Jesse, Wolff and Whings

Band members                             Related acts

   line up 1 (1971-72)

- Jesse Barish -- vocals, guitar, keyboards, flute

- Kenny Kaufman -- bass, backing vocals

- Kevin Kelley -- drums, percussion, backing vocals

- Bill Wolff -- lead guitar





- Jesse Barish (solo efforts)

- The Byrds (Kevin Kelley)

- Fusion (Bill Wolff)

- Jefferson Starship (Jesse Barish)

- Peanut Butter Conspiracy (Bill Wolff)

- The Rising Sons (Kevin Kelley)

- Soft Machine (Bill Wolff)




Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Jesse, Wolff and Whings

Company: Shelter / Capitol


Year: 1972

Country/State: --

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor edge and cover wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5256

Price: $25.00


The short-lived and little known Jesse, Wolff and Whings sported an accomplished set of credentials in the form of singer/songwriter Jesse Barish, sessions bassist Kenny Kaufman, ex-Byrds drummer Kevin Kelley, and former Peanut Butter Conspiracy guitarist Bill Wolff.  Kaufman and Kelley had also previously played together in a Phil Ochs backing band.

Signed by Leon Russell’s Shelter label, the quartet’s cleverly titled 1972 debut “Jesse, Wolff and Whings” teamed the band with producer Denny Cordell.  With Barish responsible for penning all ten tracks, material like ‘Some Other Time’, ‘Don’t Cry Your Life Away’ and ‘Hard To Wind’ showcased an enjoyable, if not particularly original mixture of bar band boogie and early-1970s country-rock.  A modest distinguishing characteristic, but Barish’s arrangements occasionally incorporated a little bit of flute (‘Life In the Country’) and mild jazz-influences into the mix (‘In the Morning).  Barish was a decent enough lead singer and ‘Set Me Free’ showed the four could turn in some nice group harmonies.  Unfortunately, like many early-1970s country-rock releases, individually most of the tracks were quite listenable, but strung together they suffered from a certain ‘sameness’ and in the end their simply wasn’t a great deal to maintain one’s interest across both sides.  Perhaps because it actually showed they could rock out, the stand out tracks were ‘Inspiration On the Highway’ and the closer ‘Lookin’ Back’.  To bad there weren’t a couple more up-tempo rockers on the set.  Nice to see they thanked their tour manager and spiritual advisor on the liner notes …  The black and white Rorschach-styled cover was also kind of cool (courtesy of The Institute Inc.).

"Jesse, Wolff and Whings" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Shut the Door   (Jesse Neal Barish) – 1:51

2.) Life In the Country   (Jesse Neal Barish) – 2:26

3.) Don’t Cry Your Life Away   (Jesse Neal Barish) – 3;14

4.) Another Song for You   (Jesse Neal Barish) – 2:26

5.) In the Morning   (Jesse Neal Barish) – 5:04

6.) Some Other Time   (Jesse Neal Barish) – 3:24


(side 2)
1.) Inspiration On the Highway   (Jesse Neal Barish) – 3;26

2.) Hard To Win   (Jesse Neal Barish) – 2:27

3.) Take My Pain Away   (Jesse Neal Barish) – 2:59

4.) Set Me Free   (Jesse Neal Barish) – 2:31

5.) Lookin’ Back   (Jesse Neal Barish) – 3:58



As far as I can tell their catalog consisted of this one LP.  Barish continued his work as a songwriter, eventually hooking up with Marty Balin and The Jefferson Starship.  Balin also produced a couple of forgettable mid-1970s Barish solo albums