The Blues Train recorded an album of songs for the Burnaby, British Columbia based Condor label in 1970. Like label mates The Crazy People, not much is known about the band or the performers on the album. Condor Records was primarily known to be an exploit label that would record music to “cash in” on current musical trends.
There were a number of labels in circulation at the time such as Alshire in the U.S. and Arc in the Toronto area that did this type of recording. A label would hire local musicians, record cover songs of hits of the day then add a few “original”compositions written by studio writers or label personnel then release an album to the unsuspecting public at a budget price. Sometimes those “exploito” albums as they became known, would contain some remarkable music and become hits among collectors. The Blues Train appears to be one of those albums.
The original music on the album is credited to writers Joe Sanchez, Johnny Kitchen Eric Llord while there are a number of cover songs of blues standards. The album boasts some magnificent blues guitar and great vocal work by an uncredited singer. The eleven songs on the album are hot blues numbers with remarkable arrangements and tight instrumentation. The covers are true to form while the original songs can stand on their own very easily.
It is speculated that the musicians on Blues Train are the same as those that recorded the Crazy People Bedlam album but that cannot be confirmed.
With song writing credits given to Johnny Kitchen it is believed that he is prominent in the recording of this album. Johnny Kitchen, was an eccentric and prolific American singer and songwriter , who was known to be in BC around the time the album was recorded. Kitchen was credited for writing songs for The Crazy People as well as other bands that recorded on the Condor label and has built a reputation for himself over the years for his underground records and work with various bands.. Nothing is known of Joe Sanchez or the other writers.
The sound quality on this release is not great in some places no doubt due to the fact that the CD appears to have been taken from a record but it has been cleaned up in the digital mastering. Despite the glitches in sound quality, The Blues Train is a fine album of blues songs that still remains a mystery to this day. With this re-release of this album on the Gear Fab label, someone might be able to shed some light on the history of The Blues Train as well as some of the other albums associated with the Condor Records label.