The Groundhogs

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Groundhogs
199109xx Tony McPhee Groundhogs at Sir George Robey.jpg
McPhee with The Groundhogs, London, September 1991
Background information
Origin England
Genres Blues rock, psychedelic rock
Years active 1963–present
Members Tony McPhee
Dave Anderson
Joanna Deacon
Carl Stokes
Past members See: Former members

Groundhogs are a British rock band founded in late 1963, that toured extensively in the 1960s, achieved prominence in the early 1970s and continued sporadically into the 21st century.

Career[edit]

The band was originally formed as The Dollar Bills in New Cross, London in 1962 by brothers Pete and John Cruickshank (born in 1943 and 1945 respectively[1] in Calcutta, West Bengal, India). Tony McPhee (born 1944), the lead guitarist in an instrumental group called the Shcenuals, joined the group later that same year. McPhee steered them towards the blues and renamed them after a John Lee Hooker song, "Groundhog's Blues".

John Cruickshank suggested they became John Lee's Groundhogs when they backed John Lee Hooker on his 1964 UK tour: they later supplemented Little Walter, Jimmy Reed and Champion Jack Dupree when they toured the UK. McPhee featured on Dupree's From New Orleans to Chicago (1966) alongside Eric Clapton. The Groundhogs issued "Shake It" b/w "Rock Me" on the Interphon record label in January 1965.

Their line-up on their first album, Scratchin' the Surface, released in November 1968,[1] consisted of McPhee as singer and guitarist; bassist Peter Cruickshank (born 2 July 1945,[1] in Calcutta, Ken Pustelnik on drums (born 13 March 1946 on a farm near Blairgowry, Angus, Scotland) and Steve Rye on harmonica (born 8 March 1946 in London – died 19 July 1992, in London). In 1969, the single "B.D.D." (Blind Deaf Dumb) flopped in the UK but hit number one in Lebanon.[1]

The group's album releases Thank Christ For The Bomb (May 1970); Split (March 1971); and Who Will Save the World? The Mighty Groundhogs (March 1972), recorded as a trio without Rye, all reached the Top 10 in the UK Albums Chart.[2] Split reached number 5, spending 27 weeks in the UK Albums Chart and achieved gold record status, while a single release from the album, "Cherry Red", was featured on BBC Television's Top of the Pops programme on 22 April 1971.[1]

They supported The Rolling Stones on their 1971 British tour at the request of Mick Jagger and released an album of their live set on the Stones tour, recorded at Leeds University and called Live at Leeds. All these albums and live shows were performed by the classic power trio of Cruickshank, McPhee and Pustelnik. 1974's album Solid saw a last return to the charts.[1]

After breaking up in 1976 they returned with a different line-up a decade later. At times in the 1990s, McPhee alternated two line-ups. After years of performing and recording for a loyal following, original manager Roy Fisher put together a short-lived 'original line-up' to celebrate their fortieth anniversary. McPhee left the band again in order to pursue an acoustic career, leaving Cruickshank and Pustelnik to continue, subsequently forming 'The Groundhogs Rhythm Section' with invited frontmen, latterly with Eddie Martin, while McPhee embarked on a major tour in 2004 with Edgar Winter and Alvin Lee and issued an acoustic blues album Blues at Ten.

McPhee put together a new band in 2007, with long-time Groundhogs bassist Dave Anderson (ex-Hawkwind) and Marco Anderson on drums. This trio toured England in 2008 with Focus and Martin Turner's Wishbone Ash. The 2009 line-up of Tony McPhee's Groundhogs comprised McPhee, Anderson and previous long-term drummer Mick Jones. The Groundhogs Rhythm Section's latest recruits, Bob Bowles (guitar, vocals) and Jon Buckett (guitars, keyboards, vocals), joined Ken Pustelnik and Pete Cruickshank in February 2011.[3] As of 2011, the new Groundhogs' lineup consists of McPhee, Anderson, Joanna Deacon (vocals), and Carl Stokes (drums).[4]

Personnel[edit]

Members[edit]

Current members
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals (1963-1974, 1976, 1982-2004, 2007-present)
  • Dave Anderson - bass (1987-1988, 2001-2003, 2007-present)
  • Joanna Deacon - vocals (2001-2003, 2011–present)
  • Carl Stokes - drums (2011–present)
Former members

Lineups[edit]

