Monday, February 21, 2005

The Rock & Roll fusion of roots music

Moby Grape were originally singer Skip Spence, Jerry Miller (guitar), Peter Lewis (guitar) Bob Mosley (bass) and Don Stevenson (drums). Their debut album (Moby Grape) was released in 1967 to critical and commercial acclaim, but a combination of poor management, band infighting and bad luck meant that they would never record another album like it. In fact, not many bands ever did record an album like it. This had a lot to do with the way the album was recorded. The group had not long since met and the sharing of songwriting duties, combined with the lack of a identifiable leader in the band meant that they all had their own creative input during the recording of the album. This would prove to be detrimental in the long term, but it all came together suprising well for their debut. Blending together rock & roll, roots, pop, country, and folk effortlessly whilst always maintaining a sense of melody, the three pronged guitar attack of Jerry Miller, Peter Lewis, and Skip Spence was offset with an almost intuitive sense of melody and vocal harmonies. They also had the three-minute and under pop song down cold, and for this reason alone were able to successfully transcend the noodlings and drawn out jams of the 60's psychedelic scene (Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead) that they never really embraced to begin with. Incredibly focused, devoid of drawn out solos and jams this album deserves to be ranked alongside "Forever Changes" and "Music from Big Pink." Absolutely incredible.

One last thing. Their record label have often been criticised for over-hyping the Moby Grape debut by releasing five singles all at once - You see, hype, it's always been a problem. Anyway, i'm going to leave with Omaha. It's a firm favourite amongst favourites so enjoy - and buy! Thanks for reading.

Moby Grape - Omaha.

Oh, before I go. Bars and Guitars has alerted me to the tragic beauty of Micah P Hinson. I can't stop listening to his albumb now. Thank you.


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