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Blues Image

Blues Image

Blues Image


Blues Image was a group from Tampa, Florida that achieved a brief yet strong burst of critical acclaim and commercial success in the late 60s and early 70s. Known for mixing blues, Latin music, smooth pop, and other styles, their most successful song was the soft rock hit "Ride Captain Ride", a release from their 1970 album 'Open' that went all the way to #4 in Billboard. A well-respected band among their peers (Jimi Hendrix notably told the British press that Blues Image was one of the best up and coming bands around) Read more on Last.fm
Blues Image was a group from Tampa, Florida that achieved a brief yet strong burst of critical acclaim and commercial success in the late 60s and early 70s. Known for mixing blues, Latin music, smooth pop, and other styles, their most successful song was the soft rock hit "Ride Captain Ride", a release from their 1970 album 'Open' that went all the way to #4 in Billboard. A well-respected band among their peers (Jimi Hendrix notably told the British press that Blues Image was one of the best up and coming bands around), they sadly faced inter-group tensions that brought upon the band's early demise. Blues Image was formed in Tampa, Florida in 1966 by singer-songwriter and guitarist Mike Pinera, singer-drummer Manuel "Manny" Bertematti, singer-percussionist Joe Lala, and bassist Malcolm Jones. They were later joined by keyboardist Frank "Skip" Konte.

Blues Image moved to Miami in 1968, where they were instrumental in helping promoters form the most innovative music venue in South Florida, which was known as "The Image". Blues Image became the house band at the club, which also featured bands like the Grateful Dead, Cream, and Blood, Sweat & Tears. The band moved to Los Angeles, sensing that they were heading to the big time, and signed with Atco Records, releasing their self-titled debut album in February 1969. Their second album, 'Open' (April 1970), included the popular hit "Ride Captain Ride", which was co-composed by Pinera and Konte. The summertime vibes of that soft rock tune, reaching the #4 spot in Billboard, helped launch its parent album into the magazine's top albums chart as well.

The song lately was notably included in the cult film 'Reservoir Dogs'. Still, the band found itself saddled with the "one hit wonder" tag that would be hard to shake off. Pinera left the group and was replaced by singer Dennis Correll and guitarist Kent Henry. Fortunes failing them, the band called it quits. They still managed to release a third album, titled 'Red White & Blues Image', in May 1970.

Mainly comprised of outtakes, it shows how the group perhaps never did reach their potential. The various members of Blues Image went on to become parts of other prominent rock bands. Pinera & Bertematti later played with Iron Butterfly and Cactus. Pinera also played with Ramatam and Alice Cooper. Konte joined Three Dog Night, and Lala played with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Lala's percussion work figures prominently on the Stephen Stills / Chris Hillman led group, Manassas. Kent Henry played lead guitar with Steppenwolf prior to their breakup in the early 1970's. Michael Pinera has released several solo albums, most recently In the Garden of Eden. He is currently working on a project with keyboardist John Russ, bassist Mike Anglin, and drummer Robert Hill. Read more on Last.fm.

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