Volumn IV / New Hudson Exit


Austintown, 1965-9

band pic

L-R: Danny Marshall, Bob Barbone, Mitch Benhke (seated), Tom Huzjak

The Volumn IV started with the guitar duets of Fitch High School students and guitarists Tom Huzjak and Gary Squibbs. By 1966 they added John "Mitch" Benhke on bass and Bob Barbone (who lived adjacent to John) on drums. The Volumn IV played school dances with a Stones sound. In early '67 Gary Squibbs left and was replaced by Phil Keaggy, recently of the defunct Squires. With Phil's strong Paul McCartney resemblence and Beatles identity, the group went into a Fab Four Phase, even scoring some old band uniforms to get a Sgt. Pepper look. 

A would be producer from Canfield, Tom Page, encouraged the group to record so they cut a couple songs at Cleveland Recording and got them placed on Date records. Prior to the records release, the group and label deciced on a name change. The New Hudson Exit was a popular teen club in Canfield (named after a pilfered NY road sign) so the group decided to take tha name for themselves, and the Date 45 was issued with nice songs by Tom Huzjak and Phil Keaggy. The record did well locally and got a little action but not enough to warrant more attention by CBS. The record did help open some doors - am agency in Pittsburgh liked the bands original songs and worked to expose the NHE to larger audiences. They opened for the Grassroots and Turtles at the Pittsburgh Civic Arena. They also got a three college tour with Vanilla Fudge, earning $1000 per gig and their own road crew. 

Phil Keaggy left to form the Glass Harp and taking after the Fudge they got a keyboard player, Danny Marshall. With this lineup they decided to give it a real shot so they recorded an acetate at Cleveland Recording and an LP's worth of original songs and a couple of covers, like the group's unique rendition of "People Get Ready" in NYC, hoping to land a record contract. During this time they recorded a one-off 45 for a label called Peace records that was not really indicitive of the band's sound. After a few months of working around NY and PA the band started to splinter. Tom Huzjak quit music. Mitch Benhke and Danny Marshall went on to play in other bands.