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Encyclopedia entry for 'Freshwater' LETTER:

Formed in 1968
StyleBlues, pop
 1970 line-up: Ian Johnson (vocals), Murray Partridge (guitar, vocals), Peter Sheehan (organ, vocals; ex-Heart 'n' Soul), Dallas McDermott (bass), Joe Vella (drums)

History
In May 1969, unknown New Zealand blues band Freshwater arrived in Australia. Murray Partridge originally formed the band. A number of New Zealand musicians passed through Freshwater's ranks, including Billy Rylands (guitar), Milton Parker (guitar, vocals), Phil Jacobs (vocals, flute), George Limbidis (bass), Paul Reid (bass), Peter Roberts (bass) and Daryl Jacobs (drums). Peter Sheehan joined at the end of 1969.

In Australia, Freshwater issued the pop singles `Together, Till the End of Time'/`It's in Your Power' (August 1969) and `Son of a Loving Man'/ `People Gotta Live Together' (October) on the W&G; label. Taking a cue from the likes of Cream, Traffic and Blood Sweat and Tears, Freshwater then started to play a more progressive style of music. The Caesar's International label issued the single `Satan'/`Satan's Woman' in May 1970. Caesar's was a popular Sydney discotheque of the day, as well as being a management company and independent record label.

`Satan' (written by Sheehan) and `Satan's Woman' (written by Partridge) formed a quasi-concept suite based around the Manson Family murder of actress Sharon Tate. The staid local radio networks of the day promptly called for the single to be banned. It managed to register #28 on the Sydney charts nevertheless. The record's brooding, organ-based sound did make for a somewhat subversive offering. In 1990, Sydney band Box the Jesuit covered `Satan' for inclusion on the Various Artists album Waste Sausage on the Black Eye label.

At the start of 1971, Alison McCallum (ex-Dr Kandy's Third Eye) joined as lead vocalist. By September, the line-up had changed again to feature Partridge, McCallum, David Fookes (keyboards), Rod Coe (bass) and Tony Bolton (drums). The band's last single, `I Ain't Got the Time'/`Hello Sunshine' (November 1971), featured commercial soul/pop with McCallum's sweet vocals up front. The single peaked at #19 in Sydney, but Freshwater had broken up by the end of 1971. McCallum went solo and scored a big hit with a cover of Vanda and Young's `Superman'.

Partridge formed Wolfe with Andrew Parata (lead vocals, guitar; ex-Hunger), Norm Roue (slide guitar; ex-Gutbucket, Lotus), Billy Rylands (bass; ex-Freshwater, Lotus) and Steve Webb (drums; ex-Blackfeather). The band was short-lived; by the end of 1972, Webb had joined Duck and Roue was touring with Band of Light. Partridge returned to New Zealand where he joined Living Force.



Encyclopedia of Australian Rock and Pop / Ian McFarlane 1999
under licence from Allen & Unwin Pty Ltd

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