Stoneground

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Stoneground
Stoneground.jpg
Stoneground in 1971
Background information
Origin Concord, California, U.S.
Genres Blues-rock, album-oriented rock
Years active 1970–1984, 2003–2005
Labels Warner Bros.
Associated acts The Beau Brummels, Pablo Cruise, Jefferson Starship
Website Official website
Past members Sal Valentino
Tim Barnes
Luther Bildt
Mike Mau
John Blakeley
Lynne Hughes
Annie Sampson
Lydia Moreno
Deirdre LaPorte
Pete Sears
Cory Lerios
Steve Price
Brian Godula
David Jenkins
Jo Baker
Fred Webb
Terry Davis
Sammy Piazza
Lanny Lee Goldsmith
Dana Moret
Claudia Knauer
Greg King
Kelly Stephens

Stoneground was a rock band formed in 1970 in Concord, California. Originally a trio, Stoneground expanded to a 10-piece band by the time of their eponymous 1971 debut album. The group appeared in two films, Medicine Ball Caravan (1971) and Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972), and released three albums before singer Sal Valentino quit in 1973. Three other band members—Cory Lerios, Steve Price and David Jenkins—left to form pop group Pablo Cruise. Stoneground continued as an act through 1982, with only Tim Barnes and Annie Sampson remaining from the early incarnation of the band. Barnes and Price led a reformed Stoneground in 2003 and released a studio album the following year.

History[edit]

Stoneground was formed in 1968 in the San Francisco suburb of Concord, California. The original lineup consisted of Tim Barnes (guitars, vocals), Craig Randall (Bass, vocals), and Mike Mau (drums).[1] Band manager and former Autumn Records executive Tom Donahue introduced the band to ex-Beau Brummels singer Sal Valentino and John Blakely (guitars, bass), both of whom joined Stoneground.[1] Four female vocalists—Annie Sampson, Lynne Hughes, Lydia Phillips, and Deirdre LaPorte—were also added to the group.[1] While touring America[2] and Europe, the band added another new member, bassist/keyboardist Pete Sears, later of Jefferson Starship and Hot Tuna.[1] Stoneground's self-titled debut album, released in early 1971, featured seven different lead singers on the album's ten tracks.[3] Music journalist Robert Christgau said the album was "certainly the aptest use of Sal Valentino since the Beau Brummels were on Autumn".[4] A Billboard review remarked that "Stoneground has a lot of advance publicity to live up to, and in light of their first LP the predictions may have been somewhat inflationary, though there's no denying the potential for excitement here".[3]

During this touring period, Stoneground was a "traveling house band" for Medicine Ball Caravan,[1] an attempt by Warner Bros. to promote the band[5] and capitalize on the success of the concert film genre following Woodstock.[6][7] The Medicine Ball Caravan film, which documented the 8,000 mile cross-country trip by 154 people[8] in a "hippie caravan"[6][9] of buses, trucks and musical groups, was directed by François Reichenbach—with Martin Scorsese as associate producer—and released in 1971.[7] Three Stoneground songs appear on the original soundtrack, which also contains songs by Alice Cooper, B.B. King, Delaney & Bonnie, Doug Kershaw, and The Youngbloods.[8] Allmusic writer Joe Viglione criticized the soundtrack for devoting "a third of the music [to] the bar band sounds of [Stoneground]".[8]

Pete Sears left the band and returned to England to record on Rod Stewart's classic "Every Picture Tells a Story" album, later returning to the USA with Long John Baldry. Cory Lerios (keyboards, vocals) and Steve Price (drums) joined the band prior to the recording of Stoneground's second album, the double-LP Family Album, released in 1971. Billboard described the music as "infectiously exciting and ... colored by a wonderfully lighthearted feeling", and praised Lynne Hughes' vocals on "Passion Flower",[10] the closest Stoneground ever came to having to a hit single.[11] The song was also included on Fillmore: The Last Days, a 1972 triple live album chronicling the final run of concerts organized by rock concert promoter Bill Graham at San Francisco's Fillmore West, which closed on July 4, 1971.[12] In 1972, the band released their third album, Stoneground 3. They also appeared in that year's Hammer Studios film Dracula A.D. 1972 starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing.[13]

