Swampwater Reunion Album
Swampwater's influence as one of the architects of the West Coast Country Rock Movement has recently come to be appreciated with the advent of Americana Music genre.
Now, after 40 years, and the recent passing of Gib Guilbeau in 2016– the surviving members of this pioneering band are reuniting for one last album, along with Gib's multi-talented son Ronnie Guilbeau. The sessions will take place in Nashville, Tennessee co-produced with the famed producer, Larry Rogers.
The Swampwater Reunion Album will consist of newly written material and classic Swampwater songs selected by the original band members, including special guest artist appearances.
The projected release date of the The Swampwater Reunion Album is in Autumn 2017.
Supporting Live Tour Dates to follow in 2017-2018.
Listen to a sneak peek of the recent Swampwater rehearsal track, entitled "Mare Take Me Home".
The Story Behind The Music
In 1969, singer Linda Ronstadt embarked on what would eventually become a monumental solo career. After leaving her original group, The Stone Poneys– Ronstadt played with various musicians from all over Hollywood but wasn't happy with the results. What she needed was a self contained band that knew how to merge country and rock with the same ease and perfection as her new recordings. Linda Ronstadt finally assembled three country musicians from Palmdale, California and one young guitarist from right in her backyard of Hollywood.
Floyd "Gib" Guilbeau was known around Los Angeles as a talented songwriter and fiddle player, having written songs for The Byrds, Ricky Nelson, Rod Stewart and Ron Wood among others. He had also been in the band Nashville West, with legendary Byrds' guitarist Clarence White. The band included Guilbeau, an accomplished guitarist and singer, along with future Byrds member, Gene Parsons on drums and Wayne Moore, on bass. Nashville West was very popular on the southern California country scene of the mid 1960's, performing at various honky tonks throughout the Los Angeles area. At the time Ronstadt called, Gib had changed bands and was now playing honky tonks with Eric White (Clarence's brother) on bass and Stan Pratt (Gib's brother-in-law) on drums.
In 1970, Ronstadt hired Guilbeau, White and Pratt for her new band with the addition of 19-year-old Los Angeles guitarist, John Beland. Beland was already a seasoned veteran of the Los Angeles music scene having worked with future Eagles; Bernie Leadon, Glenn Frey and JD Souther. He had also scored pop success as a solo recording artist and, like Guilbeau, was an accomplished session guitarist and songwriter, who's tunes had been covered by various top artists. When Ronstadt called him, Beland was currently on tour with a spin off group from the hit pop band Spanky & Our Gang called One Man's Family, where he shared band duties with his best friend drummer, Thad Maxwell.
Although the band remained un-named at first, they toured the country with Ronstadt playing clubs, festivals and television appearances. Eventually, bassist Eric White would leave the band to be replaced by Beland's fellow One Man's Family band mate, Thad Maxwell, who was also a multi-instrumentalist and an excellent bass player.
(Photo by Jeff Albertson; Linda Ronstadt, Gib Guilbeau and John Beland performing at Paul's Mall. Circa 1970.)
It was after the inclusion of Maxwell, that the band decided to form a group called Swampwater and built their unique sound around Guilbeau's Cajun style, and Beland's and Maxwell's Byrds, Everly Brothers and Beach Boys vocal influence.
The band landed a deal on Starday-King Records in 1970 and scored a country hit with Guilbeau's song "Take A City Bride". Wherever Swampwater appeared with Ronstadt they received rave reviews for their exciting stage show and unique sound.
In 1971, Swampwater was signed to RCA and recorded a second ground breaking album, recording in studios in both Hollywood and Nashville. Thus becoming only the second band from the West Coast to record in Nashville– the first being the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
After their run with Ronstadt, Swampwater became the backing band for singer / songwriter Arlo Guthrie, working with him on the classic song, "City Of New Orleans" and appearing with Guthrie at Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.
(Photo by Jerry Tate; A young Ronnie Guilbeau, left, looks on in awe as Arlo Guthrie and John Beland rehearse for the Hollywood Bowl. Circa 1970.)
In 1973, the band called it quits. Guilbeau left to join the legendary Flying Burrito Brothers, Maxwell left to play with hit songwriter Mac Davis and Beland to Apple Records where he was signed as a solo artist by the Beatles. The various members went on to astounding careers individually, playing for a virtual Who's Who of country rock pioneers.
Swampwater is looking forward to being part of this year's 18th Annual Americana Music Festival & Conference which will take place September 12-17, 2017 in Nashville.
Your support for this incredibly talented group of musicians will in turn help create a legendary reunion album and accompanying tour for fans across the world.
The budget for this reunion album will be applied towards the mandatory costs of essential production and marketing platforms:
Production– Including studio, producer, musicians, and mastering.
Manufacturing– Pressing of CDs, vinyl records, including the creative packaging and posters.
Press & Media Publicity– Global outreach and promotion in the USA, UK and Europe.
Radio Campaign– Including airplay, promotion and CD shipping costs.
Travel and Tour Support– Including transportation, lodging, meals and daily expenses while recording the album and performing live.
Thank you for your pledge!
Below you can hear the iconic Swampwater Album from 1970 on King Records.
Risks and challenges
2016 was a devastating year in which the world lost a multitude of musicians and songwriters– artists who symbolized, influenced and helped create an important generation. One of those artists was the famed fiddle player, Gib Guilbeau.
As a songwriter, Guilbeau's songs have been covered by many artists, including Ricky Nelson, Bobby Womack, Ronnie Wood, and Rod Stewart.
As a tribute to the legacy of Gib Guilbeau and Swampwater, the surviving members of this pioneering band are reuniting for one last album, along with Gib's gifted son, Ronnie Guilbeau.
Time is of the essence for this multi-talented group of elder statesmen of Americana music to come together again, to create this timeless album, with its own style and sound and unique collection of songs.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)