Formed in 1965 by guitarists Mark Loomis and Ned Torney, the Chocolate Watchband (opens in new tab) released their first album, No Way Out, (opens in new tab) in 1967 and followed it a year later with The Inner Mystique (opens in new tab).
The guitar work of Loomis (who died in 2014) was inventive and refreshingly original, his playing delightfully angular and completely devoid of cliches.
No doubt the The Chocolate Watchband’s sound was strongly influenced by their early interest in covering songs by obscure British groups instead of playing Top 10 hits like everyone else.
“Dark Side of the Mushroom” offers a good taste of how Loomis orchestrated guitar parts, as do “I Ain’t No Miracle Worker” and “Gossamer Wings,” both tour-de-force examples of the outside-the-box songwriting and production values that made the group one of the most organic and original-sounding psychedelic bands of the time.
Although the CWB have dissolved and reformed many times, they reunited and got back in the studio in 2013 (with guitarist Tim Abbott replacing Loomis) to record the critically acclaimed album This Is My Voice (opens in new tab).
To wit, the debut single, “Secret Rendezvous” was heralded as the “coolest song in the world” on Little Steven’s Underground Garage (opens in new tab) program in February 2019.
Browse the Chocolate Watchband's catalog here (opens in new tab).
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