America’s ‘most famous utterly obscure rock band’

The Rising Storm, 1967. Clockwise from left: Todd Cohen, Tom Scheft, Bob Cohan, Richard Weinberg, Charlie Rockwell, Tony Thompson

The Rising Storm is a rock band that has been keeping the beat for nearly six decades.

Calm Before, the album its six members recorded in 1967 as high-school seniors, is one of the most prized garage-band albums ever. In 2016, a copy sold for $6,500.

The Storm — all six members still are active — has performed in London, Rotterdam, Hoboken and Boston, where they have played multiple times, including a set in 2014 during the Pipeline! concert series celebrating 50 years of Boston rock.

The Washington Post called the Storm “the most famous utterly obscure rock band in America.”

The All Music Guide to Rock ‘N’ Roll described Calm Before as “one of the rarest and most respected garage band albums.”

The Rising Storm, April 2019, Riverrun International Film Festival, Winston-Salem, N.C. From left: Tom Scheft, Charlie Rockwell, Tony Thompson, Bob Cohan, Todd Cohen, Richard Weinberg

Richie Unterberger devoted a chapter to the band in his book, Unknown Legends of Rock ‘n’ Roll.

The band was the focus of a July 2017 feature story in The New York Times.

In January 2018, Sundazed Music reissued Calm Before on vinyl and in CD format. It also is available on Apple Music.

calm before… the rising storm, a 30-minute documentary movie about The Rising Storm and Calm Before, has been shown has been shown at 18 film festivals, received top awards at eight of them, and will be screened at four more in 2023. It was named one of the 10 best rock documentaries of 2018 by rock writer Richie Unterberger.

And in June 2022, the band got together yet again to play a one-hour gig In Andover. Mass., for alum of Phillips Academy and Abbot Academy celebrating their reunions; it was the band’s 55th. To see a video of Slow Down, the closing song in the set, click here. To see individual videos of any of the songs in the set, or the entire one-hour set, click here. (Best on headphones or ear-pods.)