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Heron iTunes Tracks

Heron

Formed to play the Dolphin Club in Maidenhead, Berkshire (c.1967) and inspired in part by MIKE HERON of The INCREDIBLE STRING BAND, Messrs Tony Pook (vocals and percussion), Roy Apps (guitar and vocals) and Robert Collins; the latter would give way for Gerald T. Moore (aka Gerry Power on vocals, guitar and percussion) and Steve Jones (piano and accordion) before they secured a deal with Pye offshoot label, Dawn.
HERON played their part in providing a laid-back sustenance and counterbalance to the post-hippie folk scene at the turn of the 70s. Penned by Apps (some with Pook) and Moore, the eponymous Gus Dudgeon-produced HERON (1970) {*7} set, was a nice start, featuring chirping birds in the background due to the recording mics being placed outside their Devon country cottage studio; `Yellow Roses’, `Smiling Ladies’, `Goodbye’, `Little Boy’ and WOODY GUTHRIE’s `Sally Goodin’ come out best.
Although the record failed to generate much interest (as did an EP featuring a version of DYLAN’s `Only A Hobo’), their understanding label afforded them a double-set for their sophomore release, TWICE AS NICE & HALF THE PRICE (1971) {*6}. Recorded at Black Dog studios in Devon, it took many by surprise with versions of soul giants `You Really Got A Hold On Me’ (penned by SMOKEY ROBINSON) and `This Heart Of Mine’ (Holland-Dozier-Holland), sitting side by side with DYLAN’s `John Brown’ and GUTHRIE’s `The Great Dust Storm’.
With Gerry taking off to form his own G.T. MOORE & THE REGGAE GUITARS, it was left to the remainder of the band (who’d sessioned for chanteuse SHUSHA) to pick up the pieces. Although there was a lull in HERON’s intended return, one could later purchase albums such as OPEN UP THE ROAD (1983) {*4} – a cassette-only release recorded by the quartet at Maidenhead in Berkshire, HYSTORICAL (1994) {*5} – recorded in 1991 at Wargrave in Berkshire in 1991 and featuring Terry Clarke and Big Tom Robinson (no, not that one!), RIVER OF FORTUNE (1999) {*5} – the comeback album recorded 1997 and BLACK DOG (2001) {*5} – obviously recorded at the said-named studios in Devon (available in the UK in 2005). Japan being the main quartet’s place of choice, albums SIMPLE AS ONE TWO THREE (2011) {*6} and JOKERMAN – SONGS OF BOB DYLAN (2016) {*6}, kept interest in HERON flowing.
© MC Strong 2010/GFD // rev-up MCS Dec2016

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