Music Review: The Groundhogs Live at the Astoria

The line-up of the mighty Groundhogs 1998 tour was Tony (T.S.) McPhee on guitars & vocals with bassist Eric Chipulina and drummer Pete Correa – see Wikipedia for a pretty good “family tree” of members of the venerable outfit.  Providing wonderfully deep accompaniment to McPhee’s churning guitar and redoubtable rough-edge vocals – anathema to the Top 40 of the Groundhogs heyday but perfect for the blues blast the group is known for generating – the trio bang out title after title with the enthusiasm that has made the group an essential underground treasure.

Eccentric Man” is the groups YouTube from this Eagle Rock offering and it’s a great selection for the internet.  It’s a tasty example of and from what is called “the first complete Groundhogs live show ever to be filmed.”  There must be a bootlegger out there somewhere after all these years to necessitate the inclusion of the term “official first complete live show” but that’s neither here nor there.  McPhee gives an all-too short intro (was there no 60 minute public access interview to include?) and what you then get is a terrific, no-nonsense blues-based power trio rock that glides in-between the rawness of Blue Cheer and the finesse of Cream.

See my reviews of Blues Obituary and Black Diamond for more of my perspective on McPhee’s merry-go-round of musicians providing a consistent platform for the band leader’s productive ideas.

TRACK LISTING 1) Introduction 2) Shake For Me 3) Eccentric Man 4) 3744 James Road 5) I Want You To Love Me 6) Split Part 1 7) Split Part 2 8) Mistreated 9) Still A Fool 10) Cherry Red 11) Groundhog Blues 12) Down In The Bottom

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for,, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.