One of my favorite 90s New York City bands actually started in 1989 in St Paul MN. John Kimbrough (guitar hero/singer), Joey Waronker (drummer) and Candice Belanoff (bassist) called themselves Walt Mink (the name of a beloved psychology professor). Waronker is the son of producer/record executive Lenny Waronker and brother of Anna Waronker of the band that dog. Kimbrough is the son of actor Charles Kimbrough (Murphy Brown). In 1993 Waronker moved to LA and since has been the “go to” drummer for everyone from Beck to Smashing Pumpkins to REM and everyone in between. In early 1994 Kimbrough and Belanoff relocated themselves to New York City and added drummer Orestes Morfin. In 1996 Morfin left to return to school, eventually replaced by Zach Danziger.

Beneficiaries of the early 90s “boom” of major label signings and victims of the late 90s “bust” of major label droppings, Walt Mink never did recover and decided to call it a day with a special farewell show November 1 1997 at the Mercury Lounge in New York City. It was recorded and became their 1998 live album Goodnite. But the 4 albums released between 1992 and 1997 (Miss Happiness in 1992, Bareback Ride in 1993 – both on Caroline; El Producto in 1996 on Atlantic; and Colossus in 1997 on Deep Elm) should stand the test of time and overshadow a lot of other, less impressive but more successful releeases of the decade. You just have to find them.

In the years since, Kimbrough has performed a few solo acoustic shows, an acoustic duo show with Balanoff and even a couple of full band reunion shows with Danziger.

That final Mercury Lounge show in 1997 was also filmed though, from what I can tell, has not been released yet. Or finished, for that matter.

Chowder Town (from Miss Happiness, 1992)

Shine (from Bareback Ride, 1993)

Fragile (from Bareback Ride, 1993, recorded live on July 28 2011 at the Bell House, Brooklyn NY)

Stood Up (from El Producto, 1996, recorded live on June 17 2005 at Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis MN)

Giselle (recorded live on July 16 2004 at Pete’s Candy Store, Brooklyn NY)

Interview from The Underground on WHTG-FM (FM106.3), Eatontown NJ (24 August 1997)

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One response »

  1. Listen to a podcast review of Miss Happiness by Walt Mink on Dig Me Out at digmeoutpodcast.com, a weekly podcast dedicated to revisiting lost and forgotten rock of the 1990s.

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