The Blues Company were from Bay City, Michigan and had started out as The Ides of March, releasing the single ‘Life Has Been So Good / Playthings 5 x 5’ (no label, 1966). You can find the primitive but powerful a-side on Fuzz, Flaykes and Shakes Volume 7.
When the band heard about Chicago’s Ides of March they changed name and ‘Experiment in Color / She’s Gone’ was their first 45 as The Blues Company. It was recorded at the studios of Fenton Records in Sparta and issued on the Great Lakes label in April 1968, then later on AMG Records.
‘Experiment in Color’ starts in fine style with the instruments entering the fray one by one – energetic drums followed by a busy bassline (in fact the bass playing stands out throughout), and finally the wah-wah guitar that defines the sound of the song. Things actually veer more towards garage than psychedelia but the chorus of “experiment in color…experiment in my brain” certainly seems to be a nod towards the mind-expanding mood of the late 60s.
‘Experiment in Color’
‘She’s Gone’ has a neat driving guitar rhythm and initially very effective vocals and harmonies. Things go slightly awry at the bridge when the band throw in some Beatle-ish harmonies; maybe that was a little ambitious but this is still an entertaining enough garage rocker.
The two 45s that followed on Pear, both credited to The Blues Co., are also well worth tracking down. Singer, guitarist and songwriter Tim Ward later recorded as Timmothy. His Strange But True album (Pear, 1972) has a couple of tracks with Tim unaccompanied on vocals and guitar but mainly he has a backing band and they even rock out on ‘A Woman’.
Reissues: Both sides can be found on the marvellous Scream Loud!!! The Fenton Story, or you can find the a-side on Fuzz, Flaykes and Shakes Volume 4 and the flip on Highs in the Mid Sixties Volume 6 (vinyl).
- Experiment in Color / She’s Gone (Great Lakes / AMG, 1968)
- You’re Dead My Friend / I’m Comin’ (Pear, 1968)
- Love Machine / B.C. Boogie (Pear, 1969)