Joy of Cooking

Marin IJ Article, March 2007

Time Magazine, "Female Rock" April 1971
"The one outfit so far that can compete with top-level male band quality is Joy of Cooking,
and it is only partly female. The group is owned and led by two 32-year-old women.
Terry Garthwaite, a tough rock singer, plays electric guitar and sings with a scratchy
authority that can suggest Janis Joplin. Her partner, Toni Brown, a pretty Bennington
graduate, sings, stomps around the stage, plays electric piano and organ, and writes
songs about what it is like to be a woman ("Time goes, and the baby keeps growin',
and I can't help knowin', baby I love you"). The girls —backed by three males, Fritz
Kasten, 27, drums, Ron Wilson, 37, congas, and Jeff Neighbor, 28, bass—produce a
reasonably rich mixture of blues, wailing gospel and riffs of pure country, folk and hard
rock, all curiously overlaid with Latin conga rhythms.

pic
(photo by Annie Leibovitz)
 
Joy of Cooking does best on Only Time Will Tell Me, a gospel song written by Toni and
sung by Terry, and Castles, which ends with the two girls twining their voices in a long,
wild scramble of Afro scat singing.

Joy's first album, just released by Capitol, is slowly climbing the charts. Meanwhile, the
group is getting ready for a nationwide tour. It has been a long wait for recognition. Terry
and Toni formed their outfit in 1967, but for four years they played mainly pass-the-hat parties,
high schools and local dives. "I guess we're not as aggressive as we would be if we were
males," Toni explains. "We stuck together, though, partly because women have a lot to
say and they're just not saying it in music."

At Mandrake's, the Berkeley nightclub where Joy got its real commercial start, male patrons
would occasionally jump on the stage, grab the instruments from the girls and try to take over.
In general, fees were lower than for comparable male groups too. For a while, it looked as
if Joy of Cooking might remain one of America's thousands of unknown "party" bands. At
one point, Terry and Toni were actually forced to revert to making and selling dresses to
pay the rent.

Now the gigs are rolling in, along with good money and praise from critics. It remains to
be seen, though, if the male-dominated world of rock music is really ready for Women's Lib."

***

"Like the cookbook that gave them their name, the Joy of Cooking is still very useful on a
daily basis.  They could take a piece and strech it out for 5, 8 minutes thanks  to their sense of
rhythmic interplay, and not make it seem  like an exercise in ego the way a guitar solo might be,
but, rather, a service for people having fun."  - Ed Ward
click here for the NPR CD review

***

"Toni and Terry were the leaders of the Joy of Cooking, and pioneers in defining
the role of the serious woman musician.  ...in their time, Joy of Cooking garnered considerable
respect and was extrememly influential ... Their easy going style, which drew its inspiration from folk,
bluegrass, blues and jazz, was delivered with exceptional competance
 and confidence, both on record and in live performace."  
- John Harp

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