Max Creek is an American rock band that was formed by Dave Reed, John Rider and Bob Gosselin in 1971. Scott Murawski, then aged 15, joined the band in the spring of 1972. Murawski left after two months, but returned in 1973. Mark Mercier the keyboardist joined in January 1973. Dave Reed left the band in August, 1974 to form the Hatchet Hill String Band. Max Creek has a loyal following, and puts on an annual music festival in upstate New York, dubbed Camp Creek, and is one of the longest running festivals on the East Coast. The band also has the distinction of playing Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel & The Living Room the most times of any band.
Max Creek was formed in 1971, with Dave Reed on acoustic guitar, John Rider on electric bass and Bob Gosselin on drums. The band originally played country music. In 1972, Dave Reed invited one of his music students, 15 year old Scott Murawski, to sit in with the band. Scott's early original association with the band ended abruptly when he was banned from a club that the band played at regularly for drinking a beer. A few months later Dave Reed came down with appendicitis, so Mark Mercier was brought in on keyboards and Scott was invited back to play guitar. Due to the influence of the Grateful Dead, as well as the the band's consumption of L.S.D., the band decided to incorporate more improvisation into the music becoming more electrified]. The music of the psychedelic era had a heavy influence on the band, leading to a more Grateful Dead and San Francisco Bay sound and style. Eventually, Dave left the band to pursue country rock and acoustic ragtime music, leaving the band's line up as John, Bob, Scott and Mark.
Percussionist Rob Fried joined the band in 1979. Known for his elaborate stage setup, often with dozens drums and percussion pieces, Fried could always be easily identified in a club or hall thanks to his trademark Panama hat, Hawaiian shirt and dark glasses. Fried left the band in 2004 and died on September 6, 2006 as a result of cancer.
Amy (Barefoot) Fazzano was a vocalist with the band from July 1976 until September 10, 1983.
Bob Gosselin left the band in 1985 and was replaced on drums by Greg DeGuglielmo.
Bob Bloom was an occasional second drummer and percussionist in 1976.
Greg Vasso replaced DeGuglielmo in 1991, and stayed until 1996. At that point, Scott Allshouse took over, and is the band's current drummer.
Max Creek was not the first jam band outside of the San Francisco Bay Area. Groups like Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience preceded Max Creek. Many groups have imitated Max Creek's style, such as Phish, whose bassist Mike Gordon has referred to Max Creek as one of his “favorite bands,” and has sat in with the band several times over the past few years. On January 5, 2008, Gordon played with Max Creek's Scott Murawski, as well as the Grateful Dead's Bill Kreutzmann, at a benefit concert in Costa Rica. Live shows are the bands forte, often lasting three hours or more. Creek, as they are known, peaked in popularity in the late 1980s, when they would play more than 200 shows a year. They decided to cut back drastically on touring in the early 1990s to concentrate on family, and today play only a handful of shows a year. The loss of sound engineer John Archer and his Crystal Clear sound system in the early 1990s was a devastating blow for Creek and their fans, as was the decision to stop touring at the time that the jam band scene was heating up.