Rittenhouse Square - s/t. 1972 USA

Rittenhouse Square were a band from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, that were named, best I can discern, from a popular rock nightclub in the area at that time. The name itself comes from Philadelphia, and is one of the first natural parks in the area, dating back to the 1600's.

With that forensic data out of the way, the band Rittenhouse Square were primarily a straight rock and roll band, done up early 70s style. The two notable tracks here are 'King Battle of the Bands', which is an excellent hard rock number... and 'The Plant Song' which features some superb extended jamming, though the song itself is fairly pedestrian.  A nice find for deep divers (like myself), but certainly not exceptional.

A former ebay auction informs us (which is where the photo above comes from): "1972 self-released six-song 12" EP on their own R-2 (or R-Squared) Records label, with a catalog number of CCSS 1214... The band featured Mitch Easter (later of Let's Active), Peter Holsapple (of The DB's), Chris Stamey (The DB's) and drummer Bobby Locke who also produced the record. The music featured is not at all like the later work of its most famous trio. It's kind of blues rock dueling guitar riffs and progressive rock stylings, mixed with some Beatles harmonies and hand claps in places, and crazy drumming throughout. I believe that Mitch Easter sings on the five songs that he wrote and Peter Holsapple sings on his. I hear that the band were in high school when this record was released. That's some serious skills for a bunch of kids if that's what they were. It's very much a music of its time... Of the sleeve so much has been written about the many versions that it's tricky to place its value with the different editions of the EP that were made. My front cover features the R-2 logo and the back cover has a reverse of this logo. As far as I can tell from research and from a comment by Easter my custom-made version of the sleeve with the R-2 logo is a silk screen that raises the print slightly from the card cover. The ink sits on top of the card rather than printed into it. This may be an extremely rare version of the cover, as Easter quotes elsewhere that only twenty were made, but was it of this version? I could not say. The blue duct tape that covers two sides of the sleeve was also of the bands' invention, with Peter Holsapple acknowledging elsewhere that they made the sleeves slightly larger and with the duct tape in order to ensure that it would not fit on to your record shelves. Some versions of the EP came with an insert featuring a photo of the band but I don't have that here."

Last listen: August 8, 2016

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