Band members                          Related acts

- Charley Bickley - bass, mandolin, vocals
- Steve Coleman - lead guitar, steel guitar, backing vocals
- John Guerry - keyboards, bass, vocals
- Dennis Hansen - drums, vocals
- Michael Hickman - guitar, keyboards 



- none known




Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Nil Desperandum

Company: Flat Rock

Catalog: FRS 1

Year: 1971

Country/State: Houston, Texas

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: minor ring wear; couple of very minor stains; no insert

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4

Price: $100.00

Cost: $66.00


Can't say we know much about this early-1970s quintet (bassist Charley Bickley, lead guitarist Steve Coleman, keyboardist John Guerry, drummer Dennis Hansen and rhythm guitarist Michael Hickman). 

Recorded in Houston, Texas (we assume that's where the band originated), their 1971 self-produced debut "Nil Desperadum" offered up a mildly interesting mixture of hard rock ("Better Way"), country ("The Great Rio Grande Border Run") and occasional psych influences. Occasionally a bit under-produced, the nine selections (including a triology), weren't particularly original (or even all that memorable). The fact the band lacked a memorable vocalist didn't help. On the other hand, Coleman was a good lead guitarist, displaying a penchant for fuzz and feedback. All told, for a vanity project the set came off well. Bottom line; a little too country flavored for out tastes ... (Original copies included a letter in an envelop - it's missing from our copy. Anyone know what it said?)   

"Nil Desperadum" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Nil Desperadum (Michael Hickman - Steve Coleman) - 4:46
2.) Man from Barnaby (Charley Bickley) - 1:45
3.) Kitty Is a Lady (Michael Hickman - Pierce) - 3:28
4.) Family Comfort (John Guerry) - 4:04
5.) The Great Rio Grande Border Run (Michael Hickman - Steve Coleman) - 2:18
6.) Better Way (Dennis Hansen) - 2:35

(side 2)

1.) Megopolis/Out Without (Charley Bickley - John Guerry) - 3:18
2.) The Trilogy 
  a.) Do You Believe In Words (John Guerry - Steve Coleman) - 6:02
  b.) Sing Together (John Guerry) - 3:14
  c.) Relax (Enjoy Your Friends) (Michael Hickman) - 4:01
3.) Riverside (John Guerry) - 5:18

By the way, our question regarding the insert was answered.  According to Aaron: "It's a collage of lyrics from the album, in the form of a letter. It's not all of the lyrics, just a few lines from each song."


We've never seen it, but reportedly there's also a live set - "Deerfield Live". Supposedly recorded before a partisan Houston crowd, the set's suppose to include four tracks not found on the original studio set.

"Deerfield Live" track listing: