American Blues Exchange

American Blues Exchange was started in the spring of 1968 by a group of students at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Like many of their young contemporaries, the band members were enamored with the progressive blues of some of Britain's heaviest rock bands, who themselves were paying homage to American heroes like Muddy Waters, Elmore James, and Chuck Berry. Initially formed by Peter Hartman(bass) and Roger Briggs(guitar) as a duo, American Blues Exchange quickly morphed into a band with the additions of classmates Roy Dudley(vocals, harmonica) and Dale Reed(drums) and they began playing together at area coffeehouses, clubs, and frat parties. Dan Mixter(guitar, vocals) joined in the fall of the year, completing the lineup that would remain together for the next two-and-a-half years. American Blues Exchange played mostly on weekends, due to its members' school commitments, and for the most part were limited to the Connecticut/western Massachusetts region. Dudley developed into the band's strongest original writer, and his songs gradually began to be incorporated into the band's live shows. By 1969, there were enough original songs to record an album, and the band entered the studio to make Blueprints, pressed in a run of a thousand LPs, about half of which actually sold. ~ Stanton Swihart

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