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The Average White Band Biography

The Average White Band Tickets

The Average White Band In-depth Biography

Their self-effacing name to the contrary, Average White Band} was anything but -- one of the few white groups to cross the color line and achieve success and credibility playing funk, with their tight, fiery sound also belying their Scottish heritage, evoking American R&B hotbeds like Detroit, Memphis, and Philadelphia instead. Singer/bassist Alan Gorrie}, guitarists Hamish Stuart} and Onnie McIntyre}, tenor saxophonist Malcolm Duncan}, keyboardist/saxophonist Roger Ball}, and drummer Robbie McIntosh} comprised the original Average White Band} lineup. Veterans of numerous Scottish soul and jazz groups, they made their debut in 1973 as the opening act at Eric Clapton}'s Rainbow Theatre} comeback gig, soon issuing their debut LP, Show Your Hand}, to little notice. After adopting the abbreviated moniker AWB}, a year later the band issued their self-titled sophomore effort, topping the American pop charts with the Arif Mardin}-produced instrumental "Pick Up the Pieces."} The record's mammoth success was nevertheless tempered by the September 23, 1974 death of McIntosh}, who died at a Hollywood party after overdosing on heroin.

Ex-Bloodstone} drummer Steve Ferrone} replaced McIntosh} for AWB}'s third album, 1975's Cut the Cake}, which scored a Top Ten hit with its title track as well as two other chart entries, "If I Ever Lose This Heaven"} and "School Boy Crush."} (Put It Where You Want It}, issued later that same year, was simply a retitled and repackaged Show Your Hand}.) With 1976's Soul Searching}, the group reclaimed the full Average White Band} name, scoring their final Top 40 hit with "Queen of My Soul."} Following the live Person to Person}, they issued Benny & Us}, a collaboration with soul legend Ben E. King}. However, after subsequent outings, including 1978's Warmer Communications}, 1979's Feel No Fret}, and 1980's Shine}, failed to recapture the energy of AWB}'s peak, the group dissolved in 1982, with Ferrone} later joining Duran Duran} and Stuart} recording with Paul McCartney}. Gorrie}, Ball}, and McIntyre} reformed Average White Band} in 1989, tapping vocalist Alex Ligertwood} for their comeback effort Aftershock}. Oft-sampled by hip-hop producers throughout the 1990s, the group continued touring prior to releasing Soul Tattoo} in 1996. The live album, Face to Face}, followed three years later. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

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