Album Notes | Track Listing

Orpheus Precursors Vol. 1, The Folk Side: Wanderers, Minute Men, College Boys, Dave Beaber, Jack McKennes, Eric Gulliksen
Orpheus Precursors Vol. 1, The Folk Side: Wanderers, Minute Men, College Boys, Dave Beaber, Jack McKennes, Eric Gulliksen
It was 1962, and the Folk Era was in full swing. The Kingston Trio, the Limeliters, the Chad Mitchell Trio and others of their ilk dominated the best-seller charts. Two young men based in Worcester, MA formed a folk duo called the Wanderers in order to be a part of this burgeoning scene. Guitarist Dave Beaber was a student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and guitarist / banjoist Jack McKennes was attending Worcester Junior College.

In November of 1962, the boys were asked to play at a record hop sponsored by WKBR radio in Manchester, NH. Dave's WPI roommate and fraternity brother, Eric "Snake" Gulliksen (yes, the nickname goes back that far!), who was playing in a rock band at the time, "sat in" on bass. After the gig, the boys went to the WKBR studios where they performed three songs over-the-air; these performances are presented here. Listener response was extraordinary.

By early March of 1963, Eric had become a full-fledged member of the group, and the trio did a second set of five over-the-air songs at WKBR, which are included as tracks 4-8. Again, response was fantastic and, on the strength of these performances, the group was approached to do an album by local producers Jimmy Parks and Dixon DeVore II. The album was recorded at WKBR in June with the group's name changed to the Minute Men to avoid confusion with another Wanderers recording group that was active at that time. It was originally intended for release on Strand Records, titled Hootenanny (A Folk Song Fest), but the firm went out of business. The album was thought to have been lost.

By the fall of 1963, Eric had returned to rock-'n'-roll, and been replaced by another WPI student named Bruce Larsen. However, immediately following the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the original trio was reassembled to record a "tribute" record called The Man. This was actually recorded in the basement of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity house on an old monaural Webcor tape recorder, using only two Electrovoice mikes and a Radio Shack passive mixer. The record was produced by Tom Zagryn and Eric Gulliksen for their company, Blue Echo Productions. The Man and its flip side were released shortly thereafter on Swan records, no. S-4166. Swan changed the name of the group to the College Boys in order to lessen the impression that a commercial entity was trying to profit from the national tragedy of the President's death. The record actually did substantially better overseas than in the United States. The two sides are presented here as tracks 21 and 22.

In 2000, Eric tracked down Dixon DeVore, who had a battered test pressing of the Minute Men album. Dixon was kind enough to transfer it to CD, and actually put out an "archival release" on his Cricket Power label. Several tracks got airplay in Europe and the Far East. In 2006 an actual vinyl recording titled Folk Festival, on the Gladwynne label (no. 2011), was located and purchased for the archive. Evidently Gladwynne had purchased the master tape from Strandís creditors. Tracks 9-20 of this CD were remastered from that album. In early 2007 a copy of the original Strand release (no. SLS-1090) was also discovered and purchased for the archive.

Jack McKennes and Eric Gulliksen went on to become founding members of Orpheus in 1967,
and of Orpheus Reborn in 2004.
This CD represents a complete collection of their earliest recordings, digitally remastered from several sources in 2006, more than forty years after they were initially recorded.



TRACK LISTING:
Click on the song titles to hear audio clips

THE WANDERERS
The Gypsy Rover
En El Agua
I Do Adore Her
Hello Susan Brown
Gilgarra Mountain
Oh Sail Away
Study War No More
Come Along Home


THE MINUTE MEN
Champagne Time
You Don't Knock
Can't Get To Heaven
Pretty Saro
Rock My Soul
Darlin' Corey
Old Man Of The Sea
Acres Of Clams
Take This Hammer
MacPherson's Lament
Study War No More
Shenandoah


THE COLLEGE BOYS
The Man
Song Of The Traveler


Available at performances of Orpheus Reborn
or Stephen and The Snake, or by mail.
Price: US$ 10.00 plus US$ 4.00 shipping and handling.
e-Mail swag@stephenandthesnake.com to contact us for ordering information;
we're not set up for e-Commerce yet.


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