Jess Roden was one of the best, yet most underrated vocalists to come out of the UK. His early credits include stints with The Alan Bown Set, which he fronted in 1968. He later went on to form and record two albums with Bronco before joining ex-Doors members John Densmore and Robbie Krieger in the short-lived Butts Band, whose two albums were released on one CD sometime ago. He formed The Jess Roden Band in 1974 and released his debut solo album that year. His version of the Randy Newman classic, our featured track, was very well received. He went on to release a number of other excellent solo albums before seemingly taking a break from the music scene. He returned in 1980 as a member of The Rivets, and he later fronted an outfit called The Humans. You'd certainly be doing your CD collection the world of good by adding a few Jess Roden albums to it.  
  
 

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Biography by Bruce Eder
Singer/guitarist Jess Roden was born in Kidderminster in England's West Midlands, and his first band was the Shakedown Sounds. In 1967, he joined the Alan Bown Set as their new lead singer. Although their records never charted nationally, he did pick up a fandom in London (and belatedly became something of a star on the Northern Soul scene) with the release of their single "Emergency 999". He remained with the Bown group through 1970, after which he formed the band Bronco, and later worked on Wildlife, the third Mott The Hoople album, and with Keef Hartley on the album Lancashire Hustler. In the mid-1970's, he teamed up with ex-Doors John Densmore and Robby Kreiger in the Butts Band, and sang on their first album. Roden finally emerged as a solo artist in his own right in the mid-1970's on Island Records, with his 1974 self-titled solo album, which was cut in New Orleans and included Allen Toussaint and Art Neville on keyboards. His albums throughout the 1970's got great reviews but he never saw any significant sales; in between his own work, he managed to sing and play on albums by Carol Grimes, Jim Capaldi, Stomu Yamashta, Sandy Denny, and Grace Jones. He was with the group Rivits on Island, for one album at the outset of the 1980's. 

 

 

 

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Jess Roden - 1974 - Jess Roden - 3/5

Jess Roden - 1976 - You can keep Your hat On - 3/5

Jess Roden - 1977 - Blowin' - 4.5/5

Jess Roden - 1977 - Play It Dirty Play It Class - 3/5

Jess Roden - 1977 - Player Not the Game - 3/5

Jess Roden - 1980 - Live at the Robin - 4/5

Jess Roden - 1980 - Stonechaser - 2/5

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