The Blues Train

Closely related to fellow Canadian band and labelmates the Crazy People, the Blues Train may very well have arisen from the same stable of studio musicians and songwriters for the exploit rock label Condor that gave life to that band. Who exactly the musicians were that made up the Blues Train, however, remains an unknown, since all the performances were uncredited and the little history that is known about the band mimics the story of the Crazy People almost exactly. Formed in the late '60s, the band was part of the outstanding psychedelic ballroom scene that emerged at the time in Vancouver. They were bluesier than most other bands on the circuit, but just as interesting. As with the Crazy People, several rumors surround the band, adding to their mystery. The most plausible theory, however, holds that obscure but prodigious itinerant songwriter Johnny Kitchen was a member. He was certainly involved in some capacity, owing to his songwriting credit on their eponymous 1970 album. He also had a hand in two other Condor releases, including the Crazy People's Bedlam, before heading to the States and becoming involved in a plethora of underground psychedelic releases on tiny and private labels. Still, although his song copyrights through BMI number over 200, virtually nothing is known about Kitchen. Prominent Vancouver personality and local television weatherman Jack Millman, who was also involved in several of the other rock-oriented efforts on the label, produced the album. And despite the loose threads, The Blues Train is one of the most musically intriguing works to emerge from Canada during the era. ~ Stanton Swihart

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