Perth County Conspiracy

The Perth County Conspiracy is forever associated with the Black Swan Coffee House in Stratford ON where the band would play shows following performances at the nearby Shakespeare Festival, often playing to 4:00 AM. The two main co-conspirators were Cedric Smith and Richard Keelan along with a roving cast of musicians, friends and family members.

Richard Keelan was part of the Detroit scene in the mid-60s - he was a member of the Spike Drivers and The Misty Wizards (both with Ted Lucas) before coming up to Canada. The Spike Drivers and Misty Wizards put out some fantastic stuff - for example It's Love by the latter:

Richard Keelan moved to Canada and settled near Stratford and met Cedric Smith, a poet, folk singer and actor (he won a Gemini award in 1993 for his work on Road to Avonlea).

In 1969 they named themselves the Perth County Conspiracy. In 1970 they recorded their first album (Does Not Exist) for Columbia. They were also invited to record an album in the CBC studios; their self-titled LP which immediately followed their first. They then put out a double live album (Alive) on Columbia and recorded several more (live) albums under their own label.

This episode of Inside The Music from CBC radio in 2011 discusses the PCC's first album (Does Not Exist) and also delves into the counter-culture and the surrounding community of musicians, poets, friends and family.

The second (self-titled) album was recorded on the CBC label as promotion to the affiliate stations across Canada, so only 250 copies were originally pressed - this LP has now been re-issued as part of the CBC music transcription series. From this album, this is If You Can Want:

Here's a youtube link to the Spike Driver's playing Strange Mysterious Sounds on the tv show Swingin' Time from 1967, and finally, the cover of the Spike Driver's single Baby Won't You Let Me Tell You How I Lost My Mind.


Now go give It's Love another listen. Yea.