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The Road

The Road HRC 7.28.12

The Road / The Mellow Brick Road:

Around 1967 in Buffalo, New York, a group of local musicians formed a band called: The Mellow Brick Road.  The band, featuring Phil and Jerry Hudson on vocals, Joe and Jim Hesse on bass and keyboards, Ralph Parker on guitar and Nick DiStefano on drums. After many hours of hard work and playing the local venues to refine their sound they score a contract to record. United Artists single “All Your Eggs in One Basket” is released under the name The Mellow Brick Road. They charted on Billboard and the love affair that Western New York has with the group explodes to full blown devotion and commitment to the band. More Singles followed including “She’s Not There” and “Music Man” on Kama Sutra. “She’s Not There” in 1969 a beautiful cover of The Zombies version sold over 200,000 copies, was a regional hit in many cities throughout the US and even charted in Greece.

The Mellow Brick Road name gives way to a new shorten name. The fans start referring to the band as, The Road and thus The Road is born. Western New York audiences cannot get enough of their favorite sons be it in clubs, free concerts or even on the radio. During the heyday of The Road they put out more Vinyl with Kama Sutra Records. They record “The Road – The One Less Traveled By” in 1969 and “Cognition” in 1971. The Band during this time traveled and performed throughout the East Coast and filled area clubs on a regular basis.


1972 is a bad year for the local music scene The Road’s ride comes to an end. So too as they say all good things must come to an end. The Road tries to find itself with an infusion of different talent and some original members in the 1980’s. Some of the newer members are included Ken Kaufman (Keyboard player and composer/arranger) guitarist Dave Elder guitarist Bobby Lebel and drummer Sal Joseph. Sadly in 1984 the band is done and the ride is put to rest.


Forward to 2012 and time / lightning is recaptured in a bottle! The Hard Rock Café in Niagara Falls, New York sets in motion a series of events that brings back our uniquely Buffalo, our Western New York musical Identity back to life again. They propose doing an outdoor free concert in the streets with an all Buffalo flavor, it is like chicken wings and beer at your favorite local watering hole. The night is Saturday July 28th 2012 a gorgeous evening awaits. The head line act is Talas Reunited. Opening for Talas is local favorite Fat Brat and next up on the card before Talas is The Road! The Road with Phil & Jerry Hudson on vocals, Joe Hesse Sr. on bass, Ken Kaufman on keyboards, Bobby Lebel on guitar and Nick DiStefano on drums walks out on stage to a still adoring crowd and they are greeted with a warm and full hearted enthusiastic round of applause. Though the set was only a forty-five minute set, it was a set that was well thought out and as we said in the old days pretty groovy. Though they where no longer the young men we remembered with long hair and side burns, we closed our eyes and heard them as their vinyl. I must admit six parts vocal harmony on Simon and Garfunkel’s “Hazy Shade of Winter” will stand out forever in my mind as the best of the show, and then followed closely by “She’s Not There” and “Music Man” as my personal highlights and I cannot forget to mention Jerry Hudson’s single of “Gillian Frank” of a great night of music. Thank You Hard Rock Café Niagara Falls, NY! Well done.


One response

  1. michael schauger

    I grew up with Joe and Jim Hesse. Lived just down the street from them. They didn’t have an interest in the usual teenager stuff buy instead spent most of their time in the back room of their house practicing. They were really “INTO IT” and it was no surprise when they went professional. Good Luck you guys and congrats on makin’ it.


    December 28, 2016 at 11:26 PM

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