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Release Info: SKY SAXON BLUES BAND - A FULL SPOON OF SEEDY BLUES (GNP CRESCENDO 1968) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve
With liner notes by Muddy Waters, a cover of Water's tune "Plain Spoken," and two titles written by Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson, the trend-conscious Sky Saxon takes his Seeds into a world far removed from punk and garage rock. This may be the only album that doesn't contain a variation of the "Pushin' Too Hard" riff, and that might not be a good thing. Six minutes and four seconds of Sky Saxon's "Cry Wolf" is too long for blues this lightweight. Saxon plays a cool harp, but his Sam the Sham-style vocals are not going to cause Buddy Guy any sleepless nights, nor would George Guy find them amusing. This is one of the great garage rock bands of all time fooling around, and that GNP Crescendo gave them so much latitude is absolutely amazing. Muddy Waters' "Plain Spoken" gets a reverent treatment, and perhaps that's all one could ask. There was a search on for Howard Tate and when he was rediscovered the reviews for his latter-day work were outstanding. This album won't have DJs and blues enthusiasts seeking out the Seeds to do a national House of Blues tour, but the funny thing is, decades after this was recorded, they might actually have earned the right to attempt working in such sacred territory. "The Gardener," at four minutes and 57 seconds, sounds as long as "Cry Wolf." Saxon gives us some cool keyboards and wailing mouth harp, but his vocals really are more suited to a Seeds/Standells/Strawberry Alarm Clock class reunion, and halfway through the track you'll have had enough. Having the intuition to cover two Luther Johnson songs, "Pretty Girl" and the up-tempo "One More Time Blues," is commendable. Luther "Guitar Jr." Johnson performed with Muddy Waters and Otis Spann, and the inclusion of his material adds a legitimacy. "Creepin' About" is amusing, but would have been more so had Sky Saxon actually got Luther Johnson or Muddy Waters or Etta James to guest star on his material. They look like the Seeds on the cover, and it is just too bad they didn't borrow a few ideas from Big Brother & the Holding Company and put some psychedelia into the grooves. Marcus Tybalt totally missed the mark in producing this, but it does have some merit for reasons already mentioned
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