Aztec Two-Step

Last updated
Aztec Two-Step
Aztec Two Step - 6-16-07 Photo by Anthony Pepitone.jpg
At the Clearwater Festival in 2007
Background information

Aztec Two-Step is an American folk-rock band, formed by Rex Fowler and Neal Shulman at a chance meeting on open stage, at a Boston coffee house, the Stone Phoenix, [1] in 1971. Fowler grew up in Connecticut and Maine, and Shulman grew up in Manhattan. [2] [3] The band was named after a line from a poem that appeared in A Coney Island of the Mind by Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Former Maine State Representative Chris Greeley once worked as a light man for the group.


After two months in Boston, the duo moved to New York City, which remained their base. [4] Within a year after meeting, they had a contract with Elektra Records to make their first album. This self-titled debut on Elektra was followed by three albums with RCA Records. [5] They are noted for longevity as a duo, with a career of more than 40 years of performing together. [6] Fowler once explained, "we've survived with pure guile, DIY's and the support of our fan base which we established by recording on two major labels (Elektra and RCA Records) back in the Seventies." [4]

In 1982, Aztec Two-Step played two sold-out performances at The Door (formerly The Cellar Door), the iconic Washington DC club in Georgetown, becoming the last band to play at the club before it closed. On that night, "possibly as a diversionary move to keep the doors open," the audience called the duo back for eight encores. [7]

They received the New York Music Award for Best Folk Album in 1986, and have performed on TV and radio programs such as Late Night with David Letterman , The King Biscuit Flower Hour , and World Cafe Live. [8] A documentary about the band, No-Hit Wonder, aired on PBS in 1999. [8]


Related Research Articles

Blue Öyster Cult American hard rock band

Blue Öyster Cult is an American rock band formed in Stony Brook, New York, in 1967, best known for the singles "(Don't Fear) The Reaper", "Burnin' for You", and "Godzilla". They have sold 25 million records worldwide, including seven million in the United States alone. The band's music videos, especially "Burnin' for You", received heavy rotation on MTV when the music television network premiered in 1981, cementing the band's contribution to the development and success of the music video in modern popular culture.

Michael Nesmith American musician, songwriter, actor

Robert Michael Nesmith is an American musician, songwriter, actor, producer, novelist, businessman, and philanthropist, best known as a member of the pop rock band the Monkees and co-star of the TV series The Monkees (1966–1968). Nesmith's songwriting credits include "Different Drum".

John Sebastian American musician

John Benson Sebastian is an American singer/songwriter, guitarist, harmonicist, and autoharpist. He is best known as a founder of The Lovin' Spoonful, as well as for his impromptu appearance at the Woodstock festival in 1969 and a U.S. No. 1 hit in 1976, "Welcome Back".

The Lovin Spoonful American band

The Lovin' Spoonful is an American rock band that was popular during the mid- to late-1960s. Founded in New York City in 1965 by lead singer/songwriter John Sebastian and guitarist Zal Yanovsky, it is best known for a number of hits, including "Summer in the City", "Do You Believe In Magic", "Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?", and "Daydream". The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

Vertical Horizon American alternative rock band

Vertical Horizon is an American alternative rock band. Vocalist Matt Scannell and guitarist Keith Kane started the band in 1991 when they were students at Georgetown University. The band is best known for its 1999 number one single "Everything You Want"; other hit singles include "You're a God", "Best I Ever Had ", and "I'm Still Here".

Elektra Records American record label

Elektra Records is an American record label owned by Warner Music Group, founded in 1950 by Jac Holzman and Paul Rickolt. It played an important role in the development of contemporary folk music and rock music between the 1950s and 1970s. In 2004, it was consolidated into WMG's Atlantic Records Group. After five years of dormancy, the label was revived as an imprint of Atlantic in 2009. In October 2018, Elektra was detached from the Atlantic Records umbrella and reorganized into Elektra Music Group, once again operating as an independently managed frontline label of Warner Music.

The Incredible String Band

The Incredible String Band were a British psychedelic folk band formed by Clive Palmer, Robin Williamson and Mike Heron in Edinburgh in 1966. The band built a considerable following, especially in the British counterculture, notably with their albums The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion, The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter, and Wee Tam and the Big Huge. They became pioneers in psychedelic folk and, through integrating a wide variety of traditional music forms and instruments, in the development of world music.

The state of Maine is located in the New England region of the northeastern United States. Its musical traditions extend back thousands of years to the music of the first peoples of Maine, the Penobscot Passamaquoddy, Wabanaki and other related Indigenous cultures.

