Leaf Hound – Music News

It’s easy to get to where singer Pete French got his start. A listen to Leafhound’s debut album ‘Growers Of Mushroom’ throws up comparisons to Steve Marriot, Mick Jagger, Ian Gillan, and he stands out pretty well in that business, having been through the British Blues Boom.
The band itself began as Black Cat Bones and included Paul Kossoff and Simon Kirke who formed Free. Pete French then joined as lead singer and the band’s name was changed to Leaf Hound with Mick Halls also on guitar. The Brooks brothers, Derek and Stuart, were on guitar and bass, respectively, and Keith George-Young played drums.

The first album was released in 1970, recorded over a frenetic 11-hour session, but didn’t have as much success as it deserved because French had left – to join Atomic Rooster – and the Brooks brothers also left. left the group. The album has become a cult classic and copies of the LP have been known to fetch up to £11,000 at auction!
The album itself is a brilliant image of early 70’s progressive blues. There are strong blues elements but the new hard rock sounds creep in and both of these strands are mixed with psychedelic influences. The result is massively powerful, acid-soaked sound, full of images and deliciously emotive. French’s voice is really strong and Halls’ guitar work is partly in the class of Jimmy Page.

The second album, featuring a line up of Pete French, Luke Raynes on guitar, Jimmy Rowland on drums and Ed Pearson on bass, was released in 2007 – 37 years after the first!
The sound is similar to the first with heavy Blues lines and a strong riff and French vocals just to the right of excessive. It’s definitely a more modern album than ‘Growers…’ but the similarities are clearly there. The strong psychedelic impact is clear and in some ways it’s a more complete album than the first.

The package is valid and two excellent albums accompanied by a beautiful booklet are a very useful addition for any fan of classic progressive rock.