Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1971-73)
- Rod Arment -- keyboards, vocals
- Chuck Beaty -- vocals, lead guitar
- Jim Kestle -- bass, backing vocals
- Tim Lloyd -- drums, backing vocals
- Rusty Steele -- keyboards, rhythm guitar, backing vocals
- Liz Hein -- flute
line up 2 (1973-76)
- Chuck Beaty -- lead guitar, backing vocals
NEW - Brian Boyd -- keyboards (replaced Rod Arment)
NEW - David Gable -- vocals
- Jim Kestle -- bass, backing vocals
NEW - Dennis Meros -- drums, percussion (replaced Tim Lloyd)
- Bob Brady's Co-Chords
- Cindy and the Censations (Jim Kestle)
- City Star (Rusty Steele)
- Class (David Gable)
- The Dimensions (Jim Kestle)
- Dion's Streetheart Band (Jim Kestle and Rusty Steele)
- Felix (Rod Arment)
- Fresh Air (Tim Wilson)
- The Meros Brothers (Dennis Meros)
- Paper Cup (Jim Kestle)
- Racer (David Gable)
- The Ravins (Rusty Steele)
- Roscoe (Jim Kestle)
- Sawbuck (Tim Lloyd)
- Time Machine (Rusty Steele)
Rating: 3 stars ***
Country/State: Cockeysville, Maryland
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Catalog ID: 9042
Hum, I never would have guessed these guys were from Cockeysville, Maryland ... Prior to coming together as Coyote, the various members had played in a host of Baltimore bands. Showcasing the talents of keyboardist Rod Arment , lead guitarist Chuck Beaty, bassist Jim Kestle, drummer Tim Lloyd , and keyboardist Rusty Steele. The group were regulars on the Maryland and Washington, D.C. club circuit, but in spite of their talent and enthusiasm, were unable to attract the attention of a major label. As a result they formed their own Chariot label, releasing a debut 1971 single:
1973's 'Charles Charles (The Dancing Frog)' b/w 'Super Tuesday's Floozy Wheat Man' (Chariot catalog number 1126)
Later in the year the band got around to recording a self-financed LP - 1the cleverly-titled "Coyote". Musically the album's always been somewhat of a curiosity to my ears. There aren't a lot of online reviews, but a couple of them describe the set as a country-rock effort. I'll tell you that's not a particularly accurate description. With four of the members contributing to the writing chores, side one was quite eclectic, bouncing around between jazz-rock instrumental ('Cowboy & Indians'), Dead-influenced old-timey Americana ('Horney Coyote'), and conventional rock ('Jabberwocky'). Side one was also notable for displaying some of the era's strangest lyrics ('Farmer Fetcher's'). In contrast, exemplified by material like 'Ready to Ride' and 'Fly' side two reflected a more focused rock and progressive-leaning sound. Blessed with four decent singers (drummer Lloyd was the only non-singer in the group), gave the album a nice sense of diversity and technically these guys were all quite impressive with Beaty and Steele deserving special notice.
"Coyote" track listing:
1.) Farmer Fetcher's (Chuck Beaty) - 2:23 rating: *** stars
Nobody will care, but opening 'Farmer Fetcher's' Chuck Beaty's melodic picking guitar style has always reminded me of Terry Thomas (of the British band Charlie). In spite of the goofy lyrics, the song itself was an enjoyable, stomping rocker.
2.) Cowboy & Indians (instrumental) (Chuck Beaty) - 2:51 rating: *** stars
A blazing jazz-rock instrumental that would have made Jeff Back proud, 'Cowboy & Indians' served as a wonderful platform showcasing the talents of guitarist Beaty and keyboardist Steele. I wish this one had stretched out a bit longer.
3.) Horney Coyote (Chuck Beaty) - 6:25
'Horney Coyote' was a bluesy number that sounded like they'd been listening to a little too much Grateful Dead. Clocking in at over six minutes, the howling and old-timey atmosphere quickly went from cute to boring. Maybe if you'd heard them playing in a small Ocean City beach bar ... rating: ** stars
4.) Jabberwocky (L. Carrroll - Chuck Beaty) - 3:10 rating: *** stars
'Jabberwocky' found the band returning to a more mainstream rock sound. Built on a cool, slightly funky groove and a nice Beaty solo, it made for one of the album highlights.
5.) Flat Chested Woman (Chuck Beaty) - 4:21 rating: *** stars
The opening's always reminded me of Melanie's 'Lay Down (Candles In the Wind)', but then 'Flat Chested Woman' went into a more rock oriented direction with a lyric that was bound to have offended generations of women. Pretty melody and the lyrics are mildly funny in an extremely sexist fashion ... Hard to imagine a band daring to write and record something like this one today.
Penned by keyboard player Steele, 'Ready to Ride' was the band's most conventional rocker. With Steele handling vocals, and built on an insidiously catchy guitar riff, the song sounded a bit like Paul Rodgers and Free trying to cop a Southern rocker attitude. Regardless, it would have sounded quite good on mid-1970s radio.
2.) Silver Ring (Chuck Beaty) - 5:08 rating: *** stars
Unlike anything else up to that point, 'Silver Ring' found the band taking a surprisingly competent stab at Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young styled pop-rock. Propelled by a pretty melody that incorporated strumming acoustic guitars, some interesting time shifts, sweet harmony vocals, and Liz Hein's flute solo, the results were quite enjoyable.
3.) Fly (Jim Kestle - Rusty Steele) - 4:50 rating: *** stars
With the focus on Kestle's bass, Steele's stabbing Uriah Heep-styled keyboards and some of Beaty's best lead guitar work, 'Fly' found the band sticking their collective toes into Kansas-styled progressive mode. I was never a major Kansas fan, but have to admit I quite enjoyed this one. Shame it faded out just as Beaty's guitar solo was starting to cook.
4.) People Funny (Jim Kestle) - 2:18 rating: **** stars
As the set's most conventional rocker, Kestle's ' People Funny' may have been my favorite performance. Nice guitar an keyboard propelled rocker.
5.) Musician (Chuck Beaty) - 3:09 rating: ** stars
Apparently written as the band's stab at top-40 radio acceptance, 'Musician' was a horrible pop ballad. Dull, plodding and thoroughly sappy, I'd rather hear 'Horney Coyote' again.
There's no doubt these guys were talented and I'd be willing to bet they were a killer club act, but on record they were just too diverse and unfocused to consider this anything more than a cult LP; though admittedly a cult album that draws big dollars.
Shortly after the album was released the hand underwent a major personnel shift that saw Beaty and Kestle joined by keyboardist Brian Boyd, lead singer David Gable, and drummer Dennis Meros. The band seemingly continued to perform through 1976 and then called it quits with various members joining a host of local bands.
And thanks to Rod Arment for setting the record straight:
Just want to set the record straight; read your review of the album "Coyote". You have listed the song "Ready to ride" as being penned by Rusty Steele. You obviously did not read the album cover. I wrote that song. I also did most of the keyboard work on this album, including "Cowboys and Indians" which I believe you credited Rusty on that one.
Thanks for the
update. I still have my copy of the LP. A few years ago I
transferred it to my computer so it would be in a digital format,
however the computer I had it on crashed. I've been meaning to do it
again but just haven't gotten around to it. I don't know if you are
aware of this or not but 2 songs, "Horny Coyote" and
"Flat Chested Woman" were actually recorded a few years
earlier by the Bob Brady Group which Chuck and Jimmy were members.
Joe Cash, who had Chuck and Jimmy under contract, would not allow
the album to be released without those 2 songs on it because he
thought, correctly, that they were the only top 40 type songs on the
album. Just a little tidbit for you.
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