16. New Riders of the Purple Sage: Dirty Business
Not unlike Hot Tuna, New Riders of the Purple Sage was conceived as a Grateful Dead spinoff group, an outfit with whom Jerry Garcia, Phil Lesh, and Mickey Hart could further explore the folk/country music that informed Workingman's Dead and American Beauty in 1970. The original lineup, which was never set in stone, consisted of Garcia, Lesh, Hart, plus John Dawson on guitar/vocals and David Nelson on guitars and mandolin. Ultimately Garcia, Lesh, and Hart re-focused their attentions on the Dead, resulting in former Jefferson Airplane drummer Spencer Dryden taking Hart's place, and bassist Dave Torbert taking over from Lesh. Their debut, New Riders Of the Purple Sage, released in 1971, features Garcia on banjo, guitar, and pedal steel, Mickey Hart helps out, too. The album is a low-key rustic homespun affair very much in line with Workingman's Dead and American Beauty, even if it lacks those albums classic songwriting. Most of the songs are in the 4-minute range, but "Dirty Business" is a good western yarn that ambles along for nearly eight. It's essentially a folk tune, but is accompanied by feedback squelches that give it a windswept, tumbleweed strewn atmosphere. The album peaked at #39; the New Riders remained a marginal commercial success through 1976. Their last album appeared in 1980, although a new New Riders Of The Purple Sage was assembled around Dawson in the 90's, and has released several albums in addition to frequently touring.
17. Joy Of Cooking: Closer To The Ground
Formed in Berkeley in 1967, Joy of Cooking were one of the first female-led (as opposed to female fronted) bands ever. Their core was singer/songwriters/guitarists Terry Garthwaite and Toni Brown (who also played keyboards); their first album Joy Of Cooking, appeared in 1970. Their music was a loose, laid back jazzy medium rock that displayed no psychedelic influence, but were capable of a gritty white funk that recall Stephen Stills on "Closer To The Ground", the bass and piano driven title cut from their 1971 sophomore album. While their music wasn't overtly political, Garthwaite and Brown became outspoken on women's issues, which led to many male listeners (and apolitical female ones) to shy away from their music, which never sold very well, although all three of their albums made the top-200 and "Brownsville", the single from their debut, reached #66. After splitting in 1973, Garthwaite and Brown reunited as the Joy in 1977 for a fourth album together.