Featherwood / Knights of Brass
Olmsted Falls, 1968-73
Featherwood was a well known band in the Cleveland area. The group was started by brothers John and Ted Bonham, trumpet and trombone respectively, both from Olmsted Falls, as well as the other original band member, Rick Bell. The band started as the Knights of Brass but changed to Featherwoood. Abe Lamarca, the lead singer, was from Berea or somewhere on the Eastside. Ray Lamatrice was the keyboard player, Ken Price on drums, Bill Perconti on sax, Marty Hoss on trumpet, Joe SanFillipo on guitar, and Gary Kerr on bass. Later members were Dennis Sprester on guitar and Gary Lesher on bass. All throughout their existence, the band had a Chicago Transit Authority, Tower of Power, Cold Blood, and Rastus style, drawing from the strong horn section influence of those bands, to indentify some of their influences, The band maintained a full horn section, just like Chicago.
The band played many of the Cleveland scene venues, most memorable Tom Jones Backroom, Agora (both Columbus and Cleveland), as well as travel to other popular venues in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. Tom Jones Backroom was my most favorable place to visit, as it had that warehouse feel to it. During their time, they had recordings and cut an acetate record at Cleveland Recording Studio which Featherwood had airtime in Cleveland markets. The most memorable song from the acetate, an uptempo soul/pop dance type Sunshine, featured the full band as Featherwood, with Abe as lead vocals.
Abe Lamarca was one of the band's lead vocals, who to this day is still active in Las Vegas with his solo act, as well as a contributor to, I believe, a Motown Review, also in LV. Rick Bell has played with Michael Stanley since the MSB days. Ray Lamatrice joined Euphrates.