It amazes me how many Classic Rock fans have never heard of Houston’s The Bubble Puppy. Granted, they were one-hit wonders, but their hit, “Hot Smoke And Sassafras,” crashed through the Billboard Hot 100 national chart in early 1969.  It stayed there for 12 weeks, peaking at #14, while topping the charts locally in both New York and Chicago. The song is ultra-high energy and rocks out at 165 Beats Per Minute, embodying elements of Garage Rock, Hard Rock, Psychedelic Rock, and to some degree, the high-energy side of Proto-Punk. Whether it’s old or new, discovering great music is always a special treat for me.

Here’s a little more about the band so you can officially say you’re familiar:

In 1966, guitarist Rod Prince and bassist Roy Cox (both formerly of The Bad Seeds) formed The Bubble Puppy in San Antonio, TX. The band name came from “Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy,” a fictitious game in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, and the title of their hit single came from a misheard line in The Beverly Hillbillies.

The Bubble Puppy relocated to Austin, TX in 1967 after closing a deal with the independent record label International Artists, whose roster included bands such as 13th Floor Elevators. The same year, Rod Prince and Todd Potter debuted the use of twin lead guitars in their live performances. Two years later, the Allman Brothers, would begin using the same technique to much fanfare.

The Bubble Puppy only cut one studio album, 1969’s A Gathering Of Promises (on the International Artists label). Despite their lack of commercial success, the band are known as trail blazers in the Rock music world of the late 60s and early 70s, and are still influential today. They can also be heard in high-rotation on Mood’s Rock Show program.

– Submitted by Bill Spencer, Music Design