These days, singer-songwriter and actor David Blue tends to be remembered only in relation to Bob Dylan. A member of the supporting cast in mid-60s Greenwich Village and The Rolling Thunder Revue. Yet to categorise Blue in this way is reductionist, and does him an injustice. He was something of an archetype of the 60s generation of Greenwich Village singer-songwriters. Yet, esteemed by his peers, he was overlooked. He released seven albums in a decade, and his acting career was shaping up when he died suddenly at the age of just 41.
His passing was barely noted in the rock press, and in the subsequent years Blue was all but forgotten. Of late, though, that’s changed. His albums started to reappear on CD on small labels and, in 2020, both Rolling Stone and Mojo magazines published major reappraisals. Blue – at last – was getting the attention denied him in life.
It wasn’t until 1965 that Blue, as Dave Cohen, released his first recordings – three songs on Elektra’s Singer Songwriter Project. All betrayed a debt to pre-electric Dylan. But then again, so did much else coming out of Greenwich Village at the time. Elektra contracted Blue to do his own album, and in 1966 David Blue was released – his first recording to appear under that name. Electric folk rock with a garage band attitude, somewhat in debt to Highway 61, it didn’t sell well. Shortly after the album’s release Blue formed and toured with The American Patrol, a four-piece rock band, recording an album for Elektra that was never released.
Now, for the first time, Hanky Panky and Mapache release those historical abandoned American Patrol recordings, along with the three tracks included on Elektra’s 1965 LP Singer Songwriter Project, as David Blue And The American Patrol The Lost 1967 Elektra Recordings & More and David Blue, his self-titled 1966 debut album, on two exclusive vinyl editions limited to 500 copies each.