You have probably heard this story before: a great album gets released by the time the label folds and the few copies distributed end up in the dollar bins. Then, a few decades later, some connoisseurs realize what a great record that album was and overnight it becomes collectable and sought after. This is exactly what happened in 1971 when Demian Bell and Paul Welsh saw their debut album as Maypole released on Colossus at the worst possible time…
The band was formed in Baltimore, Maryland in late 1969 and they named it “Maypole”, as in the Nathaniel Hawthorne story, as a symbol of freethinking they also aimed to represent. Their sound has been compared to bands like Cream, Iron Butterfly or Led Zeppelin, and the similarities between Demian Bell’s guitar skills and Hendrix playing have also been remarked upon. The bluesy hard psych vibes on their only US single (‘Show Me That Way’ / ‘Johnny’) certainly back those comparisons. Strong melodies and some nice group harmonies are the other magical ingredients that help making this album an amazing piece of hard rock music.
Maypole soon gained media attention and a promo tour followed, including live appearances on national TV shows, the problem was they had no company behind their album. The band relocated to Holland and continued playing gigs with moderate success. Lifestyle excesses resulted in numerous personnel changes until the band finally dismantled in 1972, though several members briefly continued performing as The Flying Circus