The Artwoods’ only album was an enjoyable mixture of club-oriented soul, R&B, and jazz with a strong organ spice, although it found them falling seriously behind their contemporaries in the British R&B scene in a crucial respect. Art Gallery album Not one of the dozen tracks was a group original, and their vocal and interpretive ability was not so strong as to make that shortfall an irrelevance.
Their early records today stand up well against the work of more successful groups such as the Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds or ironically, the Birds, who included Art’s younger brother Ron. But at the time they came out, despite appearances on programs like Ready, Steady, Go! their singles never seemed to connect with the record-buying public. In live performance, on the other hand, it was a different matter. They had a virtuoso lineup, Lord’s piano and organ sound was a great complement to Wood’s singing, Griffith’s guitar work was tastefully flashy, and Keef Hartley was animated as well as powerful, with a big sound on the drums. Club audiences always knew they were good for a great show and the band loved playing live. Ultimately, in fact, the group’s success in touring and their love of playing live may have hurt them.