Cashman Vaquero Band, The


Band members               Related acts

- Gael Alcock - cello

- Doug Cashman - vocals, rhythm guitar, drums, 

  percussion

- Tom Donlinger - drums

- Robert John Guziejka - (guest) lead guitar 

- Bob Lee - pedal steel guitar

- John Manchak - lead and slide guitar

- Len Mazza - sax

- Roger Paskett - bass

- Will Paskett - keyboards

- Ron Sadus (RIP 1976) - vocals, bass, guitar

- Barry Thomas - percussion

- James Vincent - guitar

 

 

- James Vincent (solo efforts)

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  In Memory of Berry Oakley

Company: Walnut West

Catalog: 89-75

Year: 1979

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap; original inner sleeve

Available: SOLD

GEMM catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD

Cost: $66.00

 

Okay, I could figure out the 'Cashman' part of the band's name (e.g. singer/guitarist Doug Cashman), but for the longest time I didn't have a clue as to the Vaquero part of the name (there didn't appear to be anyone with that surname in the line up) and what about the odd album title?  Well, luckily for me Doug Cashman stumbled across my short review and was generous enough to provide some of the missing pieces (see below).

 

Recorded in San Francisco's Far Out Studios and produced by James Mason Davis, most references describe 1979's "In Memory of Berry Oakley" as being Allman Brothers-styled Southern rock.  That's not quite right.   I certainly hear Allman-influences, particularly in some of the Cashman-Sadus guitar interplay, but the set's far more diverse than that.  With the exception of a mildly-jazzy cover of John Mayall's 'California', the set boasts original material that finds the band taking stabs at conventional boogie ('Down In the Belly'), country-rock (the pretty ballad 'Driving Me Crazy') lite-jazz ('View from a Mountain Peak') and even Santana-styled Latin rock ('Security').  Cashman and Sadus share vocal duties and they both have pretty good voices.  Judging by the liner notes Sadus apparently died while the album was being made, but between his work and that of guest guitarist Robert John Guziejka (who contributed a couple of songs and played with Cashman and Oakley in their garage band days), there are quite a few tasty lead guitars scattered throughout the set including some Duane Allman-styled runs on 'Good Days' and some jazzy scatting on 'There's No Tellin'.  Curiously, at least to my ears the biographical tribute title track is the leas impressive effort.     

 

"In Memory of Berry Oakley" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) California   (John Mayall) - 

2.) Down In the Belly   (Robert John Guziejka) - 

3.) Driving Me Crazy   (Robert John Guziejka) - 

4.) Security   (Doug Cashman) - 

5.) Good Days   (Ron Sadus) - 

 

(side 2)

1.) View from a Mountain Peak   (Doug Cashman) - 

2.) There's No Tellin   (Doug Cashman) - 

3.) In Memory of Berry Oakley   (Doug Cashman - Ron Sadus) - 

4.) San Francisco Sunset (instrumental)   (Doug Cashman) - 

 

There's also a pre-LP 45 on the small Bridgeville label: 'Security' b/w 'San Francisco Sunset' (catalog number 003-4676).    Since both sides appear on the album, I'm guessing the 45 was released prior to the LP.  No idea if the songs reflect the same mix.

 

As fate would have it, I managed to track down Doug Cashman and he was kind enough to answer some of my question and essentially provide a brief history of the band and the album.  

 

"Vaquero or cowboy is the name I picked after we put out the 45, because James Vincent got signed to Caribou Records and I couldn't use his name.  Cowboy was a Capricorn [Records] act and didn't want to use that name. I decided on Vaquero because I had worked on a cattle ranch and [had done] some bareback bronco riding in Utah.  

 

As for the album title, Ron Sadus the bassist wrote the instrumental
tune and I added the lyrics.  The instrumental tune has a beautiful twin guitar solo throughout the tune.  When we did it in the studio, I had completely
rearranged the tune and that was the last time I performed that tune. 

 

Bob Guziejka (ga-j-ka) (guitar), Ron Sadus (drums), Berry Oakley (guitar), and the late Jerry Kokas (bass) had a band together (The Vibratones).  I didn't play in that band, but Bob, Ron [then on bass] and myself playing drums had a trio called "Satish-chada" from 1968 to 1971. I moved to California in 1971 and Ron and Bob came out to California in February of 1972.  We went into Wally Heiders Studio in LA and did a few recording sessions.  The only tunes that sounded good were 'Good Days', 'Drivin Me Crazy' and 'Security.'   Ron and Bob went
back to Chicago and those tapes sat in the can until 1975.  I met James Vincent in San Francisco where I was working as a street artist in 1975.  We got together and rehearsed some of my tunes in Marin.  In April 1975 we went 
into Wally Heiders with the other musicians and recorded [what was to become] side 2 of the album live. The lead guitar on 'California' and 'Down In the Belly were later overdubbed by Joel Manchak in Chicago.  The lead guitar on 'Security', the twin leads on 'Good Days' and all of the leads on side 2 were by Vincent.  The 45 [we released] had just a slight difference in the final mix.  Sadly, Sadus passed away in July 1978.  He was 30 years old.  The album was released in 1979."

 

Doug Cashman 2004

 



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