Saturday, January 02, 2010

1050 - Mojo 34. The Holy Modal Rounders - The Holy Modal Rounders (1964)

Track Listing

1. Blues In The Bottle
2. Give The Fiddler A Dram
3. The Cuckoo
4. Euphoria
5. Long John
6. Sugar In The Gourd
7. Hesitation Blues
8. Hey, Hey Baby
9. Reuben's Train
10. Mr. Spaceman
11. Moving Day
12. Better Things For You
13. Same Old Man
14. Hop High Ladies
15. Bound To Lose


Well I love Psychedelia, I love Bluegrass and I love the Muppets... and this album brings all of these three loves together... some more than others. Essentially this is a collection of Bluegrass tracks with Psychedelic lyrics and it has a bluegrass version of Johnny Cymbal's Mr. Bassman as Mr. Spaceman (the Muppets famously covered Mr. Bassman).

There are some things here which are a bit silly, the overly nasally voice sometimes gives the songs a sense of novelty-music which isn't particularly welcome, although as Lower East Side-Bluegrass-Psychedelia it is indeed a bit of a novelty album.

However, it is indeed well performed, it feels like a band which really loves Bluegrass as well as other kinds of grass. More than anything the album is a lot of fun, the whole thing has a pervasive party mood throughout which really makes it something that I'll want to listen to again and again.

Track Highlights

1. Mr. Spaceman
2. Euphoria
3. Hesitation Blues
4. Same Old Man

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

Stampfel explained the origin of their name in the webzine Perfect Sound Forever: "We kept changing the name. First it was the Total Quintessence Stomach Pumpers. Then the Temporal Worth High Steppers. Then The Motherfucker Creek Babyrapers. That was just a joke name. He was Rinky-Dink Steve the Tin Horn and I was Fast Lightning Cumquat. He was Teddy Boy Forever and I was Wild Blue Yonder. It kept changing names. Then it was the Total Modal Rounders. Then when we were stoned on pot and someone else, Steve Close maybe, said Holy Modal Rounders by mistake. We kept putting out different names and wait until someone starts calling us that then. When we got to Holy Modal Rounders, everyone decided by accumulation [sic] that we were the Holy Modal Rounders. That's the practical way to get named."

Trailer for Documentary on them:

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