Brewers Droop – The Boozy Brothers (1989)

The Booze Brothers, featuring Mark Knopfler & Dave Edmunds, is the second album released by Brewers Droop, an English blues band. Although most of the tracks were recorded back in 1973 the album was only released in 1989 when it was discovered that the album had involved the renowned producer/rocker Dave Edmunds and the line-up had included Pick Withers and Mark Knopfler, later of Dire Straits. Ron Watts, the founder of the band, became much better known later in the ’70s as a punk rock promoter at venues such as 100 Club. Steve Darrington continued as a professional musician, appearing on over 50 albums, and is the organizer of the Swanage Blues Festival.

Brewers Droop was a late sixties “Cajun” band that played English pubs. In 1973, a young Mark Knopfler joined the band. Apparently some of the group’s tunes were recorded and then squirreled away until now.
Knopfler, of course, went on to form Dire Straits while Brewers Droop went—nowhere. This short (36.59 min.) disc contains those early tunes, which according to the cover, provide the listener the opportunity to “hear the fledgling Mark Knopfler cultivate the sound that was to make Dire Straits a World-wide success story.” In fact, Knopfler does not do any of the vocals and only plays backup guitar on three of the nine cuts, none of which sound at all like Dire Straits.

This album is a little underrestimated. This album is not a big blockbuster, and not so good as the Dire Straits records, and the rest of the M.Knopfler albums, but it’s a very good album, anyway. M.Knopfler is the best musician on this record, and Dave Edmunds is also good, but not so skillful as MK. Dave Edmunds and the other guys does show up more then M.Knopfler in the songs. But MK is not whith on only one track here, he appears on more tracks here. Mostly on guitar. And don’t forget about Pick Whiters, a great drummer, he’s playing drums on some tracks.

Tracklist

1. “Where Are You Tonight”  (John MacKay, Steve Darrington) – 4:06
2. “Roller Coaster”  (John MacKay, John Watts, Steve Darrington) – 3:29
3. “You Make Me Feel So Good”  (John MacKay, John Watts, Steve Darrington) – 3:39
4 .”My Old Lady”  (Nick Gravenites) – 4:51
5 .”Sugar Baby”  (Francis Romuald Lewis, Jerry McCain, Tanner) – 2:34
6. “Rock Steady Woman”  (John MacKay, John Watts, Steve Darrington) – 4:08
7. “Louise”  (John MacKay, John Watts, Steve Darrington) – 3:22
8. “What’s The Time”  (John MacKay, Steve Darrington) – 2:25
9. “Midnight Special”  (Al Smith) – 4:28
10. “Dreaming”  (John MacKay) – 3:41

Musicians
Alimony Slim – lead and/or background vocals (except on tracks 4 and 8), guitar (except on track 1)
“Big Ron” Watts – co-lead vocals (on tracks 2, 7), lead vocals (on tracks 4, 8), background vocals (on tracks 5, 6, 9)
Steve Darrington – accordion, organ, saxophone, clarinet, piano, background vocals
Mark Knopfler – guitar (on tracks 1, 4, 6)
Derrick Timms – bass, backup vocals (on tracks 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10)
Steve Norchi – bass (on tracks 1, 4, 6, 8)
Bobby O’Walker – drums (on all tracks except 3 and 8)
Pick Withers – drums, percussion (on tracks 3, 8)

Guests:
Track 3: Gerry Hogan – pedal steel
Track 10: Dave Edmunds – harp, banjo, double bass, Fender pedal steel, ‘secret sound’, all background vocals

Recording
Recorded in and around Wales, circa 1973
1, 3, 6, Produced by Kingsley Ward and Alimony Slim
2, 9, 10, Produced by Dave Edmunds
4, 5, 8, Produced by Kingsley Ward
7, Produced by Dave Edmunds and Kingsley Ward

Notes
Released: 1989
Recorded: 1973
Genre: Blues rock, pub rock
Length: 36:47

Label – Red Lightnin’ Records

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