Virtually no one outside Minneapolis heard of the C.A. Quintet
during their late-'60s heyday. It was their fortune (or curse) to actually reach a considerably bigger international audience when their album was reissued in the '80s. Starting as a rather conventional pop-soul/garage band, their one and only album, Trip Thru Hell
(1968), was a worthy slice of dark psychedelia. With spooky organ and the occasional trumpet of singer/songwriter Ken Erwin
, the group's murky and macabre vision -- dotted with trips through hell, cold spiders, Colorado mornings, and the like -- was genuinely original and chilling. Trip Thru Hell
only sold 700-800 copies when it was first issued, but after gaining status among hardcore '60s psychedelic collectors, it was reissued in 1983. The group also released a few non-LP singles in 1967 and 1968, most in a much poppier vein.