About Stoneground

This large-scale communal outfit was originally formed in Walnut Creek, California, USA. Initially a trio, by 1970 the line-up had been expanded to include Tim Barnes (guitar), John Blakeley (bass/guitar), Luther Bildt (guitar/vocals), Pete Sears (keyboards/bass) and Mike Mau (drums). This quintet was invited to back Sal Valentino (b. Sal Spampinato, 8 September 1942, San Francisco, California, USA), formerly of the Beau Brummels, in a touring revue, the Medicine Ball Caravan. Valentino was also accompanied by four women vocalists, Annie Sampson, Deidre LaPorte, Lynne Hughes and Lydia Moreno. The newly constituted 10-piece crossed America and Europe between 1970 and 1971. Stoneground’s debut album consolidated the material performed on tour, but its successor, Family Album, is the band’s definitive collection. This appealing double-set showcased the contrasting vocal styles and informal playing which made their music so appealing, but internal friction doomed the band’s potential and by 1973 only Barnes and Sampson remained from the trailblazing, large-scale unit. Subsequent versions were less cumbersome, but equally unstable, and two later members, Cory Lerios and Steve Price, left to form Pablo Cruise who ironically found the commercial success the parent group was denied. After over two decades of inactivity, Barnes and Steve Price re-formed Stoneground in 2003 and completed the recording of a new album.

San Francisco, CA, United States of America