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13 Feb 2017

Dewey Martin "Dewey Martin and Medecine Ball" 1970 US Rock (drummer of Buffalo Springfield) From soundtrack of “Angels Die Hard”














Dewey Martin  "Dewey Martin and Medecine Ball" 1970 US Rock (drummer of  Buffalo Springfield)
From soundtrack of “Angels Die Hard”
full movie & soundrack..
Most rock fans know that after Buffalo Springfield broke up, three of its members – Neil Young, Stephen Stills, and Richie Furay – went on to record numerous notable records, in bands and as solo artists, in which they figured strongly as talented singer/songwriters. It’s far less known that the other two members of the original band, drummer Dewey Martin and bassist Bruce Palmer, also continued to make records, both releasing LPs as solo artists in the early ‘70s. As Martin (unlike Palmer) had a respectable voice, one might think he was better positioned to make a go of it under his own name than his old rhythm-section partner, if not nearly as well equipped for solo stardom as Young, Stills, or Furay. In all frankness, however, the 1970 album Dewey Martin & Medicine Ball is not an overlooked nugget, though it’s far more polished and song-oriented than Palmer’s legendarily uncommercial The Cycle Is Complete. Instead, it’s ordinary country-soul-rock, handicapped by Martin’s lack of songwriting chops, Dewey contributing just one original tune, “Indian Child.” While he actually had a decent husky soul-rock voice that was arguably underrepresented in Buffalo Springfield (although he did sing lead on that group’s “Good Time Boy”), it’s not showcased to its best advantage here, both because his vibrato-laden delivery can be erratic and because the songs aren’t great. A couple notable players are in the supporting cast (particularly Buddy Emmons on steel guitar and ex-Bobby Fuller Four member Randy Fuller on rhythm guitar), and a pair of songs are written by Ron Davies, most known for penning a tune covered by David Bowie, “It Ain’t Easy.” Bruce Palmer is heard on acoustic guitar, also writing the folk-raga instrumental “Recital Palmer” – which, since it doesn’t have any drumming behind its lone acoustic guitar, is presumably an actual Bruce Palmer solo track (and actually one of the best cuts). Martin doesn’t do himself any favors, however, by trying to interpret classics by Buddy Holly (“Maybe Baby”) and, in a weird country-pop arrangement, the Beatles’ “Yesterday.”….. by Richie Unterberger …. 

After the break up of the Buffalo Springfield the various members moved on. Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Richard Furay and Jim Messina all moved on to successful careers. The Group’s drummer, Martin, tried forming the 'New Buffalo Springfield’ without success. He then formed a group called 'Medicine Ball’ which recorded one album in 1970. Consisting mostly of cover versions of other people’s songs it is quite listenable, not that bad of an album but nothing really stands out that much. Very interesting acquisition for Buffalo Springfield fans if you can find one. …………… 

Like a lot of pop fans, I like to follow the post-break-up careers of the members of my favorite bands. Often, this is easy to do, as it was in the ’70s when the solo Beatles were regularly on Top 40 radio. I also remember tracking down Michael Nesmith’s LPs with the First and Second National Bands (and beyond) in the hopes of fanning the embers of Monkeemania. However, it is not at all unusual for some such post-break-up works to slip through the cracks or be downright obscure. Take the Buffalo Springfield, for example. Following Stephen Stills career after the Springfield? Easy. Neil Young’s? Ditto. Ritchie Furay’s? OK, now you have to pay attention, but not too much. Dewey Martin’s? Um, who? Indeed, it wasn’t until several years after its original release that I came across a copy of Dewey Martin and Medicine Ball, the only major release by the former Springfield drummer. (For the record, bassist Bruce Palmer also released an obscure post-Springfield LP, The Cycle is Complete). 
Dewey Martin was one of three Canadians in Buffalo Springfield (the others being Neil Young and Bruce Palmer) and the last member to join the band. After the band broke up in 1968, he quickly formed a new group to capitalize on the Springfield’s success. Unimaginatively named New Buffalo Springfield, the band was soon delivered with cease-and-desist orders and shortened their name to New Buffalo which was deemed acceptable by the lawyers involved. Still, the band folded less than a year after they formed, never releasing an album or single. In early 1970, Martin formed Medicine Ball, a band with a fairly loose roster, including―at various times―former Springfield bassist Bruce Palmer, Billy Darnell, Pete Bradstreet, Bob Stamps, Randy Fuller (Bobby’s brother), Terry Gregg, Harvey Kagan, Steve Lefever, and Buddy Emmons. As Martin was under contract with UNI Records since mid-1969, the Medicine Ball album was undertaken under the auspices of that contract and finally released in August of 1970. 
The most surprising thing about Dewey Martin and Medicine Ball is that Martin is just a terrific singer, sounding quite a bit like Joe Cocker on the latter’s seminal first two albums. The arrangements, too, share a lot in common with those Cocker albums: bluesy rock with an eye to dramatic melodies and pretty chord changes. The big difference is Medicine Ball’s prevalent use of pedal steel, which, on the whole, works well. Now all that said, on “Indian Child,” the opening track, Martin sounds a little closer to David Clayton Thomas than Cocker, but, hey, that’s in the same ballpark at least. For me, the highlights on the album are the ballads “Silent Song Thru the Land” and “I Do Believe” and the country-rock “The Devil and Me.” A mere curiosity is “Recital Palmer,” a meandering free-form instrumental written (though that may be an overstatement) by Bruce Palmer. The album also features a slowed-down and countrified cover of Buddy Holly’s “Maybe Baby” and a very Cocker-esque reading of “Yesterday.” 
No singles were pulled from Medicine Ball. Shortly after the release of the LP, however, RCA did put out a single credited to the band (“There Must Be a Reason” written by Joe Cocker and Chris Stainton b/w “Caress Me Pretty Music” written by Alan O’Day ―that’s right, of “Undercover Angel” fame), though the recordings actually feature Martin backed by Elvis’ TCB Band. The single, like the LP, failed to make any impression on the charts. 
Martin left the music business in 1971, working for a period as a mechanic, but in the ’80s, he returned to play with various bands, including Buffalo Springfield Revisited, a band put together by Bruce Palmer but, of course, featuring none of the three main singers or songwriter. Martin passed away in 2009. 

Dewey Martin and Medicine Ball has never been reissued on CD or in the digital domain. Used copies are readily available on the resale market and the album is frequently posted on various blogs and file-sharing sites. Fans of the Springfield and Joe Cocker will definitely want to seek this one out!………….By Peter Marston………… 

Track listing 
A1 
Indian Child 2:36 
A2 
Right Now Train 3:12 
A3 
Silent Song Thru the Land 2:30 
A4 
Maybe Baby 2:20 
A5 
Recital Palmer 2:44 
B1 
Yesterday 2:30 
B2 
The Devil and Me 3:50 
B3 
I Do believe 3:47 
B4 
Race Me On Down 2:40 
B5 
Change 4:04

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