By 1973, the band was dropped by Warner Bros. due to disappointing record sales, and tensions within the group had risen after three years of constant touring.[11] Stoneground's original formation played their final concert on January 6 at Sacramento Memorial Auditorium.[11] The performance was released as an album, The Last Dance: Live January 6, 1973, by Dig Music in 2001.[11] Within weeks of the concert, Sal Valentino left the group[14] and moved on to a short-lived Beau Brummels reunion.[11] Three other members—Lerios, Price, and David Jenkins—left to form the pop group Pablo Cruise.[15][16] Barnes led various rosters of Stoneground for another ten years,[11] along with original member Annie Sampson and singer Jo Baker, who joined in 1974.[17] Other members included Terry Davis (guitars, vocals), Fred Webb (keyboards, vocals) and Sammy Piazza (drums).[18] The band released three more albums during this period: Flat Out (1976), Hearts of Stone (1978), and Play it Loud (1980).[19] In 1982, Stoneground released "Bad Machines and Limousines", an E.P. with early band member Pete Sears appearing as a guest on keyboards. In 2004, a reformed Stoneground—featuring Barnes and Price—released the album Back with a Vengeance.[20]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Year Album details
1971 Stoneground
1971 Family Album
  • Label: Warner Bros. Records
1972 Stoneground 3
  • Label: Warner Bros. Records
1976 Flat Out
  • Label: Flat Out Records
1978 Hearts of Stone
  • Label: Warner Bros. Records
1980 Play It Loud
  • Label: Crystal Clear Records
2001 The Last Dance: Live January 6, 1973
  • Label: Dig Music
  • Release date: October 9, 2001
2004 Back with a Vengeance
  • Label: Exploding Star Music
  • Release date: April 14, 2004

EP[edit]

Year Album details
1982 Bad Machines and Limousines
  • Label: Line Records

Singles[edit]

Year Song
1971 "Queen Sweet Dreams"
  • B-side: "Total Destruction"
  • Label: Warner Bros. (#7452)
1971 "Looking For You"
  • B-side: "Added Attraction (Come And See Me)"
  • Label: Warner Bros. (#7496)
1971 "You Must Be One Of Us"
  • B-side: "Corrina, Corrina"
  • Label: Warner Bros. (#7535)
1972 "Passion Flower"
  • B-side: "Super Clown"
  • Label: Warner Bros. (#7546)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Planer, Lindsay. "Stoneground - Review". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  2. ^ Sippel, John (1971-07-03). "Weintraub's 'Ball' to Roll at L.A. Theater; Rock Artists' Odyssey". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 83 (27): 82. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  3. ^ a b "Billboard Album Reviews". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 83 (17): 58. 1971-04-21. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1990). Rock Albums Of The 70s: A Critical Guide. New York: Da Capo Press. p. 376. ISBN 978-0-306-80409-0. 
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin (1999). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Stage and Film Musicals. London: Virgin Books. p. 410. ISBN 978-0-7535-0375-1. 
  6. ^ a b Freedland, Nat (1971-11-06). "A Movieland Challenge: Find the Right Formula for the Contemporary Artist". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 83 (45): 54. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  7. ^ a b LoBrutto, Vincent (2008). Martin Scorsese: A Biography. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 115. ISBN 978-0-275-98705-3. 
  8. ^ a b c Viglione, Joe. "Medicine Ball Caravan - Review". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  9. ^ Povey, Glenn (2007). Echoes: The Complete History of Pink Floyd. Chesham, Buckinghamshire, England: Mind Head Publishing. p. 1985. ISBN 978-0-9554624-0-5. 
  10. ^ "Billboard Album Reviews". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 83 (50): 62. 1971-12-11. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f Elston, Casey. "The Last Dance: Live January 6, 1973 - Review". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  12. ^ Planer, Lindsay. "Fillmore: The Last Days - Review". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  13. ^ Huckvale, David (2008). Hammer Film Scores and the Musical Avant-Garde. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-7864-3456-5. 
  14. ^ "From the Music Capitals of the World". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 85 (6): 26. 1973-02-10. ISSN 0006-2510. 
  15. ^ George-Warren, Holly; Romanowski, Patricia; Pareles, Jon (2001). The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll (3rd ed.). New York: Fireside Books (Simon & Schuster). p. 733. ISBN 978-0-7432-0120-9. 
  16. ^ Arar, Yardena (1979-11-25). "Pablo Cruise Looks at the Down Side". The Blade (Block Communications). p. G-5. Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  17. ^ "Obituary - Jo Baker". San Francisco Chronicle. 1996-11-14. Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  18. ^ McDonough, Jack (1985). San Francisco Rock: The Illustrated History of San Francisco Rock Music. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. p. 210. ISBN 978-0-87701-286-3. 
  19. ^ "Stoneground Discography - Main Albums". Allmusic (Rovi Corporation). Retrieved 2010-03-28. 
  20. ^ "Stoneground History". Bay Area Bands. Retrieved 2010-03-28. 

External links[edit]