I didn’t hear about the Average White Band until their self-titled second album in 1974.  I didn’t know how to take the group’s name though.  Average White Band?  Should I be offended as a Black man?  What did they mean… did they mean White bands were superior to Black bands?  What did this mean?  I had a friend who worked at W3Soul Radio in Saginaw, Michigan and he invited me up for a concert that featured Average White Band.  I went to check them out to see if they were as good LIVE as they were on WAX.  These dudes from Scotland were as BAD as they come.  They sent that predominantly Black Soul Music audience into a frenzy; me included!  After the show they put on up there in Saginaw, I considered the name a show of modestya gross understatement because there was absolutely NOTHING AVERAGE ABOUT AVERAGE WHITE BAND!  We have a few Video Samples for you to prove this fact.  Let’s start with AWB performing live on Soul Train… a song from the Average White Band album… this is “Person To Person.”

posted by cliffordatat1

The original AWB consisted of Alan Gorrie (Bass, Guitar & Lead Vocals), Hamish Stuart (Guitar, Bass & Lead Vocals), Roger Ball (Keyboard & Saxophone), Malcolm Duncan (Saxophone), Onnie McIntyre (Guitar & Background Vocals) and Robbie McIntosh (Drums).  Steve Ferrone took over on Drums by their next album (album #3), Cut The CakeAverage White Band is an extremely tight band but their identifying quality was the One-Two punch of Alan Gorrie and Hamish Stuart on vocals.  Nobody else sounded like them… especially Hamish Stuart’s distinct Falsetto.  This Beyond-Average band got down and smelly toe funky on this JAM… check out Alan and Hamish’s vocal exchange on “School Boy Crush.”

posted by sunnysidup82

I never liked the term, “Blue-Eyed Soul” because it put a color on the music.  What I always loved about the Sports and Music professions is that Athletes and Musicians could care less about a CAT’s skin color because if he’s good at his position, he’s absolutely accepted without question.  If a guy can play his instrument or sing with all the SOUL in the world, that’s my CAT!  His skin color ceases to even be visible to me.  AWB were colorless for me… I totally accepted them as just straight-up BA-A-A-A-AD!  What’s more soulful than Average White Band’s incredibly beautiful song from the ’76 Soul Searching album, “A Love Of Your Own?”  Here they are performing a slowed-down rendition at the Montruex Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 1977.  Dig It!

posted by sjilko1719

By 1980, AWB’s album sales had fallen off drastically.  Their album released in ’80 was called, Shine.  I have no idea why it only reached # 116 on U.S. charts because every single cut on this album was SLAMMIN’… it was very reminiscent of the Average White Band album of ’74.  The up tempo stuff and the ballads are impeccable.  Check out their kickin’ release, “Let’s Go Round Again.”

posted by shaymcn3

It pains me to even play a Video of Average White Band without Hamish Stuart.  I was crushed when he left the group to play with Paul McCartney and Wings in ‘82.  As career moves go, who could blame him?  Besides, Average White Band had officially disbanded.  Thankfully they didn’t stay disbanded.  I forget the year but it had to be somewhere around ‘96/’97, I took my kids to an Ol’ Skool concert to see AWB, WAR and Graham Central Station.  I may be forgetting an act but basically, I wanted my children to hear the incredible music I grew up on.  At around 8 and 9 years old, they didn’t miss the fact that there were missing original band members from each group; they thoroughly enjoyed the concert.  In fact, my son got into this doing the “Carlton Banks” dance in the isles… you remember that corny dance that Alfonso Ribeiro did on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.  He… my son that is… had a ball!  And surprisingly, so did I.  AWB found some young guy who sounded just like Hamish Stuart and if you closed your eyes, you’d swear Hamish was there.  I’ll leave you with AWB rockin’ out with “Cut The Cake,” in concert without Hamish but JAMMIN’ none the less; proof positive that still to this day, there is NOTHING AVERAGE ABOUT AVERAGE WHITE BAND!  Peace.

posted by Funkonaut