The Original Fish - Country Joe & The Fish

Of all the music I have listened to from the 60s, Country Joe & The Fish seem to stick out the most. Besides the impact The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Janis Joplin/ Big Brother & The Holding Company, etc. had on the development of Psychedelic Rock, which in turn influenced many varieties of Rock... Country Joe and The Fish represent a lot of what the counter-cultural movement stood for and are definitely one of the most, if not the most underrated band on the scene. Their lyrics being strongly anti-war or psychedelically driven, really shows the image they were putting across. Their music? It developed through the years. Electric Music for the Mind and Body is an acid drenched album full of great organ/ guitar solos and trade offs. The bass player lays down some great lines and at the same time allows for space so the other members can jam. As the years went on they added orchestration to their compositions in addition with the psychedelically driven guitar style and spacey organ while incorporating genres such as jazz, blues, country, rock, and psychedelia. These guys are the shit, seriously check em out!

"The group's name is derived from leftist politics; "Country Joe" was a popular name for Joseph Stalin in the 1940s, while "the fish" refers to Mao Tse-Tung's statement that the true revolutionary "moves through the peasantry as the fish does through water." The group began with the nucleus of "Country Joe" McDonald (lead vocals) and Barry "The Fish" Melton (lead guitar), recording and performing for the "Teach-In" protests against the Vietnam War in 1965. Co-founders McDonald and Melton added musicians as needed over the life of the band. By 1967, the group included Gary "Chicken" Hirsh (drums) (born Mar 9, 1940, in Chicago, Illinois); David Cohen (keyboards) (born 8 April 1942, in Brooklyn, New York) and Bruce Barthol (bass) (born 11 November 1947 in Berkeley, California). The 1967 lineup lasted only two years, and by the 1969 music festival Woodstock, the lineup included Greg 'Duke' Dewey (drums), Mark Kapner (keyboards) and Doug Metzler (bass).

The band came to perform an early example of psychedelic rock. The LP Electric Music for the Mind and Body was very influential on early FM Radio in 1967. Long sets of psychedelic tunes like "Section 43", "Bass Strings", "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine", "Janis" (for and about Janis Joplin) and "Grace" (for singer Grace Slick) (all released on Vanguard Records) were often played back to back on KSAN and KMPX in San Francisco and progressive rock stations around the country. Their first album charted at #39 on September 23, 1967, their 2nd album at #67 on February 3, 1968, and their third at #23 on August 31, 1968. Country Joe and The Fish were regulars at Fillmore West and East and Chet Helms' Avalon Ballroom. They were billed with such groups as Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Led Zeppelin, and Iron Butterfly. They played at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967 and at the Woodstock Festival in 1969."

Get Some Country Joe:

Electrique Music for the Mind and Body (1967)

I Feel Like Im Fixin To Die (1967)

Here We Go Again (1969)


Mr. n00b


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