The British Walkers – Are Coming… (Turkey Mountain Records)


The story of The British Walkers is common among ’60s bands on the cusp of making it big: A group of friends (from Washington D.C., despite the British name) get their minds blown by The Beatles, form a rock band, record some singles with moderate success, but pack it in when the prospects for a long and lucrative career dry up. Are Coming… collects everything they recorded during their 1965-1967 lifetime, which amounts to just eleven tracks – a pretty skimpy output, made smaller by the paucity of self-penned material.

The band started out as rather good Beatles imitators, or “America’s answer to England’s Merseybeat”, as the liner notes claim. A few of their early tracks come from dubious audio sources, with compression and messy treble making them hard to enjoy. The best songs are from a three-song session in Nashville, TN credited to The British Walkers, but actually done by Walkers’ singer Bobby Howard backed by Bob Dylan’s band, who were down the hall recording Blonde on Blonde at the time. There’s a tightness in the playing and high-quality studio production here that’s missing on the other tracks. Even the vocals sound better, with Howard capably tackling the wild Dylan-esque howls of “Watch Yourself”, “Bad Lightning” (a potpurri of several Howlin’ Wolf songs), and “The Story Of My Life” from the Bacharach/David writing team. If only Dylan’s band could have played on every track. Are Coming… also includes a DVD featuring a recent hour-long interview with band members.

Tracklisting:

1. I Found You
2. Diddley Daddy
3. Packin’ Up
4. The Girl Can’t Help It
5. Lonely Lovers Poem
6. Let Her Go
7. Watch Yourself
8. Bad Lightnin’
9. The Story Of My Life
10. That Was Yesterday
11. Shake

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