Area Code 615/A Trip in the Country

Area Code 615

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Area Code 615/A Trip in the Country Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Koch reissued Area Code 615's two albums, 1969's Area Code 615 and 1970's Trip in the Country, as a CD two-fer in 2000, adding two bonus tracks -- "John Henry" and "Tennessee Green" -- in the process. These were cult items prior to this CD, and they remained cult items after this reissue, because these are progressive psychedelic instrumental country albums, created by Nashville pros as a lark. In order to truly enjoy this music, you have to be on the same wavelength, either enjoying the group's undeniable instrumental skills, or enjoying the records because they're so clearly of their time. No other era would have country studio musicians jamming out on Beatles tunes, or turning in trippy, mind-bending instrumental interludes with fuzz-toned guitars. It's interesting as a period piece, as well as an example of their virtuosity, but in each case, it winds up as a bit of a dated artifact.

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