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East of Underground

About East of Underground

East of Underground was a multi-ethnic seven-piece band formed by American soldiers stationed in Germany in 1971, eager to make music and create a home away from home during their stay in Germany as the war in Vietnam was at its height.

Playing a tough, enthusiastic fusion of R&B, funk and pop/rock tunes of the day, East of Underground’s sound was dominated by the vocal harmonies of Bobby Blackmon, Larry Watson, and Austin Webb, accompanied by tight, concise arrangements laid down by guitarists Lewis Hitt and Gus Marquez, and the rhythm section of bassist Ronald Hall and drummer George Daniels (the latter claimed to have worked with James Brown).

East of Underground were given studio time in the Armed Forces Radio Network’s recording facility in Frankfurt, Germany as one of their prizes, and they cut an album’s worth of material. East of Underground’s studio session was issued as a promotional album by the Army, but it received scant distribution and quickly fell into obscurity, and after the group’s members finished their military commitments, the band broke up. Many years later, the album came to the attention of the crate diggers at the magazine Wax Poetics, and in 2007 the magazine launched their affiliated record label with a reissue of East of Underground’s LP.