Incredible Blues Puppies - NEW CD -

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Incredible Blues Puppies: In the Doghouse

Note Records, NCD 1016 2

Strong, but not tough. Swinging, but not in overdrive. Electric, but no high voltage. Traditional, but mainly own work. No fuss, simply professional. This platter of fifteen songs, mostly originals, tastes even better than the previous Puppies offering. As is to be expected, Alan Glen is pivotal to the band as a composer, guitarist and, of course, harmonica ace. The recruitment of  staccato guitarist  John O’Reilly (formerly the main pillar of The Blues Engineers), is an excellent quality move. It takes guts to play T-Bone Walker, but O’Reilly doesn’t even allow us to doubt his capacities. Together with safe values Don Coccia on drums and Bob Haddrell on vocals and keys, this gentle record will make you toss and turn from start to finish. This British quintet (the core of which also forms the backbone of the jazzloungy Barcodes) fancies Chicago blues, but is equally mad about swing, country, lounge and folkblues-with-kazoo! (remember the days when everyone covered San Francisco Bay?). Alen Glen lured some friends into the studio allowing us to enjoy the mighty (and heavily underrated) soul voice of Paul Cox, Gypie Mayo’s cult guitar, Art Themen’s glorious saxophone and the forgotten harmonica of Shakey Vick. What do you mean “do I  like this record?”.

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Originally published in Back to the Roots magazine,

Eddy Bonte

I must confess The Incredible Blues Puppies have stolen my heart. The band do a genuine, rich, classic blues, in the Chicago blues tradition with a contemporary actual touch which go to the deepest part of my soul. They have an original sound and the passionate energy they give, connects immediately with the audience from the first notes of the opening cd song ìTuff Daysî, a middle tempo shuffle leaded by the powerful harmonica of singer Alan Glen (Yardbirds, Nine Below Zero, Little Axe), who also plays guitar in some tunes. He is backed by John OíReilly as lead and slide guitar, Bob Haddrell on keyboards, Costa Tancredo on bass and Dino Cocia on drums and percussion. The five musicians are the original Incredible Blues Puppies, who are surrounded by twelve high technique excellent guest musicians. In short words, a cd full of first class swing, jive, jump and Chicago blues, that will surprise many of you for their high quality and skilful performing. GREAT.

Vincente P. Zummel


This is the second CD from a British outfit making excellent blues in both the modern and classic styles.The formidable Alan Glen plays excellent harmonica ranging from the jug bandway of playing to full-on amplified blues harp.A set certainly worth investigating.'


' I was knocked out - you've got a great sound.Definitely some good blues to be heard here.'


BLUES REVUE - USA - Dec 2008 I

The Incredible Blues Puppies - In The Doghouse  note-records NCD 10 1 6 2

In a related development from the animal world, some of the U.K.'s most tasteful players make a welcome return as members of the Incredible Blues Puppies. Drummer Dino Coccia brings the right beat to everything he plays, Bob Haddrell's keyboard work is perfect, Alan Glen's harp is toneful and never overbearing, and Glen and John O'Reilly blend toughness and sophistication on guitar.

In the Doghouse (Note Records) moves effortlessly between the Rockpile-styled roots-rocker "I Don't Get It," the Bo Diddley pastiche "Shivering in My Shoes," the charging instrumental "Zip Your Lip," and the wah-wah-kissed, late-period B.B. King styled "No Time for You," with time for a raw version of "Mean Mistreatin' Mama' “ and convincing covers of songs from Slim Harpo and T-Bone Walker.

Tom Hyslop


Paris On The Move & Blues Magazine - October 2008

The Incredible Blues Puppies - In The Doghouse  note-records NCD 10 1 6 2

Each album The Incredible Blues Puppies is an event: the first thing we do, after launching the silver cake is to dive into the book to discover the list of titles (what times are aligned compos) but also to see which guests were involved in the project and there, we must acknowledge that the quintet led by Alan Glen was very hard with no less than 12 'Guest Puppies', including Paul Cox, singing, Gypie Mayo on guitar, Art Themen the sax, Pete Whittaker on keyboards, Gordon Smith to the six strings and (unfortunately unable to quote the entire world ...) the monumental Roger Cotton on keyboards.

Second album Incredible Blues Puppies in Note Records (after a Puppy Fat reviewed here ...), In The Doghouse is a pure blues album on which Alan Glen raises once again, very quietly but very effectively, its mark: the mark of alike. Those who crossed swords with Jeff Beck writing and composed a blues has its roots in the soil most blue of the twelve steps and I can only recommend his opus Crazy Life - Retrospective (reviewed here ...) noted 'indispensable' by writing Blues Magazine. Its three compounds that open the album, Tuff Days, I Do not Get It and Zip Your Lip are effective devil and all the titles mentioned here are of equal quality, the tension never does down and arrangements superchiadÈs giving the together an incomparable brightness. Be recognized as guests of the class of Nick Payn (on sax), Shakey Vick (with the harmonica) or Alan Vincent on guitar the result could only be good ... or very good, what it is, unquestionably.

Later occasions, the quintet of Puppies you aligns including a superb interpretation of A Hard Way To Suffer (from T-Bone Walker) and a wonderful adaptation of Got Love If You Want It, of Slim Harpo.

