Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1969-73)  

Rich Gooch -- bass, backing vocals

- Jack "Charles" Meussdorffer (aka Jack Charles) -- lead vocals,

   lead guitar 

- Dan Ross -- lead guitar, pedal steel, backing vocals

- Steve Williams -- drums, percussion

- Dan Wilson -- rhythm guitar, backing vocals


  line up 2 (1973-76)  

NEW - "Attilio" -- Keyboards

NEW - Ted Affolter -- percussion

NEW - Mike Garland -- drums, percussion

- Jack "Charles" Meussdorffer (aka Jack Charles) -- lead vocals, 

   lead guitar 

- Dan Ross -- guitar, pedal steel 

- Steve Williams -- drums 





- Jack Charles Mien Street

- Quarterflash (Jack Charles, Rich Gooch and Dan Ross)

- X-Angels (Rich Gooch)





Genre: country-rock

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Sand

Company: Barnaby

Catalog:  BR 15006

Country/State: Portland, Oregon

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $45.00



Good band; uninspired name and even worse album cover ...


The Portland, Oregon based Sand formed in 1970.  By the time they got around to recording their first album the line-up featured bass player Rich Gooch, singer/lead guitarist Jack "Charles" Meussdorffer, lead guitar/pedal steel guitarist Dan Ross and drummer Steve Williams. The band had spent several years  playing parties, high school dances, colleges and local clubs such as Frankensteins, The Pythian and Springers Ballroom.  In late 1972 they attracted the attention of Andy Williams' Barnaby Records which brought them to Los Angeles to record some demos.  Produced by Dan Mansfield and Dann Lettermoser, those tracks were released as "Sand" the following year.  Musically the album offered up prime country-rock material that should find a home with fans of groups like Graham Parsons-era Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, early Eagles and Poco.  Exemplified by tracks like the opener 'Who Ya Tryin' To Fool', 'Destined Road' and 'You' Meussdorffer had a lovely voice that was made even better by the band's wonderful CSN&Y-styled backing vocals. Elsewhere the band showed a slightly more commercial and pop orientation on tracks like 'Lovin' You', 'Mystery' and the promo single 'Lady of Mine'.  For me one of the album's overlooked highlights came in the form of the twin lead guitars.  Maybe not quite the Allman Brothers, but  Jack Meussdorffer and Dan Ross were an impressive combination - check out 'She'.  Admittedly their sound was a little short on originality.  Among the few on-line reviews you'll see folks call them CSN&Y wannabes.  I'd argue the performances were uniformly enjoyable with the band coming across as earnest and dedicated. There were only a couple of songs that I wanted to skip over and that's rare for any album.  Had the LP been released a year or two earlier during the prime of country-rock's emergence, it could easily have been a massive hit.  It was also one of those collections where it was fun to play "spot-the-influence" across the performances.   


I always wondered why Barnaby released the LP as a double album set since there was only one album's worth of material.  The flip sides of the two albums were blank ...  And then I read an online blurb where someone said it was intended to take advantage of automatic turntables that allowed you to stack multiple records on a spindle.  When the first album finished playing and the tone arm returned to the resting position, the spindle would drop the next LP on to the turntable mat. Saved you all the effort of having to get up and flip the album over ...  I remember having a friend who owned such a contraption.  I also remember it was exactly a smooth process.  The LP dropped to the mat or on the previous LP with quite a bit of force. Anyhow that explanation seemed to be validated by the fact some of the LPs included a sticker that read "1 record album on 2 discs for continuous flowing Sand".   Given the LP was released during the 1973 oil crises when vinyl prices shot through the roof you had to wonder about the economic logic of wasting vinyl.



Barnaby Records had few resources to promote the album and partner label MGM had no interest in it's music holdings at that point in time.  Probably not the best marketing gimmick ever, but Barnaby apparently sent promotional copies of the LP to radio stations with sand attached with Elmers glue to the covers.  Sand and records ...  interesting combination.  Big surprise the album vanished without a trace.




