Bronco were an English rock/country band signed to Island & Polydor Records 1969-1973.
Formed August 1969 by Jess Roden following his split from The Alan Bown Set, Bronco 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. The group similarly recorded their second album Ace of Sunlight at Basing Street (1971) which was produced by the band and Richard Digby Smith.
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 bass-player 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 spring of 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.
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” appears on Bumpers released in 1970 and “Sudden Street” appears 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.
Singer-songwriter Clifford T. Ward guests on their début album Country Home. Trevor Lucas sings back-up vocals on Ace of Sunlight. Both Ian Hunter and Mick Ralphs from Mott The Hoople also guest on Ace of Sunlight. (by wikipedia)
I loved most of the Island acts that I heard in the early 70’s (Free, Traffic, Fairport Convention, Spooky Tooth, etc.). Many of them were on A&M here in the States. Since Bronco apparently wasn’t on any State-side label, I didn’t hear them then, although based on my “buying trends” in those days … Can’t stop playing this disc since I’ve gotten it. Marvelous stuff that’s very evocative of what I remember about being great with most of those Island/A&M artists I loved then (and still do). Very nice vibe throughout. Wonderfully sung and played. Excellent songs like Sudden Street, and New Day Avenue. How could I have lived so long without these tunes spinning in my head? What a great, soulful voice Jess had! (by John S.)
In other words: A classic Island recording from this period … a forgotten jewels of British folk-rock … Listen and enjoy !
Robbie Blunt (guitar)
Kevyn Gammond (guitar)
John Pasternak (bass)
Pete Robinson (drums, percussion)
Jess Roden (vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano)
Terry Allen (organ on 06.)
Paul Bennett (vocals on 02. + 07.)
Paul Davenport (piano on 03.)
Ian Hunter (piano on 01.)
Trevor Lucas (vocals on 02.)
Mik Ralphs (organ on 01.)
01. Amber Moon (Roden/Worth) 3.57
02. Time Slips Away (Blunt) 6.06
03. Some Uncertainty (Ward/Gammond) 3.39
04. 4 Woman (Ward/Gammond) 4.10
05. New Day Avenue (Roden/Worth) 6.34
06. Discernible (Gammond/Worth) 3.44
07. Sudden Street (Roden) 6.21
08. Joys & Fears (Roden/Worth) 3.37
Guy Stevens & Richard Digby Smith (two very important persons for Island Records)