Greater Los Angeles and San Francisco in the 1960s weren’t the sole province of psychedelic pop. This week we pack for the long trek to the psychedelic hinterlands.
1. Jazz Bend Me Blues Band, Lady Weaver (Algar)
Things were different in the late 1960s, with many colorful, fantastic varieties of hippie music flourishing.
“Lady Weaver” is hardly some magical Renaissance Faire vision, though, despite its title – it comes across more like a long, lonely, bearded spell in woods.
Where does one geographically place the Jazz Bend Me Blues Band’s off-kilter tremolo guitar and xylophone? I’m not sure, exactly, but I get the vague sense that this bit of ramshackle weirdness was a product of the Pacific Northwest.
2. West Minist’r, Carnival (Razzberry)
West Minist’r was a Midwestern group, a sort of Beatles-by-way-of-the-Breadbasket. All three of their ’60s 45s definitely carry a distinct Anglo influence.
This is a personal favorite. And proof, too, that, with some chemical fine-tuning, anything – even carnivals – can be made psychedelic. It just takes the right combination of backyard production, blissed-out harmonies, and church organ, though it’s really that walloping drumbeat which sets “Carnival” apart for me.
“Carnival” was released in 1969.
3. King Biscuit Entertainers, Pride (Burdette)
“Pride” is chiming, uncharacteristically quiet fare from the King Biscuit Entertainers, an accomplished bunch who built a reputation from years of energetic live shows on the Pacific Northwest’s ballroom circuit.
The vocals are obscured into oblivion by that fascinating ’60s studio gadget, the Echoplex tape delay, but, with their two minutes of deftly produced psychedelic pop, the King Biscuit Entertainers otherwise waste no time in getting right down to the business of getting mellow.
“Pride” was the first of two King Biscuit Entertainers 45s for the Burdette label. Burdette was itself a short-lived late ’60s subsidiary of Jerden Records, the Pacific Northwest’s ’60s rock ‘n’ roll powerhouse.