Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Peter Stark "Mushroom Country" 1976

Freak Emporium:
This private pressing has become an extremely collectable album of late due to it's "cosmic folk" groove and it's ultimate, phallic-psychedelic mushroom sleeve art. Recorded at The Mike studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the album appeared on the Montage label in 1976. The album features 8 original works by Stark and his brother Ben, and a particularly fine cover of Donovan's "Hey Gyp". Musically, the album takes us on a tour of genres, from the instrumental "Raga For Bayleaf", the folky "You Make Me Feel" and the blues of "Searching". There is a real charm about Mushroom Country, with its varied instrumental accompaniment to Stark's vocals and fluid guitar and a "we're having a great time doing this" vibe that pervades throughout.

Bad Cat Records:
Here's one of those mystery acts that seem to vanish with little trace ... From the LP's liner notes we know that 1976's "Mushroom Country" was recorded at "The Mike" Studios in Ann Arbor, Michigan, but that's about the extent of our bibliographical knowledge on this guy ...

So what's this obscurity sound like? Well there's a reference work out there that describes this album in two words - "cosmic folk". Surprisingly, that review ain't too far off the mark. Largely written by Peter Stark (brother Ben contributing "Au Sable Country") the set has a certain low-fi, "real person" charm. Musically there isn't much of an agenda here, Stark and company bouncing around genres, including competent stabs at raga (the leadoff instrumental "Raga for Bayleaf "), folk ("You Make Me Feel") and even blues ("Searching"). Personal favorite, their harmonica driven cover of Donvan's "Hey Gyp". It isn't bad, but nothing here will really change your world and one's left to assume that collector interest is driven by the LP's relative rarity, as opposed to content.

2 Comments:

Blogger Pep Sonic said...

A great post, as usual.

05 January, 2007 03:15  
Blogger David Hall said...

Ha, just found this. I wrassled Peter into playing down at The People's Food Coop of Ann Arbor tomorrow night with Peter "Madcat" Ruth. Gonna be a blaster!

01 December, 2016 08:50  

Post a Comment

<< Home

2006 - - - - - - 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2007 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2008 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2009 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2010 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2011 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
2015 - - - - - 5 6