Bassist Bruce Barthol started out in music at just about the top, at least within the context of San Francisco in the mid-'60s. Born in Berkeley, CA, in 1947 (some sources say 1949), at age 18 he became an original member of Country Joe & the Fish. He was on the three-song EP that the band recorded itself, and played on Electric Music for the Mind and Body -- arguably one of the greatest psychedelic albums to come out of San Francisco -- and the two albums that followed it. Barthol left the band in 1968 and since then has worked on relatively few recordings; he was on Country Joe McDonald's solo album Paradise With an Ocean View (1976), played bass for Rosalie Sorrels, produced one album for ex-Blues Project guitarist Danny Kalb, and annotated an album of songs from the Spanish Civil War. In 2003, he rejoined McDonald, Chicken Hirsh, and David Bennett Cohen in the Country Joe Band. One of his songs also appeared on Barry Melton's 1997 live album, Saloon Years.
by Bruce Eder