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The Sherwoods

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Chances are that unless you come from the area around Corpus Christi, Texas or got to hear one of their two singles on Smash recorded in 1969, you've never heard of the Sherwoods. They were a quintet who made some noise during 1968-69, enough to get signed by Mercury Records but not to get heard once their official records started coming out. The Sherwoods were Michael Claxton (lead and backing vocals), Johnny Clary (drums, lead and backing vocals), David Franklin (lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals), Jim Frye (lead and rhythm guitar, backing vocals), and Kenny Blanchet (bass). Essentially a psychedelic punk outfit, not too far removed from the likes of the Moving Sidewalks (featuring Billy Gibbons) and the Thirteenth Floor Elevators, their music featured lots of extended jams on guitar and alternately spaced-out, languid vocals and intense, R&B-inspired pieces. Their live shows were evidently very impressive, because it was one such performance in Austin that got them signed by Mercury, but only two of the three singles they cut were ever released, to no success. After two years together, the group broke up in early 1970 amid personal difficulties and members' problems with the Vietnam-era draft. Three members of the band remain active in music in the 1990s, Franklin and Frye in Feo Y Loco, and Blanchet in the Houston-based group the Hightailers. ~ Bruce Eder

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