Brinsley Schwarz

Pub rock, the English roots rock movement of the early ’70s, would never have earned a cult following if it wasn’t for Brinsley Schwarz. Initially, Brinsley Schwarz was a rambling, neo-psychedelic folk-rock band that borrowed heavily from Crosby, Stills & Nash and the Grateful Dead. Along the way, they established a circuit for similar bands like Dr. Feelgood and Ducks Deluxe to follow. Though the group was nominally guitarist Brinsley Schwarz’s band, bassist/lead vocalist Nick Lowe provided the bulk of the group’s songs. Lowe developed a distinctive songwriting voice — conversational, melodic, offbeat, and funny — and the band was infused with his skewed sense of humor.

Schwarz and Andrews became members of Graham Parker’s backing band, the Rumour. Gomm pursued a solo career; Rankin played with Terraplane and Big Jim Sullivan’s Tiger before retiring from music. Lowe became a successful solo artist and producer, scoring his biggest hit in 1980 with “Cruel to Be Kind,” a Brinsley leftover that the band never recorded.

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