A.B. Skhy – live at The Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco – Recorded March 30, 1969 – KPFA-FM, Berkeley – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
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Into the realm of the potentially unfamiliar tonight with a concert by A.B.Skhy, recorded by KPFA-FM in Berkeley on March 30, 1969.
Founded in Milwaukee in 1968 as New Blues and relocated to San Francisco as A.B.Skhy, the band were together for a comparatively short period of time before breaking up in the early 1970s. But not before releasing two well-received albums for MGM Records in 1969 and 1970.
A.B. Skhy comprised Dennis Geyer (guitar, vocals), Jim Marcotte (bass guitar), Terry Anderson (drums), and Howard Wales (keyboards). Wales had previously played with artists such as James Brown and Freddie King. They relocated to San Francisco and changed the band name to A.B. Skhy, building a following with live performances. They were signed by MGM Records and worked with producer Richard Delvy on their self-titled debut album, released in 1969. The album featured contributions from guitarist Russell DaShiell, harmonica player Jim Liban, and flautist Otis Hale and spawned the single “Camel Back”, which reached number 100 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The group then split, with Andersen and Wales leaving, the latter going on to play with Harvey Mandel, Jerry Garcia, and The Grateful Dead. Geyer and Marcotte recruited drummer Rick Jaeger and guitarist James “Curley” Cooke (formerly of The Versitones and The Steve Miller Band), and the new lineup recorded a second album, Ramblin’ On, in March 1970 with Kim Fowley and Michael Lloyd producing. The album included a mixture of cover versions and original songs by Cooke.
A third album was started but the band split up before it was completed. Cooke went on to play in Cat and the Fiddle and with Boz Scaggs and Ben Sidran (who had played harpsichord on Ramblin’ On), and released the solo album Gingerman in 1980. Jaeger joined DaShiell in Crowfoot and recorded with several artists as a session player.
To get an idea what A.B. Skhy were all about, here is one of their rare recorded gigs from The Avalon in 1969.
Crank it up.