Various Artists

Tobacco A-Go-Go

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AllMusic Review by

Long before the days of Mitch Easter, North Carolina wasn't nearly as much of a hotbed for grassroots rock & roll. Nonetheless, there was enough in the way of local releases to fill up this entire compilation of '60s North Carolina rock. Much, though by no means all, of this is oriented toward the garage collector, but there are also primitive psychedelic efforts, blue-eyed soul, early hard rock, and even bona fide black soul (just one track). It was put together lovingly and annotated well, but that's not enough to make it a notable garage compilation. In fact, it's below average, most of the material conforming to the imitative norm of the typical garage combo. The standout is actually not a garage cut at all: the Dukes' cover of Sam Cooke's "It's Got the Whole World Shakin'" is first-rate blue-eyed soul. For the oddity factor, the hands-down winner is the Corsayers' cover of "Money," a previously unreleased item that features the vocals of James Taylor (yes, that James Taylor).