Garage Gold #21: The Bethlehem Exit – Walk Me Out / Blues Concerning My Girl (1966)

BE_labelThe members of The Bethlehem Exit were from Los Altos and Cupertino, towns just south of Palo Alto in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. Their single appeared in July 1966 on Jabberwock Records, a label based in Walnut Creek (and not connected to The Jabberwock Club in Berkerley).

The title has been changed but a-side ‘Walk Me Out’ is in fact an excellent up-tempo, jangling rendition of  ‘Morning Dew’, the folk song about survivors of a nuclear war composed by Canadian singer Bonnie Dobson in 1961 that came to be something of a standard in the mid to late 60s thanks to covers by the likes of Fred Neil, Tim Rose and The Grateful Dead.

Flip-side ‘Blues Concerning My Girl’ is an equally fine garagey rhythm and blues number. It is credited to band leader and guitarist Peter Sultzbach and singer and harmonica player John Tomasi, and appropriately enough contains some neat, intricate lead guitar work and wailing blues harp, along with at times furious drumming.

‘Walk Me Out’

‘Blues Concerning My Girl’

The Bethlehem Exit apparently continued on until 1970, though by late 1966 both Sultzbach and Tomasi had left to join The New Delhi River Band, a Palo Alto group that didn’t make any recordings but included guitarist David Nelson in its line-up, who later ended up in the Grateful Dead related New Riders of the Purple Sage.

Reissues: ‘Blues Concerning My Girl’ is on Pebbles Volume 11 (CD) or Volume 21 (vinyl); ‘Walk Me Out’ doesn’t appear to have been commercially compiled.

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2 thoughts on “Garage Gold #21: The Bethlehem Exit – Walk Me Out / Blues Concerning My Girl (1966)

  1. Bethlehem Exit’s bass player was David Wilkie who went on to form a number of bands in Canada and is most famous for his work as songwriter, lead vocalist and mandolin player for the Cowboy Celtic band from Alberta.

  2. I don’t know if there is any way for me to download or acquire the “Blues concerning my girl” recording. Pete Sultzbach was a close high school friend that our gang of buddies lost track of after we dispersed for college. We are gathering for our 50th high school reunion in two weeks and only recently learned that Pete died years ago. We’ve been sharing stories about him over the past couple of weeks, and have been searching for any recorded music featuring Pete. Our junior year of high school, Pete taught himself to play string bass (the upright acoustic type) and secured a paying gig at a coffee house in Palo Alto the following week. Very bright, bitingly witty, and a consummate musician. I’d love to get a copy of his playing if its possible. Tom Yocom, San Rafael, CA

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