Little America

Little America was a mid-'80s quartet that came out of the so-called "paisley underground," though their sound was closer in spirit to '60s folk-rock than to psychedelia. Andy Logan was attending the University of California at Santa Barbara when he crossed paths with John Hussey. Both played guitar and sang, and were admirers of '60s folk-rock bands such as the Byrds and the Beau Brummels, and the two of them formed the Colours, a name that would later become something of an albatross around their necks as they weren't British -- on top of which, there had already been a group recording using that name. They eventually headed to Los Angeles, where Logan met Mike Magrisi, who had been the bassist in a local group called the Turn that was part of the then active psychedelic revival scene, often referred to as the paisley underground. Magrisi was as much a Byrds fan as Logan, only his idol was Gene Clark, whereas Logan affected a look and sound similar to David Crosby; a team-up seemed not only logical but natural and inevitable, and Magrisi brought his ex-Turn bandmate, drummer Kurt Custer, along with him. The quartet cut a three-song demo financed by Capitol Records, and seemed destined to be signed to the latter label until a disappointing live gig caused the company to lose interest. Instead, they ended up signed to Geffen Records, where they cut their self-titled debut album, released in 1987. It proceeded to sell over 100,000 copies on the strength of the single "Walk on Fire," and among those contributing to the album was Poco/Eagles alumnus Timothy B. Schmit on vocals. They toured a lot and were building up a following, but they found it hard to overcome the two-year gap between their first and second albums, or the bad feeling that resulted when the label insisted on bringing in an outside songwriter to augment their work, Magrisi providing most of their originals up to that point. The group broke up after being dropped by the label following the poor showing of the Fairgrounds album. Since then, Logan and Custer have worked together, and the latter has also been a member of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and played with Steve Earle, while Logan has recorded solo and also written songs.
Bruce Eder, Rovi

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