Good Humor Band

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There is only one thing that Steve Earle, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bruce Hornsby, Radney Foster, Foster and Lloyd, Jim Lauderdale, Bob Dylan, Los Lobos, R.E.M., the Mavericks, Neil Diamond, Charlie Major,…
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There is only one thing that Steve Earle, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Bruce Hornsby, Radney Foster, Foster and Lloyd, Jim Lauderdale, Bob Dylan, Los Lobos, R.E.M., the Mavericks, Neil Diamond, Charlie Major, Chuck Berry, David Ball, Delbert McClinton, the Beastie Boys, Robert Gordon, Shania Twain, Sherrie Austin, Sara Evans, Johnny Paycheck, B.J. Thomas, Joy Lynn White, Southside Johnny, Mel Tillis, Pam Tillis, Steve Forbert, Sheryl Crow, Ryan Adams, Patty Loveless, the Nighthawks, John Anderson, T. Graham Brown, Reba McEntire, the Bluebloods, Gregg Allman, Tricia Yearwood, Greg Trooper, Charlie Robison, Matraca Berg, the Judds, Garth Brooks, Ricky Van Shelton, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Lee Roy Parnell, Deana Carter, Amy Rigby, Jack Ingram, and Ricky Scaggs have in common, and that is the Good Humor Band. Towards the end of 1974, lifelong friends and bandmates guitarist Mike McAdam and vocalist Jimmy Morgan knew that they were faced with two options: a grueling winter of manual labor or find a way to make their passions for 1950s and 1960s rock & roll and R&B pay the rent. Armed with vast record collections, McAdam's grandfather's basement as a rehearsal space, as well as fellow audiophiles Mark Corvino on drums, Bill Gerloff (aka Manny Green) on bass, and Jack Irwin on piano, the Good Humor Band was born in Richmond, VA. The GHB started playing locally at venues better known for occasional police raids than the music on the stage, but over time they began to build a loyal regional following.

From 1975 to 1976, the Good Humor saw many personnel changes while McAdam, Morgan, and Corvino remained the constants within the altering lineups. From early gigging, the Good Humor Band found a home at local Richmond venue the Pass, and like all dysfunctional homes, the Pass was filled with alcohol, womanizing, and generally serving as a place for a group of talented and frustrated musicians in their twenties to hang out, drink, and rehearse. By mid-1976, the GHB acquired pedal steel player Bruce Bouton, soundman Tony Jordan, and bass player Drake Leonard, as well as partial ownership of the Pass via McAdam. Semi-professional piano player and old acquaintance Gregg Wetzel joined the Good Humor Band around the bar of the Pass after returning from a two-year stint in Robbin Thompson's band, a former Springsteen player gone solo. As the night progressed, fueled by ungodly amounts of beer and their instruments, the guys took to the stage trying to stump each other with rock & roll oldies, R&B classics, and Merle Haggard country standards. Eventually leaving the bar mid-next morning pissed drunk, and with the fact that a dangerously awesome musical experience had just occurred, the Good Humor Band began making plans to hit the road to expose the masses to the "humorhoid" experience first hand. Because of the individual members' vast collective knowledge of virtually any genre of music within the previous 30 years, the GHB rarely played by set list, instead opting for a "stump the band" call out from audience members, leaving those in attendance utterly dumbfounded and convinced that this was truly one of the most diverse bands playing the central East Coast. Desperado's, a prominent club in the Georgetown live music scene in Washington, D.C., made the boys of the Good Humor Band a staple to their booking list, only increasing the bands' regional popularity and cult status.

In 1977, founding member Jimmy Morgan exited the group, followed by pedal steel player Bruce Bouton. The slots were filled by pedal steel player Bucky Baxter and a brief attempt at replacing the lead vocalist slot with Nancy "Louise" Atkinson. Although Atkinson had the skill and added a new dynamic to the group, the band felt that they were missing the "edge and a bit of (the) testosterone" from the old Good Humor Band. When legendary guitarist Danny Gatton broke up his group, lead singer Evan Johns wasted no time in signing up for the position with the Good Humor Band bringing a fresh catalog of songs, in addition to the new ones he had been writing with Wetzel. A blistering guitar section made up of Johns, McAdam, and Baxter elevated the band's live show even higher, while the band was experiencing their first (and only) regional radio success with "Thirty Miles Outside of Richmond."

By 1978 the Good Humor Band had come from being a group of music-loving rockers to full-blown East Coast live-music leaders. The band drew the attention of Danny Gatton, who had been working with his jazz group, but was without his staple rock & roll operation. Gatton started playing shows with the guys billed as "Danny and the Good Humor Band" or "the Good Humor Band featuring Danny Gatton," depending which act had a larger draw in the particular venue or city. With the addition of Gatton on guitar, the Good Humor Band became an unstoppable full-on attack bordering on guitar overkill.

Once again, the following year saw more personnel changes for the GHB beginning with the exit of Evan Johns and Mark Corvino, and eventually ending up with David Eggleston filling the seat behind the drum set and Steve Bassett taking the role of singer and organ while the core direction of the band was taking on a more R&B edge. The band grew more by adding a backup vocalist, saxophone, and an additional guitarist to the already dynamic lineup, causing the production costs to grossly exceed previous budgeting standards. The changes in finances stylistically opened the band to slim down their operation and return to what they had grown known for -- guitar-based rock & roll -- further causing the lineup transition from the exit of Steve Bassett on vocals and organ to the introduction of Mike Lucas on guitar and vocals. With Lucas in the group, the Good Humor Band went into the studio to record a number of tracks which would prove to be the band's most creative period. January 7, 1983, at the Wax Museum in Washington, D.C., was where the Good Humor Band played their last official show as a full-time band.

Once a year, the Good Humor Band plays a reunion show in their hometown, Richmond, VA. In March of 2000, Eggleston, Lucas, McAdam, Morgan, Leonard, Bouton, and Wetzel met up at Silvertone Studios in Nashville, owned by Mike McAdam and Jack Irwin. The men had all gone on to become some of music's most-wanted session and live players. The session yielded six new songs which are available on, surprisingly, the bands first official release. The Good Humor Band collectively as a unit of musicians throughout the years have gone on to add influence to and play with a mind-numbing number of legendary and pinnacle artists in rock & roll, country, R&B, pop, and blues all forming from a drunken all-night jam within the blacked-out windows of a local beer joint. The Good Humor Band have available for the first time in nearly 30 years an anthology of the most essential studio recordings and rarely captured live recording of the band in all of its many transitions and lineups available through Permanent Records via the Good Humor Band's website and CD Baby.