Rising Sons

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The band in 1966. From left, Taj Mahal, Jesse Lee Kincaid, Gary Marker, Ry Cooder and Kevin Kelley.

Rising Sons was a Los Angeles, California-based band founded in 1965. The original lineup was Ry Cooder (vocals, six and 12-string guitar, mandolin, slide and bottleneck guitar, dobro), Taj Mahal (vocals, harmonica, guitar, piano), Gary Marker (bass), Jesse Lee Kincaid (born Nick Gerlach,[1] vocals and guitar) and Ed Cassidy (drums). Cassidy left the band after he broke his hand in 1965 and was replaced by Kevin Kelley.

The group was signed to Columbia Records but their album was not issued at the time. One single, "Candy Man"/"The Devil's Got My Woman", did surface, but the group disbanded in 1966. They often played at the LA clubs The Troubador and The Ashgrove, which burned down in 1973 and was not rebuilt. They were early contemporaries of the famous LA band the Byrds and fans often wondered, before Tambourine Man hit, which band would be the biggest success. Their recorded material became widely bootlegged and nearly three decades later was eventually released by Columbia Records under the title Rising Sons Featuring Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder (1992).

Mahal became a prominent blues/folk performer and Cooder made his name playing sessions and later recorded successfully under his own name and scored several soundtracks. Cassidy founded the band Spirit and Kelley became a member of his cousin Chris Hillman's band the Byrds in 1968, playing on their seminal Sweetheart of the Rodeo album.

According to All Music, Rising Sons' "languid, bluesy, folksy sort of sound anticipated future recordings by outfits like Moby Grape, Buffalo Springfield, the Grateful Dead, and even the country-rock Byrds."[2]