(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
Country Joe and the Fish are not doing a reunion tour this year. "I want to put an end to the rumor that Country Joe and I will tour the UK together this summer," says Barry "The Fish" Melton, the band's lead guitarist. "Maybe some day but not this summer."
"In truth," says Melton, "I'm planning to tour the UK in July with some of the finest musicians in the country. I'm even doing dates from London to Swansea with my old friend Ken Whaley and his phenomenal band, The Green Ray."
Melton will join with the blues band, Pig Iron Joe, at a homecoming concert at the Melton Theatre in Melton Mowbray, and will link up with the notorious Back Door Men in Launceston, Cornwall. Melton will also be joined in both Cornwall and Devon with San Francisco music legend, "Banana" (Lowell Levinger), best known as the multi-instrumentalist with The Youngbloods.
McDonald and Melton began together as a duo in 1965. McDonald's biting political satire and Melton's cascading guitar were hallmarks of the early San Francisco sound. They toured with various bands under the name Country Joe and the Fish during the turbulent 60's.
2005 marks the 40th anniversary of their first duo tour as Country Joe and the Fish. "I can see why people get confused and think there's a reunion," says Melton. "Joe's out there with musicians we've played with in the past, but none of them were part of our original band or with us at Woodstock."
"My music is improvisational," says Melton. "It isn't tied to a time or place, and it continues to evolve. The music is rooted in the great San Francisco tradition. You can tell where it comes from, but it's entirely impossible to predict where it will go."
In addition to maintaining a long-standing musical career, Melton is also a well-known criminal defense lawyer. As public defender of Yolo County, CA, where he currently makes his home, Melton is the chief attorney in an office of 22 lawyers that handle some 10,000 criminal and juvenile cases per year. –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen