Now, after 40 years, and the recent passing of Gib Guilbeau in 2016 - the surviving members
of this pioneering band are reuniting for one last album, along with Gib's multi talented son
Ronnie Guilbeau. The session will take place in Nashville, Tennessee co-produced with the
famed producer, Larry Rogers.
The Swampwater Reunion Album will consist of newly written material and classic Swampwater
songs selected by theoriginal band members, including special guest artist appearances.
THE STORY BEHIND THE MUSIC
In 1969, singer Linda Ronstadt embarked on what would eventually become a monumental solo
career. After leaving her original group, The Stone Poneys - Ronstadt played with various
musicians from all over Hollywood butt wasn't happy with the results. What she needed was
a self contained band that knew how to merge country and rock with the same ease and perfection
as her new recordings. Linda Ronstadt finally assembled three country musicians from Palmdale,
California and one young guitarist from right in her backyard of Hollywood.
Floyd "Gib" Guilbeau was known around Los Angeles as a talented songwriter and fiddle player,
having written songs for The Byrds, Ricky Nelson, Rod Stewart and Ron Wood among others.
He had also been in the band Nashville West, with legendary Byrds' guitarist Clarence White.
The band included Guilbeau, an accomplished guitarist and singer, along with future Byrds member
Gene Parsons on drums and Wayne Moore, on bass. Nashville West was very popular on the southern
California country scene on the mid 1060's, performing at various honky tonks throughout the Los
Angeles area. At the time Ronstadt called, Gib had changed bands and was now playing honky tonks
with Eric White (Clarence's brother) on bass and Stan Pratt (Gib's brother in law) on drums.
In 1970, Ronstadt hired Guilbeau, White and Pratt for her new band with the addition of 19-year-0ld
Los Angeles guitarist, John Beland. Beland was already a seasoned veteran of the Los Angeles music
scene having worked with future Eagles; Bernie Leadon, Glenn Frey and JD Souther. He had also
scored pop success as a solo recording artist and, like Guilbeau, was an accomplished session guitarist
and songwriter, who's tunes had been covered by various top artists. When Ronstadt called him, Beland
was currently on tour with a spin off group from the hit pop band Spanky & Our Gang called One Man's
Family, where he shared band duties with his best friend drummer, Thad Maxwell.
Although the band remained un-names at first, they toured the country with Ronstadt playing clubs,
festivals and television appearances. Eventually, bassist Eric White would leave the band to be
replaced by Beland's fellow One Man's Family band mate, Thad Maxwell, who was also a multi
instrumentalist and an excellent bass player.
It was after the inclusion of Maxwell, that the band decided to form a group called Swampwater
and built their unique sound around Guilbeau's Cajun style, and Beland's and Maxwell's Byrds,
Everly Brothers and Beach Boys vocal influence.
The band landed a deal on Starday King Records in 1970 and scored a country hit with Guilbeau's
song "Take A City Bride". Wherever Swampwater appeared with Ronstadt they received rave reviews
for their exciting stage show and unique sound.