One of the original album also lies in the fact that the vocals are provided by 6 different singers, including Alan Glen, John O'Reilly and the impressive Paul Cox, which requires you to Tuff Days and especially no Time For You. And as my habit, if I had only one way to remember this opus, I would unhesitatingly recommend Chilled Down To The Bone, a trio signed by the 'Puppies' Coccia / Haddrell / Tancredi and that 'Can be summarized in one word: huge. Like the rest of the album, however.

Frankie Bluesy Pfeiffer

Paris On The Move & Blues Magazine

Blues In Britain - September 2008

The Incredible Blues Puppies - In The Doghouse  note-records NCD 10 1 6 2

The Puppies were formed by Barcodes partners Alan Glen(harmonica, guitar and kazoo here) and Dino Coccia (drums) but are now joined by the third Barcode, Bob Haddrell (keyboards and ukulele here). So The Puppies are now The Barcodes plus two, them being guitarist John O'Reilly and bassist Costa Tancredi, who appear on the majority of tracks. Got all that?

A dozen Guest Puppies appear here also. Gordon Smith and Paul Cox handle lead vocals on two numbers apiece and former band bassist Jim Mercer returns to sing and play one. Elsewhere vocal duties are split between Glen (four), O'Reilly (two) and Haddrell (one). Guest soloists include saxophonists Nick Payn and Art Themen, organists Roger Cotton and Pete Whittaker, guitarists Alan Vincent and Nigel Price, and harmonica maestro Shakey Vick.

Eleven originals, three of them instrumental, and four covers make for adequate compensation for their 38-minute debut album. Stylistically it is a varied set. Along with the Chicago styled blues, there are a couple of jaunty, folk – country – ragtime - blues from Glen complete with ukulele, jaws harp and kazoo, whereas O'Reilly nods towards Bo Diddley and T-Bone Walker on his features. It all adds up to make a really fine set.

Jon Taylor

Blues In Britain

BLUES & RHYTHUM - August 2008

INCREDIBLE BLUES PUPPIES: In The Doghouse - Note Music NCD 1016 2 (55:43)

Let's not make any bones about this - it's a very listenable, accomplished and enjoyable CD by five long-time London blueshounds, spanning theUK blues spectrum and generations, and it should help them winalot of new pals. Tracks range from Muddy's fifties band style on the impressive 'Mean Mistreatin' Mama' (a howling success), through some jazzy licks, a funky T-Bone Walk-er cover and even, having learned some new tricks, an almost southern rock approach. There's plenty of wailing harp courtesy of Alan Glen, and some pedigree chums in tow including excellent singer Paul Cox and veteran harpman Shakey Vick (Hound Dog Taylor wasn't available, maybe they could they get Barkin' Bill next time?), some straining at the leash but all keeping things under control. They bow wowt with a nice cover of a Slim Harpo number( Got Love If You Want It).

Norman 'Jack Russell' Darwen - Blues & Rhythum

 Rev Ed's comments . . . Norm was collared and asked to cur-tail this review, but once he got his teeth into it, it was the dog's bollocks.

Zeitgeist, - THE INCREDIBLE BLUES PUPPIES - In The Doghouse - Note Records

- August 2008

"Puppy Fat", the debut album from the seasoned performers in the Incredible Blues Puppies was a really enjoyable album, and I'm delighted to say that this is an equally enjoyable follow-up.

If you don't know the pups in question, there's Alan Glen (Yardbirds, Nine Below Zero, Dr Feelgood etc), Jim Mercer who's worked with Paul Lamb and Pinetop Perkins, Dino Coccia who drummed for Jo-Ann Kelly and Lowell Fulson, and John O'Reilly from the Big Town Playboys. There's also room for a wide array of guest puppies including Paul Cox, Gypie Mayo and Roger Cotton amongst others.

Unlike the first album, which was mainly covers, "In The Doghouse" only has four covers out of the fifteen tracks on offer. This time, they've dipped into the back catalogue of T-Bone Walker, Eddie Boyd, Leroy Carr and Slim Harpo, with the highlights being 'Mean Mistreatin' Mama' and 'Got Love If You Want It'. However, the success or failure of the album is mainly down to the writing efforts of Alan Glen who nabs credits on eight of the original tunes. And to his credit. it's a solid, if not sensational, set of sturdy, guitar driven Blues, which sits snugly into the sixties British Blues template.

Things liven up a bit when they expand their sound a bit, and I'd like to hear more harmonica work from Alan Glen, as it's a treat when its up front. You often find that when musical veterans with a certain pedigree get together it all goes horribly wrong, but the Incredible Blues Puppies have put their pedigree to good use on an enjoyable album.

Stuart A Hamilton

THE INCREDIBLE BLUES PUPPIES - In The Doghouse - Note Records

July 2008

The Pups have taken on a pleasingly mongrel strain with this CD. Roving bands of Ronin musicians have invaded the Incredibles pedigree kennels and injected all sorts of interesting and disparate genes into the puppy pool, to wonderful effect.

Never let it be said that The Pups were short on talent but the addition of no less than a dozen hardened Blues dogs to the pack for this CD has created a scarily talented new breed “The Incredible Blues Mastiff”. A definite candidate for Best in Show...

Barry’s Mag

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note-records NCD 1008

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