The Blues Magoos are back! It’s been some four decades since audiences last heard from this cult favorite garage rock band. And now the wait is over thanks to the release of the band’s new album Psychedelic Resurrection. The album’s title is slightly deceiving as few of the songs that make up its track listing are necessarily psychedelic per se. That’s not to say that the songs (both new and re-worked alike) aren’t enjoyable. That should not be misinterpreted. They are each interesting works in their own right, though. And altogether all ten of the songs included on this record make Psychedelic Resurrection a great re-introduction for one of the best of the least-known bands of the 60s. One track on this record that does live up to the album’s title is its closer ‘Tobacco Road.’ This bluesy piece conjures thoughts of both The Doors and Deep Purple believe it or not. ‘I’m Still Playing’ also presents a little bit of that old school rock sound. And then there is the equally bluesy ‘Gotta Get Away.’ One can’t help but think about a smoky nightclub in listening to this openly classic rock style piece. This song is the equivalent of a musical time capsule that has been pried open. It brings to the 21st century a sound that so many have tried and failed to emulate. Together with the likes of ‘Tobacco Road’ and ‘I’m Still Playing’ ‘Gotta Get Away’ serves as more proof of why every rock and roll purist should hear Psychedelic Resurrection at least once. That is not to discount the other songs on this record. Every track on this record offers its own enjoyment and value. And in listening to each of the songs that make up this record, audiences of all ages will agree that The Blues Magoos deserves to be more than the cult favorite that it was so many years ago. It could well be more than that cult favorite when audiences and programmers nationwide give Psychedelic Resurrection at least one listen.
The Blues Magoos was never one of the biggest names in the music industry. It was thanks to the band’s one major hit ‘(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet’ in the 1960s. After that one song, the band never really was able to attain the same level of success earned thanks to that single song. It has still managed to maintain its place in the rock pantheon, though, remaining one of the rock world’s best known unknown bands. Confused yet? Ok. Now thanks to its brand new release Psychedelic Resurrection, the Blues Magoos is set to make a name for itself again. Thanks to the songs included on this record include both new songs and some revamped pieces, too. One of the best of the songs included in this record is its closing number ‘Tobacco Road.’ The song’s bluesy sound instantly conjures thoughts of both The Grateful Dead and to a slightly lesser degree Deep Purple. And while it runs just over five and a half minutes, the richness of the song makes it feel like it runs much longer. That is meant in the best manner possible. Front man “Peppy” Castro sings of a young man growing up in a difficult situation against the twelve-bar blues sound established by himself and lead guitarist Dennis LePore. Thielhelm sings of the young man’s upbringing, “I was born/In a dump/Momma died/And my daddy got drunk/They left me here/To die alone/In the middle of Tobacco Road/I grew up in/A rusty shack/All I had/Was what was hanging on my back/Only you know/How low/This place called Tobacco Road.” Anyone that is a fan of The Doors will be able to catch a similarity to that band’s hit song ‘Roadhouse Blues’ in listening to this composition. It is slight. But it is there. And it’s a nice touch, too. Even Castro sounds a little like The Doors’ legendary front man Jim Morrison as he sings. That makes this song even more of a joy for any purist rock and roll purists out there. There are certain elements in the song that conjure thoughts of Deep Purple, too. Such combination is certain to make this song a favorite among audiences regardless of their familiarity with The Blues Magoos. Whether they are hearing the band for the first time or the first time in a long time, it is one of the best moments on this record. It isn’t the record’s only positive moment, either.
‘Tobacco Road’ proves to be one of the best of Psychedelic Resurrection’s moments thanks to its direct link back to fellow greats of rock’s golden age such as The Doors, Deep Purple, and to a lesser extent The Grateful Dead. ‘I’m Still Playing’ is another of the best moments from The Blues Magoos’ new album. Unlike the album’s closer, this song is a much more straight-forward rock tune. Its straight 4/4 time is driven largely by the band’s original drummer Geoff Daking. His work on the kit alongside Castro’s vocals and work on the guitar may lead some to make a comparison to The Knack. The song’s infectious chorus of “I’m still playin’/And you’re still hanging around” alone make this song another fun addition to the album. Castro’s catchy riffs and Daking’s impeccable time keeping make the song even more enjoyable for audiences. The end result is one more song that given the opportunity will make The Blues Magoos more than just a one-hit wonder this time around.
Both ‘Tobacco Road’ and ‘I’m Still Playing’ are great additions to The Blues Magoos’ new record. They serve as only a tiny cross section of the album’s enjoyable whole, though. ‘Gotta Get Away’ is perhaps one of the best additions of all to this record. The reason for that is the seeming musical bridge between music’s golden era and its more modern era. Castro sounds a little bit like fellow veteran vocalist Elvis Costello in this song, while the song’s musical side bears resemblance to the likes of Neil Young during the verses. The song’s chorus sections sound are throwbacks to the golden era of rock. As with the previously noted songs Daking’s drumming and Castro’s guitar work serves as the song’s backbone. It is one of those musical hybrids that absolutely must be heard to be fully understood and appreciated. Audiences that give this song a chance and any of the others included in this album will agree that while The Blues Magoos was little more than a cult favorite way back in the 1960s, it could be far more than that today thanks to this album. Given the chance by audiences and programmers alike, Psychedelic Resurrection will prove that despite the comments of the likes of Gene Simmons, rock is not dead, but alive and well.
Psychedelic Resurrection is available now in stores and online. In celebration of the album’s release, The Blues Magoos will perform live tomorrow, October 16th at The Bowery Electric in New York City. Audiences can also pick up the band’s album at that concert, too tomorrow. More information on Psychedelic Resurrection and all of the latest updates and live dates from The Blues Magoos is available online at:
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