Yet another quartet — Lee Dudley (vocals, drums), Ben Blake (vocals, guitar), John Pell (vocals, bass), Joel Maisano (vocals, organ) — that was consigned to the unfair ignominy of the “Bosstown Sound,” Phluph released one eponymous album for Verve in 1968, a slab of psychedelic pop anchored by Maisano’s organ, that fit in with the tenor of the times (to wit, the cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry”), and was dubbed “a bargain-bin classic” by Lester Bangs. Fans rejoiced when the album was reissued in 2001.

Music fans today may recognize Blake’s guitar solo on “Love Eyes,” as it was sampled on “Fixed Income,” on DJ Shadow’s 2002 album, The Private Press. As for the members of Phluph, Ben Blake has continued to release albums, most recently 2000’s Blues Deluxe. John Pell went on to tour with — among others — Dolly Parton, and has served as the Coordinator of Guitar Studies at Belmont University since 1978. Joel Maisano worked as musical director for several New York City nightclub acts and later became a composer.
(by Stephen Haag)

Published on December 28, 2012