Average White Band
- Live at Montreux '77
NEW YORK, August 3, 2005 -- Eagle Rock Entertainment, the leading independent source for high quality music audio/visual programming, will release Average White Band: Live at Montreux 1977, a vintage performance on DVD from one of the best white soul/funk bands ever at one of Europe’s most prestigious music festivals. The video hits stores on September 6.
Live at Montreux 1977 kicks off with “Pick Up The Pieces,” the band’s No. 1 hit, and proceeds through a set that the average listener would, should they close their eyes, swear was Kool & the Gang or Blue Magic, and not a band largely composed of Scotsmen. Indeed, their success on the R&B charts indicates that most R&B fans had no idea of the pigment of the AWB, and if they did, they didn’t much care.
Bonus material on the DVD includes three songs (“If I Ever Lose This Heaven,” “I’m The One,” “T.L.C.”) that could not be restored to a high enough technical standard but should be of great interest to fans.
The Average White Band was composed of various jobbing Scottish musicians—the very name of the band was a play on expectations regarding the expected nature of a soul/ funk band. The initial lineup consisted of bassist/vocalist Alan Gorrie, guitarist/vocalist Hamish Stuart, guitarist Onnie McIntyre, drummer Robbie McIntosh, tenor saxophonist Malcolm Duncan, and keyboardist/saxophonist Roger Ball.
This edition made its debut at Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert in 1973. Famed R&B producer Arif Mardin helped the band with 1974’s breakthrough second album AWB and its calling card hit, “Pick Up The Pieces,” which to this day is a ubiquitous funk classic. Unfortunately, McIntosh died from a heroin overdose in 1975. AWB soldiered on, adding drummer Steve Ferrone (who is not, notably, white) and cutting two more records (Cut the Cake, Soul Searching); it’s this incarnation that appears on Live at Montreux 1977.
The band would later record an album with soul pioneer Ben E. King (Benny and Us) and a few more albums before calling it a day in 1982. Stuart would go on to play in Paul McCartney’s late 80s/early 90s band, whereas Ferrone would become one of the most in demand drummers in rock, playing with Duran Duran, Eric Clapton and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Gorrie and McIntyre, perhaps noting the huge impact AWB had on acid jazz acts like Brand New Heavies, reformed the band in the 90s, and have been on the road ever since.
Since 2003, Eagle Rock Entertainment has offered music fans and collectors high quality audio/visual productions of exclusive performances from the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, now in its 39th year. Eagle Rock releases both recent and historic performances from the Festival through an exclusive agreement with Montreux Sounds, and many new performances are filmed in High Definition and recorded in stereo, 5.1 surround and DTS audio.
1) Pick Up The Pieces
2) Work To Do
3) A Love Of Your Own
4) Person To Person
5) Got The Love
6) Sweet And Sour
7) Cut The Cake
8) I Heard It Through The Grapevine
1) If I Ever Lose This Heaven
2) I’m The One
Artist Biography >>> Label: Eagle Rock Entertainment