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Artimus Pyle Band - A.P.B

Updated: 4 days ago

Here’s an album that some might not expect to see pop up on a Columbus music blog. A Lynyrd Skynyrd spin-off project? Yep, and there are many Columbus connections with this band and record. My route to discovering this was circuitous and stretches back to the early nineties when I became a big fan of the Allman Brothers Band and Warren Haynes.

Artimus Pyle Band


MCA Records - MCA 5313


Released just after I graduated from high school and weeks before the Grateful Dead’s Brent Mydland passed away in July 1990, the Allman Brothers’ Seven Turns album was a revelation to me. This was exactly what I was looking for musically at the time and as the Dead’s live performances began to decline after Brent’s passing, I got on the Allman Brothers’ train. And the new guy, Warren Haynes, with his remarkable slide playing and bluesy vocals, really grabbed my attention. I wrote a glowing review of Seven Turns for my freshman English class at Ohio State.

So when Warren formed a power trio with Allman’s bassist Allen Woody, I was on board from day one. I already loved the power trio format and Gov’t Mule quickly became my favorite band. At one of the first Gov’t Mule shows I saw at the old Ludlow’s in the Brewery District in 1998, the band brought up John Boerstler for their encore of Spoonful. How cool! He smoked on it! I knew Boerstler from seeing him many times with the Hoodoo Soul Band and Men Of Leisure. He’s one of my favorite Columbus guitarists. My respect for both him and Mule grew even more. But how did they know each other?

I’d heard that Boerstler used to play with Artimus Pyle and learned that Allen Woody had as well. Maybe there was some connection there. I’d see Boerstler sit in with Mule again and took video of the Ventilator Blues he played with them in 2012. Through conversations over the years, I finally was able to confirm that Boerstler and Woody briefly played together in the Artimus Pyle Band in the mid-'80s.

But how did Boerstler know former Skynyrd drummer Artimus Pyle? Thomas Delmar “Artimus” Pyle was born in Louisville Kentucky but spent a chunk of his childhood in Columbus and graduated from Eastmoor High School in 1966. Daryll Otis Smith (Dave Workman Blues Band) was also an Eastmoor grad and would go on to be the lead vocalist in this original lineup of the Artimus Pyle Band.

Their first album, A.P.B, was recorded in Spartanburg, S.C. in 1982. Although it suffers from the same ‘80s production values that plagued the era in general, it’s a solid rock album. It’s a great showcase for Boerstler’s guitar work and he gets some writing credits as well. I was not familiar with Daryll Otis Smith, but he’s got a great voice. This leans more to the pop side of things - more .38 Special than Allman Brothers - but that doesn’t bother me a bit. In fact, track one kicks off sounding dangerously close to .38 Special’s Hold On Loosely, which hit the year before. But once the chorus appears, it gets its own character and Town To Town becomes a solid pop rock song that will stick in your head.

Next up is Don’t Know Her Name which Boerstler wrote with his old music cohort Frank Pierce. This riff-based tune features Boerstler’s formidable slide playing. You also get some nice Doobie-esque harmonies. Another Boerstler-penned song follows, written with Darryll Smith and another Frank Pierce Group alum, Bob Kocher - It Ain't The Whiskey, a piano and slide infused ballad. Side one ends with Darryll Smith just killing on the vocals of a faithful cover of Chuck Berry’s Maybellene. Sidebar: One of the first concerts I ever saw was an outdoor Chuck Berry show Downtown my Dad took me to in 1986. That gig would be immortalized in the film Hail! Hail! Rock 'N' Roll when Chuck surprises everyone by suddenly leaving rehearsals to perform in Columbus. He’s seen walking through Port Columbus and meeting his pickup band. The drummer that night? Frank Pierce.

Side two starts with the one song written by Pyle, Makes More Rock. He gets the double bass drum going, and takes a brief solo, but nothing too flashy. Look, say what you will about Artimus, but you gotta give him credit here for focusing on the songs and not making this a “drum” record or an ego fest. This was a band in the democratic sense and the record is better for it. There’s plenty of tasty drumming and fills, but he gives the band their input and doesn‘t hog the spotlight. I’m sure some would quibble with that, but I like busy drumming and I like what Pyle brought with Skynyrd and here.

The Road Never Ends brings some acoustic guitar and again showcases Smith’s voice. Unfortunately, Darryll Otis Smith passed away in 2016. Steve Brewington passed in 2010. Boerstler has had his share of health issues too, but he’s still playing as much as he can with the Hoodoo Soul Band and others. He’s truly a Columbus treasure and he’s proven here, with Gov’t Mule and with Hoodoo on Sunday nights that he’s a world-class player who can hold his own with anyone.

Artimus Pyle Band promo pic

A1 Town To Town

A2 Don't Know Her Name

A3 It Ain't The Whiskey

A4 She's My Baby

Written-By – Steve Lockhart

A5 Maybellene

Written-By – Chuck Berry

B1 Makes More Rock

Written-By – Artimus Pyle

B2 My Whole World's Upside Down

B3 The Road Never Ends

Written-By – Steve Brewington

B4 Take A Look

B5 Rock & Roll Each Other

Companies, etc.

  • Recorded At – Creative Arts Studios

  • Mastered At – Sterling Sound

  • Phonographic Copyright (p) – MCA Records, Inc.

  • Copyright (c) – MCA Records, Inc.

  • Record Company – Carousel Records

  • Manufactured By – MCA Records, Inc.


  • Art Direction – George Osaki

  • Bass – Steve Brewington

  • Design – D. Hogan

  • Drums – Artimus Pyle

  • Engineer – Kevin Herron

  • Engineer [Assistant] – Randy Merryman

  • Engineer [Tape Assistant] – Rick Hyder

  • Guest, Backing Vocals – Bob Kocher

  • Guest, Percussion – Trip Tillery

  • Guest, Piano – Doug Gray, George Mccorkle, Jerry Eubanks, Vince Schoenborn

  • Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals – Steve Lockhart

  • Guitar, Slide Guitar, Vocals – John Boerstler

  • Illustration – Roger Bergendorff

  • Mastered By – Greg Calbi

  • Photography By – Alan Messer

  • Producer – Doug Gray, George McCorkle, Jerry Eubanks

  • Vocals – Darryll Otis Smith

2 комментария

Gary Platt
Gary Platt
11 июн. 2022 г.

Wow, I produced Frank Pierce in the early 80's. He was a fantastic songwriter, and he never attained the greatness of his musicianship because, unfortunately, he died in his 30's of coke. He had been "off" of it for awhile, and a bit like so many others, thought "he could handle it" when offered. He couldn't. Jeff Parcaro anyone? Went into cardiac arrest. I have a demo of Frank's, the songs are so, so good. Sounds really 80's. He had a fabulous laugh, he was sometimes a bit sarcastic, but he was a husky guy who understood a great song. Frank loved a good time, he was "positive vibes" in the studio. I have missed him since that …

Drew Layman
Drew Layman
11 июн. 2022 г.
Ответ пользователю

Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts.

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