Elderberry Jack - Long Overdue

by Joe Cerisano

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about

Elderberry Jak was and is arguably the finest rock band to come out West Virginia. It is certainly an arguable case if its single album is an accurate indicator, as the recording reveals a quartet as strong as any number of its more well-known, more commercially successful hard rock contemporaries -- bands such as Free, the James Gang, the Guess Who, and Three Dog Night -- all with which Elderberry Jak shared a variety of sonic attributes.

The band came together in the fall of 1969, with bass player Dave Coombs and lead vocalist Joe Cerisano as its co-founders. The two had previously played together in Coombs' outfit J.B. and the Bonnevilles. The Bonnevilles formed in 1965 and developed over the next few years into the most outstanding and popular group in the entire state of West Virginia. The band annually headed to Somers Point, NJ, during the summers to act as house band at a shore club called Bayshores. By 1968, Cerisano had joined the band, his first serious professional foray into the music business (though he had played with various bands in his hometown of Fairmont), still just a 17-year-old minor, and when the Somers Point trip arrived that year, Coombs and his wife actually became the legal guardians of the young singer for a time.

Upon the demise of J.B. and the Bonnevilles in 1969, the duo formed a new unit called Kaboose, which lasted seven months. Then, with the addition of Tom Nicholas on guitar and Joe Hartman behind the drum kit, they became Elderberry Jak, named after the elderberry wine made by an uncle of Coombs. The quartet had soon become a powerful unit, mixing hard-driving rock with invigoratingly tight funk. The band traveled throughout their home states, Ohio and Pennsylvania, for performances, eventually earning a record deal with Kenny's brother Leland Rogers in Memphis. The result was the first-rate Long Overdue, released in 1970.

credits

released June 15, 1970

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about

Joe Cerisano New Jersey

Joe Cerisano is an American singer and songwriter. Joe began performing at the age of 14 in West Virginia. In 1980 he formed the rock band Silver Condor under Columbia Records and had the Top 40 hit "You Could Take My Heart Away". In the mid-1980s, Cerisano's worked in television and radio singing spots for Coca-Cola, Chrysler, GE, Miller, the US Army & Navy and numerous others. ... more

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