Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1976-77)
- Lonny Bowersox -- vocals, guitar
- Charles Fischer -- keyboards
- Chas Gunther (RIP) -- vocals, guitar
- Dan Vogan -- vocals, guitar, banjo, steel guitar
- Tom Stine -- drums, percussion
- Stanley Barton - mandolin
- Tom Rogers -- harps
- Deuble and Vogan (Dan Vogan)
- Midnight Fire Band (Larry Bowersox and Tom Stine)
Rating: 4 stars ****
Title: Share a Song
Company: Green Dolphin
Country/State: Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania
Grade (cover/record): VG/VG
Comments: cover wear
Catalog ID: SOLD 6307
Price: SOLD $120.00
Cambridge is one of those obscure mid-1970s acts that record collectors seem to love, or totally despise. There just doesn't seem to be a great deal of middle-ground feeling for this one. My summary would be its a set of country rock for people who don't like country-rock. I'm hard pressed to come up with a more complementary description.
The band was built around the talents of bassist Lonny Bowersox, keyboardist Charles Fischer, singer/guitarist Chas Gunther, drummer Tom Stine, and multi-instrumentalist Dan Vogan. They made some mid-1970s headway playing clubs throughout Western Pennsylvania and Ohio, eventually signing with the Pittsburgh-based Green Dolphin label (a subsidiary of Jeree Records). Their recording debut came with the release of 1977's "Share a Song". With Gunther and Vogan splitting songwriting chores nothing here was particularly original, or earth-shattering. That said, as far as country-rock went these guys were quite good. The band certainly wore their musical influences out in the open, including nods to mid-career Byrds, Firefall, Flying Burritto Brothers, Poco, etc. It made for an interesting game of spot-the-influences which occasionally struck out in unexpected directions - witness a bit of Allman Brothers guitar on 'Highs & Lows'. Beyond having good taste in their influences, they were blessed with a couple of strong singers, a talent for strong harmony vocals, and a couple of good guitarists in Gunter and Vogan. For what it was worth I found up-tempo numbers like Highs & Lows'' and 'Faithless Lady' far stronger than the more country oriented numbers. Dropping a couple of the country numbers would have made all the difference in the world, but the album still had more than its share of treasures.
Song" track listing:
1.) Share A Song (Chris Gunther) - 3:50 rating: *** stars
Aptly displaying the band's country-rock roots, 'Share a Song' made for a great game of spot-the-influences (this time out including The Burritos and, Poco). The song had a nice, comfy uplifting feel, but was simply way too country for my taste. Still, it'll have considerable appeal to genre fans and the uplifting lyrics bring a smile to my face.
2.) Highs & Lows (Chris Gunther) - 3:57 rating: **** stars
The sound was still distinctively country-rock, but this time out 'Highs & Lows' put the emphasis on a West Coast-flavored rock component. Kicked along by one of the album's best melodies, a tasty lead guitar solo (not sure who played it), and a great Bowersox bass line, this one actually had considerable commercial potential. If The New Riders of the Purple Sage could garner radio play, you had to wonder how this one was overlooked.
3.) Goin' Back Home (Dan Vogan) - 4:34 rating: **** stars
'Goin' Back Home' was a rollicking good-time rocker with a twin lead guitar solo that would have made the Allman Brothers, or The Marshall Tucker Band proud. Come to think of it Poco would have done well to write something as good.
4.) Goodnight Sweet Lady (Chris Gunther) - 5:47 rating: *** stars
With Gunther handling lead vocals, side one's most country-flavored effort, 'Goodnight Sweet Lady' was a pretty acoustic ballad showcasing some of the album's most gorgeous harmony vocals. Stanley Barton provided the nice mandolin solo.
Complete with pedal steel guitar, 'I Was Born (To Love You Like I Do) ' was another straight forward country effort that left me cold.
2.) Cowboy On The Trail (Dan Vogan) - 3:40 rating: **** stars
Ever wondered what Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys would have sounded like had hey recorded a country-rock number ? Check out the glistening 'Cowboy On The Trail'. Complete with shimmering acoustic guitars, Tom Stine's rock steady drums and wonderful Beach Boys-styled harmony vocals, this one was simply great.
3.) Faithless Lady (Chris Gunther) - 7:32 rating: **** stars
As a live act these guys apparently jammed quite a bit and that shows on 'Faithless Lady' (the longest track on the album). Another up tempo number, this one featured a fantastic banjo (?) solo from Vogan. The album's hardest rocker and another standout performance.
4.) Passin' By (Dan Vogan) - 2:45 rating: * star
'Passin' By; ended the album with a bland and predictable bluegrass-tinged number.
Cambridge seeming toured in support of the album, opening for the likes of John Hartford, Pure Prairie League, and The Earl Scruggs Band but sales were miniscule and the band subsequently called it quits.
Bowersox and Stine are still working together, playing in he Midnight Fire Band:
Vogan is also still active in music and has a web presence at:
Gunther seems to have passed on in the late 1990s.
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