Mushroom

Mad Dogs and San Franciscans

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    8
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Not only has Bay Area band Mushroom released a string of excellent recordings of its own psychedelic/Krautrock/soul-jazz jamming, the group has also released two albums and performed with Daevid Allen and backed Kevin Ayers as well. What to do next? Well, after cutting a remake of Eddie Jefferson's "Compared to What?" with vocalist Gary Floyd (the Dicks, Sister Double Happiness), Mushroom decided that an entire album with the powerful vocalist would be the thing. The byproduct is Mad Dogs and San Franciscans, an album that might look like something of an anomaly for both artists on paper, but ends up demonstrating how good these guys really are. With a track list lifted from decades past (for the most part), Floyd and Mushroom tackle tunes by the likes of Curtis Mayfield, Leon Russell, Clarence Carter, and Spirit with drive, gusto, and not a trace of irony. Despite his punk pedigree, Floyd has always been a great rock vocalist, and apparently Mushroom can do just about anything, as the results here are fantastic. The tunes done here are respectful of the originals, but not overly reverential as squelchy keyboard bits remind you that these are not the original versions. There are also a few Mushroom-penned items (with those great Mushroom song titles) to ensure that this is not just a nostalgia trip. Excellent.

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