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Keef Hartley

Keith "Keef" Hartley (8 April 1944 – 26 November 2011)[1] was an English drummer and bandleader. He fronted his own eponymous band, known as the Keef Hartley Band or the Keef Hartley Big Band, and played at Woodstock.[2] He was later a member of Dog Soldier, and variously worked with Rory Storm, The Artwoods and John Mayall.[1]


  • Biography 1
  • Discography 2
    • Keef Hartley Band 2.1
    • Solo 2.2
    • Little Big Band 2.3
    • Dog Soldier 2.4
  • References 3
  • External links 4


Keith Hartley was born in Preston, Lancashire. He studied drumming under Lloyd Ryan, who also taught Phil Collins the drum rudiments.[3] His career began as the replacement for Ringo Starr as a drummer for Rory Storm and the Hurricanes, a Liverpool-based band. Subsequently he played and recorded with The Artwoods, then achieved some notability as John Mayall's drummer (including his role as the only musician, other than Mayall, to play on Mayall's 1967 "solo" record The Blues Alone[4]). He then formed The Keef Hartley (Big) Band, mixing elements of jazz, blues, and rock and roll; the group played at Woodstock in 1969.

They released five albums, including Halfbreed and The Battle of North West Six (characterised by a reviewer for the Vancouver Sun as "an amazing display of virtuosity").[5] After that Hartley released a 'solo' album (Lancashire Hustler, 1973) and then he formed Dog Soldier with Miller Anderson (guitar), Paul Bliss (bass), Derek Griffiths (guitar) and Mel Simpson (keyboards). They released an eponymous album in 1975, which had a remastered release in early 2011 on CD on the Esoteric label.

In 2007, Hartley released a ghostwritten autobiography, Halfbreed (A Rock and Roll Journey That Happened Against All the Odds).[6] Hartley wrote about his life growing up in Preston, and his career as a drummer and bandleader, including the Keef Hartley Band's appearance at Woodstock.

Hartley died on 26 November 2011, aged 67, at Royal Preston Hospital in Preston.[1][2]


Keef Hartley Band


Little Big Band

Dog Soldier

  • Dog Soldier (1975) UAS 29769, recorded at Island Basing Street Studios, London, 18 November - 15 December 1974


  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ a b "Preston drummer who played at Woodstock dies aged 67", Lancashire Evening Post, 1 December 2011.
  3. ^ "Collins' drum teacher wows the crowds". This is 23 October 2008. Retrieved 10 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Lee Zimmerman, "Happy Birthday, John Mayall!" New Times Broward-Palm Beach, 29 November 2011.
  5. ^ Al Rudis, "The Best of the British", Vancouver Sun, 25 May 1970, p.95.
  6. ^ Gary Graff, "Woodstock at 40: Where are they now", Billboard, 30 July 2009.
  7. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 245.  

External links

  • Keef Hartley at Allmusic
  • More about Keef Hartley
  • A Brief History of Hartley at the Wayback Machine (archived 29 June 2003)
  • Musicians' Olympus
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