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Treat Her Right

Band, 1984-1991 US, Boston
Rock and Blues

Treat Her Right was a blues rock group formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1984. The band featured Mark Sandman on guitar, Billy Conway on drums, Dave Champagne on guitar, and Jim Fitting on harmonica. Singing and songwriting duties were shared by all but Conway. In addition to being the forerunner to the popular indie rock band Morphine, Treat Her Right is often credited with helping to spawn the punk-blues hybrid (sometimes dubbed cowpunk, among other titles) that achieved prominence in the early 2000s. The band derived its name from the 1965 international smash hit by Roy Head and the Traits, "Treat Her Right." The group's self-financed and self-titled debut was released on a small Boston record label in 1986, and their first recording attempt was a modest success - Champagne's "I Got a Gun" and Sandman's cover of James Blood Ulmer's "Where Did All the Girls Come From?" received some play on college radio. "I Think She Likes Me" describes Sandman's experience in a Fairplay, Colorado bar where a woman came on to him. The group signed to RCA Records, who reissued the debut in 1988. Tied to the Tracks was issued in 1989. Sales did not meet RCA's expectations. In the notes for their third record, the group writes, "RCA decided that if our little basement tape could do so well, why not spend fifty times more money and it will be fifty times better! (They think everything works like that.)" Treat Her Right were dropped from their RCA contract. What's Good for You was issued on Rounder Records in 1991. The ragged, live-in-the-studio sound was partly modeled on the model established by Chess Records, which had released many classic blues and early rock and roll records. Shortly after this third release, Treat Her Right disbanded. The group reformed in 1995 under the direction of Rolling Stones backup guitar player Bob Anderson, but disbanded for the second time in 1998. Fitting later played with The The and The Coots. Champaign remained musically active, playing with groups such as The Jazz Popes. Sandman and Conway went on to form the nucleus of Morphine. Although more blues-based than Morphine, Treat Her Right sowed the seeds of Sandman's later sound with its unusual instrumentation (Sandman's guitar with Treat Her Right was a three string custom model, making it sound more like a bass guitar) and slightly dark focus, most evident on the Sandman-penned songs. Sandman died tragically of a heart attack while onstage with Morphine in Italy in 1999. The Treat Her Right song "Rhythm & Booze" was featured on The Hangover soundtrack, released in 2009. In the summer of this same year, The Lost Album, a record of unreleased Treat Her Right material, was released by Hi-n-Dry. Shortly thereafter, the three surviving members reunited as Treat Her Right to mark the ten-year anniversary of Sandman's death at the Mark Sandman Memorial Concert in September. Members: Mark Sandman (vocals, guitar) David Champagne (guitar) Jim Fitting (harmonica) Billy Conway (drums)

     
Members
PortraitBilly Conway
dr, perc
PortraitMark Sandman
voc, b, g 1952-1999 US
PortraitDavid Champagne
g, s-g, voc US
PortraitJim Fitting
h, voc US
Popular Tracks   
Picture Of The Future on Tied To The Tracks by Treat Her Right
I Think She Likes Me on Treat Her Right by Treat Her Right
Rhythm And Booze on What's Good For You by Treat Her Right
Marie on Tied To The Tracks by Treat Her Right
The Same Thing on What's Good For You by Treat Her Right
King Of Beers on Tied To The Tracks by Treat Her Right
Junkyard on Tied To The Tracks by Treat Her Right
Early Man on The Lost Album by Treat Her Right
Big Medicine on Tied To The Tracks by Treat Her Right
My Dog Can Bark on The Lost Album by Treat Her Right

Track list and 30sec audio provided by


Discography


Title Artist Year Type
The Lost AlbumTreat Her Right2009Album
The Anthology 1985 - 1990Treat Her Right1998Compil.
What's Good For YouTreat Her Right1991Album
Tied To The TracksTreat Her Right1989Album
MarieTreat Her Right1989Single
I Think She Likes MeTreat Her Right1988Single
I Got A GunTreat Her Right1988Single
Treat Her RightTreat Her Right1986Album
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Acknowledgements
To all the music fans that are contributing on Discogs, MusicBrainz and Wikipedia. Thanks to Franz Flückiger for providing Storygram used to visualize band membership.
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