Ashton Gardner and Dyke, “Resurrection Shuffle” (1971): One Track Mind

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Ashton Gardner and Dyke was a band that boasted some pretty impressive credentials.

Lead singer and keyboardist Tony Ashton and drummer Roy Dyke were in the Remo Four, a Liverpool, England-based group that existed from 1963-68, and experienced a great deal of local success. Shortly before the Remo Four splintered, Tony and Roy backed Beatles guitarist George Harrison on his Wonderwall Music album. Bassist Kim Gardner maintained membership in a pair of British bands that have since gone on to become cult favorites: First, there were the Birds – which, of course, bore no relation to the American-based Byrds. Following the demise of the Birds, Kim joined the Creation.

On a further trivial note, guitarist Ron Wood – who requires no introduction – held roles in both the Birds and the Creation. Ashton Gardner and Dyke also included former Python Lee Jackson guitarist Mick Liber, before Tony Ashton subsequently formed the similarly named Paice Ashton Lord with two members of Deep Purple.

Along with the band’s rich roots, Ashton Gardner and Dyke are primarily remembered for “Resurrection Shuffle,” which seized the radio dial in the summer of 1971. Sailing to No. 3 in Britain, the song peaked at No. 40 on the American charts.

Spilling forth with funky blues-battered dynamics, “Resurrection Shuffle” (Capitol Records) squirms and churns to a mid-tempo pace of grit and grease. Tony Ashton’s raspy-throated vocals, which echo a cross between Joe Cocker and Bob Seger, are balanced by raw power and a good-time essence. Banging away on the keyboard, Tony really gets into the song, emitting so much enthusiasm that it is impossible not to participate in the fun and boogie the buttocks off.

Blanketed with ripping licks and catchy breaks, “Resurrection Shuffle” subsequently contains cool saxophone and trumpet arrangements. And then there are Ashton Gardner and Dyke’s lyrics, which encourage the audience to party on as well: “Step on the gas, put your hand in the air, make a V-sign and throw back your hair. Now that you’re nice and high, you’re advocating love but you don’t know why,” Tony barks, while the band jams on.

Swell guy that he was, George Harrison returned the favor to Ashton Gardner and Dyke for lending support to his debut album: The former Beatles star contributed his cracking chops to “I’m Your Spiritual Breadman,” the flip-side of “Resurrection Shuffle.” Flashing a bluesy Southern-fried feel gushing with positive vibes and sly winks, this track is additionally dimpled with tugging hooks, and could have easily been a hit in its own right.

Although “Resurrection Shuffle” was to be Ashton Gardner and Dyke’s biggest claim to fame, they did release three studio albums that validate their worth and are readily recommended for those with a taste for the genre-blending sounds of the era.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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