"Sand" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Who Ya Tryin' To Fool  (Jack Meussdorffer - Dan Ross) - 5:23  rating: **** stars

'Who Ya Tryin' To Fool' opened up the album with a sweet slice of Poco-styled country-rock.  Jack "Charles" Meussdorffer had a mesmerizing voice with the rest of the band chiming in beautiful harmony vocals that would have made CSN&Y envious.  I even liked Dan Ross' extended pedal steel solo and the Meussdorffer and Dan Ross twin lead guitar fade out was awesome.  This struck me as being a Northwest version of CSN&Y.

2.) Lovin' You (Jack Meussdorffer - Rich Gooch - Dan Ross) -  3:51 rating: **** stars

Rich Gooch opened 'Lovin' You' with some of the most melodic bass I've heard in a long time.  Dropping some of the country-rock influences the song opted for more of an America-styled of pop. Darn those harmonies were impressive.  One of the songs that should have been floated as a single.

3.) You (Jack Meussdorffer) - 5:46 rating: ** stars

The ballad 'You' was certainly pretty, but the first half veered a little too far into the country-rock realm for my tastes.  

4.) Destined Road (Jack Meussdorffer - Dan Ross) - 6:15 rating: *** stars

'Destined Road' started out as another sweet, country-tinged ballad.  Strumming acoustic guitars; pretty melody and yearning vocalsAnd just as you were getting ready for the next song it switched into a upbeat jazzy segment with scatting vocals (that I normally detest) while showcasing lead guitarist Meussdorffer and Ross.


(side 2)



(side 3)

1.Mystery (Jack Meussdorffer - Dan Ross) -  5:27  rating: **** stars

With an eclectic melody, 'Mystery' was the album's least country-rock flavored track and the coolest performances.  Once again the twin lead guitars were impressive recalling something from the Stephen Stills "Manassas" album.

2.) She (Jack Meussdorffer - Dan Ross) - 4:27 rating: *** stars

Opening with Dan Ross's pedal steel gave 'She' a strong country-rock flavor.  At first I thought it was too country-rock for my tastes, but the melody was upbeat and bouncy and the Allman-esque lead guitars were super melodic.  Barnaby released the song as a promotional single:





- 1973's 'She' (mono) b/w 'She' (stereo) (Barnaby catalog number B 5017)








3.) Eagle's Claw (Jack Meussdorffer - Dan Ross) - 4:16 rating: *** stars

Not sure who handled the vocals on 'Eagle's Claw' (it didn't sound like Meussdorffer).  Loved the melody and the electric guitars and I've puzzled over whether this was a non-secular composition.  Not that it mattered.

4.) Lady of Mine (Jack Meussdorffer - Rich Gooch - Dan Ross) - 4:10  rating: **** stars

With its Latin percussion and one of the set's catchiest melodies, 'Lady of Mine' was another track that reminded me of Stephen Stills and Manassas. The refrain and lead guitar riff wormed their way into your head and wouldn't leave.  I can see why this one was released as the album's second promotional 45:




- 1973's Lady of Mine' (mono) b/w 'Lady of Mine' (stereo) (Barnaby catalog number B 5017)




(side 4)






Following the release of an even more obscure second album "Head In the Sand" the band split.   Gooch and Meussdorffer reappeared in Quarterflash.  

Meussdorffer then went on to form the short-lived Jack Charles Mien Street, before turning his attention to building Vox-styled guitars under the Phantom Guitar Works nameplate. Phantom Guitarworks :Phantom |Teardrop |Mando |Vintage reproductions of the original Jennings Musicial Instruments U.K.Guitars from the 1960's (

Ross operates a barber shop in Southeast Portland.  Local Portland Barber Dan on Gladstone Street (

In 2014 the band was inducted into the Oregon Music Hall of fame.  Who knew there was such a thing?