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Spin Doctors

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The Spin Doctors’ story starts in 1987, with a band called the Trucking Company that included John Popper and guitarist Eric Schenkman. When Popper bowed out (to devote full-time to Blues Traveler), he recommended a high school friend from Princeton, New Jersey, as his replacement, Chris Barron.

 The Spin Doctors were born when Barron and Schenkman recruited jazz drummer Aaron Comess (from the Jazz department at the Mannes School of Music at New York’s New School for Social Research), who in turn brought along his friend Mark White on bass, from the band Spade. Their first gigs were on fraternity row at Columbia University in 1988-89.

 In 1991, their debut album, Pocket Full of Kryptonite, brought a string of back-to-back hit singles:  “Little Miss Can’t Be Wrong” (Number 17 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Number Two for four weeks on the Album Rock chart, 1992), “Two Princes” (Number Seven on Billboard Hot 100; Number Two for seven weeks on the Album Rock chart, 1993 and was the number-one most-played song on American radio for the entire year), punctuated by “Jimmy Olsen’s Blues” (Top Ten on the Album Rock chart) and “What Time is It?” To date Pocket Full of Kryptonite has gone on to sell eight million records worldwide.

 Turn It Upside Down, the Spin Doctors’ 1994 follow-up to Kryptonite, was considered a commercial disappointment although it sold over two million records around the world. The final weeks of a 1994 world tour found the Spin Doctors at the end of five solid years of touring and releasing three albums without a real break. After much soul-searching and inner band tensions, founding guitarist Eric Schenkman decided to leave the band.

 For the next few years the band continued touring and recording. The Spin Doctors released You’ve Got to Believe in Something on Epic records in 1996 and Here Comes The Bride on Universal Records in 1999. Towards the end of the session for Here Comes The Bride, bassist Mark White, unhappy with the musical direction of the band decided to leave. Just days prior to the release date, lead singer Chris Barron completely lost his voice due to vocal chord paralysis. He was unable to speak for over six months. All promotion and touring set up to promote the record had to be canceled. HERE COMES THE BRIDE never saw the light of day.

 Fortunately, through much rehabilitation, Chris eventually made a full and complete recovery. In 2000, the remaining members, Chris Barron and Aaron Comess decided to call it quits until last September when the Wetlands Preserve came calling.

According to Barron, “We’re glad that the original members of the Spin Doctors have the chance to make music together again. The four of us have a sound that speaks for itself. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of and we’re looking forward to these shows this summer.”

If the River Was Whiskey (2013) is described as the blues album the band was always meant to make. Lead singer Chris Barron elaborates, calling the collection of ten original tunes “a ramshackle, broken carriage running down a cobblestone hill, with pots and pans, and a screaming baby.”


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