Timothy P. and the Rural Route 3, Gridley, IL.

Timothy P. and the Rural Route 3 originally formed in Gridley, Illinois. Timothy P Irvin, the group’s singer, had lead an early central Illinois rock ‘n roll group from 1963 to 1967 called The Shattertones. (Note: it has been determined via tax records that The Shattertones recorded at Golden Voice sometime in 1967).  Timothy joined the service in 1967 and upon his return he formed  The Mackinaw Valley Boys with Jerry “Pork” Armstrong (more on Pork Armstrong and the Mackinaw Valley Boys later). Around 1972 after the Mackinaw Valley Boys had run their course Timothy along with Bruce Horn and Bo Bobell (also original Mackinaw Valley Boys) would start a new group, Timothy P. and the Rural Route 3.   

Mackinaw Valley Boys

Mackinaw Valley Boys

 The group would then relocate to Colorado.  According to Bruce Horn: “While in Vail, Timothy was offered a regular gig that would give us half-interest in a club called The Gnu Gnu”.   The club was being set up in anticipation of coming 1976 Winter Olympics. When, in late 1972, Colorado voters refused funding for the Olympics things changed and the group decided to play a hotel called The Vail Village Inn (as mentioned on the back of their first LP) for the following winter season in 1973.  Their original guitar player wasn’t interested in the gig so Bruce Horn contacted a friend in New York: Jerry “Muttonhead” Erickson who came out, auditioned and won the job.  It was at that point that the line up was solidified with Timothy P Irvin (vocals), Bo Bobell (drums), Bruce Horn (bass) and Jerry “Muttonhead” Erickson (guitar). Their sound showed a real love of old-time country music but also an awareness of all that had happened since the Summer of Love. The band would incorporate a broad scope of everything else that influenced them from rock and pop to gospel.

The group played almost every day so by the time they headed back to central Illinois and Golden Voice to record they had become a tight unit of musicians.  Their first recordings were done in the fall of 1974.  They group laid down the tracks that would become the single Timothy P. and the Rural Route 3 – Jesus Scared The Hippy Out Of Me / Cloudy In Kansas – Golden Voice GV7 -26. 

Jesus Scared the Hippy


Timothy P.

 Returning to Golden Voice in the summer of 1975, they would record and mix their entire first album (except Jesus Scared the Hippie Out Of Me and Cloudy In Kansas). The group handled all distribution and sales of the record and it did very well in the college towns where they played throughout the Midwest.

The group would go on to become a cult country act and attain a fair level of popularity, releasing several more albums and lasting until the 1980’s.  Timothy Irvin would go on to sing for the legendary rock and roll tribute act Flash Cadillac (who also would later record at Golden Voice, although prior to Timothy’s involvement) while the core of the group continues playing occasional local shows as The New Rural Route 3.


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