Tuesday, May 5, 2015


40 Blue Fingers, Freshly Packed and Ready to Serve is the debut album by the blues band Chicken Shack, released in 1968. The album reached number 12 in the UK charts.This album has three Freddy King covers; Lonesome Whistle Blues and See See Baby from Freddy King Sings; and San-Ho-Zay from Let's Hide Away and Dance Away.

Formed in 1967, Chicken Shack consisted of Stan Webb on guitar/vocal, Andy Sylvester on bass, Christine Perfect on vocals/keyboards, and Alan Morley on drums. An earlier 1964 incarnation had been called 'Sounds of Blue' and Christine played in this band while a student at art college in Birmingham. Sounds of Blue disbanded after a year when Christine and another member left Birmingham for careers in London. Then, at the beginning of 1967, Andy once again contacted Chris and suggested that she rejoin her former mates in a new band. (The group got their name from the chicken coup in Kidderminster where the band often rehearsed.) Chris admits that she was not the most accomplished blues pianist when she joined the group, but developed her own style from listening to Freddy King records.

Chicken Shack made their public debut at the Great Britain's National Blues & Jazz Festival at Windsor along with Fleetwood Mac on August 13, 1967-- "There were two stages at Windsor, the main one an open-air ramshackle structure, the other inside a marquee. Fleetwood Mac had their initiation on the main stage but much was made of Chicken Shack's tented debut." The group became the second major signing of the Blue Horizon record label (co-founded by Mike Veron), the first being Fleetwood Mac. Chicken Shack's first two albums,Forty Blue Fingers Freshly Packed and Ready to Serve and OK Ken?, were quite successful, with much of the credit due to the fact that they had a beautiful, talented, female keyboardist and vocalist-- something that most definitely added individuality to the group in the male-dominated late 60's music scene. Christine's version of Etta James' 'I'd Rather Go Blind' was a massive hit, and she was voted Best Female Vocalist in the Melody Maker polls two years running. 

1. The Letter - 4:27
2. Lonesome Whistle Blues - 3:01
3. When The Train Comes Back (Christine Perfect)  3:31
4. San-Ho-Zay (Freddie King, Sonny Thompson)  3:03
5. King Of The World - 5:00
6. See See Baby - 2:23
7. First Time I Met The Blues - 6:24
8. Webbed Feet - 2:52
9. You Ain't No Good (C. Perfect) - 3:36
10.What You Did Last Night - 4:40
11.It's OK With Me Baby (C. Perfect) - 2:37
12.When My Left Eye Jumps (Willie Dixon, Al Perkins) - 6:28
13.Hey Baby (C. Perfect, S. Webb, Mike Vernon) - 3:43


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