Released in 1966, Relax Your Mind finds Jim Kweskin taking a break from his jug band for a mellow solo effort. He's joined by harp player Mel Lyman and washtub bassist Fritz Richmond for what amounts to a stripped-down jug band on a dozen tracks. Two of the tracks, "I Got Mine" and a long version of "Buffalo Skinners," were recorded live at Club 47 in Cambridge. Even stripped down, the arrangements of traditional songs like "The Cuckoo" are quite lively when placed side by side with the one-singer/one-guitar approach preferred by some revivalists. Kweskin's guitar and Richmond's bass keep time and fill in the background while Lyman adds asides and flourishes to Mississippi John Hurt's "My Creole Belle" and Grandpa Jones' "Eight More Miles to Louisville." Richmond helps out on the vocal of "Guabi Guabi," an African folk song recorded a couple years earlier by Ramblin' Jack Elliott, and Marilyn Kweskin sings a fine lead on "I Ain't Never Been Satisfied." Overall, Relax Your Mind is a subdued recording, and lacks the irresponsible hijinks fans had come to expect from the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. Compared to other more traditional folk with barebones arrangements, however, Relax Your Mind is a lively affair. The album also shows that good folk recordings continued to be made after Dylan supposedly pulled the plug on the folk revival in 1965.
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AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.