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Masters of Reality

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Led by singer/guitarist Chris Goss, Masters of Reality were something of an anomaly on the late-'80s/early-'90s rock scene, playing a strongly Cream- and Zeppelin-influenced brand of hard rock with modern touches. Their original members included bassist Googe, guitarist Tim Harrington, and drummer Vinnie Ludovico. Goss broke up the band shortly after their well-received, self-titled debut album in 1989; he reformed the group as a trio a few years later with Googe and legendary ex-Cream drummer Ginger Baker. This lineup recorded 1993's Sunrise on the Sufferbus, which slightly altered the group's sound but again received enthusiastic reviews. However, Masters of Reality never quite fit into prevailing hard rock trends, and they remained a well-kept secret to most of the listening public. In hindsight, their retro obsessions and warm, spacious guitar sound set a clear precedent for the '90s stoner rock movement; while the Masters' less metallic sound wouldn't have been a perfect stylistic fit, the link was reinforced by Goss' acclaimed production work on three of the four Kyuss albums. Those records helped pave the way for a new career in production for Goss, and Masters of Reality went on hiatus for several years. Goss reunited with Googe in 1997, adding guitarist Brendon McNichol and drummer Victor Indrizzo for a series of live dates that resulted in the album How High the Moon: Live at the Viper Room. An all-new studio album titled Welcome to the Western Lodge was released in Europe in 1999, but did not appear on American shores until Spitfire licensed it in early 2001. ~ Steve Huey

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1981 in Syracuse, NY

Years Active:

'80s, '90s, '00s