Smokestack Lightnin' Home Page -- The Blues Profile Page
Years active 1976–1979
Labels Arista Records
The Alpha Band was a rock band formed in July 1976 from the remnants of Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue. Band members were T-Bone Burnett, Steven Soles, and David Mansfield, plus sidemen who differed from record to record and included: David Kemper (later drummer for Bob Dylan and Jerry Garcia Band); gospel great Andrae Crouch; and former Beatle Ringo Starr.
The Alpha Band reputedly signed a huge-money deal with Arista Records, Clive Davis's label. But their three albums were remarkably obscure, even upon release: almost straight to the cut out bin. Somehow, the Alphas never gained traction. The group is now recalled mostly as a launching pad for Mansfield, and even more for launching Burnett. Soles's solo career never went anywhere outside of Christian record stores. When the band broke up in 1979, all three members began producing albums for other artists.