1963-1964 1964-1965 1965 1965-1969
  • Dave Boorman - drums
  • John Cruickshank - harmonica, vocals
  • Peter Cruickshank - bass
  • Bob Hall - keyboards
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Dave Boorman - drums
  • Peter Cruickshank - bass
  • Bob Hall - keyboards
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Peter Cruickshank - bass
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Tom Parker - keyboards
  • Ken Pustelnik - drums
  • Peter Cruickshank - bass
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Ken Pustelnik - drums
1969 1969-1972 1972 1972-1974
  • Peter Cruickshank - bass
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Ken Pustelnik - drums
  • Steve Rye - harmonica
  • Peter Cruickshank - bass
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Ken Pustelnik - drums
  • Peter Cruickshank - bass
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Clive Brooks - drums
  • Dave Thompson - bass
  • Peter Cruickshank - bass
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Clive Brooks - drums
1974-1976 1976 1976 1976-1982

Disbanded

  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Mick Cook - drums
  • Martin Kent - bass
  • Dave Wellbelove - guitars
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Mick Cook - drums
  • Martin Kent - bass
  • Rick Adams - guitars

Disbanded

1982-1983 1983-1984 1984-1987 1987-1988
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Wilgar Campbell - drums
  • Alan Fish - bass
  • "Mighty" Joe Young - guitars
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Wilgar Campbell - drums
  • Alan Fish - bass
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Alan Fish - bass
  • Mick Kirkton - drums
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Alan Fish - bass
  • Mick Kirkton - drums
  • Dave Anderson - bass
1988-1989 1989 1989-1994 1994-1996
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Alan Fish - bass
  • Mick Kirkton - drums
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Alan Fish - bass
  • Jon Camp - bass
  • Mick Jones - drums
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Alan Fish - bass
  • Mick Jones - drums
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Eric Chipulina - bass, live guitars
  • Pete Correa - drums
1996 1996-2000 2000-2001 2001
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Pete Chymon - bass
  • Dale Iviss - drums
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Eric Chipulina - bass, live guitars
  • Pete Correa - drums
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Brian Jones - bass
  • Mick Jones - drums
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Mick Jones - drums
  • Jon Camp - bass
2001-2003 2003-2004 2004-2007 2007-2009
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Mick Jones - drums
  • Dave Anderson - bass
  • Joanna Deacon - vocals
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Peter Cruickshank - bass
  • Ken Pustelnik - drums

Disbanded

  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Dave Anderson - bass
  • Marco Anderson - drums
2009-2011 2011–present
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Dave Anderson - bass
  • Mick Jones - drums
  • Tony McPhee - guitars, vocals
  • Dave Anderson - bass
  • Joanna Deacon - vocals
  • Carl Stokes - drums

The Groundhogs Rhythm Section[edit]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

as The Groundhogs:

Studio albums[edit]

Other[edit]

  • The Groundhogs with John Lee Hooker and John Mayall (1968)
  • Hoggin' the Stage (live album) (April 1984)
  • Moving Fast, Standing Still (compilation) (May 1986)
  • Extremely Live (July 1988)
  • Hogs on the Road (live) (June 1988)
  • Groundhog Night... Groundhog Live (July 1993)
  • Who Said Cherry Red (October 1996)
  • The Best Of (1997)
  • Live at Leeds 71 (live) (August 1998)
  • No Surrender - Razors Edge Tour 1985 (live) (1998)
  • UK Tour '76 (1999)
  • Live at the Astoria (September 2001)
  • Live at the New York Club, Switzerland 1991 (2007)
  • Live at Anti WAA Festival 1989 (CD, 2014; Nibelung Records)

[1][2]

as Tony McPhee and the Groundhogs:

  • No Surrender (live) (August 1989)

as Tony McPhee (solo):

  • The Two Sides Of T.S. McPhee (1973)
  • Foolish Pride (February 1993)
  • Bleaching the Blues (April 1997)

DVDs And Videos[edit]

  • Live At The Astoria (1999) [Video]
  • 60/40 Split (2005) [DVD]
  • Live at Anti WAA Festival 1989 (DVD, 2014; Nibelung Records)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Strong, Martin C. (2000). The Great Rock Discography (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Mojo Books. pp. 405–406. ISBN 1-84195-017-3. 
  2. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 237. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  3. ^ "Blues Night: BOB BOWLES with the legendary GROUNDHOGS Rhythm Section! - Saturday 19 February 2011 at 19:30 | Gig Guide | Riffs Bar - Live Originals & Covers Music Venue in Swindon, Wiltshire". Riffs Bar. 2011-02-19. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  4. ^ "The Groundhogs Archive". Thegroundhogs.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-03-07. 
  • Hoggin' The Page: Groundhogs' Classic Years - Northdown Publishing - ISBN 1-900711-16-

External links[edit]