Forty-Seven Times Its Own Weight

Forty-Seven Times Its Own Weight were an American jazz-rock band from Austin that released the album Cumulo Nimbus on local-press Fable Records in 1975.

Members: Mel Winters (trumpet), Paul Ostermayer (saxophone), Robert “Dude” Skiles (keyboards), Spencer Starnes (bass), John Treanor (drums)

Forty-Seven Times Its Own Weight released their singular album, Cumulo Nimbus, on Fable Records in 1975. It contains six medium-length numbers, including “Weedhopper,” “Jig,” and the title-track. Compositional credits are mostly split between keyboardist Dude Skiles and trumpeter Mel Winters. Musically, Cumulo Nimbus purveys a spacious, Rhodes-laden ambience evocative of In a Silent Way and early Weather Report.

Along with Steam Heat and Starcrost, FSTIOW were one of only three Fable acts to issue albums during this period. All were produced by label-heads Mike Mordecai and Patrick Rockhill. The album art on Cumulo Nimbus is co-credited to Dallas musician Mike Morgan, also responsible for cover visuals on the eponymous 1976 Starcrost album.

Winters and saxophonist Paul Ostermayer concurrently played on Steam Heat’s singular album Austin Funk. Drummer John Treanor played percussion on the track “Minus Mufflers” on the eponymous 1975 album by fellow jazz-rockers Electromagnets. He later appeared on one album by second-period Fable act Beto and the Fairlanes.

Ostermayer and bassist Spencer Starnes joined the 1979/80 lineup of Asleep at the Wheel. Assorted FSTIOW alumni notched credits on ’80s-era albums by Phillip Sandifer, Joe Scruggs, Willie Nelson, Jennifer Warnes, and Tomás Ramírez (aka Jazzmanian Devil). Ostermayer also plays on a 1993 disc by one-time Band X mastermind Craig Peyton.

In 2019, the FSTIOW tracks “March of the Goober Woobers” and “Cumulo Nimbus” were paired on 7″ by archivists Dynamite Cuts.


  • Cumulo Nimbus (1975)


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