Monday, January 29, 2007


"Country Home" (1970) & "Ace Of Sunlight" (1971)

Vocalist Jess Roden, formerly of the Alan Bown Set, instigated this excellent group in 1970. Kevin Hammond (guitar, vocals), John Pasternak (bass) - both ex-Band Of Joy - Robbie Blunt (guitar) and Pete Robinson (drums) completed the line-up, which made its debut that year with "Country Home", ILPS 9124 (not ILPS 9134 which was to be the catalogue number for Nick Drake's next album, "Bryter Layter"). The quintet offered a relaxed, sympathetic setting for the singer's soulful delivery, best exemplified on "Ace Of Sunlight", which featured support from Ian Hunter and Mick Ralphs from Mott The Hoople, and Fotheringay's Trevor Lucas. Despite their promise, Bronco was unable to secure a sound commercial footing and the departure of Roden for a solo career effectively killed the group. Blunt subsequently joined Silverhead and appeared in several short-lived aggregations before securing widespread recognition with his work for Robert Plant.

Country Home (1970):
Jeff Bannister - Piano (Tracks 4,6)
Robbie Blunt - Guitar, Vocals
Kevin Gammond - Guitar, Vocals
John Pasternak - Bass, Vocals
Pete Robinson - Drums
Jess Roden - Vocals, Guitar, Percussion
Clifford T. Ward - Vocals (Track 6)

Ace Of Sunlight (1971):
Terry Allen - Organ (Track 6)
Paul Bennett - Vocals (Tracks 2,7)
Robbie Blunt - Guitar, Vocals
Paul Davenport - Piano (Track 3)
Kevin Gammond - Guitar
Ian Hunter - Piano (Track 1)
Trevor Lucas - Vocals (Track 2)
John Pasternak - Bass
Mick Ralphs - Organ (Track 1)
Peter Robinson - Drums, Conga
Jess Roden - Guitar, Harmonica, Percussion, Piano, Vocals


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for these gems!

29 January, 2007 08:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

most excellent - thanks so much.
now I just need sharks' jab it in yore eye :)

30 January, 2007 04:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greats tracks, great singer, excellent band !
Many Thanks for this discovery
Alex, France

05 February, 2007 02:55  
Blogger infinite fool said...

Great stuff, thanks. Just wondering - how does 1973's Smoking Mixture fit into the picture?

16 February, 2007 04:03  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very good,
I knew "ace of sunlight" but not the other one
Great post
Thnx Harry

16 February, 2007 09:41  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Knew these guys whilst playing in bands in the seventies. Sad that cliff ward is no longer with us. I remember that Bronco had a rented farm cottage out near Bewdley and Kevin Gammond wore a piece of paper over his nose to protect him from the summer sun, he was a pale guy! Believe he teaches music now at Kidderminster College. I always thought that John Pasternak was a superb bass guitarist, never trying to be a lead player as some do but fitting perfectly into the song. Talented guys, shame they didn't have more success.

24 February, 2007 11:26  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MY GOD!!! THANK FOR THIS ONE! I have been looking for Country home for 20 years!

16 April, 2007 23:43  
Blogger Eddy Allart said...

How wonderful it is to find music on these pages that I had often forgotten since the time the records first came out. Sometimes I think "Hey, I saw those guys on stage! Must have been 1970!"
Man, time flies.

23 September, 2007 04:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Lizardson,
What a fantastic Blog. Unfortunately I discovered you too late and missed your Bronco post. Is it possible you could do a repost.
Many thanx

02 November, 2007 18:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks! Big fan of Robbie Blunt, just discovering this music now.

30 April, 2008 05:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been trying to remember for some time now the name of this group and album. All I knew was that the cover was brown and I used to roll joints on it in college in the early 70's. I did a google image search today and voila it popped up. Country Home by Bronco. Now I need to find a copy of the lp or CD. Very cool. Thanks, El Rey

06 August, 2008 07:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i've had 'ace of sunlight' and 'country home' lps for 30+ years and play them every once in a while, like right now!
mint condition and good music!
wish band had done better.


25 September, 2008 13:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ace Of Sunlight! I used to have that album then gave it to Oxfam when I moved house in 1982 (sigh), but not before I taped half of it (half? don't ask!). How wonderful to find the whole album again and thank you so much for the post.

At Uni in the early 70s, our little group of friends (who thought we were so cool, musically ... we liked Kevin Ayers, and Caravan, and Little Feat, when everyone else was into Zepp or The Groundhogs or Deep Purple) - we must have played this album to death, but it still sounds great (kind of far off in time, moody, if that doesn't sound too pretentious).

30 November, 2008 21:59  
Blogger bill said...

I have been a fan of Jess Roden since Alan Bown Set days, and have these on vinyl. I managed to get the CDs on a twofer from Germany. Jess was, and is, sadly underrated, and failed to get the stardom of some of his lesser contemporaries. b
He also deserves a 2 or 3 CD anthology.

