March 9, 2020
‘Crawling Up A Hill’ will be a number familiar to most in its John Mayall live recording from ’64. Here, the track is performed in a previously unreleased version by the lesser known Zany Woodruff Operation. Although Zany doesn’t quite manage the same kind of authentic bite as evidenced on Mayall’s recording from Klooks Kleek, their recording is hugely spirited. It’s played in a very similar manner but the addition of a little more pace, a particularly frivolous sax and the kind of vocal that would be a perfect fit for the slightly earlier rhythm and blues boom, it more than holds its own against the bigger artists’ work within this anthology. The energy and tightness within the performance certainly affords it the title of “unearthed treasure”.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek
While there have been many British blues anthologies, the vast majority tend to be single-label projects rather than scene-wide curatorial efforts. This three-disc, 56-track box is the first attempt at a comprehensive overview. On disc one, the Bluesbreakers are represented by Willie Dixon’s and Otis Rush’s steamy, raw, “All Your Love.” The previously unissued title track is offered by with sass and verve by then-new and always unheralded Zany Woodruff Organization (who later hosted guitarist Allan Holdsworth).