Keef Hartley Band

The Keef Hartley Band was an English brass-rock ensemble that released five albums and a live disc on Deram between 1969 and 1972. Drummer–bandleader Keef Hartley and frontman–songwriter Miller Anderson later collaborated in Broken Glass and Dog Soldier, releasing one album with each band in 1975.

Members: Keef Hartley (drums), Miller Anderson (guitar, vocals), Gary Thain (bass), Peter Dines [aka Dino Dines] (organ), Spit James [aka Ian Cruickshank] (guitar), Wynder K. Frog (organ), Henry Lowther (trumpet, violin), Jimmy Jewell (saxophone), Johnny Almond (flute), Jon Hiseman (drums), Harry Beckett (trumpet)


Background

Keith “Keef” Hartley (1944–2011), a native of Preston, Lancashire, studied drumming under big-band drummer and educator Lloyd Ryan, who also taught Phil Collins, John Coghlan (Status Quo), and sessionist Graham Broad (Procol Harum, Jeff Beck, Van Morrison, Tina Turner, Tony Banks, ABC, Wham!).

Hartley got his first gig in 1962 with Rory Storm & the Hurricanes, a Merseyside act whose prior drummer, Ringo Starr, recently joined another up-and-coming band, The Beatles.

During the mid-1960s, he cut multiple singles and the album Art Gallery with Decca R&B–beatsters The Artwoods, which also featured organist Jon Lord (later Deep Purple) and singer Art Wood, the older brother of future FacesRolling Stones guitarist Ron Wood.

In 1967, Hartley began a brief stint in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, serving as their third drummer. He replaced Aynsley Dunbar (later Journey, Jefferson Starship), who in turn replaced Hughie Flint (McGuinnes Flint). Hartley played on two Bluesbreakers albums, Crusade and The Blues Alone (both 1967), then cleared way for ex-GBO drummer Jon Hiseman, who would soon form Colosseum with Dick-Heckstall Smith.

For his own band, Hartley recruited organist Peter Dines, guitarist Ian Cruickshank, Kiwi bassist Gary Thain, and Scottish singer, guitarist, and songwriter Miller Anderson.

Thain hailed from a sequence of NZ beat groups (The Strangers, The Secrets, The New Nadir, Me and the Others). Miller cut a single apiece with a string of beat and psych bands: Karl Stuart and the Profiles (1965), The Voice (1966), Paper Blitz Tissue (1967), and At Last the 1958 Rock & Roll Show (1968).


Halfbreed

The Keef Hartley Band released their debut album, Halfbreed, in March 1969 on Deram.

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The Battle of North West Six

The Keef Hartley Band released their second album, The Battle of North West Six, in November 1969 on Deram.


The Time Is Near

The Keef Hartley Band released their third album, The Time Is Near, in September 1970 on Deram.

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Overdog

The Keef Hartley Band released their fourth album, Overdog, on April 8, 1971, on Deram.

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Little Big Band

In late 1971, the Keef Hartley Band released the live album Little Big Band, a document of their June 13–14 showcase at the Marquee Club.


Seventy Second Brave

The Keef Hartley Band released their fifth studio album, Seventy Second Brave, in 1972 on Deram.


Lancashire Hustler

Keef Hartley released his singular solo album, Lancashire Hustler, in 1973 on Deram.

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Discography:

  • Halfbreed (1969)
  • The Battle of North West Six (1969)
  • The Time Is Near (1970)
  • Overdog (1971)
  • Little Big Band (live, 1971)
  • Seventy Second Brave (1972)

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