Brandywine were a one-off American band in operation between 1969 and 1972. They took their queue from British bands such as The Who and The Kinks.
Written by: Eric
SERIAL: BL 754171
CD REISSUE: Discogs Reissue List
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: USA
LINEUP: Albert Miller – keyboards, vocals * Ed Stasium – guitar, vocals * Chip Miles – drums * Mike Caruso – bass
TRACK LISTING: 01 Stay Here * 02 Ridin’ Through The Rain * 03 Somebody * 04 Happiness Won’t Buy A Bed * 05 Look Around * 06 Searchin’ * 07 Mr Johnson * 08 Humble John * 09 True To Me
‘Aged’ is another one of those terrific late 60’s albums that seemed to fall from the sky like coloured rain back in the day and yet so few heard. The critics loved Brandywine – still do and these days their only album is rightly considered a cult classic.
Formed by Albert Miller, a onetime member of The Critters, a smart New Jersey pop combo who scored two hits with ‘Younger Girl’ which was an even bigger single for The Lovin’ Spoonful and The Beach Boys influenced ‘Mr. Dieingly Sad’.
With the end of The Critters, Miller moved on to form a band and secure a development deal with an MGM subsidiary as Men Working. At least one single followed as well as concert dates with The Cowsills, The Lemon Pipers and The Rascals but the relationship didn’t last.
With a name change to Brandywine, the group signed to Brunswick Records releasing just one album before breaking up in 1972.
I don’t want to say something cringe worthy to the effect ‘like a fine wine this album has ‘aged’ well’ but hey, it really has. From the acoustic opener ‘Stay Here’ to the rocking ‘Ridin’ Through The Rain’ which reminds me a lot of The Who by the way, this is one cool piece of plastic.
I like the spacey flute on The Band styled ‘Somebody’, but it’s the kick ass guitar work from Ed Stasium that separates Brandywine from the usual fuzzy, blues based guitar bands of the day. Yes, there is some of that Woodstock folksy hippie vibe that crept into so much music back then but these guys were no Creedence Clearwater Revival
Owing much to the British which can be heard on The Kinks influenced ‘Mr. Johnson’ and again picking up on The Who sound with album closer ‘True To You’. I’ve no doubt that if ‘Aged’ was released a couple years later, Brandywine would have shown the slew of Beatles and Badfinger copyists the door in no time.
Following the dissolution of Brandywine, Albert Miller would go in to commercial and film work. Ed Stasium would become an in demand engineer/producer with his name appearing on several melodic rock albums from Ratt and Burning Rome to Morse Code, Sharp Edges and Face To Face as well as more popular titles from Mick Jagger and The Ramones.