Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
Bad Wizard was originally formed by the duo of singer Curtis Brown and drummer Scott Nutt in Athens, Georgia circa 1999. The pair quickly relocated to New York City, found guitarist Eddie Lynch and bassist Marc Tanner, and added them to their lineup. The quartet began honing their sound, which was high energy rock and roll with a little southern flavoring.
In 2001 they released their début album, the bombastically electrifying ‘Free And Easy‘, via Tee Pee Records. The record’s AC/DC-meets-MC5 sound put Bad Wizard on the map with fans of stoner rock and the like.
There were several membership changes in Bad Wizard around that time, as slide guitarist Tina Gorin (ex-Helldorado) joined the band. By the time they released their sophomore album, ‘Sophisticated Mouth‘ (Tee Pee Records) in 2002, they also had a new rhythm section.
Bassist Pat and drummer Ron (last names unavailable) had come on board for this seemingly more rushed album release. Despite the hurried conditions, Bad Wizard‘s reputation as an impressive live combo continued to grow.
The quintet took their time for their next recorded effort, as it was two years before ‘#1 Tonite‘ was released in 2004. Once again, some changes externally and internally had taken place for Bad Wizard. The outer one being the fact that this third album from them was released through a new label, Howler Records. Inwardly, a new bassist, Brett Falcon, had joined and original drummer Scott Nutt had returned to the fold.
Another two years would pass for Bad Wizard before they released their final studio album, once again on Howler Records. 2006’s ‘Sky High‘ is arguably the band’s best record, in my opinion. Better production quality, a more focused approach to the material, who knows why, but the album is great.
What would a Bad Wizard album be without new blood and, of course, this one had it in yet another new rhythm section. Bassist Kurt Midness and drummer John Sherman had joined the band for this high watermark from the rockin’ Bad Wizard.
Although it is the band’s last studio release, two live albums, ‘Live At Maxwell’s‘ and ‘Live At Schuba’s‘, surfaced in 2011.