Johnny Rivers

Johnny Rivers Rocks the Folk/Meanwhile Back at the Whisky A-Go-Go

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Johnny Rivers' two 1965 albums have been released together in a double-disc package. Though neither Meanwhile Back at the Whisky A Go Go or Rockin' the Folk were commercial disappointments, they weren't the singer's most popular records, either. Rivers' first album was also recorded live at the Whisky, so Meanwhile represents something of a homecoming. Since Rivers is essentially an interpretive singer, a live album suits his talents well -- it features a set list that isn't plagued by filler and a tight, energetic backing band. Because of this, Meanwhile is the better record of the pair. Rockin' the Folk has its moments, but many of these folk songs aren't as compelling as Rivers' rock and pop covers. It does have its moments -- such as the minor hit "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" -- but there are too many weak moments to make the record interesting for anyone but dedicated fans. Then again, only dedicated fans will have the need to purchase this double-disc set.

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