Friday, February 22, 2013

Those Happy Cobbles Are Some Friends of Mine...

Cobble Mountain Band was a country/bluegrass hybrid band that played in the late seventies and probably beyond. I believe they were based in New England but I'm sure they toured well beyond the region given their talents and entertaining stage presence. I had the good fortune to have enjoyed their performances on several occasions and always made a point to go see them when they were in the Danbury, Connecticut area where I grew up. I recall them appearing at a place called Stage III in Brookfield, Connecticut fairly often and I always looked forward to seeing them. They were a fun band to watch with slick guitar and fiddle work as well as some great piano work. Although this brand of music wasn't the sort of music you would expect to flourish at a popular night club located in a relatively small town area, they did get the young crowd going and they could rock pretty well despite the country focus. Well all these years later I couldn't stop wanting to find some recordings by this group. I knew they had at least one LP, the one posted here, which one of my buddies had purchased back in the day, but I was quite surprised that it was not available in digital format anywhere. I finally bit the bullet and purchased this vinyl recording off eBay, for next to nothing I might add. And now I'm very happy to share it here after a very long hiatus from the blog. Listening as I recorded each song from vinyl I was happy to confirm that my long quest was completely justified. While this recording, apparently Cobble Mountain's only LP, doesn't fully convey the somewhat more rowdy performances I recall at Stage III, it certainly does present some great country rock with bluegrass nuances that I thoroughly enjoy. I'm impressed with the production and musicianship and most of the songs are really good stuff if you're any kind of fan of the genre. "Bottle of Fire" is a smooth and energetic kick off to side one and from there, "Cotton Eyed Joe" (which I recall them cuttin' up at the live performances) keeps things lively. From there it moves effortlessly through a great assortment of up tempo instrumental work, fun vocals along with some slower, touching ballads like "Drinking and Hoping" and the closing number, "Factory Farewell" that are pretty effective by my tastes. Throughout I am probably most attracted to the impeccable country picking of both Pete Adams (pedal) and Glenn Ferrell (lead & rhythm guitars). "Fly Trouble" will remind you of "I Just Gotta Have Another Cigarette" but they do it very well here and it provides a nice complement to the rest of the selections. Overall I think you'll hear some Commander Cody, Jerry Jeff Walker and a bit of Asleep At The Wheel. Not bad company I'd say. So I hope you'll agree with me that this is a recording that shouldn't be collecting dust. Enjoy it, be a happy Cobble and a friend of mine...


Cobble Mountain Band - Cobble Mountain Bad (1979)

Singlebrook Record Company CMB 1579 - Rounder

Side 1:
Bottle of Fire
Glory Bound
Cotton Eyed Joe
Old Time Rhythm Of Love
Drinking and Hoping
Footprints In The Nightime

Side 2:
Back On The High Road
Carol County Blues
Fly Trouble
Been Through That Before
New York City
Only Daddy That'll Walk The Line
Factory Farewell

Pete Adams - pedal stell guitar, lead vocals on "Fly Trouble"
Ray Cuevas - drums
Glenn Ferrell - lead & rhythm guitar
Amasa Miller - piano, fiddle, lead vocals on "Cotton Eyed Joe"
Walter Palmer - lead vocals
Richard Thornburg - fiddle, lead vocals on "Old Time Rhythm Of Love"
Chris Tuttle - bass

Guest musicians;
Arlo Guthrie, Terry A La Berry, Danny Velika, Carol Ide, Steve Ide, John Pilla, Steve Asetta,
Peter McEachern, Fred Hellerman, Lee Kahn, Jesse Henderson, Jemima James, and Mary Ellen Tuttle.

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