Sunday, May 20, 2012


Hailing from the Los Altos/Cupertino areas just south of Palo Alto, Bethlehem Exit was a very early band. Even though they did not survive long they laid some significant groundwork for some of the Bay Area upcoming groups as far as notable musicians. This band made only one 45 record.

Members included.....

Pete Sultzbach - guitar
John Tomasi - lead singer and harp player
Dave Wilkie - bass
Chris Ingstrom - drums
Chris Herold - drums(replaced Ingstom)

Sultzbach had founded Bethlehem Exit in 1965, Tomasi and Chris Herold had joined the group by 1966. David Nelson was living at the Channing Avenue house, on hiatus from playing bluegrass and jammed with the Bethlehem Exit members. During these jams Dave Torbert joined as bass player. With the addition of Nelson and Torbert the band moved on to being known as The New Delhi River Band.

The group had formed in June 1966, out of what was left of folk rock band Bethlehem Exit. The New Delhi River Band was based at a house in Palo Alto. Today, the New Delhi River Band is only known, if at all, as the first rock band for future New Riders Of The Purple Sage members David Nelson and Dave Torbert. Although no recordings are known to survive, they played Butterfield-style blues, with a touch of R&B thrown in: typical sets apparently included "Young Blood" and "Suzie Q" along with Muddy Waters classics. The lineup of The New Delhi River Band (up until its final incarnation) was

John Tomasi-vocals, harmonica
Peter Sultzbach-lead guitar
David Nelson-guitar
Dave Torbert-bass
Chris Herold-drums


Anonymous said...

Thanks! Nice version of Hey Joe. I never had heard of this band. I think they sound a lot like early Beau Brummels.

Redwoodhippie said...

A pleasure to again hear these sounds. I was a friend of John Tamasi around 1966-67 and went to the Barn where the New Delhi River Band played a lot. Listening I knew the sounds immediately. Thanks for sharing this. I do hope I get to meet up with John again. peace

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