The Toadmortons is a Northern California indie rock band, named after an inbred cannibal in Nick Cave’s novel, And the Ass Saw the Angel.
- Steve Bryant – songwriter, vocals, guitar
- John Cypher – violin, sitar, guitar
- Steve Edberg – drums, percussion
- Greg Hain – bass, pedal steel, vocals
- Roger Kunkel – guitar, mandolin, vocals
Management: Susan Ferris at Bohemia Entertainment Group
Steve Bryant and Greg Hain formed the Toadmortons after their band Chance the Gardener (The Day the Dogs Took Over, Warner Brothers Records 1996) ended. Chance the Gardener’s debut album received good reviews, but was not promoted by the label due to the fact that the band’s A&R representative, Roberta Peterson, left the label as part of a mass exodus of the Warner’s upper management prior to the record’s release.
Peterson became head of A&R at Geffen Records, but was contractually forbidden to take any of her bands with her. When she learned that Bryant was forming a new band, she asked if he wanted to sign with Geffen, but after the Warner Brothers experience, Bryant decided that the band could be more productive by releasing their first record on the just formed San Francisco Label, Future Farmer Records.
Beware Morton’s Murder Mile was released on Future Farmer Records in 1999, and was number three most added to college radio in the U.S. in the first week of its radio release.
The Toadmortons’ second record (The Toadmorton’s Collection, Long Live Crime Records, 2004) was a double CD containing songs from Beware Morton’s Murder Mile, a previously unreleased album, Shaking the Ghost, and a batch of new songs). The drummer during this period was Jimmy Brasier (who had been the drummer for Sweet Children which later became Green Day).
Bryant put Toadmortons on hiatus in 2004 in order to record and release two records under the name The Universal Steve, E Pluribus Esteban, Long Live Crime Records, 2004, and Ryer Island, Broken Halo Records, 2010). Bryant, Hain, and Edberg reformed Toadmortons in 2012 with Roger Kunkel (Thin White Rope), and John Cypher (Grey Bouquet) and release the album Beauty Lies in 2015.
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