Quicksilver Messenger Service came together in San Francisco during the mid-60s. Before they recorded their first album, various musicians were briefly in the band, including guitarist Skip Spence (who then became the drummer for Jefferson Airplane), vocalist Jim Murray (who also played harmonica and a bit of guitar), and the elusive singer-songwriter Dino Valenti. They played at the Monterey Pop Festival and built themselves a loyal following touring the west coast. By the time of their debut album they had settled on the 'classic' lineup of Gary Duncan (guitar), David Freiburg (bass), John Cipollina (guitar) and Greg Elmore (drums). As Murray had left shortly before the album, the vocals were handled by Duncan and Freiburg (both very good singers). The two of them were also responsible for writing the album’s three original songs. The covers included “Pride Of Man”, by folk singer Hamilton Camp, and “Dino’s Song”, by Valenti. The band’s sound at this stage was characterized by the exciting guitar interplay between Duncan and Cipollina, showcased best on the instrumental “Gold And Silver” (based on the jazz classic “Take Five”). The album was produced by Nick Gravenites (singer, songwriter, producer and general musical handyman - he was singing with The Electric Flag around this time).
|> Happy Trails (1969)
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