Herbal Mixture

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A skeleton in the closet of guitarist Tony McPhee, who led this psychedelic band in 1966-67 between the first and second editions of the Groundhogs. Herbal Mixture featured McPhee, bassist Pete Cruickshank…
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A skeleton in the closet of guitarist Tony McPhee, who led this psychedelic band in 1966-67 between the first and second editions of the Groundhogs. Herbal Mixture featured McPhee, bassist Pete Cruickshank (who also played in the pre- and post-Herbal Mixture lineups of the Groundhogs), and drummer Mike Meekham. The original Groundhogs, who had recorded a few very obscure R&B singles in the mid-'60s, had disbanded in early 1966; after a stint with Truth and some session work, McPhee launched Herbal Mixture. The band was probably his least blues/R&B-oriented project, drawing more from early British mod and psychedelic influences. And their surviving recordings aren't that bad; lighter and more melodic than anything else McPhee did, they have considerable period charm. A couple of non-hit singles resulted, the best of which, the lazy anti-work ode "Machines," has been anthologized on some compilations of rare British psych. Some other unreleased material was recorded during the era (some of which surfaced on a 1996 CD reissue) before Herbal Mixture called it quits in late 1967, after which McPhee returned to his blues roots with a reformed lineup of the Groundhogs.