Terry Talbot and John Michael Talbot – Pioneers of Folk-Rock! !
Terry Talbot and brother John Michael Talbot (with Mason Proffit) recorded five albums on the Warner Brothers label. Some of their opening acts included John Denver, The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan and Dan Fogelberg. As stated by Bernie Leadon and Glen Frey, “The Eagles were greatly influenced by Mason Proffit and followed the design of Two Hangmen for their Hotel California.”
In 1968, after disbanding their garage-rock outfit, Terry Talbot enlisted his younger brother, John Michael Talbot, and put together Mason Proffit, a quintet fusing folk-rock, country and high-concept lyrics laced with Native American mysticism, Gnostic Christianity and Western Americana. The band swung harder than most of the West Coast’s country-rock heavies. Terry, meanwhile, crooned as if he’d grown up listening to Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard. Mason Proffit disband in 1973, but not before making a huge impression on a couple of upstarts in California. Yessir, the Eagles’ desperado/outlaw image owes a lot to the brothers Talbot. So if you want to pass Country Rock 101, you need a serious dose of the Proffit.
- Justin Farrar, Rhapsody / 2008
Though this group’s recordings charted only briefly when released, time has been kind to Mason Proffit, and their albums are now hailed as works of genius. Justifiable so, since every track is proof of a band with wonderful instances for melody and how to frame a musical idea. Mason Proffit was an assemble that played a blend of music that was more country than rock with occasional folk and blues influences to make things interesting.
Other bands were experimenting with country-rock but never achieved this subtlety and grace, and there was a whole genre of protest music which lacked those same two attributes. The fact that with Mason Proffit, both were in the same package. This band catalog cries out for a re-evaluation and re-release.
- Richard Foss, All Music Guide 2003
“Mason Proffit changed the face of rock music forever. Taking up where The Byrds and The Buffalo Springfield left off with the melding of folk, country, rock, they were a major influence on the yet to be discovered Eagles.”
- MusicMoz open music project 2003
“Mason Proffit is widely considered by rock aficionados to be one of the best bands who briefly made it to the big time. Along with The Byrds, Michael Nesmith, and others, they helped to invent country-rock.”
- MSN Entertainment 2003
$20 – Mason Proffit Compilation CD
18 songs taken from 5 albums
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John Micheal Tablot
Brothers Terry Talbot and John Michael Talbot formed Mason Proffit with a focus on the emerging blend of folk,country and rock that would come to be called country rock. Older brother Terry’s “Two Hangmen” from their first album Wanted… Mason Proffit, was banned by the FCC and still became a hit and helped their second album,Movin’ Toward Happiness, chart on the Billboard 200. In 1972, the band signed to Warner Bros. Records and continued touring, performing up to 300 concerts each year.
Some of Mason Proffit’s opening acts during that time included The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, John Denver, and Mac Davis. Their country-rock-bluegrass style was innovative and their live shows were high energy. And once, while jamming with The Scruggs Review, John Hartfordand the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Earl Scruggs called John Talbot “the best banjo player I’ve ever heard.” Warner Bros. re-released their first two albums as a compilation called Come And Gone plus two more discs, Rockfish Crossingand Bareback Rider… all charting on Billboard. Mason Proffit disbanded when brothers John and Terry Talbot left the band and began performing as a duo. Warners then released The Talbot Bros., the first of three duo albums with the remaining two released on Sparrow Records. Sparrow eventually re-issued the first Talbot Bros. album, minus the track “Moline Truckin.”
After the break-up, the Talbot brothers began to record contemporary Christian music on Sparrow Records, earning themselves a Grammy Award nomination and several Dove Award nominations. The Talbot brothers opened for The Eagles on a national tour in 1974.