I well remember The Hotmud Family, a fixture on the string music festival circuit in the 1970s.There was no one named Hotmud, and none of the members were related but, hey… it was the 70s.
They had an entertaining stage show and a curious mix of old time and bluegrass influences. In truth, they were more an old time band that mixed in some bluegrass, something more common then than is the case today. In the mid-70s, solo acts like John Hartford, Doc Watson and Mike Cross were major festival headliners, and there were no jam band events to siphon off the hippie grassers.
But more about the Hotmuds. They got started in Dayton, OH with original members Suzanne Thomas (guitar), Rick Good (banjo) and Dave Edmundson (fiddle) in 1969. Through a number of bass players, these three kept an artistic vision that produced four successful albums for the Cincinnati-based Vetco label (1974-78).
Those four LPs have now been packaged as a CD compilation, with 55 tracks as The Hotmud Family – the complete Vetco recordings. To celebrate, the original members will host a reunion in Dayton next weekend (10/1-2), along with former bass men Tom Harley Campbell, Jerry Ray Weinert, and Gary Hopkins.
They will do shows both Friday and Saturday nights at the Canal Street Tavern, sponsored by WYSO FM as part of their fall fund drive, with tickets available only through the station.
The Vetco collection also contains a 20 page booklet with photos, and liner notes by Jon Hartley Fox. Audio samples can be heard at CD Baby or in iTunes.