Climbadonkey was a band from the western suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland who performed, recorded, and misbehaved in the mid to late 1970s.
"Sounds like two hits of acid in a country band" was how Billy Mueller (engineer/producer) described Climbadonkey back in 1976.
Fred Tepper, Kyf Brewer, Bobby Hird, Lee Townsend, John Tracey and Doug Robinson were the writers and musicians. Still in their early 20s on these recordings, all are miraculously still alive and playing music today (even John, who survived riding on the hood of his own car, while driving it, in front of a policeman, on his way home from a gig) and you've no doubt followed all or some of them through their very rewarding careers.
Climbadonkey was writing, recording and performing funk-a-fied country music, country-rock soul, or whatever the hell you want to call it, at a time when most Baltimore musicians were wearing polyester jumpsuits and playing mirror ball disco music. Their music transcended time and space - it still sounds and smells as fresh as the day it was picked. These guys went on to tour and record with such successful recording acts as The Ravyns (Fast Times At Ridgemont High Soundtrack artists), Crack The Sky (A national touring and recording band on LifeSong records), Company Of Wolves (Mercury/Polygram Records), Barleyjuice (Ryf Records), and other regional acts such as Never Never, Rob Fahey And The Pieces, Tom Principato Band and more.
The band came very close to the penultimate recording contract in 1976, when Allan Blazek, engineer of The Eagles' Hotel California album, traveled to Baltimore solely to produce them.
Former manager, Tom Lipsky, has graciously agreed to grab the helm yet again after all these years, having had a brilliant career in entertainment management and many other aspects of the music business. Not enough space here to list his many accomplishments. So Google him, right?
Although the group was loved by many and courted by the finest record execs money could buy, the national recording contract just never happened. Well, they cried in their beers for a while, took some substances they shouldn't have, acted out, and eventually went on to become amazing players and writers with other fine musicians and execs who would feed them. Sort of like the dog at the end of Jack London's "To Build a Fire", right? Um, actually, pretty much nothing like that. But in their heyday, Climbadonkey was relentless - never slowed down, playing hundreds of high energy gigs and recording tons of amazing tunes which were never released to the public. It was like they never slept, especially Doug. We're talking before the days of DIY and indie rock, so there was really no way of revealing their unique sound to the masses. Until now.