Saturday, August 29, 2009


Country Weather was one of the minor bands that were part of the San Francisco music scene of the mid- to late '60s. The group was formed in the San Francisco suburb of Walnut Creek, CA, by high school students Dave Carter (bass and vocals) and Steve Derr (rhythm guitar and vocals) as a cover band called the Virtues in 1966. They were joined by Paul White (lead guitar) and Craig T. Nelson (drums) (not the actor of the same name), who were soon replaced by Greg Douglass and Bill Baron. In 1967, they auditioned for promoter Chet Helms, who suggested they change their name and stop playing covers. Soon after, they became Country Weather. Over the next few years, they played frequently at such San Francisco venues as the Avalon Ballroom, the Fillmore Auditorium, and Winterland, opening for many of the renowned acid rock bands of the day, as well as up and down the West Coast. But they were never signed to a national record contract. In 1969, they recorded their own one-sided, five-song disc, which earned airplay on local radio stations.

Country Weather disbanded at the start of 1973, when Douglass and Baron quit to form a band called Mistress. Douglass later joined the Steve Miller Band and has also played with Van Morrison, among others. Carter played in a version of Quicksilver Messenger Service and in former Moby Grape member Skip Spence's band. Country Weather re-formed in August 2000 to play a benefit concert for a friend in need of a liver transplant. What was intended to be a one-off event led to the full-time reformation of the band with a lineup of Carter, Derr, Graham Cooper (lead guitar and vocals), and Lloyd Ferris (drums and vocals), a former member of Appaloosa. In 2003, the band changed its name to Weather, and Ferris left, replaced by Terry Ratza. In 2005, the Swiss label RD Records, which specializes in unreleased music from the '60s and early '70s, released the band's debut album, Country Weather, as a double vinyl LP. The album contained vintage recordings made between 1969 and 1971. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide


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