Addendum: Danny Kirwan – The Boilerhouse Acetates Part Two – The Live Set-List

Addendum: Danny Kirwan – The Boilerhouse Acetates Part Two – The Live Set-List

The background to these recordings, Boilerhouse the band, and a review of ‘Something Inside of Me’ can be found here:

Along with rare photos of the band (courtesy of Trevor Stevens and Peter Moody) one of the illustrations accompanying Christopher Hjort’s in-depth liner notes is a reproduction of a hand written Boilerhouse set list.

The twelve-song list is a fascinating document, challenging our expectations of what one might have imagined a Boilerhouse show to sound like based on the few recordings that we now have.

One Sided Love

Inside-Looking Out

A Talk with You

Mistreating Woman Blues

Yonder Comes the Blues

All Your Love

Silly Mean Old World

Wee Wee Baby

I’m Crazy for My Baby

Black Window

Walking the Blues

Something Inside of Me

There’s a lot to unpack here; four of the tracks are known Kirwan originals, songs that he would go on to perform and / or record after joining Fleetwood Mac: ‘One Sided Love’, ‘A Talk With You’, ‘I’m Crazy For My Baby’ (released as ‘Without You’) and ‘Something Inside of Me’.

Of the other eight song titles listed, two, ‘All Your Love’ and ‘Silly Mean Old World’ were recorded during the acetate sessions, so those too are easily identifiable. 

Even without being able to hear the songs, we can, with some certainty, identify another three by their titles.

The first surprise is ‘Inside-Looking Out’.  This is almost certainly a cover of the A-side of The Animals’ first single on the U.K. Decca label, released in February of 1966 eventually reaching Number 12 of the U.K. single charts. 

A tough R & B number, showcasing Eric Burdon’s shouted vocals and stomping arrangement, punctuated by a rattlesnake guitar line, it is hard to imagine Kirwan pulling off the stanzas, let alone the spoken word passages, yet, they were playing clubs and the audiences were expecting high energy numbers to get them going. 

Maybe Dave Terrey took the lead vocal on this one?

The Animals – Inside Looking Out –

If my conjecture here is correct, the second is an unusual choice musically and even more so for live performances. 

I believe this to be a track from Fred Neil’s (‘Everybody’s Talkin’’) 1965 debut, “Bleecker & MacDougal”.

At under two minutes in length, Neil’s original plays almost like an interlude and maybe that was the song’s purpose in Boilerhouse’s live set, setting up Kirwan’s version of ‘All Your Love’.

One can hear how the original’s arrangement would appeal to Kirwan, his fondness for that style earning him the sobriquet “Ragtime Cowboy Joe” from his bandmates in Fleetwood Mac.

Fred Neil – Yonder Comes the Blues –

The third number may have been fairly popular among the band’s contemporaries as a live number, though it appears that few cut it in the studio.  (It was among a number of songs recorded by the original line-up of Taste in 1967, but track only saw release as the A-side of a single in Germany and Venezuela in 1974.)

Boilerhouse most likely heard it on the highly influential “Folk Festival of the Blues” LP (Pye International) released in the U.K. in 1964.

The first recording of the song dates back at least to 1941 when Big Joe Turner sang it with Art Tatum’s band.

The number was covered by a variety of artists after that, including Little Richard in 1958 under the title ‘Early One Morning’; almost all of the other covers used the original title ‘Wee Baby Blues’.

Muddy Waters’ version was the first released as ‘Wee Wee Baby’ and the majority of the subsequent covers were released using that title.

Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon & Buddy Guy – Intro (0:32) / Wee Wee Baby –

This leaves us with three titles, ‘Mistreating Woman Blues’, ‘Black Window’ and ‘Walking the Blues’ which may be Kirwan originals, mistitled covers (whether to disguise the song’s origins, or by honest mistake, we have no way of knowing) or songs built on the foundation of existing arrangements which Kirwan has written “new” lyrics.

The titles ‘Mistreating Woman Blues’ and ‘Walking the Blues’ are so generic, that we could speculate endlessly as to what songs they may be based on, but they could just as easily be originals built around stock tropes; we simply have no way of knowing.

On the other hand, ‘Black Window’ is wholly original title and given Kirwan’s rather melancholic worldview, especially in terms of personal relations (this at the age of sixteen), one can easily imagine a more fully developed lyric similar to ‘Crazy for My Baby’.

I will review the remaining four titles listed above, two originals and two covers, that were cut as acetates in two additional blogs in the near future.

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