Featured Review Rock History

Exit Stencil Recordings Re-releases Two Albums from Cleveland, Ohio’s The Damnation of Adam Blessing

Any mid-sized city or larger has their share of bands that have left a mark on that area’s music scene. And Cleveland, Ohio is one such city that has had its share of really good bands. And while there are some bands within the city’s music scene today that are making a lot of noise, there will always be those bands that are talked about long after they’re gone. One band that left its mark on the music scene so strongly that people remember them today is the band The Damnation of Adam Blessing.

Having taken their name from a book of fiction written by Vin Packer with the same name, the Cleveland-based Hard Rock band The Damnation of Adam Blessing ended up being grouped together with bands like Jethro Tull, Alice Cooper and other bands that are now classified as Classic Rock. And just like both Tull and Cooper, the moniker of The Damnation of Adam Blessing would later be considered the name of the lead singer, a role that the band’s singer, Bill Constable, would gladly take up.

And as Adam Blessing, Constable would lead the band through its historic time as a group. Along with Bill Constable on lead vocals, the rest of the band consisted of Bob Kalamasz – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals; Jim Quinn – Rhythm Guitar, Percussion, Electric Pillow, Backing Vocals; Ray Bench – Bass Guitar; Bill Schwark – Drums and Ken Constable- Backing Vocals.

The Damnation of Adam Blessing is one of those bands that should have been a lot bigger than they were, but have gone on to become bands that people still remember, even long after the initial time of the group had come to an end. Because the band has stayed on the minds of people many years after the band came to an end, there have been several reissues of the group’s music. One of the most memorable reissues was the three CD Box Set put out in 2000 from the Italian Record Label Akarma entitled Damnation to Salvation which included the self-titled release from the band, the second album entitled The Second Damnation, and the third release entitled Which is The Justice, Which is the Thief. A fourth album, Glory, was not included in that reissue. The 3-record version of that box set is currently available on for an asking price of almost $100.00. Thankfully, there is something a lot less expensive now available from Exit Stencil Recordings.

In 2018, Cleveland-based record label Exit Stencil Recordings is bringing the music from The Damnation of Adam Blessing back into existence. Available soon will be the1969 Self-Titled album and the 1970 release called The Second Damnation. The vinyl LP reissues will be just like the original issues that were released nearly fifty years ago.

It was with the first album that people got to know The Damnation of Adam Blessing. Right from the first track of “Cookbook,” the band’s self-titled release gives the listener a glimpse into the musical style of the late sixties/early seventies. The album contains such classic tracks such as: “Morning Dew,” a track that helped put the band on the map, musically. The release also contains the song that really brings the feel of that era to life, “Strings and Things”.  One of the more unusual tracks on the album is the band’s classic interpretation of the song “Last Train to Clarksville”. While people are used to the version of the song by The Monkees, The Damnation of Adam Blessing gives the track more of Rhythm & Blues approach to the music. While that version did come after The Monkees, there is no way you can call it a cover as the band put their own spin on it. The album also comes with many other classic tracks.

After the release and success of the self-titled album, The Damnation of Adam Blessing returned with their second album. The band’s second release, entitled The Second Damnation, finds the band creating an album that lives up to the first album. And while the magic of the first album does appear on the band’s second release, The Damnation of Adam Blessing (called simply “Damnation” on this release) incorporated some of the psychedelic influence that was happening at the time into their music. Maybe it was just a natural progression of the band’s sound.  And while there is some of that psychedelic feel to the music, the band does not go overboard with that influence. The Second Damnation includes songs such as “Back to the River,” “Ba-Dup” and “Money Tree” as well as many other classic tracks from the band. 

To go along with the reissues, both of the albums from The Damnation of Adam Blessing now come complete with liner notes describing the band and its music. For those fans of the band that have been waiting for a solid reissue of the music of the band, now is the time to get in line as the record label Exit Stencil Recordings is now taking orders for the reissues that will be released in the near future. Complete details on the reissues can be found on the record label’s website.  If you are new to the music of The Damnation of Adam Blessing, this is the time to become acquainted with the band.

Together, first two albums from The Damnation of Adam Blessing stand as strong as or stronger today as anything that was released on major record labels at the time. And while many bands that were mainly “local heroes” seem to fade away after a while, this group’s legend is as strong today as it’s ever been. Because of that, the label Exit Stencil Recordings will shortly be re-releasing the self-titled release AND The Second Damnation from The Damnation of Adam Blessing. In only a matter of days, the two albums will be available on the label’s website. Stay tuned to the label’s website as well as the band’s Facebook page to stay updated.

To discover (or rediscover, depending) the music of The Damnation of Adam Blessing, check out the first three songs from the band’s 1969 self-titled release.