Podipto formed in Northern Minnesota in 1969. Until disbanding in 1974, Podipto was known as one of the brightest acts hailing from the Midwest, blending rock, blues and country into a unique sound that would never be forgotten by those who heard them or saw them perform. Throughout the early 1970s, Podipto toured the country, performing with acts such as Elton John, James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, The Carpenters, Kenny Rogers, The Guess Who, Poco, John Sebastian and many others.
The band's unique sound was created by the blend of three vocalists—two male and one female—who traded leads and joined in harmony. Podipto could shift from feel-good dreamy 70s folk to growling twin-guitar blues on a dime, refusing to let any one genre of the time define their sound. Most of the band's original songs were written by rhythm guitarist and vocalist John Collins, and vocalist-bassist Jack Sundrud. Dan Lund played electric guitar and fiddle with (then wife) Karen Lund on vocals and piano. John Calder was the band's initial drummer, but after being drafted, Steve Rundquist replaced him on drums, forming the lineup that held for the band's initial years together.
Podipto recorded two albums, the first in 1970 with GRT Records of Canada. As was common in those times, the label used the band's vocals from demos recorded in Chicago, but hired session musicians (L.A.'s famous Wrecking Crew) to save time and costs in studio and allow the band to focus on their live act. Podipto toured heavily in support of their eponymous record, often called the "woodcut" album for its distinctive cover art. However, shortly after the album's release, GRT faltered and abruptly shut its doors, leaving Podipto with an uncertain future. 1973 brought lineup changes, when Steve and Jack left the band to pursue other projects. For a short time Ron Kelley provided on vocals and bass in 1973, until Wilson Roberts joined the band. Roadie and sound man Mike Hedlund played drums, until Chester Ellingson took the sticks that year.
Dubious of working again with a record company, Podipto set up spaces in living rooms and recorded its second album just as its title suggests: Homemade. Covers were initially made by hand using ink and a woodblock carving designed by artist Lou Ferreri. After a spilled beer bottle revealed that the ink ran when wet, the bulk of the album covers were silk screened by hand. The band toured in support of Homemade through 1974, but differences within the band led to its breakup in October 1974, to the dismay of many fans who embraced their sound and messages of peace and love, good times, political awareness and relentless groove.
Now, 40 years after their breakup, Podipto's music is being restored and issued for the first time on CD and digital download. In addition to their two albums, fans will hear studio demos of lost songs, and live recordings of the band that span all the years and all the members of the band. These recordings have been meticulously cleaned and readied for release after sitting for 40+ years in various basements across the U.S.
Podipto was Northern Minnesota's band that everyone loved, a band that made it big enough to get national attention and ride a wave of 1970s action and unrest, and a band that ended quietly, leaving an empty space that could never be filled and a sound that could never be replicated.