The Big Town Playboys:

"Scintillating 40's and 50's West Coast Rhythm & Blues from the masters..."

Formed in '85 by Ricky Cool, Mike Sanchez, Ian Jennings and Andy Silvester.
Originally called Ricky Cool & The Big Town Playboys. However, the "Capital M" gig guide of April '88 refers to Ricky Cool and: "...the band he formed and has now left: The Big Town Playboys".

Early album featured Andy Silvester (until then known as a bassist, first and foremost with Chicken Shack) on excellent swinging lead guitar.
Keepin' track of the Playmates
Lineup on "Now Appearing" album in '90:
Mike Sanchez: piano, guitar, vocals
Andy Silvester: guitar
Alan Nichols: tenor + baritone saxophone
Ian Jennings: double bass
Clive Deamer: drums
Dave Baynton-Power: congas on track No.2
The Big Town Playboys lineup as back up on Jeff Beck's 1993 album: "Crazy Legs" (cover pictured above) :
Mike Sanchez: vocals
Adrian Utley: guitar
Nick Lunt and Leo Green: saxes
Ian Jennings: bass
Clive Deamer: drums
Lineup on "Hip Joint" '95:
Mike Sanchez: vocals, piano, guitar
Steve Walwyn: guitars, backing vocals, percussion (during a pause from Dr Feelgood)
Frank Mead: tenor saxophone, harp
Nick Lunt: baritone saxophone
Ian Jennings: double bass, backing vocals
Mark Morgan: drums, percussion, backing vocals
Antonio Coni: guitar (on track no. 1)
"Off The Clock" '97 lineup:
Mike Sanchez: vocals, keyboards, guitar
Andy Fairweather Low: guitar and vocals
Frank Mead: tenor sax, harmonica (member of Mickey Jupp's band in '75)
Nick Lunt: baritone sax
Ian Jennings: bass
Mark Morgan:drums
On Swedish tour in Febr. '98 lineup included the multitalented Andy Fairweather Low who joined the band in '97. Originally discovered as being a very gifted vocalist, once upon a time with the hitmakers and heartbreakers Amen Corner. And then appearing as a very competent guitarist at Eric Clapton's side on several occasions: the ARMS Benefit Concerts some years ago, "From The Cradle" album and TV special...

During Andy Fairweather Low's Spring '98 absence (due to his album & touring work with long time friend Eric Clapton) he has been amply replaced by Trevor Burton (original member of The Move, bassist with Steve Gibbons Band etc.).

Lineup:
Mike Sanchez: vocals, piano, guitar
Trevor Burton: lead guitar
Frank Mead: tenor sax, harmonica
Ian Jennings: double bass
Mark Morgan: drums
At the Bishopstock Festival, June '98, the band featured guitarist Darrel Highams from the rockabilly band The Enforcers. This lineup played as support for Jeff Beck in July and August '98. The '98 "Six Pack" CD features Sonny West on guitar and Nick Payn on baritone sax replacing the gents noted above.
On a Monday evening, March 22 '99, Christer caught the BTP at the less than crowded Pustervik Bar of Göteborg, Sweden:

Mike Sanchez: vocals, keyboards, guitar
Andy Silvester: once again on lead guitar
Frank Mead: tenor sax, harmonica
Lee Badau: baritone sax
(replacing Nick Lunt)
Ian Jennings: bass
Mark Morgan: drums
"A measly audience of about twenty were treated to a powerful performance - powerful except for a strangely subdued Andy Silvester. Apart from delivering a couple of lengthy reverby solos on his sunburst & mapleneck Strat + Magnatone amp combination he kept an exceedingly low profile. Frank Mead, on the other hand, exploded repeatedly into magnificient sax solos - and blistering harp on Slim Harpo's "Shake Your Hips".
From my notebook: "When It Rains It Really Pours", Tommy Ridgeley's "Jammer" (instrumental), "Sick and Tired", "Every Day of the Week" (with Mike Sanchez donning a black Strat).
Great gig - great Sanchez vocals (of course!) - but where was the audience?"
Christer
April 20 1999: Frank Mead leaves BTP for solo jazz work, gigs with Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings etc. Will probably be replaced with original member Alan Nichols. January 2000: Blueprint reports that Mike Sanchez has left BTP for a solo career - after 15 years. A solo CD is already issued: "I Just Can't Afford It" (Red Lick Records).
May 24 2000: An interesting mail from blues vocalist & guitarist Big Joe Louis:
Catch the debut performance of the new lineup of the BIG TOWN PLAYBOYS! They'll be playing live in Century Square, Bradford (on May 29) as part of the BBC's "National Music Day". Showtime is scheduled for 19:15.

Since the departure of singer/pianist Mike Sanchez in December, the Playboys have been intensively rehearsing and recording with the new lineup featuring new members Big Joe Louis (vocals), West Weston (piano/harmonica) and Dave Wilson (guitar).

Line up from May 29 2000:
Big Joe Louis: vocals, guitar
Dave Wilson: lead guitar
Wes Weston: piano, harmonica
Lee Badau: baritone sax
Alan Nicholls: tenor sax
Ian Jennings: double bass
Mark Morgan: drums
Late 2001:
Paul Ansell (vocals, piano, guitar), leader of country & blues & rockabilly outfit Number 9, succeeds Big Joe Louis

Albums:
a) "Playing Boogie"
b) "Now Appearing"
BLUE HORIZON CDBLUH010 (1990) (cover left)
c) "Hip Joint"
BLUE HORIZON CDBLUH 017 (1995) (cover right)
d) "Off The Clock - Live"
EAGLE RECORDS EDGCD007 / 2CD (1997)
e) "Six Pack"
BTP 005 (6 track mini CD) (1998)
f) "Western World" (2000) feat. Big Joe Louis lineup
Links:
The Big Town Playboys, their official web site!
The Big Town Playboys, excellent fan pages - lots of history
Ace Records Home Page, distributing their BLUE HORIZON issues
Movinmusic: their agent's page on BTP
Paul Ansellís NUMBER NINE website