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On The Blue Road

The Fankhauser Cassidy Band

Gonzo Multimedia 2015

Review by David Bowling


Thousands of albums are released each year and most receive little attention or commercial success. For many the lack of success is deserved but for some, their good music just disappears waiting to be rediscovered, which brimgs us to the Fankhauser Cassidy Band.

Merrell Fankhauser has been involved in the music industry since the early 1960’s with a variety of bands and while none of his groups became household names, he has produced a lot of good rock and roll along the way and is credited as the composer of over 300 songs.

Ed Cassidy is best remembered as the bald headed drummer of the group Spirit. After serving in World War II, he played with a number of jazz musicians including Art pepper. Cannonball Adderley, and Gerry Mulligan. At the age of 43, he was one of the founders of the rock group Spirit.

Fankhauser and Cassidy became friends during the early 1990’s and formed a band that issued some vastly underappreciated material. Their album, On The Blue Side has now been reissued as a two-disc, 25 track set.

They combined original material with covers of songs like “High Heel Sneakers,” “Walkin’ The Dog,” and the old Muddy Waters blues classic “Going Down To Louisiana.” They were a basic rock band who could get a little funky and bluesy at times. Fankhauser’s “Hot Night In Louisville,” “Psychedelic Dreams,” “Goin’ Back To Delta,” and “Tale Of Misty Mountain” are all fine examples of their unique fusion approach.

Ed Cassidy passed away in 2012 at the age of 89 so this release is a nice last testament. The bonus is it contains a lot of excellent music.

Rating: ***1/2