Long before the Eagles..there was Swampwater, Linda Ronstadt's pioneering first solo band, led by the team of myself & Gib Guilbeau, the same duo that would later breath life back into the nearly defunked Flying Burrito Brothers 10 years later. Swampwater was one of the first true country rock bands to emerge in the late 60's and early 70's.
Blending my love for tight harmonies and twanging LA Bakersfield telecaster guitar stylings with Gib's one of a kind pure country vocals and driving cajun fiddle, Swampwater helped pave the way for acts like the Eagles and many others that followed.
This album was recorded in 1970 between tours with Linda Ronstadt, who we were backing up at the time. Our unique harmonies blended so well that we were often hired as a vocal back up group for other L.A recording artists such as Larry Murray, Johnny Darrell, Arlo Guthrie and others.
The album was recorded in two days on a 4 track studio in New Mexico and listening back 24 years later its amazing in its simplicity, honesty and originality.
At a time when others were rocking it up on the Sunset Strip, we were combining west coast California country music with influences from our heros like the Byrds, The Dillards, Hearts & Flowers, the Beach Boys and the Everly Brothers.
Our arrangements and stylized guitar riffs would coincidentally be mirrored in the early records of the Eagles. Just listen to "River People" and then to "Take It Easy" a few years later.
This is a must album for any true collector of country rock. Im not ashamed to say that Swampwater was well ahead of its time. Gib and I would reunite 10 years later to work together in the Flying Burrito Brothers, landing that band it's first chart hits ever. But this is where is all began with us with this honest but very important little album in 1970. Linda Ronstadt & Clarence White wrote the liner notes too!
Im damned proud of what we did back then. Swampwater was the best band I ever played in. Heck, Id join them again in a Hollywood minute.
John Beland aka Bill Murphy