Thursday, June 28, 2018

Brian Cadd (The Groop, Axion, and The Bootleg Family)

Brain Cadd was born in 1946 and grew up in Perth Western Australia. Early piano lessons paid off and the young Brian George Cadd, aged twelve, joined his first band. They became the resident band on a children's TV program and Brian continued working in his cousin's group before joining a pop group with his school mates. He moved to Melbourne via Tasmania and his interest in music continued. He joined the Beale Street Jazz Club and then became one of the Castaways who later became the R&B group, The Jackson Kings (1965). The Jackson Kings split in mid-1966 and Brian Cadd was recruited to join The Groop in late-1966. On the advice of Ian “Molley” Meldrum Brian changed his name to Brian Caine but the family were unimpressed and Brian returned to Cadd. During the years he spent with the Groop Brian developed as a song writer. At first The Groop had enjoyed success and won the Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds which let them spent some time in London in the late sixties. But nothing came of it and the lads came back to Oz but found it difficult to settle and broke up soon after their return to Australia (1969).

Something that was happening elsewhere was individual singers and musicians were regrouping to form Super groups. Crosby Stills Nash and Young were a new phenomenon in the US, and Cream then Blind Faith had shown how a new set of music could result. In Australia singer Glenn Shorrock (formerly The Twilights) joined forces with Brian Cadd and Don Mudie, (the Groop) and guitarist Chris Stockley (Cam-Pact), and drummer Doug Lavery (Valentines) to form Australia’s first super group. At first the lads had no name and asked their fans to come up with one. Hence Axiom was launched. Arkansas Grass brought them to the public attention in 1969 but it was their second single, Little Ray of Sunshine, inspired by the birth of Don Mudie’s daughter that gave Axiom and Australia one of the best singles of all time.

Flush with success the lads tried their luck again in England but only modest acclaim followed despite a three year contract with Warner label. Meantime in their absence the 'Fool's Gold' album was released and this was to prove one of the first true Australian music albums which included didgeridoo. The songs were all of high quality and the albums reached the top ten but because of their absence the band never reached its full potential.

Axiom now exiled in the US fell apart and Brian Cadd returned to Australia. For a while he became a hired hand in the recording studio, renewing his association with Russell Morris among many others. 'The Real Thing' was a hit for Russell Morris, written by Johnny Young and produced by Ian "Molly" Meldrum. It featured Brian on piano.

In 1971 Brian teamed up again with his old mate Don Mudie and they recorded “Show me the way” then “Rolling and tumbling down.”

A year later Brian decided he would have a solo career and was in great demand working on film soundtrack music as well as writing and producing for other artists. Then he released of the single 'Ginger Man' in October 1972.

Keen to play with a group of known musicians he formed The Bootleg Family which was ostensibly the labels backing bands of musos. Unfortunately they did not last long but had a couple of minor hits ‘Your Mama Don't Dance.”

Brian’s solo career took off as he established himself as an album artist, headlining his own concerts with TV specials made to feature his music. He continued to write TV themes and movie soundtracks as well as produce hit for others. Keen to give it one more try Bryan relocated to the US and in fairly short order achieved recognition as a songwriter rather than for his own recordings. Wanting to maintain his roots in Australia Brian made regular performing trips back to Australia in the 80s working with Glenn Shorrock and performing with Max Merritt. In the Nineties Brian decided to bring his American family back to Australia. He still performs regularly, but concentrating on independent production.

Worth a listen:
Rolling and tumbling down. (1971)
Ginger Man (1972)

Jackson Kings
Watch your step / Come on now (1966)
The Groop
When I Was Six Years Old (1968)
A little ray of sunshine (1969)
The Bootleg Family
Your Mama don’t dance
Johnny Farnham
Don't You Know It's Magic
Russell Morris
The Real Thing

Reviewed 29/06/2018

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