Copperhead, a quintet from Appalachia was the finest example of early nineties bands that adopted blues based style of groups like Lynyrd Skynyrd and in their own way helped resurrect southern rock in those troubled times.
Copperhead is strongly associated with lead vocalist Neil Carswell, who played years in church- and family gatherings before meeting his future partner in crime, John Byrd while in high school and they started a band together. They were joined by Brad Durden on organ, Tony Hawkins on bass and Eric Suttlemeyer on drums. Name eventually evolved into Copperhead and the boys landed a recording deal with Mercury Records.
Their debut album was produced by legendary Tom Dowd, who had previously worked with Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band and was mixed by Rodney Mills of 38 Special-fame. This also marked the first time Dowd and Mills worked together since Skynyrd’s Street Survivors-sessions in 1977.
First single of the album, “Long Way From Home”, epic Freebird like anthem, was featured in Don Johnson/Mickey Rourke movie Harley-Davidson & The Marlboro Man and gave Copperhead a huge exposure along with tours with Molly Hatchet and The Kentucky Headhunters and their own nationwide headlining tour.
In 1995 it all came to an end when Copperhead broke up after releasing that one classic studio album. Neil Carswell has since put out two albums under his own name.
In 2002, Neil, the driving force behind Copperhead, released new collection of tracks from the archives. Live & Lost was a combination of studio and rare live gems that took you back to their heyday and made fans of the band rejoice and hollering for reunion. In our April 2009 interview with Neil Carswell, he didn’t completely shut out that option either!
2002 Live and Lost
Official website: www.copperhead.info