Sunday, January 25, 2009

Country Joe & The Fish: A Largely Underrated Band

"Country Joe & The Fish?" you ask. "Oh, that's that band that played that Vietnam song at Woodstock!" Yes, but that (amazing) performance only captures the smallest idea of what the band was. The band formed in 1965 in Berkeley California. It consisted of "Country" Joe McDonald and Barry "The Fish" Melton, as well as other assortments of great bassists, drummers, and keyboardists, etc.. Their first real studio album was Electric Music for the Mind and Body. It perfectly captures the essence of what psychedelic rock is. Here is "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine" from the album. It is live at The Monterey Pop Festival (1967):

And here is "Section 43" from the same show:

Many just thought that they only preached their political beliefs. This is not at all true. Although many of their great songs are about their political beliefs, there are also other songs about love and life. Their most famous performance was at Woodstock as I mentioned earlier, but they did not get the recognition they deserved for their other works. There is a petition to get them (as well as Canned Heat) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame here:

I highly encourage everyone to further explore their brilliant music. You can buy their albums on or you can find a torrent.


  1. They're just Ok in my opinion, but that's just me. (-and my opinion is always off.)

  2. Haha, that's okay. Its all simply a matter of opinion. They certainly weren't the same caliber as bands like The Beatles (obviously) and other high-profile bands of the 60's, but I believe that they were VERY underrated.

  3. one of my favourite bands of all time - along with The Beatles!
    they are very underrated, but this does mean that they're one of those bands that tend to get "discovered" as you get into music.