Friday, July 20, 2018

Sweathog - 1971 - Sweathog


01. Nonbeliever
02. All I Ever Do
03. Still On The Road
04. Burned
05. Things Yet To Come
06. Runneth Over
07. You Just Took The Ride
08. Lock Up My Body
09. Layed Back By The River

Lenny Lee Goldsmith - Lead Vocals, Keyboards
B.J. - Guitar, Vocals
Dave Johnson - Bass, Vocals
Frosty - Traps, Trans-Celeste, Bells

Sweathog was a San Francisco-based quartet whose sound was fairly far removed from the music normally associated with that city. They were a powerful ensemble instrumentally, keyboardist/singer Lenny Lee (aka Lenny Lee Goldsmith), guitarist/singer Bob Jones, bassist/singer Dave Johnson, and drummer Frosty (aka Barry Smith, aka Bartholomew Smith) all top players in their field -- Frosty had played with Lee Michaels on his third and fourth albums, while Jones had played on Harvey Mandel's Cristo Redentor and Righteous in the late '60s, and Goldsmith was an ex-member of the Five Americans. They were not bad as singers, either, with Goldsmith handling the leads. Their music was a mix of Southern-style soul, early-'70s funk, and blues, all wrapped around a virtuoso rock sound. The group was signed to Columbia Records at the time of that label's fixation on West Coast acts, under Clive Davis's regime -- they were always looking for another Big Brother & the Holding Company, or something to take the place of that act on their roster. The group's self-titled debut album passed mostly without a musical trace, without an AM radio hit to drive sales, though its cover image of bare buttocks was censored in various countries. In 1972, they seemed to hit paydirt with their single "Hallelujah," a driving piece of explosive Southern-fried rock & roll with a soul edge that was a killer showcase for all four players (especially Frosty). It got to number 33 on the national charts, but that relatively modest performance doesn't indicate how popular it was on the radio, where it got airplay closer to that of a Top 20 hit. The song got the album (also titled Hallelujah) into stores, at least, but it never sold in huge numbers, despite a respectable promotion effort and a lot of exposure for the band, touring behind Black Sabbath, among other top acts of the period. They broke up in 1973, and Goldsmith later played on Martha Reeves' first post-Motown solo album before joining Stoneground.

Fantastic short lived band that could have been superstars in my opinion. Both albums rock with Hallelujah being the better of the two, but not by much . They toured Black Sabbath, Grand Funk, J. Geils, Edgar Winter and others. Dave Johnson played with Dr. John & The Beach Boys, Bartholomew Eugene Smith-Frost also known as "Frosty" played with Lee Michaels (one of my favorites) they mostly hailed from No. Calif and played at all the Bay Area venues. Get these before they're gone Good Stuff !!!

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