For us at Drifter Merch, we love to pay our respects to some of our favorite artists and bands out there on the scene. Our latest merch run consisted of some custom designed trucker hats. For me, I wanted to feature one of the best side projects that have graced the stage. With that being said, Blue Floyd was the obvious choice! Since we had these hats produced, a lot of people have asked, who is Blue Floyd? So here, we answer that question.
Blue Floyd was a conglomeration of players from other big bands that you definitely know. Forming a traditional blues lineup, the band consisted of Allen Woody (guitar) and Matt Abts (drums) from Gov't Mule, Marc Ford (guitar) from the Black Crowes, Barry Oakley Jr. (bass), and Johnny Neel (keys) from the Allman Brothers Band. Allen Woody once said that the concept came from Michael Gaiman of Jazz is Dead. Gaiman called Woody to let him know that he wanted to put together a blues band to play tribute to Pink Floyd music. Seeming like an obvious choice, Gaiman already had son of Allman Brothers founding member Oakley on board along with Abts, Ford, and Neel who Woody stated would " take them to church". Woody goes on to say, "Pink Floyd's material is so timeless". Dark Side of the Moon spent a total of 917 charted weeks on the Billboard 200. The album, which was released in 1973 and spent a week at No. 1, continued to chart mostly on a regular basis through 1988. "Everyone had their coming of age time with their experience with Pink Floyd," said Marc Ford. "We've heard this band's music for so long. Pink Floyd is a perfect band and I remember when this music had all the answers for me." He continues, "When you break it down, it's really just a spaced out blues band and we're just putting a little more blue in the ink." "I view this as a real tribute." adds Woody. "We all have a tip of the hat to Pink Floyd, respect their music and enjoy it. We really just wanted to put a different spin on it."
My perception is that these reworked Pink Floyd tunes get such marvelous treatment, that the result is just sheer jam and fusion bliss! Not too many folks out there even knew that Allen Woody could shred the guitar like he does in this group. With another extraordinary player like Marc Ford on the guitar, the two are a perfect concoction for any exploratory jam sequence. Vocals are peppered by almost every member in the band. It was during the jam sessions that the members organically figured out who was going to contribute vocally. Berry Oakley Jr.'s style and approach to these jams are nothing short of spontaneous and world class. As an avid Mule fan, I've been aware of Matt Abts technique for some time now. He is such a force behind the Mule and I'm guessing the band nicknamed him "Stain" because he leaves a lasting impression on all of us as fans. During the stint of Blue Floyd's existence, other mind-bending guitarists such as Jimmy Herring, Jeff Pever, Audley Freed, & Alvin Youngblood Hart sat in and jammed with the band. If you weren't able to catch this incredible act in the early 2000s, don't fret. That's the beautiful thing about music, it lives on forever!