Brother Fox and the Tar Baby

Band members               Related acts

- Richie Bartlett -- guitar (1968-70)
- Tom Belliveau -- bass (1968-70)
- Dave Christiansen -- guitar (1968-70)
- Bill Garr -- drums, percussion (1968-70)
- Steve High -- vocals, percussion (1968-70)
- Joe Santangelo -- keyboards (1968-70) 



- The Fools (Richie Bartlett)

- Pugsley Munion (Tom Belliveau)




Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Brother Fox and the Tar Baby

Company: Oracle

Catalog: ORS 703

Year: 1969

Country/State: Boston, Massachusetts

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: minor ring, edge and corner wear; gatefold sleeve

Available: SOLD

GEMM catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD

Cost: $66.00


First off let me make one of those truth-in-advertising warnings.  I've seen this item show up on a number of high priced psych lists, but if you're expecting oodles of Fender feedback and drug scorched personas, then this one's going to be way too pop oriented to appeal to you.  It's also interesting how public sensitivities change over time.  Dare you to start a band with this name today !!!   


Boston's Brother Fox and the Tar Baby featured the talents of former Profits and The Front Page Review guitarist Richie Bartlett, Pugsley Munion bassist Tom Belliveau, guitarist Dave Christiansen, drummer Bill Garr, singer Steve High. and keyboardist Joe Santangelo.  One of the era's isolated multi-racial bands, the group were signed by the small Oracle label, which released 1969's Bruce Patch produced "Brother Fox and the Tar Baby".  Christiansen was credited with penning all eleven tracks, the result being an odd hodge-podge of musical styles. Quite diverse, the set included stabs at conventional hard rock ('We All Love Him'), Tom Jones-styled MOR ballads ('I Start To Cry') and the plain bizarre ('Maxie the Meanie').  The first couple of times I listened to the album I'll readily admit to being a little under whelmed, but repeated spins saw me start to warm up to the collection. Clearly not the year's most innovative album, there are still numerous tracks worth hearing.  To my ears the highlights included 'Metal Soldier', 'Three Tots and a Man and their most psych-oriented track 'Mr. Sleepy'. (The album was original released in a gatefold sleeve.)

"Brother Fox and the Tar Baby" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Electric Chair   (Dave Christiansen) - 
2.) Old Ladies   (Dave Christiansen) - 
3.) Steel Dog Men   (Dave Christiansen) - 
4.) Maxie the Meanie   (Dave Christiansen) - 
5.) We All Love Him   (Dave Christiansen) - 
6.) To Your Dreams   (Dave Christiansen) - 

(side 2)

1.) Three Tots and a Man   (Dave Christiansen) - 
2.) I Start To Cry   (Dave Christiansen) - 
3.) Metal Soldier   (Dave Christiansen) - 
4.) Mr. Sleepy   (Dave Christiansen) - 
5.) Crazy John   (Dave Christiansen) - 

Capitol subsequently acquired distribution rights, reissuing the collection nationally (catalog number ST-544).

Bartlett reappeared as a member of The Fools (see separate entries).


Back to Bad Cat homepage/search