Toad the Wet Sprocket
Named in honor of a sketch by the Monty Python comedy troupe, this 4-piece band of Santa Barbara, CA high school cronies came to be known as Toad the Wet Sprocket in 1986. To this day, their mellow, melodic folk-pop sound made them one of the most successful alternative rock bands of the early 1990s.
Singer Glen Phillips, guitarist Todd Nichols, bassist Dean Dinning, and drummer Randy Guss spent time honing their skills in area bars. Then, in 1988, they entered a nearby studio and came out with their debut LP, Bread and Circus. Recorded in just 8 days and for a cost of $650, this inaugural recording was originally sold in Santa Barbara area record stores as a home- made cassette. While the band was recording their second album, Pale (16 days & $6,000) they caught the attention of the LA offices of Columbia Records. After agreeing to the band's request to reissue Bread and Circus only in its original form — without any alterations or remixes – Columbia Records signed Toad the Wet Sprocket.
Then in 1991, Toad the Wet Sprocket's commercial breakthrough came as the single "All I Want" (which had nearly been left off the 1991 album Fear) became a Top 20 hit. Gavin's airplay reports also listed it as number one. After "Fear" was certified platinum, another single from the LP, "Walk on the Ocean," also became a successful track for the band. They played over 300 shows on the Fear tour, a two-year marathon ending in throat surgery for Phillips' overused pipes.
Three years later, Toad returned with Dulcinea, generating yet another Top 40 hit (not to mention a six week run as number one on Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks) with the single "Fall Down." Dulcinea then also sold enough copies to reward Toad with another platinum certification.
1995 brought In Light Syrup, a collection of unreleased material, B-Sides and movie soundtrack songs. Featuring "Good Inten- tions," another hit single that's also been featured on the platinum selling Friends TV show soundtrack, In Light Syrup recently became certified gold.
Coil, Toad the Wet Sprocket's fifth proper LP, followed in 1997. Then in July, 1998, the group parted ways. Even so, in 1999, PS (A Toad Retrospective) was released. In 2004, Columbia/Legacy released Toad's live CD Welcome Home, Live from the Arlington Theater.
Since 2006, the band has played to enthusiastic crowds of all ages across the country, proving that great music truly is timeless.
Jonathan Kingham must be doing something right. In his first few years on the scene, he quickly developed into a seasoned performer while sharing the stage with the likes of Shawn Colvin, Joan Osborne, Michael McDonald, Doug Stone, Vanessa Carlton, and Jonatha Brooke. He has toured with such diverse acts as Julio Iglesias Jr. and currently plays keyboard and steel guitar for Toad the Wet Sprocket.
But its not only his live performances that are winning him fans and accolades. He took 1st place honors in the National Telluride Troubadour Songwriting Contest, The Unisong International Song Contest, as well as placing two years in a row in the top five of the John Lennon Song contest. He brought home the 1st Place award in the USA Songwriting Competition in the Folk Category as well as the Overall Grand Prize out of a worldwide field of 33,000 entries and was awarded First Place in the Gospel category of the ISC songwriting contest. His singing has been featured in films, soap operas and even the WB network’s hit show “Felicity”. Based out of Nashville he splits his time between touring the country and writing, recording and producing.
On his fourth independent album “Smooth out the Lines”, lush string arrangements, tasteful electric guitars and understated vocals meld together in a beautiful folk/pop offering that support the mature songwriting that has won Kingham international acclaim.
With a soothing blend of folk, pop, country and jazz, Kingham usually comes armed with a huge tub of Red Vines, a quick freestyle wit, and has rapidly become a favorite on the circuit. With a sound that is equally at home in a theatre, performance center, or a lunchtime concert on the lawn, Kingham is a versatile and in demand performer.
Performing Songwriter magazine selected his previous release “That Changes Everything” as one of its top Do It Yourself Picks and said “If this is just the beginning, Kingham is going to be a major talent in the near future.
“Kingham has talent way off the richter scale”
- Anchorage Daily News