Created as a way to preserve and respect the great music of the British Blues Boom era of the Sixties, Mark Doyle & The Maniacs is the brainchild of guitarist/producer Mark Doyle. Signed to RCA in the early ‘70s with his first band, Jukin’ Bone (who played their own brand of fiery, Anglophilic blues rock), Mark has gone on to record and tour with artists as varied as Meat Loaf, Bryan Adams, Judy Collins, Leo Sayer, and Hall & Oates. A visit to the Discography page at http://markdoyle.com details the 65 albums that Mark has been involved in.
In describing the impetus for making their first record, “Shake ‘Em On Down”, Mark explains: “Old heroes die hard, and these were mine back when I was a teenager and first started playing the electric guitar. I’m sure Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Peter Green and Kim Simmonds had their own heroes – “authentic” blues men like B. B., Albert, and Freddie King, Otis Rush, Hubert Sumlin and Buddy Guy, but I did not yet know of them, and only discovered them translated and morphed through the brilliant playing of those four English kids.”
None of this would mean anything without a killer, hand-picked band to lay the music down “just as those guys had to do it: live in the studio.” In describing his “posse of energetic, passionate and similarly reverent bandmates”, Doyle says:
“I couldn’t have surrounded myself with a better band. Jack “Penetrator” Lipton handles the punk snarl of those “garage blues” days better than anybody I know; Terry Quill rose to the occasion when I called him and asked him to dust off his old harps, that I was looking for Brian Jones and Keith Relf rather than Paul Butterfield. Less of a surprise is Terry’s always great guitar playing. Michael P. Ryan shares the lead vocals with Jack, and plays excellent bass throughout. I really enjoyed watching him discover the British Blues from our era. And then there’s the incomparable Frank DeFonda, who really is the engine that propels all of this along. And kudos to Jocko, the “6th Maniac”, for immersing himself in the whole ethos of the original versions and bringing his engineering and mixing chops to the table.”
“Shake ‘Em On Down” took you on a wild ride through Them’s “Mystic Eyes” and then went on to cover The Yardbirds, Fleetwood Mac, Savoy Brown, and John Mayall, ending with Robin Trower and one original song, “New Set of Blues.” The brand new disc, “Comin’ Home”, features nine original songs written by Mark and various other combinations of the Maniacs. “We were intent on making the music of the British Blues Boom era a living thing, rather than a museum piece,” Doyle says. “The new songs we’ve written manage to evoke the spirit of the era while remaining contemporary. And we still went for capturing lightning in a bottle by recording the album as live as possible. The difference is that we’re now an actual working band that played the songs in front of audiences over the year between the two albums.”
So here are Mark Doyle & The Maniacs, who on their second release are “Comin’ Home” to the British Blues, with a whole new twist.