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The Groundhogs

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The Groundhogs


While the Groundhogs never enjoyed even a shadow of the commercial success of pretty much all their British blues-rock brethren, fans of the style will be surprised when they finally do come across the Groundhogs' excellent early '70s albums. Led by the unpredictable but precise guitar-work and Clapton-ish vocals of Tony McPhee, the Groundhogs formed in London in 1963; their first triumph was touring as the backing band for John Lee Hooker throughout the decade. Three albums -- Thank Christ for the Bomb, Split and Who Will Save the World? The Mighty Groundhogs! -- came out in 1970, '71 and '72, respectively, and represent the band's creative peak. Standard flashiness and a string of unfortunate hog-pun album titles marked their later output. Although they continue to tour (in one form or another) even today, it's the trinity of those early albums that rock fans tend to gravitate toward. McPhee has a knack for pentatonically satisfying riffs that often either ascend or descend and are followed by blaring, explosive lead breaks.
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