The Brooks brothers, Derek and Stuart, formed south London blues rockers Leaf Hound out of the remnants of a band called Black Cat Bones.
Joined by vocalist/lyricist Peter French and his guitarist cousin Mick Halls (from The Brunning Sunflower Blues Band), their 1971 heavy blues-rock album, Growers Of Mushroom, retains a devoted following and remains one of the rarest and most collectable pieces of vinyl.
Opening track Freelance Fiend is the essence of Whole Lotta Love with a side-order of Voodoo Chile.
Growers of Mushroom was recorded in one 11-hour session at Spot Studios in Mayfair, London (where Cream had recorded four years earlier) in late 1970.
The Brooks brothers departed shortly thereafter with Ron Thomas filling in on bass.
The remaining band members toured Europe as a four-piece and released the Drowned My Life in Fear single.
The Growers of Mushroom album was released shortly after (first in Germany and eventually in the UK) but by this time Peter French had also departed to join Atomic Rooster and was touring the States with them, and Leaf Hound were no more.
In 2004, Peter French put together a new incarnation of the band and in 2006 they released a limited-edition 7″ single featuring a live version of Freelance Fiend recorded at The Borderline in Soho, London in September 2005.
In 2007, Leaf Hound released an album, Unleashed, which Kerrang! called “as good a rock album as you could hope to hear”. The band are still performing in the UK with French the only original member.
The name Leaf Hound came from a Ray Bradbury story about a hound which a young boy loved to death, buried it in the woods and some time later it came back from the dead.