Selected Reviews From 1999 to 1990


MOJO Magazine, December 1999 Joe Cushley reviews reissue of "Jimmy Bell Is Still In Town" 15 60 75 are one of the few outfits to have stamped generic R&B with an original seal. Leader Robert Kidney has performed regularly with The Golden Palominos but, since 1969, The Numbers have been his primary concern. On this debut - a live offering from 1975 - the musicians include longtime sidekicks Jack Kidney (mouth harp and sax) and Terry Hynde (Chrissie's brother!). At moments one catches strains of Santana and The Doors in their polyrhythmic blues effusions - but there is also a deeper, more esoteric imagination at work. Kidney is a Van Vliet on the distaff side, or a less hung up David Byrne. His heady, poetic, lyrical marinades are spiced with harmonica from Southside heaven - and horns which can't quite decide whether they're playing a Stax revue or a free jazz freak-out. You will not be disappointed.
David Thomas' DISASTODROME!: The Poet Reports From Backstage, On Stage, Front Row Center by Bob Holman April 28, 1998 Jackie Leven, the Scots bluesman, did a solo set, miking his long-stockinged foot stomps, and bringing the audience to its knees and tears with his husk flow of a voice ("Poor Town" in particular) and his hilarious stories. Which is all but a prelude for the last act: the legendary Kidney Brothers from Cleveland. Jack and Robert are the quintessential white trash blues rockers, powerfully, subtlely smashing the air with silence and then tossing back guitar swoops like only blood brothers can. As The Numbers Band, they have a super rep in the Midwest, but oolala! on the power stage of Europe you hear these guys for what they are-- the Condensers. Blues Haikus. Jack's sax and drums and guitar pushed the music into the nerve's ear, where Mr. Bob K, who clearly has signed off to whoever that was at the Crossroads, brings it all home to the heart of rock' n' roll. Sonic Waves and Raves Review from the Soup Kitchen by bejesus Disastodrome! Day One; April 2nd, 1998 Purcell Room or Clagari's Diner ...Then finally the Big Man (David Thomas) introduced those legends of the Cleveland Underground, The Kidney Brothers, who are the core of 15 60 75 (The Numbers Band), who both looked like they had seen an awful lot of life and come through with flying colours. They played with imense passion and style. The blues harmonica played directly into a Valve mic was phenonenal, and the guitar playing was stunning. Their set was a mix of blues standards and originals, a great song about getting shot. They closed their set with a storming rendition of Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love" that just pissed all over almost every version I've ever heard of this classic, even making George Thoroughgood's version sound limp, way cool. Disastodrome! Day Two; April 3rd, 1998 At the South Bank Center, London. Time to go into Queen Elizabeth Hall for tonight's main show "Mirror Man", David Thomas's musical narration based very loosely on Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology". The pit orchastra for this masterful southern blues on the bajou opera was David on accordian and the damn good time he had in his bare feet and a red apron over a black shirt and trousers and a great black hat. Then on mouth organ and sax was Jack Kidney, who once again stunned me with his brilliant blues harmonica, a real joy to hear someone honk so well and with real spirit, like his life may have depended on it. David Thomas as the narrator kept going over to the row of seated singers and leading them to the microphone to sing, we had Robert Kidney, giving us his best blues wail on some very weird lyrics setting out this bizare world of the Mirror Man that we had entered. Cleveland Plain Dealer By Michael Drexler For The DiamondBack Brewery, January 2nd, 1998. The songs are often more serious and emotionaly complex than most rock or blues. Yet the music is entirely accessable through Kidney's couriuous melodies, the band's great soloists, and a backbeat like an elbow in the ribs. MOJO Magazine By Phil Sutcliffe 1997, England December issue, review of Robert Kidney's Wild River from The Best Of The Golden Palominos 1983-1989. ...the easily listenable Wild River, a bottlenecked country blues strum from 1989, is brilliant, its writer, Robert Kidney's baritone vocal a masterpiece of gently confessional tone and brutally menacing word: "Open yourself up to me, And I'll just slam you shut." Terminal Drive 1996 Credits and Notes By David Thomas From the boxed-set Datapanik In The Year Zero. David Thomas is the founder of Pere Ubu and Two Pale Boys. "Uncapturable in its intensity, because you had to be packed into the crowd in that hot sweaty club in Kent where the Numbers Band played week after week for years on end, just letting go, to really hear the music." The Numbers Band still plays every week at JB's in Kent and is possibly the greatest live band you will ever see or imagine seeing. You don't believe this and certainly there's not a clear indication of it from this recording but this group inspired everyone, regenerated everyone, and was a nagging doubt in the back of everyone's minds, "The Numbers are better than you can ever hope for." Datapanik In The Year Zero features the track It's In Imagination, performed by 15-60-75, writen by Robert Kidney. Northern Ohio Live 1996 feature article The Numbers Band play original modern blues with an angular, jazzy sensibility. You can dance to the Numbers, particularly on such tunes as the blistering "Too Much Tough," the sexy "Who's Loving you Better," or Junior Parker's "That's Alright," a blues lament Robert (Kidney) stamps with his lubricated baritone and glassy guitar. Scene Magazine 1995 feature article Since 1970, 15-60-75, the Numbers Band, have been mesmerizing audiences with a unique, homemade style of music that can't be pinned down and can't be ignored. Scene Magazine 1993 review of 15 60 75 "Hotwire" "Hotwire", a combination of live studio and club recordings from the past two years, is a fine testament to guitarist/vocalist Robert Kidney and Company's artistic survival and development. It's one of those quietly amazing realizations that one of the longest-lived "house" bands happens to be one of the more unique and creative musical ensembles on the planet. Creem Magazine 1993 review of 15 60 75 "Hotwire" "Hotwire" rocks up a storm, Kidney writes and sings in a world that seems bent on grinding us all down. He's fought back by making his responsive band a world within a world from which he fires back his answering salvos. Creem Magazine 1992 Live Riffs Interview by John D. Beers 15 60 75 carries within their music the rhythmic pulse of the blues (Delta, Chicago), the free-form flow of jazz, and the heartbeat of rock and roll. They're an eclectic index of modern contemporary American music that is all familiar to the listener's ear, but not bound by their traditional style. Rolling Stone Magazine 1991 review of Golden Palomino's "Drunk With Passion" Longtime Palomino Robert Kidney all but steals the show with "Begin To Return", an exquisitely ethereal piece that lingers in the mind like a whispered secret. OOR Magazine The Netherlands 1991 review of Robert and Jack Kidney's European Tour The Brothers Blue, Robert and Jack Kidney, two American brothers normally operating in the obscure 15 60 75 (alias The Numbers Band)...twenty-one years the best kept secret in Northern Ohio. Their music could be described as Jerry Lee Lewis on mars, an avant-guard James Brown. New York Review Of Records 1991 review of 15 60 75 "20" The Numbers Band twenty year retro CD spans two decades and offers just a glimmer of their magic. If I owned a record label, this band would be a household name by now. Spin Magazine 1990 Live performance review Snaking sax lines and guitar bursts that might have come out of John Lee Hooker's sound hole after a night of sipping shoe polish turn a nondescript Ohio bar into a tin-walled barrel house of the sub-conscious.

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