This could be called the "campus band." The group began rehearsing in September 1990, played a brief showcase at a Haverford Folk Society meeting in October, and put on its first full show on December 8th in the Lunt Cafe (a basement coffee shop in a Haverford dorm, and the first in a long series of coffeehouses). This lineup performed irregularly on the Haverford and Bryn Mawr campuses into the summer of 1991. The last performance by this lineup was around Labor Day of 1991, at the (then newly opened) Red Raven coffeehouse in Kimberton, PA. This was also Broadside Electric's first off-campus performance.
The band built their music around the combination of individual members' influences: Rachel's deep knowledge of traditional (especially dance) music, Helene's classical training, Tom's traditional and folk-revival songs and Jim's progressive-rock tastes. Many songs emphasized double lead instruments (violin and concertina), usually over a guitar/bass or guitar/keyboard rhythm section, while others delved into a wide range of sounds - one piece, "Horse's Branle," utilized no less than 15 different instruments, with band members taking turns switching from one instrument to another. Most of the original arrangements were of tunes, with the songs coming from records (especially by Fairport Convention, Silly Wizard and Steeleye Span). A few original arrangements of songs, including "Blackleg Miner" and "Greenland Whale Fisheries," marked the early growth of an independent style. No "official" recordings were produced, but there are a number of 4-track demos and live recordings of varying quality.
| First Lineup: 1990-1991
| Second Lineup: 1991-1994
| Third Lineup: 1994-1997
| Fourth Lineup: 1997-Present
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