Soledad Brothers

From Stripespedia

The Soledad Brothers were a blues-rock trio from Maumee, Ohio.



Band history

The Soledad Brothers formed in 1998 in their hometown of Maumee, Ohio, near Toledo. Their name came from a trio of convicted felons (George Jackson, Fleeta Drumgo, John Clutchette) who were incarcerated at Soledad Prison and killed by police fire.

The band's foundations began with Johnny Wirick joining the punk blues band Henry and June, of which Benjamin Smith was the drummer. When traveling north to Detroit for a few gigs, the two were approached by Italy Records owner Dave Buick. The label recorded the band, with the result being the single "Sugar and Spice", which attracted Estrus Records. This led to the release of "The Gospel According to John" single along with several other singles, the success of which prompted Estrus to put out the band's first full-length album, a self-titled album which was engineered by Jack White of The White Stripes, who also produced their second single. Meg White, also of the Stripes, played some percussion on the album. While both the Soledad Brothers and the White Stripes were Detroit bands heavily influenced by blues, the relationship between the two was also personal, since Ben was Jack's roommate for some period of time.

Steal Your Soul and Dare Your Spirit to Move was the band's second album, released in 2002 again by Estrus. The blues influence is still very perdomiant and prevalent, but also sees the introduction of the heavier '60s and '70s Brit-rock influence. This album was followed by the 2003 release, Voice Of Treason, which was released on Loog Records in the UK.

Their fourth release, The Hardest Walk, was released in 2006 on Alive Records in the US and Loog in the UK. This album transcends the rampant garage blues that had so characterized the band's previous work by taking in a diverse range of influences, from Dr John and Albert Ayler to Syd Barrett and early Neil Young, with some Brit pop melodies and soul grooves added.

It was announced within weeks of the album's release, however, that the band was breaking up. Upcoming shows were cancelled and the trio played their last gig in Detroit at the Magic Stick. Since then, Swank has resided in London for some time and Walker, a medical doctor by degree, has decided to practice medicine.



  • Soledad 7" (Italy Records, 1998)
  • Jack White appearing on "Johnny's Death Letter".
  • Sugar & Spice
  • Johnny's Death Letter
  • The Gospel According To John 7" (Estrus, 1999), mixed by Jack White
    • first pressing: red vinyl
    • second pressing: black vinyl
  • The Gospel According To John
  • Mysterious Ways
  • Good Feeling
  • Good Feeling cd-maxi includes video and two non-lp tracks Magazine and Circle Girl (Polydor limited 2006)


  • Master Supertone CS (self-released/no label, 1998), 20 copies
  • Soledad Brothers (Estrus, 2000)
  • Steal Your Soul And Dare Your Spirit To Move (Estrus, 2002), 400 copies on blue vinyl
  • Live LP/CD (Sweet Nothing, 2003)
  • Live LP/CD (Dim Mak, 2003)
  • Live CD (Smash Music, 2004), recorded Live At The Gold Dollar June 2000, Dim Mak version, 300 on white vinyl
  • Voice Of Treason (Polydor, 2003)
  • The Hardest Walk (Alive, 2006)


  • Sympathetic Sounds Of Detroit LP/CD (Sympathy For The Record Industry, 2001), produced and recorded by Jack White, mixed by Jack White and Jim Diamond, contributed "Shaky Puddin'".
  • X-Mas Surprise Package Volume 4 7" (Flying Bomb Records, 2001), clear yellow or black vinyl, contributed "Hang My Star".
  • The Estrus Double Dynomite Sampler Volume 3 CD (Estrus, 2002), contributed "Break Em' Down" and "Teenage Heartattack".
  • X-Mas Surprise Package (The Collector's Edition) CD (Flying Bomb Records, 2002), contributed "Hang My Star".
  • FabricLive.07 mixed by John Peel (Fabric 2002), contributed "Break Em' On Down".
  • Dim Mak 2003 Sampler CD (Dim Mak, 2003), contributed "Goin' Back To Memphis".
  • New Blood - The New Rock N Roll Vol 3 CD (Artrocker, 2003), contributed "Prodigial Stones Blues".
  • Root Damage 2xLP/2xCD (Sympathy For The Record Industry, 2003), contributed "Shaky Puddin'".
  • Smash Music Sampler CD (Smash Music, 2004), contributed "Stand Up" and "Break Em' Down".
  • Detroit Breakdown - The Rocked Out Motor City Music Sampler CD (PBS 106.7FM, 2004), contributed "Johnny's Death Letter".
  • Superfuzz CD (Lowfly Records, 2005), featuring Dooley Wilson, contributed "Still A Fool".
  • This Is Punk Rock Blues - Vol #1 CD (Punk Rock Blues, 2005), contibuted "Handle Song".

Music Videos

  • Handle Song, directed by James R. Petix (2004)
  • Good Feeling, directed by James R. Petix (2006)

External links

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