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Lambert and Nuttycombe

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Biography

One of many folk-rock acts formed in the 1960s, Lambert & Nuttycombe enjoyed modest success on the West Coast but failed to sustain a long-lasting career. Los Angeles native Craig Nuttycombe honed his musical skills playing guitar with the New Dimensions in the early '60s. Nuttycombe left the band in 1964, and soon after, several members of the New Dimensions formed the East Side Kids, an outfit briefly featuring Denis Lambert on guitar. Lambert and Nuttycombe became acquainted and decided to form their own act after both spent time as members of the East Side Kids. Playing clubs in the Hollywood area, the acoustic-based folk duo soon built up a following. In 1969, Lambert & Nuttycombe, now under the direction of We Five manager Howard Wolf, signed with A&M and moved to San Francisco to record their debut album. The sparse At Home was released in 1970, and the moderate success of the record opened up new opportunities for the act. They soon began to tour more extensively, even landing a gig opening for Canned Heat on their 1970 European tour. However, the duo, seemingly on the verge of greater success, began to lose steam. 20th Century signed the act after A&M let them go, and the duo, along with Wolf, brought in producer Keith Olsen and a host of musicians to help them expand their sound on record. Released in 1973, As You Will generated a bit of attention but failed to bring Lambert & Nuttycombe into the mainstream. Soon after the album's release, Craig and Denis went their separate ways. Nuttycombe released It's Just a Lifetime in 1978 to little response. After a long hiatus from recording, he reemerged in the '90s with a handful of releases reminiscent of Lambert & Nuttycombe's rootsy folk sound. Both the duo and Nuttycombe as a solo artist experienced a surge of popularity in Japan in the late '90s with the re-release of At Home and the distribution of Nuttycombe's solo work on Japanese labels. Old Friends and Days Gone By, collections of previously unheard Lambert & Nuttycombe recordings, appeared in 2001. Nuttycombe continued his involvement in music, issuing albums independently and playing dates in Southern California occasionally. Sadly, Lambert took his own life in 1997. A two-disc collection of demos from 1969-1971 surfaced on Sunbeam in 2014.