"From the same label that released the wonderful "Love, Peace, & Poetry" international '60s psych compilation series, comes this new collection focusing on, uh, abnormal country music of the psychedelic era? Or as the label explains it: "There is another side of Country. All North American music from the the late '60s & '70's which just don't fit with a normal country & western release." Hmm, that's a kinda broad description -- and so you'll find a lot of stuff on this compilation that you wouldn't normally think of as "country music". But it *is* all "Americana" if you accept that as a musical genre, stuff that can be described as folky, countryish, sometimes gospel derived, all very unique and lonely and obscure music recorded by American artists between 1968 and 1980 (mostly circa '68 to '73). These are people who make Gram Parsons, Skip Spence, and Lee Hazlewood seem like household names. It's hard to pick out favorites, 'cause everything on here is pretty great, but I guess some of the highlights would include the two tracks taken from Peter Grudzien's weird 'homo-country' 1973 album "The Unicorn" (the bent & hilarious "White Trash Hillbilly Trick" and the lovely string-pickin' romp "The Lost World"), the psych-pop of "Country Girl" by hippie outfit Maitreya Kali, the freaky, almost-scary "Kill The Pig" by incredibly-named Mother Tuckers Yellow Duck, the Elvis/Tom Jones vocal stylings of the talented Arlie Neaville, and "Piledriver", a loungey ode to a mythic female trucker by Dennis the Fox. Also featured: Spur, Palmer Rocky, William C. Beeley, Alex Kubelin, The Bluebird, Weird Herald, Fresh Blueberry Pancake, Flying Circus, The Wilson McKinley, Kevin Vicalvi, Merrell Fankhauser, and Greenwood, Curley & Clyde. A great comp indeed, full of strange and beautiful stuff you wouldn't otherwise get to hear. The only real bummer about this is the lack of detailed liner notes, leaving many of the above names as intriguing mysteries. (All that's provided is an amusing Arlie Neaville ancedote from songwriter Jim Cuomo.) Recommended. (buy it)
"QDK Media's back catalog is generously padded with exploitive kitsch like Porn to Rock and Russ Meyer soundtracks, so perhaps this compilation of late 1960s-early 1970s country-rock obscurities was assembled with irony in mind. But if you ignore the hokey Roy Rogers title and artwork, you'll find this to be a treasure trove of post-Gram Parsons cosmic cowboys, desolate stoner folk, and miscellaneous damaged Americana. Though such tracks as Mother Tucker's Yellow Duck's chaotic "Kill the Pig" or Spur of Moment's "Don't Ever Trust a Woman" (next line: "with your dope") are worthwhile primarily for their comedy value, others burn with the same majestic glow which lit The Gilded Palace of Sin or Skip Spence's Oar. Highlights? Try Bluebird's dusty "Going to Nevada", or the Wilson McKinley's irresistibly catchy "Last One Asleep". Best of them all is the extraordinary countrypolitan funk of Dennis the Fox's "Piledriver", on which Dennis uses his laconic Fat Elvis drawl to exalt "a mean mother-trucker of a girl" before the female back-up singers swoop in to hi-jack the payload. It's enough to make you question a world where Kenny Rogers gets to make five movies based on "The Gambler", while Dennis the Fox gets squat. Where, I ask you, is the justice?"
Dennis the Fox - Piledriver