Country Joe McDonald - acoustic guitar, vocals; Barry Melton - guitar, vocals
This performance is a particular treat, as it features Country Joe McDonald and Barry "The Fish" Melton in a rare duo performance with Country Joe. At the time of this recording, McDonald was still a mainstay on the San Francisco political and music scene. McDonald, who was immortalized in the legendary Woodstock documentary when he led 500,000 hippies into the anti-Vietnam war Fish chant that began, "Gimme an F!...", had returned for the 10th Anniversary Woodstock Festival. The festival was originally designed to be a replay of the legendary concert at the same location, but when permits could not be obtained it was moved to Parr Meadows, Long Island, where it was held as a one-day event.
In addition to McDonald, other Woodstock alumni that appeared at the 10th Anniversary event included Richie Havens, Stephen Stills, John Sebastian, and Canned Heat (all of whom can be heard here on Concert Vault). The entire concert was simulcast on radio across the U.S. on the King Biscuit Flower Hour.
Opening with "Bring Back The Sixties Man," McDonald gives an entertaining solo performance that also included "Entertainment Is My Business," "Kiss My Ass," "Tricky Dick," and "Oh Jamaica." They dip into the Country Joe and the Fish catalog with versions of "Colors for Susan," "Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine," and "I Feel Like I'm Fixin To Die Rag." A highlight is the poignant ballad about their late friend, the great Janis Joplin, entitled "Janis."
McDonald first came to national prominence in 1967 when his group Country Joe and the Fish made their debut during the Summer of Love in San Francisco. The band grew from a pro-pot/anti-war cult band to being among the spokesmen for the Woodstock generation. They enjoyed another few years of popularity before McDonald started pursuing a solo career seriously.
This appearance at Parr Meadows came shortly after the Country Joe and the Fish reunion album and tour, which McDonald and Melton launched in 1977. Today, McDonald remains a regular act on the folk-blues circuit. Melton went on to become an attorney and now oversees the Yolo County Public Defender's office in Northern California. He still plays frequently in the Bay Area with other alumni of the '60s San Francisco music scene.