The Groundhogs were a British blues band founded in late 1963, which toured extensively in the 1960s and continued in existence sporadically to the present day.
The band's blues credentials were recognised when they backed John Lee Hooker and Champion Jack Dupree on their 1960s tours of Britain. The line-up for their first album, Scratchin' the Surface, released in 1968, consisted of Tony McPhee as singer and guitarist, bassist Peter Cruickshank (born 2 July 1945, Calcutta, West Bengal, India), Ken Pustelnik on drums (born 13 March 1946, on a farm near Blairgowry, Angus, Scotland) and Steve Rye on harmonica (born in 1946 died in 1992).
They remain one of the lesser known yet critically regarded bands of the late 1960s and early 1970s blues rock groups. Later album releases such as Thank Christ For The Bomb (May 1970); Split (March 1971); and Who Will Save the World? The Mighty Groundhogs (March 1972) are powerful rock albums which share a common achievement of all reaching the top 10 of the British album charts. "Split" reached number 5 , spent 27 weeks in the album chart and achieved gold record status. A further pinnacle in their career was supporting the Rolling Stones on their 1971 British tour at the personal request of Mick Jagger. They released an album of their live set on the Stones tour which was recorded at Leeds University and called "Live at Leeds". All these albums and live shows were performed by the classic power trio of Cruickshank, McPhee and Pustelnik.
Originally breaking up in 1976, they came back as a largely live act less than a decade later with a different line-up. At times in the 1990s, McPhee alternated two line-ups, one with a second guitarist. After years of performing, and recording for a loyal cult audience, original manager Roy Fisher put together a short lived (18 months) 'Original Line-Up'consisting of McPhee, Cruickshank and Pustelnik to celebrate 40 years of The Groundhogs. Mcphee left the band in order to persue an acoustic career leaving Cruickshank & Pustelnik to continue as the remaining original band members. McPhee embarked on a major tour in 2004 with Edgar Winter and Alvin Lee and an acoustic blues album 'Blues at Ten'. Cruickshank and Pustelnik subsequently formed 'The Groundhogs Rhythm Section' with invited frontmen. This line up has recently been augmented by a new frontman, Eddie Martin, the internationally known British blues artist, who will now be playing in the psychedelic / blues / rock style Groundhogs fans are familiar with.
McPhee has put together a new band in 2007, with long-time Groundhogs bassist Dave Anderson (ex-Hawkwind) and Marco Anderson on drums This trio toured England in 2008 with Focus and Martin Turners Wishbone Ash. The Most recent line up (2009) of Tony McPhees Groundhogs comprises Tony McPhee, Dave Anderson and previous long term drummer Mick Jones. (Groundhogs website).
as The Groundhogs:
* Scratching the Surface (November 1968)
* The Groundhogs with John Lee Hooker and John Mayall (1968)
* Blues Obituary (July 1969)
* Thank Christ For The Bomb (May 1970) - UK Albums Chart high - Number 9
* Split (March 1971) - Number 5
* Who Will Save the World? The Mighty Groundhogs (March 1972) - Number 8
* Hogwash (October 1972)
* Solid (June 1974) - Number 31
* Crosscut Saw (February 1976)
* Black Diamond (October 1976)
* Hoggin' The Stage (live) (April 1984)
* Razor's Edge (May 1985)
* Moving Fast, Standing Still (1986)
* Back Against the Wall (May 1987)
* Extremely Live (1988)
* Hogs On The Road (Live) (1988)
* No Surrender (live) (Dec 1990)
* Groundhog Night…Groundhog Live (Jun 1993)
* Who Said Cherry Red (Oct 1996)
* Live at Leeds 71 (Live) (Aug 1998)
* Hogs in Wolf's Clothing (Jan 1998)
* The Muddy Waters Song Book (Apr 1999)
* UK Tour '76 (1999)
* Live At The Astoria (Sep 2001)
* Live at the New York Club, Switzerland 1991 (2007) TECD109
DVDs And Video
* Live At The Astoria (1999)
* 60/40 Split (2005)
as Tony McPhee and the Groundhogs:
* No Surrender (August 1989)
* Bleaching the Blues (April 1997) (Tony McPhee Solo)
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