The Middle Spunk Creek Boys have been entertaining upper Midwest audiences with their special form of Bluegrass music since 1968.*
*(1968: Lyndon Johnson president, North Korea captures the USS Pueblo, Tet Offensive in Vietnam, Martin Lu-ther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy killed, Soviets invade Czechoslovakia, Middle Spunk Creek Boys form, Jacqueline Kennedy marries Aristotle Onassis, Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In top TV show.)
A band lasting ten years, let alone 25, is pretty unusual, given the types of ego that it takes to be a performer in the first place! The Anniversary Album "I'm With the Band" project celebrates the longevity of the Middle Spunk Creek Boys. (25 years--heck, that was nine years ago!)
It was decided to feature as many of the former Middle Spunk Creen Boys as possible, and to make new recordings rather than try and dig stuff out of old tapes. Rudy Darling flew in from California, Al Struthers from New Jersey, and Steve Block from North Carolina. (Only John Bellville, a busy Doctor of Psychiatry in Alaska, and Craig Anderson, a busy ex-American in Greece, couldn't make it.) A total of nineteen songs were finally decided upon--this wasn't to be any cheap ten-cut project!
Al Struthers sings a wonderful arrangement of Jesse Winchester's "Yankee Lady." Besides fiddling on several cuts, Rudy Darling sings one of his MSCB trademark songs, "Rocky Road Blues," complete with scat singing. Original banjo player Ron Colby does an old Bill Monroe favorite "Live and Let Live," while Steve Block (the Middle Spunk Creek Boys' "other" bass player) sings "Amelia Earhart's Last Flight." The terrific singing duo of John Niemann and Pete Anderson laid down "Virginia Waltz" and "Waves of Sorrow." Noted MSCB alumni Peter Ostroushko contributed a powerful fiddle break on "June Apple" and some wonderful mandolin on "Yankee Lady."
The then-current 1993 band didn't get neglected, of course! They magnetized several favorite songs, including "No Place for Heartaches" by Tom Nechville's sister Jamie Peterson, along with "California Cottonfields," "Coal Tattoo," "Roseville Fair," "Summer Wages" and others.
The current and alumni Middle Spunk Creek Boys featured on "I'm With the Band" are: Peter Ostroushko, Mark Briere, Bruce Jaeger, Rudy Darling, John Nieman, Andy Kozak, Al Struthers, Ron Colby, Barry St. Mane, Pete Anderson, Tom Nechville, Alan jesperson, Steve Block and Jerry Flynn.