Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Relatively Clean Rivers - 1975 - Relatively Clean Rivers

Relatively Clean Rivers
Relatively Clean Rivers

01. Easy ride
02. Journey through the valley of O
03. Babylon
04. Last flight to Eden
05. Prelude
06. Hello sunshine
07. They knew what to say
08. The persian caravan
09. A Thousand Years

*Phil Pearlman: guitar, bass, vocals, flute, harmonica and synthesizer
*Kurt Baker: guitar, vocals
*Dwight Morouse: drums, effects

Additional Accompaniment:
*Hank Quinn: drums on persian caravan
*John Alabaster: conga on persian caravan

A tremendous mid-1970's rural psych album that sounds like it was recorded in late 1968, Relatively Clean Rivers has that hippie commune Springfield/Manson Family/Dead vibe down pat. Although most often compared to The Dead, only the record's first cut, "Easy Ride" really sounds much like them, with it's acoustic/electric guitar mix and American Beauty era vocal styles. It's a great song, but the rest of the album is much different and a little bit better, spewing out wasted Topanga Canyon folkpsych with wacked out commune lyrics. Production is great and the musicianship is stellar, so we don't really get much of that 'real people' vibe prevalent in many other records with that 'rural' feel, but this still more than holds up. There really is nothing else quite like this, and the smashed lysergic hippie trip present here is anything but a novelty. You can totally feel the Canyon here, and these folks never did wind up leaving. The original vinyl is long gone, with only two pressings of 500 each supposedly, but my Radioactive Label CD reissue is nice, with a clear reproduction of the lyrics and liner notes and a nice, warm pseudo-analog sound. Great stuff......

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