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Hip Joint (MP3), MP3 (£7.99)
The best revival R&B band in Britain are back on disc after a six-year break from recording. Hailing orginally from the West Midlands, the Big Town Playboys is fronted by the great pianist and vocalist Mike Sanchez and underpinned by the bass of long-time cohort Ian Jennings. In the band's early days ex-Savoy Brown and Chicken Shack bassist Andy Sylvester and leader Ricky Cool were also involved. Now ex-Amen Corner singer Andy Fairweather-Low has joined the group on guitar and vocals bringing his formidable talents to the outfit.The Playboys' appearance at the 1996 Eric Clapton shows is the third time as Eric's special guests but the band's history is interwoven with great names - many who have invited them to put their unique skills on record (Eric Clapton on his Colour Of Money score, Jeff Beck on the Crazy Legs CD and Anne Dudley on her Pope Must Die soundtrack, for instance). Add to that regular support for such visiting American greats as Little Willie Littlefield, Jimmy Nelson and Champion Jack Dupree, and you have one of the most sharp, most jumping R&B bands this side of the Atlantic.