Bronco – Smoking Mixture (1973)

FrontCover1ABronco were an English five piece rock and country band, who were signed to Island and Polydor Records between 1969 and 1973. They released three albums during their existence, Country Home (1970), Ace of Sunlight (1971) and Smoking Mixture (1973).

Bronco were formed in August 1969 by Jess Roden following his split from The Alan Bown Set. They were signed to Island Records by Guy Stevens and, after initially recording tracks at Olympic Studios with him, recorded their first album, Country Home, at Island’s own Basing Street Studios during 1970, with the final mix being overseen by Paul Samwell-Smith. One of the album’s tracks, “Love” was included on Bumpers, an Island sampler album. The group similarly recorded their second album Ace of Sunlight at Basing Street (1971) which was produced by the band and Richard Digby Smith. Singer-songwriter Clifford T. Ward guested on their debut album Country Home. Trevor Lucas sang back-up vocals on Ace of Sunlight, and both Ian Hunter and Mick Ralphs from Mott The Hoople also guested on that album. In January 1971, Bronco appeared on BBC Two’s Disco 2.

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Following a serious motorway accident between Cheltenham and Bristol (in which the group’s crew – Dick Hayes and Alan Stone – and drummer Pete Robinson and bassist John Pasternak were badly injured) and a later, ill-fated West Coast of America tour, Roden left the band after a final British tour with label-mates Mott The Hoople and John Martyn in the early 1972, to start a solo career. Guitarist Robbie Blunt soon followed and the remaining members drafted in Paul Lockey on vocals (who Kevyn Gammond knew from Band of Joy) and Dan Fone on guitar. This incarnation of Bronco signed to Polydor and released one album, Smoking Mixture.

John Pasternak

Bronco’s bass player John Pasternak died of a heart attack in September 1986. Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant fronted a tribute event for Pasternak in December of that year, that featured Plant and The Big Town Playboys, and concluded with an ensemble band featuring Plant, Jimmy Page on guitar and Jason Bonham on drums.

Two Bronco tracks are featured on Island records compilation albums: “Love” appeared on Bumpers released in 1970 and “Sudden Street” was on El Pea (1971). “Time Slips Away” was included on the Island Records compilation Meet on the Ledge, released as part of Island’s 50th anniversary in 2009. (by wikipedia)

Bronco are renowned as one of the UK’s most unfairly neglected early ’70s bands. Smoking Mixture was their third and final LP, and originally appeared in 1973. A superb collection of laid-back rock. (forcedexposure.com)

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Personnel:
Dan Fone (piano, guitar, banjo,harmonica, vocals)
Kevyn Gammond (guitar, vocals)
Paul Lockey (vocals, guitar)
John Pasternak (bass, vocals)
Pete Robinson (drums, percussion, vocals)
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Paul ‘Cosmic Charlie’ Gammond (tambourine)
Simon Lanzon (keyboards)
Royston ‘Aloysius Soul-Brother’ Williams (percussion)

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unknown horn + string section conducted by Richard Hewson

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Tracklist:
01. Attraction (Gammond/Ward) 5.11
02. Blueberry Pie (Gammond) 4.23
03. Southbound State Express (Gammond/Ward) 3.52
04. Steal That Gold (Gammond/Pasternak) 7.55
05. Strange Awakening (Gammond/Ward) 7.28
06. Tell Me Why (Gammond/Ward) 6.30
07. Tennessee Saturday Night (Gammond/Pasternak/Robinson) 2.56
08. Turkey In The Straw (Traditional/Gammond) 3.50
09. Zonker (Pasternak) 3.16

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