Paul A. Rothchild American music producer

Paul Allen Rothchild was a prominent American record producer of the 1960s and 1970s, widely known for his historic work with the Doors, producing Janis Joplin's final album Pearl and mid-60s production of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band's self-titled first album and the influential follow-up East-West.

Bob James (musician) Musical artist

Robert McElhiney James, known professionally as Bob James, is an American jazz keyboardist, arranger, and record producer. He founded the band Fourplay and wrote "Angela", the theme song for the TV show Taxi. Music from his first seven albums has often been sampled and has contributed to the formation of hip hop. Among his most well known recordings are "Nautilus", "Westchester Lady", "Tappan Zee", and his version of "Take Me to The Mardi Gras".

3, also known as Three, is an American progressive rock band formed in Woodstock, New York, United States, in the early 1990s.

The Limeliters American folk music group

The Limeliters are an American folk music group, formed in July 1959 by Lou Gottlieb, Alex Hassilev (banjo/baritone), and Glenn Yarbrough (guitar/tenor). The group was active from 1959 until 1965, and then after a hiatus of sixteen years, Yarbrough, Hassilev, and Gottlieb reunited and began performing again as The Limeliters in reunion tours. On a regular basis a continuation of The Limeliters group is still active and performing. Gottlieb died in 1996, Yarbrough died in 2016, and Hassilev, the last founding member, who had remained active in the group, retired in 2006, leaving the group to carry on without any of the original members.

David Hungate American musician

William David Hungate is a bass guitarist, producer, and arranger noted as a member of Los Angeles pop-rock band Toto from 1976 to 1982 and again from 2014 to 2015. Along with most of his Toto bandmates, Hungate did sessions on a number of hit albums of the 1970s, including Boz Scaggs's Silk Degrees and Alice Cooper's From the Inside.

Fred Tackett Musical artist

Fred Tackett is an American songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Originally a session player on guitar, mandolin, and trumpet, he is best known as a member of the band Little Feat.

Taffy Nivert American singer-songwriter

Mary Catherine "Taffy" Nivert-Danoff is an American songwriter and singer. She is best known for being a member of the Starland Vocal Band.

Bill Danoff American songwriter and singer

William Thomas Danoff is an American songwriter and singer. He is known for “Afternoon Delight", which he wrote and performed as a member of the Starland Vocal Band, and writing hits for John Denver, such as "Take Me Home, Country Roads".

The Cellar Door Music club in Washington, DC

The Cellar Door was a 163-seat music club located at 34th & M Street NW in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C. from 1964 through January 7, 1982. It occupied the location of a former music club called The Shadows.

<i>Alive, She Cried</i> 1983 live album by the Doors

Alive, She Cried is the second official live album by the American rock band the Doors, released in October 1983 by Elektra. It was the second live album release following 1970's Absolutely Live and produced by Paul A. Rothchild. The album's title was taken from a line in the song "When the Music's Over".

Doug Dillard discography

Doug Dillard is an American bluegrass banjo player. In addition to his solo albums and recordings with the Dillards and Dillard & Clark, he has been featured as a performer and composer on numerous albums by other artists.

Miranda Sykes English folk singer

Miranda Sykes is an English folk singer, double-bassist and guitarist who performs with Steve Knightley and Phil Beer in the acoustic roots/folk group Show of Hands. As of 2019 she is undertaking solo performances while on maternity leave from the group. She has recorded with Show of Hands and has also performed and recorded as a duo with mandolin player Rex Preston.


  1. Artist page at AllMusic
  2. Sebastian, John. "Interview With Aztec Two Step". Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  3. Cuccaro, Richard (January 2005). "The Amazing, Enduring, Ongoing Musical Journey of Aztec Two-Step". Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  4. 1 2 Zee, Roger. "Roger Zee Interviews "Aztec Two-Step"". Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  5. Sebastian, John. "Interview With Aztec Two Step". Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  6. Kellar, Elizabeth (13 March 2011). "Hitting it medium: Aztec Two-Step didn't make it big, but they found a 40-year career". Naples Daily News.
  7. Harrington, Richard (1982-01-09). "The Door Closes In Georgetown". Washington Post. ISSN   0190-8286 . Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  8. 1 2 Kocher, Chris (April 5, 2007). "Annual Aztec Two-Step EPAC show this weekend". Press & Sun-Bulletin . Binghamton. Retrieved 2007-04-18.[ dead link ]