Many years ago I found this 1972 LP in a local shop. I bought based on a recommendation in some book, and was most curious as it was the only album from the band ‘Amish’, from Galt Ontario. Over time I’d make contact with a couple of former bandmembers and did a small article on them. I’ve attached the article, as it has more info, a swell. Back then there was no internet, so my method of making contact was writing a general inquiry letter to the singer c/o the town of Galt [hoping someone would either know him or pass it along. Almost a year later, I got a call from Doug Stagg. We talked on a few occasions, and I also had some brief contact with keyboard player Ron Baumtrog [who was nice enough to even send me a band promo pic and a few copies of old news articles], and bass player Mike Gingrich. Regrettably, no recorded interviews back then, I just jotted down a few notes.
[Amish 1972, L-R: Rich Botts, Ron Baumtrog, Mike Gingrich, Jack Byrne, Doug Stagg]
The band had a great singer in Doug Stagg, and featured plenty of heavy organ and heavy guitar driven early 70s & psych sounding tunes. Tracks like “Black Lace Woman”, “Down The Road”, and “Sad Girl” are enjoyable tunes, as is the band’s cool rendition of the Traffic hit “Dear Mr Fantasy”.
The band was signed to Sussex Records and the album was produced by the legendary Motown team of Dennis Coffey & Mike Theodore, and featured session guitarist Joe Gutz [see attachment] – who had to step in for the band’s guitarist [Rich Botts] – who happened to be a draft dodger at the time, so couldn’t travel over the border to GM Studios [Detroit]. A proposed single never came out, and the album didn’t catch on.
Tracks for a second album were recorded, but the band would go through a number of personnel changes and cease in a few years. Bass player Mike Gingrich would go on to work with a number of bands, such as Max Webster, Toronto, Champion [w/ Alex Machin], and Nightwinds. RIP Doug Stagg, 1999.
*A clip of Mitch Ryder feat. Joe Gutz on guitar. I believe Joe was on a number of Mitch Ryder albums, as well as at least 1 Rare Earth single as Joe Gutc.