If you loved 70’s English Guitar Hard Rock and Blues Boogie as opposed to Heavy Metal, you can listen to Widowmaker 24 hours a day and not be bored. Quite simply, Widowmaker was what Guitar Rock was all about. Every single member of Widowmaker is amazing and I don’t think there has ever been a 2 guitar line-up as heavy as Ariel Bender and Huw Lloyd-Langton with as amazing a singer as Stevie Ellis. If you love Led Zeppelin or Humble Pie or both, you’ll love the Widowmaker album with a great balls to the walls production excellently recorded filled with original hard rock classics with great guitar riffs. “When I Met You” is one of the greatest hard rock tracks I’ve ever heard and should have been a hit single.
“On the Road” has one of the crunchiest guitar and drum riff attacks I’ve ever heard and “Shine A Light” is Spooky Tooth’s Evil Woman meet Humble Pie at their best.
Widowmaker like most bands unfortunately self destructed and Steve Ellis couldn’t stand some of the other members and left the group before they recorded their second album, “Too Late to Cry” which features many Steve Ellis originals. John Butler replaced Ellis on lead vocals for this album and does a decent job but unfortunately he’s no Steve Ellis, not many singers are. “Too Late to Cry” is still a very good album though not in the league of “Widowmaker” which is the “Citizen Kane” of English hard rock.
By 1976, the old English guard of heavy hitters, headed by Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and Black Sabbath, had peaked, while young 'n' hungry groups were on the rise. The state-side hard rock scene witnessed the ascent of Aerosmith, Blue Oyster Cult, KISS, Lynyrd Skynryd and Ted Nugent, while across the pond Thin Lizzy, UFO and Judas Priest were taking flight. In addition, despite the onslaught of the snot-nosed punk movement, several rock group's emerged, but failed to bust out big. Widowmaker, featuring guitarist Ariel Bender (aka Luther Grosvenor), plus bassist Bob Daisley and vocalist Steve Ellis, debuted in '76 with their ten song self-titled debut LP, that failed to move major numbers.
Signed to Jet Records, the English group recorded the tracks for the Widowmaker album at De Lane Lea Studios in Wembley, during August and September of '75. Produced by the band, the grinding rocker, "Such a Shame", opens the disc with a cool vibe and attitude. Side one adds the mid-paced "On the Road", and the Humble Pie/Foghat blues 'n' boogie inspired "Ain't Telling You Nothing".
The raucous "When I Met You" kick starts the flip side with Bender accenting the track with slide work, and Zoot Money contributing barroom keyboards. By contrast, the boys-will-be-boys laid back acoustic "Leave the Kids Alone" offsets the highball rollin' action. The boys drop down to a stone cold blues groove on "Shine a Light on Me", which features backing vocals from Bobby Tench and Roger Chapman. "Running Free" starts on a mellow note, before Widowmaker abruptly bust out behind Daisley's tough bass line. The short, down-home, pass-the-bottle "Got a Dream", closes out the thirty-nine minute LP.
Stephen Ellis–Guitar and vocals
Bobby Tench–Guitar and vocals
02 Pin a Rose on Me
03 On the Road
04 Straight Faced Fighter
05 Ain't Telling You Nothing
06 When I Met You
07 Leave the Kids Alone
08 Shine a Light on Me
09 Running Free
10 Got a Dream