Andy Roberts

Andy Roberts & the Great Stampede

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Prior to this, Andy Roberts' second Elektra LP, his solo records hadn't been exceptional, but they'd been far enough above the ordinary to deserve a listen. Andy Roberts & the Great Stampede, however, descended into early-to-mid-'70s ordinariness. It was his second Elektra album within the year, and perhaps it was too much to expect Roberts to come up with so much top-flight material in that brief a time. If it was in the better half of what might be categorized among "ordinary" rock albums of the period, that's not exactly the kind of praise to get you jumping up and down in anticipation of hearing it. There wasn't anything offensive to the ear, and he kept on the trail of his mild edge-of-folk-rock eclecticism, introducing some faint reggae rhythms into "Lord of the Groves," a little doo wop into "Clowns on the Road," and more harmonies that invited comparisons to Crosby, Stills & Nash. Session slickness seems to have gotten further entrenched into the arrangements, however, and there's nothing here on par with the best songs on his earlier records.