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Biography

The Keef Hartley (Big) Band was a British jazz-rock band led by Keef Hartley (1944-2011) that mixed elements of jazz, blues, and rock and roll into a jazz-rock sound comparable to Blood, Sweat, and Tears and Chicago. The group played at the legendary Woodstock Festival in 1969. Unfortunately for them they had to follow the blistering set of Santana. As Keef has been quoted, "We had our set list sorted and started with a slow number… and it went downhill from there." The band released five popular albums, including Halfbreed and The Battle of North West Six (characterised by a reviewer for the Vancouver Sun as "an amazing display of virtuosity")

Keef Hartley (born March 8th, 1944, in Preston, Lancashire, England, died 26 November 2011). He started out as drummer for The Thunderbeats in 1961. Various bands until joining John Mayall in 1967. Bit of session work with Jimi Hendrix in same year. Stayed with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers until 1969 when Mayall decided he no longer needed a drummer. Formed the Keef Harley band releasing The Halfbreed, probably one of the best British Blues/Jazz Blues albums ever. CD discontinued but can be obtained on Universal's CD archive series. For fans of British blues you will find its worth every penny even if it lacks the originals sleeve notes. Vinyl now a real collectors item. Second album ‘The Battle of NW6’. Continued with band releasing 5 or more albums, with ever changing line up until recently. Impeccable session list during career with the likes of Martha Velez, Champion Jack Dupree, Jethro Tull, Vinegar Joe, Dana Gillespie, The Michael Chapman Band, Jo Ann Kelly, Stan Webb's Chicken Shack.

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