The Bakerton Group
They're more funktastic than any rock band! More rock & roll than any jam band! More jammin than any blues band, and pack more southern hooks than Ronnie Van Zant's old lakeshore tackle box! Did I mention they're an instrumental outfit?
The Bakerton Group is the Maryland based groove-laden psychedelic side project of the rock band Clutch! Originally formed in 1999 by Clutch guitarist Tim Sult, drummer Jean Paul Gaster, and bassist Dan Maines, the band first toured extensively as a jazz-infected, instrumental power trio, and released the infectious Uncle Punchy-produced Space Guitars EP on thier own River Road Records in 2001. Led by the catchy "The Mack", Space Guitars has evolved into a legendary classic underground debut, not unlike some of the early Hawkwind vinyl offerings in the late 60's that were primarily available only at the band's festival gigs.
As the mighty BG continued touring, they eventually added a full time organist, Mick Schauer, who also became a member of Clutch from 2005-2007. Schauer’s robust Hammond B3 sound was extremely reminiscent of Deep Purple's Jon Lord. The band began writing new material and would release the more focused J. Robbins-produced Bakerton Group full length CD in early 2007. This was less jazz-oriented & more of a Grand Funk rock circa '74-inspired slab of tunage, with more free flowing dancable jams that would make the likes of both Chris Robinson AND Sly Stone proud. From the opening riff of "1906, The Great Bakertons" to the epic "Last Orbit", this disc became an instant instrumental rock classic, as the band occasionally showcased this material not only at BG gigs, but sporadically during Clutch shows as well.
One would think The Bakerton Group might have rested on this work and their laurels, but that was not to be. After more touring in 2007, the band parted ways with Shauer and added Clutch's lead vocalist Neil Fallon on rhythm and slide guitar. Early indications point the band taking a more blues-laden approach, but then again, predictability is never in the cards for these guys. The Bakerton Group will tour this fall for the first time with Fallon "officially" in the mix and will record another J. Robbins-produced full length in December for release in eary 2009 on the band's newly formed Weathermaker Music label.