History was made one night in 1965 in Berkeley, California, when five men whose drive for political change and love of music would join forces in the first public appearance of Country Joe & The Fish -- a band that would change the sounds and sights of 1960s rock and roll culture.
Country Joe & The Fish created a style of music that captured the feelings of many youth at the height of the Free Speech Movement. With songs such as "Sweet Lorraine" and "Section 43," Country Joe & The Fish became one of the first bands to create the distinct psychedelic sounds of the 60s era. One song in particular skyrocketed the band into stardom: "I-Feel-like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag" drove the band into notoriety with its saucy lyrics and its description of the harsh reality of a nation divided by war.

It is that recurring theme which has brought Bruce Barthol, David Bennett Cohen, Gary "Chicken" Hirsh, and Joe McDonald, back together again in the form of The Country Joe Band. Minus Barry Melton, these four musicians have reunited to capture the psychedelic sound that has been banished to "oldies" radio stations and basements full of warped vinyl. Encouraged by the nation’s political division caused by the war in Iraq, The Country Joe Band is back with an edgy sound that is strengthened by a political voice.

After Country Joe & The Fish parted ways in the early 1970s the band members went on to become successful in their own right. Barthol went on to become an award winning composer/lyricist in the Tony-Award-winning political theater group the San Francisco Mime Troupe.

Cohen moved back to his native New York and is an accomplished composer and pianist. Performing in clubs across the nation and working with Broadway musicals like Rent have fed Cohen’s love of music. He is also a practicing Buddhist and political activist, who has been recently honored by the Harper’s Ferry NAACP.

Hirsh moved to Ashland, Ore. turning to his other passion, painting. He is now a dedicated painter and father. Hirsh also owns a very successful graphics company that indulges his passion for the arts.

McDonald went on to have a successful solo career throughout the 70s and early 80s, releasing over 20 albums. In early 1990 McDonald’s passion for history connected him with the life and times of Florence Nightingale. His extensive knowledge on the subject has made him a nationally recognized scholar on the life Florence Nightingale.

Now back together, the members of The Country Joe Band have taken their experiences from their lives after the 60s and have them applied to this new union. Reunited in the summer of 2004 The Country Joe Band has rekindled a sound and force that is needed in this 24-hour pop culture driven by Britney Spears and questionable wars in foreign countries.

During their initial time back together the band began recreating and developing a once-lost sound. With their new single "Cakewalk to Baghdad," written by Bruce Barthol, the band is picking up right where it left off.

 

 

 

back