The band traces its roots through guitarists Coll Michaels and Kimberley Rew back to Blues Apex, founded in 1966 by jazzman and composer John Altman. The band debuted at a CND fundraiser with Roy Harper and Stray at the legendary Roundhouse in Chalk Farm.
Bassist Ian Charles and Coll Michaels together with two school friends - guitarist and songwriter Kimberley Rew and drummer Ian Worsfold toured North-West London's lively club circuit for the following three years. 'Discovery' led to a demo of Kim's classic songs "Get Around Stoned", "So Hard to Find" and "Summer Song" in London's Tin-Pan Alley at Central Sound studios. Mickey Most's subsequent proposal for the band to record and release "Jet Set", an orphaned Herman's Hermits pop song, was met with abject horror by the band. Blues Apex's naive and unworldly response was duly noted by the star maker, who subsequently refused to take further telephone calls pleading for a chance to record their own compositions for a culture-starved UK public. Daunted but not defeated, the boys resolved to finish their academic commitments while continuing to convene during odd weekends and college holidays until, not surprisingly, paths diverged.
Kimberley collaborated with his new friends at Cambridge, and the resultant Soft Boys enjoyed a long and successful run, achieving cult status. When the Soft Boys disbanded Kimberley formed Katrina & the Waves, best known for their enduring hit "Walking on Sunshine", which was written by Kim. Since then he has recorded several solo albums and participates in numerous projects with other famous musicians.
Meanwhile, continuing his musical involvement with Chris Cheale and Ian Charles in Great Escape a semi-pro rock and blues band, Coll became a pharmacist and family man. John ("J.C.") Curtis stepped in when Ian announced his retirement from music performance following Chris' untimely death. The band soldiered on for a number of years, with Coll and Phil Swan on guitars, John Curtis on bass and Tom Mautner on drums.
Cadillac Blues Band was born when drummer Brian Scott and bass player Frank Laughton recruited Coll after seeing him play with Smokestack Blues Band , a lively little outfit put together with teachers at Watford Grammar Girls Scxhool, his daughters' school for a benefit concert. Very loud and hard-hitting, the new Cadillac trio quickly became well-known in the proliferation of blues clubs and pubs of 1990's Herts, Beds and Bucks. Frank and Brian left and were replaced by John Curtis on bass, and a procession of 'borrowed' drummers, which included Terry Wilson, Paul Hornsby, Joe Coulson, and then an old schooldays friend - Roland Kerridge, the superb percussionist from Reflex, Gilbert O'Sullivan and numerous other top acts. The need to constantly adapt to the different rhythmic interpretations presented by this constantly changing line-up created and honed an extraordinary musical trust and partnership between John and Coll - this is why the band always sounds so 'tight'. Roland was persuaded to join as resident percussionist in 1996 and the band benefitted from his superb drumming, although Paul and Terry stepped in from time to time when Roly was on tour elsewhere. Roly sadly passed away early in 2012. We deeply miss him.
The Cadillac core band is still often augmented by other musicians. John Curtis has recently semi-retired from performances and his place has been taken by multi-instrumentalist Dave Margolis, bass player from the late 60's and early 70's Blues Apex Days. These additional guitar players have included Pete West, Ray Uren, Pete Wood, and Nigel Spennewyn. Keyboards have been contributed by Ryan Margolis (son of Dave!), Paul Hirsh, Richard Henningham and Hilary Briggs. The band have also provided backing for Polly Browne - of "Same Old Feeling" chart-topping renown. Occasionally, the founder of the original Blues Apex band - Emmy-Award winner John Altman, pays a visit with his soprano saxophone. This constant flux of talent keeps the sound of the band fresh and exciting and a source of continuing pleasure for its participants, and sometimes, the audience!
Out of contact for 30 years, Coll located Kimberley in 2002 and the old friends were reunited. Kim has woven his ringing, imaginative and harmonic playing into Cadillac's smoky, bluesy riffs - and hearing these guys together on stage is powerful and uplifting. In spite of a busy studio and touring schedule, Kim travels down from Cambridge often accompanied by his wife, bass player and singer-songwriter Lee, to perform on rock'n'roll fun classics and their own compositions.
The current line-up of the band is:
Coll Michaels: Vocals and Guitars
Ryan Margolis: Keyboards
Dave Margolis: Bass and Vocals
Paul Hornsby: Drums and Percussion
Cadillac Blues is more than a band - it's the complex interaction of enduring musical friendships.