One of the oddest San Francisco Bay Area bands of the late ’60s, Berkeley-based Mad River cut two albums that are highly regarded by psychedelic collectors. After releasing a rare EP on a tiny local label in 1967, the band signed with Capitol and released their self-titled debut the following year. Perhaps the most ominous San Francisco band of the time, the group often sounded like an extremely dark version of Quicksilver Messenger Service with a bit of Country Joe & the Fish’s minor-key melodies thrown in. Their material veered between drawn-out angst jams and frenetic numbers, spotlighting David Robinson’s shimmering, blistering guitar leads and leader/songwriter Lawrence Hammond’s mournful, quavering vocals. Unpredictably, their second and last LP (1969’s Paradise Bar & Grill) found the band drifting into laid-back country-rock with less memorable results.

Judging by the list of Songs, there has been a mix up with the group Mad River, paris, France. The most popular song “down by the river is by Mad River, France!

Edited by louislingg on 4 Feb 2008, 10:56

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