Various Artists

Feeling High: The Psychedelic Sound of Memphis

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Memphis is known for its distinctive blues sound and its fiery soul music, and, of course, as the place where Elvis Presley first put rock & roll on the commercial map and the world's radar. This fun and fascinating collection sheds light on another part of Memphis' musical heritage, the seldom-heard psychedelic garage bands from Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi who tracked there in the late '60s and early '70s. Every region in the U.S. had bands like the ones presented here, but what makes these rare tracks a little different is the clarity and professionalism of the actual recordings. Memphis had a well-established studio system by then, and there were young producers and engineers like Jim Dickinson and James Parks working at these studios who knew what to do with fringe rock bands. Nothing here was anything more than maybe a regional hit and nothing here changed the course of rock & roll any, but these are fun, clear, and intriguing productions. Among the highlights are the Honey Jug's echoing, cavernous-on-cough-syrup-sounding version of the Yardbirds' "For Your Love," the Wallabys' sitar-filled "Holy Days," an almost prog rock take on the Beatles' "Ticket to Ride" by Mother Roses, and the Goatdancers' "We're in Town," a bit of sunshine pop gone weird. Then there's a live "Flying Horse of Louisiana" from a band called the Knowbody Else -- who became Black Oak Arkansas a little farther on down the road.

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