Always aware of the subtle boundaries defining bluegrass music, the group progressed in two albums (recorded 1971 and 1972) from constantly staying just within the traditional rules, to boldly breaking them on occasion. Unexpected twists–whether in arrangements instrumentation, studio techniques, or tonaltiy–became their trademark. In 1975, a studio session yielded an underground extended play record under the name “The Extended Play Boys,” represented by several cuts on the group’s one re-issue CD, 26 Bluegrass Instrumentals.
All the musicians were in their early 20’s at the time of the first recordings, at the thresholds of musical careers which later blossomed in many forms.”
As a performing band, Country Cooking originally formed in 1970 in Ithaca, New York, playing both electrified country and bluegrass music featuring Pete Wernick and “Nondi” Leonard (later known as Joan Wernick) on lead vocals, and instrumentalists Tony Trischka (pedal steel guitar and banjo), Russ Barenberg (acoustic and electric guitar and mandolin) and John Miller (bass).