03 February, 2009 18:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what a great site-I am from kidderminster & did some roadie work for this band around 1970 with my friend steve saunders, what a great band-the christmas parties of 69/70/71 at frank freemans club in kiddy were legendary & fantastic !! were else could you see bronco/jess roden/bertie plant/clifford t ward all on the same stage for 4 hours all for 3 bob!! great days...

09 February, 2009 20:04  
Blogger DEMITRI said...

My dad was the Drummer (Pete Robinson) - Great to hear good comments about this great band!

31 March, 2009 20:31  
Blogger DEMITRI said...

My Dad was the drummer (Pete Robinson) - Great to see good comments on this great band.

31 March, 2009 20:31  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks a huge lot!!
Being a Norwegian music lover/musician I have missed Ace Of Sunlight since 1980 when I first heard it.
The album was never released in Norway, nor was any of the group's other albums, but it came to my attention through a friend from London who moved to Norway in the late -70's. He brought AOS with him and presented this wonderful, melancholic, moody, melodic & harmonic masterpiece to me then.
I copied the entire album to a 4-track analog cassette and listened to it with great pleasure for a year or so, then accidentally dropping the tape (and the cassette recorder it was inside, as well) into the sea while sailing - at approx 300 ft depth, had it been shallower, I'd surely have dived for it!
It is such a perfect sailing soundtrack, Lizardson!
My British friend did in the meantime very sadly actually die from cancer (miss you, Paul...†), and his earthly goods including his music collection was shipped back to his family in England, thus being unavailable to me for re-copying, of course.
I have repeatedly been searching high and low for this album since then, but never found a copy until now.
If this story sounds to weird to be true, I can assure it's not!

Whilst writing these words my browser reports that is finished downloading from rapidshare. Can't wait to listen!

Thanks again!

Best Regards
Jazzassin, Norway

08 April, 2009 23:09  
Anonymous neil storey said...

what a real joy to stumble across this!!!

coincidentally, literally just been sent both albums as a load of mp3/4's... and so, finally, my i-pod is a bit more up to date!

had attempted the vinyl to digital conversion aeons ago but what with one thing and another, technology failed miserably... added to which, with my entire vinyl collection a long way away from where i am currently... (the dreaded domestic!)... both this post and the mp3's a welcome trawl back into the (my) past.

both records are, of course, superb... ace of sunlight being where - i think - bronco reached its zenith... but, as has been said on here, the band failked to gain commercial success and disbanded as jess went solo.

was lucky enough to see them a number of times (am that old) and ultimately came to know jess very well...

listening back today has been quite astonishing - there are tracks (not all) that not just stand the test of time but are as fresh as anything currently around...

all of jess' output is to be savoured - one of the great singers who should've but didn't quite.

island / universal are releasing a retrospective in may - part of the island50 thing thats ongoing... track listing can be found already on the www... its ok but (again, my view) lacking... and, frankly, should have been a proper 4cd restrospective covering all - there are a lot of gems out there, featuring his extraordinary vocal talents...

be happy to hear from anyone here re jess / bronco...


15 April, 2009 02:29  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Nice to find these after so many years. I've got the LPs, but they're pretty ragged. During my short stint in radio in the mid-70s, we played both LPs a moderate amount.

I also got to see them on a visit to the UK in 1972 or so. It was an all-Island tour with Claire Hamill, John Martyn, and Bronco.

Thanks for the posting!

- Steve

19 April, 2009 05:22  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was in a band called BIRTH in 1969-70 and we played a gig with BRONCO and I got to know them well and stayed at the farm at Arley with them. Great blokes bit too laid back for their own good. After Jess - great bloke great singer - left they recorded a 3ed LP Smokong Mixture. I was at some of the sessions at Parlophone at Bomd St as by then our old roadie Rich Hutchison worked for them.Sadly Jon, a lovely guy died young and Jess remained undervalued for his whole career.
Bill Ford

21 May, 2009 20:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said... will be up and running (albeit in its infancy and with lots to be added) within the next couple of weeks... any / all contributions gratefully accepted

23 June, 2009 03:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bill / dj demetri... if either of you read this, pls make contact!
neil storey

23 June, 2009 07:32  
Blogger El Isabelino said...

Any chance for a re-up.Or am I missing something?Thanks.

16 July, 2009 02:23  
Anonymous Neilf said...

What a find! Been looking for Bronco albums for yonks. But how can I get my mitts on the two I really want, "Country Home" and "Arc of Sunlight"? Only "Smoking Mixture" appears downloadable.

18 July, 2009 16:01  
Blogger Unknown said...

So, how can you get the Bronco albums?

18 October, 2009 09:03  
Blogger beaug said...

Where the hell are the fuckin download links. It would help to make the links obvious please respond

18 August, 2010 11:42  
Blogger Lizardson said...


"Country Home"

"Ace Of Sunlight"

04 October, 2010 12:20  

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