From the Stacks

From The Stacks: McKendree Spring, ‘Spring Suite’

Few bands are more closely associated with their album cover artists than Yes is. The connection is so strong that one can’t look at a Roger Dean album cover without hearing Chris Squire’s noodling bass.

But Dean designed sleeves for other bands, include this gem for lesser known prog outfit McKendree Spring.  Led by guitarist/vocalist Fran McKendree, the band put out seven albums beginning in 1969 and ending with their breakup in 1976. Spring Suite is the fifth of these, released in 1973 by MCA Records. It was their only album for that label, and their only one to feature a sleeve by the mighty Roger Dean–and not just any sleeve, but a gatefold.

It’s a pretty cool album, richly textured and adventurous. It’s not often one hears a violin and a wah pedal on the same track, for example.

McKendree Spring reunited in 2007 and put out a couple of albums, but the 2017 death of multi-instrumentalist Michael “Doc” Dreyfuss might mark the end of the band. Maybe not, though. Whatever McKendree and the other surviving members decide to do, we wish them the best.

Spring Suite regularly sells in the 5-10 dollar range. Happy hunting.

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  1. A fine band, criminally underrated! McKendree Spring played its farewell concert May 26, 2013, at the Douglas Corner Cafe in Nashville. The band released a CD and a DVD of the concert. Doc Dreyfuss played well at the gig but was clearly ailing (he remained seated for the entire show).


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