Swampwater (1970 - 1972)


Linda & John

At that time he started hanging around with Linda Ronstadt. A short time later Linda asked John Beland to join her band. The other band members were: GIB GUILBEAU, STAN PRATT and ERIC WHITE (Clarence's brother) and they named themselves SWAMPWATER. Ronstadt and Swampwater appeared on a number of television shows and concert venues, touring with such acts as Tim Buckley, Van Morrison, Poco, Rick Nelson and many others. The powerful vocals of Ronstadt combined with the cajun/rock sounds of Swampwater won standing ovations wherever they appeared.Ronstadt

Linda & John

During their stint with Ronstadt, Swampwater recorded two solo albums.
GIB GUILBAU had a solo record deal and along with the other members of Swampwater he went to Albuquerque, New Mexice to cut an album which evolved into a group effort, becoming the first Swampwater album. However, just before the sessions Eric White left the band but stayed on as the band's road manager. John called up his old friend Thad Maxwell to take over the bass in the band.

Swampwater album 1970
- SWAMPWATER: Swampwater (King KS 1122)
re-issued on CD on One Way Records in 1995 (OW 30994)
with: Gib Guilbeau, John Beland, Thad Maxwell, Stan Pratt.

This album was recorded in two days on a four track machine in New Mexico.

NOTE: The song "Nashville lady" from this album was the first John Beland song recorded by another artist, it was Engelbert Humperdinck.

John A number of tracks from this album were 1979 re-released on:

A few Swampwater songs also on
- GIB GUILBEAU: Toe tappin' music (Shiloh SLP/SCD 4085)

Two singles from this album were released:

Swampwater singles
- SWAMPWATER: Louisiana woman / River people (King 6345)
- SWAMPWATER: Take a city bride / It's your game, Mary Jane (King 6376).

Also 1970 SWAMPWATER were musicians for an unreleased JOHNNY DARRELL song produced by Larry Murray in Nashville:

  • I'd rather be at the Grand Ol' Opry

    with SWAMPWATER, Earl Scruggs (banjo) and Jimmy Day (steel guitar).

    Swampwater In 1971 John met up again with LARRY MURRAY who was now working on the Johnny Cash TV show and Larry got Linda Ronstadt a booking on the show which was recorded at the "Grand Ole Opry" in Nashville during which Swampwater got to do two of their own songs. Larry also secured a recording deal for Swampwater with RCA and some tracks were cut in Nashville for their second LP during this visit. The album was completed in Los Angeles with the production shared by Larry Murray and Ken Mansfield.

    Swampwater album 1971
    - SWAMPWATER: Swampwater (RCA LSP4572)
    with: Gib Guilbeau, John Beland, Thad Maxwell, Stan Pratt
    guests: Glen D. Hardin, Curly Chalker, Jimmy Day, Herb Pedersen, Don Tweedy

    The songs "One note man" and "A song I heard" from this album were released 1999 on the compilation CD:

    2 Swampwater songs on various artist CD
    - Various Artists: Fallen Angel (Camden DeLuxe 74321 - 660392)

    One single from the 1971 album was released:

    Swampwater single
    - SWAMPWATER: Ooh-Wee California/A Song I heard (RCA 0585)

    1971 SWAMPWATER did final sessions for RCA. Those recordings are unreleased:

  • Simple man
  • Green valley

    Produced by Larry Murray at RCA studios Hollywood.
    with: John Beland, Gib Guilbeau, Thad Maxwell, Stan Pratt.
    guests: Sneaky Pete Kleinow (steel guitar), Jim Horn (flute, sax) and Paul Parrish (piano).

    You can also hear Swampwater backing Linda Ronstadt on a live LP recorded at a Big Sur Celebration on two songs:

    2 songs Linda Ronstadt with Swampwater
    - Various Artists: Celebration - The Big Sur Folk Festival 1970 (Ode LP SPX 77008)
    re-issued on CD 1990 (Sequel Records NEX CD 145) and 2000 (Essential ESMCD 871)
  • The only mama that'll walk the line
  • Lovesick blues
  • SWAMPWATER recorded under the name Lowell Bennett 4 LP's for Westland Records. They did it under an assumed name because Swampwater were signed to RCA at the time. On each record they did songs of a famous country star like Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Glen Campbell and Jerry Lee Lewis. Gib did the lead vocals on the Merle Haggard and Buck Owens recordings and a guy named Chuck Morgan did the Glen Campbell and Jerry Lee Lewis songs.

    Lowell Bennett albums
    - LOWELL BENNETT: Lowell Bennett sings Merle Haggard (Westland Records ?)
    with Gib on lead vocals and Swampwater
    Song list:
    Branded man/Okie from Muskogee/Workin' man blues/Silver wings/
    Swinging doors/The fugitive/Today I started loving you again/The bottle let me down/
    Sing me back home/Take a lot of pride

    - LOWELL BENNETT: Lowell Bennett sings Buck Owens (Westland Records ?)
    with Gib on lead vocals and Swampwater

    - LOWELL BENNETT: Lowell Bennett sings Glen Campbell (Westland Records ?)
    with Chuck Morgan on lead vocals and Swampwater

    - LOWELL BENNETT: Lowell Bennett sings Jerry Lee Lewis (Westland Records ?)
    with Chuck Morgan on lead vocals and Swampwater

    John In 1970 John Beland along with Gib Guilbeau, Ry Cooder and Chris Ethridge played behind Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Odetta, Country Joe McDonald, Ramblin Jack Elliot and others at "The Hollywood Bowl" for the TRIBUTE TO WOODY GUTHRIE CONCERT. It was released 1972 as a live album that is now in the Library Of Congress:

    John Beland musician
    - Various Artists: Tribute to Woody Guthrie (1972)

    1972 John Beland played dobro on the soundtrack to the film "HONKY" produced by Quincy Jones.

    Other sessions during this time:

    John Beland musician
    - LARRY MURRAY: Sweet country suite (1971)
    - LARRY GROCE: Crescentville (1971) also with Gib Guilbeau, Doug Dillard & Sneaky Pete Kleinow)
    - PAUL PARRISH: Songs (1971)

    John played on Odetta's version of the Jagger/Richards song "No Expectations" produced by John Boylan 1970. But John didn't get credit on the cover!

    John also never received proper credit for playing the acoustic guitars on Ronstadt's version of "She's a very lovely woman"...1971...same producer Boylan.

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