|Sir Lord Baltimore|
Years: 1968 - 1976; 2006 - present
Styles: Blues Rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal
John Garner - Drums, Vocals
Louis Dambra - Guitar
Gary Justin - Bass Guitar
Joey Dambra - Guitar (in band: 1971 - 1976)
Tony Franklin - Bass Guitar (in band: 2006 – 2007)
Sir Lord Baltimore is an American rock band from Brooklyn, New York, formed in 1968 by lead vocalist/drummer John Garner, guitarist Louis Dambra, and bass player Gary Justin. Some have cited the 1971 review of their debut record," Kingdom Come", in Creem magazine as containing the first documented use of the term "heavy metal" to refer to a style of music; the truth is the same reviewer used the term when reviewing a Humble Pie album "As Safe As Yesterday Is" in Rolling Stone six months earlier. Sir Lord Baltimore featured a drumming lead singer, traditionally a rarity in rock and metal music.
Having first met in high school, Garner, Dambra and Justin started rehearsing together in 1968. At the time of their formation, Dambra (as Louis Caine) was also playing for a group called The Koala, who released an eponymous album in 1969. Justin has cited Cream's Jack Bruce as an influence on his early career choice.
Released on Mercury Records in 1970, "Kingdom Come" featured very fast-paced hard rock with high levels of distortion in the guitar and, in some cases, the bass, and extensive multi-tracking to further enhance the guitar sound. Though this style would become popular in later years, it was considerably different from the majority of that era's contemporary rock music.
Issued in 1971, also on Mercury, "Sir Lord Baltimore" marked a change in direction, with "Kingdom Come's" frenetic pace giving way to slower-tempo songs more reminiscent of music produced by the band's hard rock peers. Sir Lord Baltimore expanded to a quartet for this album, with Louis Dambra's brother, Joey Dambra, joining as a second guitarist.
Their career started to fade after "Sir Lord Baltimore's" release, and Mercury dropped them shortly thereafter. The band publicly blamed drugs on its initial downfall, with low record sales and non-payment of royalties also being cited. However, the band did start work in the mid-1970s on an unreleased third album, originally scheduled for 1976, and music written for that project was eventually used on "Sir Lord Baltimore III Raw".
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