Mad River are still one of the most overlooked but still one of the most contemporary sounding bands to come out of the late 1960s San Francisco Rock Explosion. They recorded just one EP, independently released and two albums for Capitol Records,
and Paradise Bar & Grill
Formed at Antioch University, Yellow Springs, Ohio in the mid-60s, the group comprising lead singer and bass player Lawrence Hammond, drummer Leroy 'Duke' Dewey, lead guitarist David Robinson and guitarists Tom Manning and Rick Bockner, started out playing blues and folk-based music but quickly embraced psychedelic rock - later their music would be further suffused by a country flavour as evinced on their sophomore set.
In 1967 they relocated to Berkeley, California where their musical development grew in leaps and bounds. Rubbing shoulders with other Berkeley based outfits like Country Joe & The Fish
they were soon in the thick of the anti-Vietnam war protests, free concerts in Provo Park, and a close friendship with writer and poet Richard Brautigan
who would read one of his poems to an accompaniment by the band on their second LP.
The band split irrevocably in 1969 when Rick Bockner moved to Canada to evade the Vietnam draft - Dewey got a gig with the revamped Country Joe & The Fish just in time to play Woodstock
whilst Hammond embarked on a solo career as a country singer - his song 'John Deere Tractor
' being covered by many including Jerry Corbitt, Larry Sparks and most notably by The Judds
. He gave up music in the 80s to become a doctor.
This release - with Cover Artwork by John Hurford - comprises 5 previously unreleased tracks:
Four numbers recorded at the group's first recording session in Dayton Ohio in early 1967 - 'Jerry's Tune'; 'Crazy Jane'; 'Timothy'; 'Windchimes' and 'Jersey Sloo' cut in Berkeley in early 1968 - quite unlike anything else the group ever recorded, a linear hard rocking, hard driving rocker featuring a bravura lead vocal by drummer Duke Dewey.
The band's story is almost as remarkable as the music they made. The 12" comes with a special 36pp 12 " x 12" book containing a meticulously-researched history of the band by musician and Ugly Things writer David Biasotti and features a lot of memorabilia and photos never published before.
Released with the full co-operation of the five former members, this is a strictly limited run and will NOT BE AVAILABLE AGAIN
in this format even as a CD