Foreday Riders

From the CD "Riders Groove"

Newcomers to Sydney's Blues scene today are usually surprised to find that locals the Foreday Riders have been active around the city since 1967. Despite countless line-up changes, 2 original members remain: Ron and Jeff King, playing harmonica and guitar respectively. The other current members are: Ray Beadle (guitar and vocals), Stanley "Steamer" Mobbs (bass) and Rosscoe Clark (drums), all veterans of the Sydney R&B circuit.

The Riders emerged in the wake of the British "blue explosion" of the early 60's, initially inspired by outfits such as the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds and Manfred Mann. These bands were always ready to acknowledge their musical sources and this led the Riders back to what became their primary influence - the "golden age" of Chicago blues in the 1950s: the bands of Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Jimmy Reed, Jimmy Rogers etc.

What began in the mid-60's as a loose association of school buddies dabbling in electric blues developed over a year or so into a 7 piece band featuring young singer Jill Drury and Swiss piano man Rolli Utzinger. Material ranged from the country blues of Memphis Minnie & Lightning Hopkins through to urban R&B by Willie Dixon and Ray Charles, incorporating jazz-flavoured instrumentals and jump tunes. Venues were usually in the inner-city pub and wine bar circuit.

Since then, after a brief stint as a quartet, the Riders have settled for a 5-piece line up such as the current one, although at regular gigs assorted players drop in for a "blow" (on sax, fiddle, accordion, whatever) - adding colour to the sound. Despite the relative smallness of the Blues album market, the Riders have had 5 titles released, the most recent of these being "Riders Groove" on the Larrikin label, 1993 and "Down Home Bebop", 2000 which features the acoustic frontline trio from the Riders. The Riders were also included in the 1992 anthology "Real Australian Blues - Vol 1".

Highlights in the band's history include: support acts with - B.B.King, Sonny Terry/Browny McGhee, Freddy King and Hound Dog Taylor, Gatemouth Brown, and the "Delta Blues Legends" show, backing for Bo Diddley in Sydney, and jamming with Junior Wells during his 1972 tour. In 1975 the Riders formed part of a "History of the Blues" concert tour which included such notables as Dutch Tilders, Margaret Roadknight and Judy Bailey. Other names associated with the band are Jeannie Lewis and Broderick Smith. In 1986 the Riders played at the Alice Springs Blues Festival, along with bands such as Chain, Renee Geyer, Cyril B. Bunter and Kevin Borich.

The Riders have also appeared at the 1992 and 1993 East Coast Blues Festivals, Manly Jazz Festival 1994 and Thredbo Blues Festival 1995. More recently, the Riders have featured at the Pearl Beach Festival, and with the Sydney Olympic's Summer Fun Jazz Series at the Davidson Amphitheatre, both in 2001. There have also been numerous appearances on TV and radio, but as with most blues bands, the Riders are usually heard to best advantage in a crowded bar or club, in good company with drink in hand.

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