Rural Free Delivery, a late 19th century innovation of the US postal system, extended the mail service beyond post offices in underserved areas. A different RFD came together in the late 1960s when Russ McIlwain, Dan Germain and Fred Stoppelkamp (Russ, Fred, Dan) formed their own RFD to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. The group came together as co-workers at Bell Labs’ Naperville, Illinois, campus, with Russ trading off between guitar and keys, Fred on bass, Dan on guitar, and off-campus ringers Debbie McKee lending her crystalline vocals and Larry Chilelli on drums. RFD’s only album—1971’s Lead Me Home—was self-released with an unintentionally trippy sleeve that seems to visualize the fractal reach of the holy spirit. A Xian psych masterpiece that’s less concerned with conversion and more interested in tuning into the spiritual frequencies of the era.
The Glory Road