Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The Youngbloods - Good And Dusty (1971)

Jesse Colin Young - vocals/guitars/sax
Lowell Banana Levinger - guitars/vocals/piano/mandola/banjo
Joe Bauer - drums
Michael Kane - bass/french horn/vocals/cornet
The Youngbloods could not be considered a major '60s band, but they were capable of offering some mighty pleasurable folk-rock in the late '60s, and produced a few great tunes along the way. One of the better groups to emerge from the East Coast in the mid-'60s, they would temper their blues and jug band influences with gentle California psychedelia, particularly after they moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. For most listeners, they're identified almost exclusively with their Top Ten hit "Get Together," but they managed several respectable albums as well, all under the leadership of singer/songwriter Jesse Colin Young.Young got his start on the folk circuits of Boston and New York, and had already cut a couple of solo albums before forming the Youngbloods. ... Read More...
01.Stagger Lee (3:15)02.That's How Strong My Love Is (4:47)03.Willie And The Hand Jive (3:09)04.Circus Face (3:01)05.Hippie From Olema #5 (2:01)06.Good And Dusty (1:29)07.Let The Good Times Roll (3:47)08.Drifting And Drifting (4:14)09.Pontiac Blues (3:57)10.Moonshine Is The Sunshine (3:41)11.With The Circle Be Unbroken (3:20)12.I'm A Hog For You Baby (3:32)13.Light Shine (3:44)
For their final pair of albums, the Youngbloods returned to a four-piece band with the addition of Michael Kane on bass as Jesse Colin Young moved to guitar (and saxophone!). Good and Dusty is a low-key, homey effort comprised largely of '50s and blues cover songs. Of the original compositions, "Hippie from Olema No. 5" is a dated rewrite of Merle Haggard's "Okie from Muskogee," the title track is a brief jazz jam, and "Drifting and Drifting" is another stab at the blues. Only the closing "Light Shine" shows a glimmer of Young's songwriting skills; complemented by a modest sax arrangement, it stands head and shoulders above most of the album. The high point is the charming "Circus Face," performed with tasteful mandolin and French horn, which serves as a frustrating reminder of what the Youngbloods could accomplish with strong outside material.

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