McKendree Spring Biography...
“Experimental and innovative, McKendree Spring mixed blues, folk and country with a progressive musical vision. Over the course of seven albums, they highlighted the songs of singer/guitarist Fran McKendree and offered up unique interpretations of songs by Bob Dylan, Neil Young and James Taylor. McKendree Spring built much of its reputation as a live act by featuring the virtuosity of guitarist Marty Slutsky and violinist Mike (Doc) Dreyfuss.”
~ notes from the McKendree Spring exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame & Museum in Cleveland, Ohio
Formed in 1969 as a drummerless four piece folk-rock ensemble that Bill Graham (promoter/manager and creator of the Fillmore Theatres) once dubbed "one of the best unknown bands in the world," McKendree Spring recorded five albums for MCA and two for ATV/PYE, toured with some of the most exciting artists of the 70's, and created exceptionally inventive music. The band was noted for its live shows that brought the crowds to their feet. McKendree Spring had a knack for covering songs that sounded as if they had been either written by them or for them.
McKendree Spring played some memorable venues: Carnegie Hall, the Fillmore East, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center. They loved playing the venues that got them there ~ ‘My Fathers Place’ on Long Island, the ‘Agora Ballroom’ in Columbus and Cleveland, and the College Coffee House Circuit. Over the years McKendree Spring shared the stage with performers like the Everly Brothers, Fleetwood Mac, Frank Zappa & the Mothers of Invention, Elton John, Ike & Tina Turner, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, the Byrds, Jethro Tull, and Van Morrison.
The band played to a million plus people at the Washington Monument in a Vietnam war protest, performed with Billy Preston in the first-ever rock concert at New York’s Radio City Music Hall, starred on the BBC TV’s legendary Old Grey Whistle Test in London, and jammed backstage with Jeff Beck and Carmen Appice (playing an overturned plastic container) at the Waldbuene Arena in Berlin, Germany.
Going their separate ways in 1976, the members each went on to exciting and varied careers in the entertainment and technology worlds. They came together one last time in May of 2013 for a final farewell show at the legendary Douglas Corner club in Nashville, which was recorded and filmed. 'Times Like These' is the audio CD now available, and the hour long DVD will follow in May of 2015.
Members; Christopher Bishop, bass guitar and vocals; Michael Dreyfuss, viola; Fran McKendree, vocals and acoustic guitar; Marty Slutsky, electric guitar. They are joined on the 'Times Like These' CD and DVD by Paul Hollowell, keys, and Alan Stoker, drums, Rock Williams, sax, and Sharon Ferrara and Carol Anderson, vocals.