Various Artists

Hempilation, Vol. 2: Free the Weed

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Whereas the first installment of this charity all-star compilation was largely blues-rock-derived, the second volume brings together elements of R&B, country, folk, reggae, and hip-hop, all joined together in what is subtitled as "freetheweed," a benefit for NORML, the organization advocating reform of the United States' marijuana laws. Artists as diverse as Willie Nelson ("Me and Paul"), George Clinton ("U.S. Custom Coast Guard Dog"), Gov't Mule ("30 Days in the Hole"), Long Beach Dub All-Stars with Barrington Levy ("Under Mi Sensi"), Everything ("Free to Choose"), Wayne Kramer (a rocked-out take on Stuff Smith's "If You're a Viper"), the Rainmakers with Brewer & Shipley (a nice version of "One Toke Over the Line"), Dar Williams ("Play the Greed"), and Hank Flamingo's "Dope Smokin' Song" make for a second volume loaded with 20 great performances all coming from a zillion different musical directions, but all with a common bond and intent in mind. For what this collection intends to accomplish and be, it's definitely a musical and thematic success.

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