Various Artists

Bosstown Sound, 1968: The Music & the Time

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The Bosstown (Boston) sound was pushed as a next big thing in the late '60s, but failed to take off, mostly because, as Gertrude Stein might say, there was no "there" there. This double CD features tracks by most of the area's biggest groups -- Ultimate Spinach, Orpheus, Earth Opera, Rockin' Ramrods, Bagatelle, Eden's Children -- as well as even smaller footnoes, like Ill Wind and Chamaeleon (sic) Church. Mostly it's rather dreary, second-rate psychedelia, heavy on the sub-Cream blues-rock jamming, sub-Airplane mystical riffing, and pretentious wordplay. The poppier acts, in contrast, sound like psychedelicized variants of the Association, a rather ill-advised recipe. Points of interest: Earth Opera's lineup included Peter Rowan and David Grisman (their epic "The American Eagle Tragedy" is featured); the Rockin' Ramrods had a dynamite local pop-rock smash with "Bright Lit Blue Skies" (which has been compiled elsewhere); and the Lost, featuring Willie Alexander and Walter Powers (who would show up in the post-Lou Reed Velvet Underground), offer a couple raw 1965 folk-rockers that aren't bad.

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