THE FORMER MEMBERS
of COUNTRY JOE & THE FISH, STEVE MILLER BAND and BLUES PROJECT
(all bands that played at the historic 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival)
A quintessential West Coast U.S psychedelic
David Bennett Cohen (keyboards/vocals)
formerly with 'Country Joe & The Fish' & 'The Blues Project'.
Roy Blumenfeld (drums/vocals)
founder member of 'The Blues Project' & 'Seatrain'.
Bruce Barthol (bass/vocals)
formerly with 'Country Joe & The Fish' & 'Formerly Fat Harry' & 'SF Mime Troupe'
Greg Douglass (lead guitar/vocals)
formerly with 'The Steve Miller Band' & 'Van Morrison' & 'Hot Tuna'.
For nearly half a century the four members of “The Former Members” have been creating musical history. David, Bruce, Greg and Roy have all followed their own careers, collaborating with a plethora of world-class musicians along the way. Each one of them has been a key contributor to some of the most seminal creations of our era with their compositions, theatrical productions, writings, musical performances and recordings. Have a look at their personal pages – see right.
Back in 1967, the landmark three-day rock concert, The Monterey International Pop Music Festival was held in California and featured the first major American appearances by Jimi Hendrix and The Who and the first major public performance of Janis Joplin.
Psychedelic legends Country Joe & The Fish, The Blues Project (with Al Kooper) and The Steve Miller Band also appeared at this prestigious and historical event. THE FORMER MEMBERS include core members of these three bands.
In 2012 David, Bruce, Greg and Roy decided to collaborate in a retrospective project to celebrate the 45th Anniversary of this landmark event and embarked on a UK tour as “The Former Members”. They performed 14 concerts in 14 days in England, Scotland and Wales and the reception the Band received was overwhelming. As a result, they have just completed a return UK Tour and are currently performing and recording in the USA.
In January this year the Guys spent time in the Hyde Street studios in San Francisco cutting their first album together with producer Dred Scott from New York City who’s worked with Marshall Crenshaw, Liza Minelli, Courtney Love, Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Levon Helm, Patti Smith, Norah Jones, Moby, Bob Weir, Bruce Barthol, Rickie Lee Jones, Nina Hagen, Mary K. Blige and many others. The engineers on the
recordings were Nathan Winter and Mike McGinn, the live sound engineer for The Grateful Dead's Bob Weir and Phil Lesh.
The CD is available via this website - just click here.
With a combined 180+ years of musical experience behind them, The Former Members bring together a diverse and skilful range of musicianship with that spark of brilliant exuberance that first thrilled us back in the 60s. They might have clocked up a few years between them but, just like fine wine, these guys just get better with age! To see them rocking on stage like energetic twenty-somethings whilst listening to the product of these true masters of their art is certainly
a rare treat.
Reviews of the new CD:
“a special brand of intelligent roots-rock that sticks with the lucky listener".
Frank-John Hadley "Downbeat" magazine critic
“The group spools out sonic bliss that demands widespread appeal”.
Psychedelic Baby Magazine
Effortless West Coast rock... And the playing breathtaking in it’s stylish ease.
Nick Dalton, Maverick Magazine
Here's a review of The Former Members' gig at Stormy Monday Club, Bull’s Head, Barnes, London, last October.
It was published in "Maverick" Magazine.
It was the way he tells them. Bruce Barthol stands there on the pub stage and recounts how German chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Greece and was quizzed by the immigration official. “Occupation? “No, just visiting.” He might be of a certain age and look like a casual college professor, but Barthol still has the sparkle-in-the-eye anti-establishment rebelliousness of his former group, Country Joe And The Fish. He even sang 'Feel Like I’m Fixing To Die Rag' with the other members of what was a dream line-up of West Coast folk rock.
Across from Barthol on the stage in this discreet room behind the most charming of Thames-side pubs was his Fish colleague, keyboard player David Bennett Cohen (he also plays a mean guitar but, mused Barthol, there’s wasn’t enough room in the van to bring that too). Behind them sat Roy Blumenfeld, drummer from the Blues Project, the band that was led by Al Kooper. And, off to one side, Greg Douglass, known for many things, not least co-writing ''Jungle Love, the Steve Miller hit, and spending a clutch of years in his band in the late 70s. The fact that he was on Texan maestro Terry Allen’s first album, played and recorded with Eddie Money, and was then in the Greg Kihn Band (debuting on their curious folk-rock-disco US chart topper 'Jeopardy'), is just as fascinating.
Fascinating also was the fact that they kicked off with 'Green Onions' but with Cohen’s honky-tonk tinged piano replacing the organ. In fact it was one of those sets that you couldn’t have imagined if you’d tried. You got the feeling that they could have chatted and played all night, despite it being their 13th date in as many nights. A genuine supergroup who came together for a single US date and were offered a UK tour on the back of it. You can’t help but think that there’ll be more.
For further information about each of the guys, click on
their names on the right of the page.
For other information please use the menu
on the left of the page.