You Come Back Home To Croydon, Where Everybody Beadle’s And Bo’s” (2:18)

27 Oct 1967
A. “Red Beans And Rice, Part 1” (2:09)
B. “Red Beans And Rice, Part 2” (2:40)

Julie Driscoll And Brian Auger With The Trinity
10 Nov 1967
A. “Save Me (Pt. 1)” ()
B. “Save Me (Pt. 2)” ()


Open

Brian Auger & the Trinity released their debut album, Open, in November 1967 on Marmalade. This is their first of two non-consecutive albums with Julie Driscoll, who features across Side Two.

Brian Auger ‘Auge’
A1. “In and Out” (2:56) Wes Montgomery
A2. “Isola Natale” (5:10)
A3. “Black Cat” (3:20)
A4. “Lament for Miss Baker” (2:32)
A5. “Goodbye Jungle Telegraph” (6:02)

Julie Driscoll ‘Jools’
B1. “Tramp” (4:07) McCracklin, Fulsom
B2. “Why (Am I Treated So Bad)” (3:30) Staple Singers
B3. “A Kind of Love In” (2:27) Auger, Driscoll
B4. “Break It Up” (2:52) Auger, Sutton
B5. “Season of the Witch” (7:44) Donovan Leitch

Recorded At – Chappell Recording Studios
Producer, Management – Giorgio Gomelsky
Arranged By – Brian Auger, Richard Hill
Engineer – John Timperly

Bass Guitar – David Ambrose
Drums – Clive Thacker
Lead Guitar – Gary Boyle
Vocals – Julie Driscoll
Organ, Piano, vocals – Brian Auger

Sleeve Design – Paragon Publicity

France
A: Season Of The Witch
B: Season Of The Witch


1968


“I Am a Lonesome Hobo”

In early 1968,”A Kind of Love In” and “Black Cat (El Gato Negro)” appeared as respective b-sides on French (Marmalade) and Spanish (Polydor) copies of the exclusive a-side “I Am a Lonesome Hobo.” In Turkey, “Hobo” appeared as the b-side of “Save Me.”

A: “I Am a Lonesome Hobo”
B: “A Kind of Love In”


“This Wheel’s On Fire”

5 Apr 1968

A. “This Wheel’s On Fire” (3:12)
B. “A Kind of Love In” (2:35)

France

EP

Chile


“Road to Cairo”

27 Sep 1968

A. “Road to Cairo” () David Ackles
B. “Shadows of You” () Auger, Driscoll

EP

France

Germany


1969


Definitely What!…

Brian Auger & the Trinity released their second album, Definitely What!…, in March 1969 on Marmalade.

A1. “Day In the Life” (5:04) Lennon-McCartney
A2. “George Bruno Money” (4:06)
A3. “Far Horizon” (5:10)
A4. “John Brown’s Body” (3:00) B. Auger, R. Hill, Trad.

B1. “Red Beans and Rice” (5:40) Jackson, Jones, Dunn, Cropper
B2. “Bumpin’ On Sunset” (4:55) W. Montgomery
B3. “If You Live” (3:48) Mose Allison
B4. “Definitely What!” (7:55) Auger, Thacker, Ambrose

Recorded At – Advision Studios
Producer – Giorgio Gomelsky
Engineer – Eddie Offord

Bass Guitar – David Ambrose
Drums – Clive Thacker
Organ, Piano, vocals – Brian Auger

Design – Paragon Publicity
Painting – Jim Earp


“What You Gonna Do?”

On May 2, 1969, Brian Auger and the Trinity released the standalone single “What You Gonna Do?”

A. “What You Gonna Do?” ()
B. “Bumpin’ On Sunset” ()


Streetnoise

Brian Auger & the Trinity released their second album, the two-record Streetnoise, in July 1969 on Marmalade. This is the second Trinity album with featured singer Julie Driscoll affixed to the nameplate.

How Good It Would Be To Feel Free….
A1. “Tropic of Capricorn” (5:30)
A2. “Czechoslovakia” (6:45)
A3. “Take Me to the Water” (4:00) Nina Simone
A4. “A Word About Colour” (1:35)

Kiss Him Quick, He Has To Part….
B1. “Light My Fire” (4:30) The Doors
B2. “Indian Rope Man” (3:00) Written-By – Price, Roth, Havens
B3. “When I Was A Young Girl Arranged” (8:00) traditional arranged by Julie Driscoll
B4. “Flesh Failures (Let The Sunshine In)” (3:00) Written-By – Dermont, Ragni, Rado

Looking In The Eye Of The World….
C1. “Ellis Island” (4:10)
C2. “In Search of the Sun” (4:25)
C3. “Finally Found You Out” (4:35)
C4. “Looking In the Eye of the World” (5:05)

Save The Country….
D1. “Vauxhall to Lambeth Bridge” (6:20)
D2. “All Blues” (5:40) Written-By – Miles Davis, Oscar Brown 
D3. “I’ve Got Life” (4:30) Written-By – Dermont, Ragni, Rado
D4. “Save the Country” (4:00) Laura Nyro

Recorded at Advision Studios, 83 New Bond Street, London, England 1969
Producer – Giorgio ‘Rubbishenko’ Gomelsky
Engineer [First] – Edward ‘Edwit’ Offord
Engineer [Second] – Phillip ‘Peedee’ Dunn, Roger ‘Sel-Sync’ Wilkinson

Drums, Percussion – Clive ‘Toli’ Thacker
Electric Bass [4 And 6 String], Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – David ‘Lobs’ Ambrose
Organ, Piano, Electric Piano, Vocals – Brian ‘Auge’ Auger
Vocals, Acoustic Guitar – Julie ‘Jools’ Driscoll

Written-By – Brian Auger (tracks: A1, C1, C3, C4), Dave Ambrose* (tracks: C2), Julie Driscoll (tracks: A2, A4, D1)

Artwork [Cover Artwork] – Ralph Steadman
Design [Sleeve Design] – Paragon ‘Give Us Time’ Publicity
Photography By [Liner Photo] – Barry Wentzel

5 Sep 1969
A: Take Me To The Water
B: Indian Rope Man

France
A: Let The Sunshine In (Flesh Failures)
B: I’ve Got Life


1970


Befour

Brian Auger & the Trinity released their fourth album, Befour, in July 1970 on RCA Victor.

A1. “I Wanna Take You Higher” (5:00) Sylvester Stewart
A2. “Pavane” (3:43) Gabriel Faure, arranged by Auger
A3. “No Time to Live” (5:25) Capaldi, Winwood
A4. “Maiden Voyage” (4:58) Hancock

B1. “Listen Here” (9:24) Eddie Harris
B2. “Just You Just Me” (3:27)
B3. “As She Knows” (6:26) Dave Ambrose

Recorded At – Advision Studios
Engineer – Eddy Offord

Bass, Vocals – David Ambrose
Drums, Percussion, Vocals – Clive Thacker
Guitar, Vocals – Gary Winston Boyle
Producer, Organ, Piano, Piano [Rhodes], Vocals – Brian Auger

Additional on “Listen Here”
Bass Drum [Rhythms] – Colin Allen
Bass [Bottom Bass Line] – Roger Sutton
Cymbal [Rhythms] – Mickey Waller
Snare, Drum [Rhythms], Cowbell – Barry Reeves

A: Listen Here
B: I Wanna Take You Higher


Discography:

  • Open (1967 • Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & the Trinity)
  • Definitely What!… (1968)
  • Streetnoise (1969 • Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & the Trinity)
  • Befour (1970)

Sources:

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