Mushroom “Naked, Stoned, and Stabbed”
“Mushroom have long been knights traversing the plains and mountains of psychedelic rock” (The Wire)
Mushroom is a musicians collective based in the San Francisco Bay Area – it’s members include guitarist/knob twiddler Josh Pollock (a member of Citay, and collaborator with Gong, Acid Mothers Temple, Ruins, John Cale, and Damo Suzuki), vintage keyboard guru Matt Cunitz (Brightblack Morning Light, Hiss Golden Messenger), multi-instrumentalist Erik Pearson (Daevid Allen, Irene Sazer, Crooked Jades, Billy Talbot/Crazy Horse), bassist Ned Doherty, drummer/bandleader Pat Thomas (renowned reissue producer of recordings by Judee Sill, Ruthann Friedman, Pearls Before Swine, Terry Reid, Cluster & Eno), and Mushroom’s newest member; percussionist David Brandt (his adventures include a European tour with the Kologbo Afrobeat Academy [Oghene Kologbo was the guitarist in Fela Kuti's Africa 70 band], and performances with Conduction maestro Butch Morris' New York Skyscraper).
This a new phase Mushroom album, different than all that have come before it. Acoustic, ambient, blending eastern and western hemispheres; sitar, violin, pump organ, celesta, vibraharp, dulcimer, flutophone. African, Latin, and Indian percussion replacing a conventional drum set. The new Mushroom album is a cross- continental Cinema Verité travelogue of time and space.
Keith Boyd says:
Perhaps not since the early 60’s has the music industry been more about single songs. While a 2-3 minute piece of perfection is a wonder to behold, it is rarer that an entire album is a cohesive and satisfying listen. Thankfully that satisfaction is to be found here. From the first strums of “Infatuation” to the closing, sing-a-long take on Kevin Ayers’ “Singing A Song In The Morning”, this album enchants and enlightens. Amongst the treasures are Nuevo takes on Jazzy/Folk acoustic guitar in the vein of early Tim Buckley and Nick Drake. The wonders don’t stop there though. Taking its title from Pete Townsend’s lyrics to “Bargain”, this album is a stroll through the various and deep roots of 60’s music. At times it is scans like a compilation of John Peel’s old label Dandelion Records. There is that same scrappy drive to explore and then deliver quality. The broad-base sonic footprint of the project was conceived as a “cross-continental Cinema Verite travelogue of time and space”. Acoustic, ambient and blending Eastern and Western sensibilities, the music floats on an ether-soaked cloud of sitar, violin, pump organ, celesta, vibraharp, dulcimer and flutophone. Beneath this hypnotic cloud are African, Latin and Indian percussion and rhythms that move the pieces and the sound-story along. While the truth is that every bit of music on this disc is wonderful, I suppose a few extraordinary highlights would include; “Celebration At Big Sur (The Sound Of The Gulls Outside Of Room 124)”, “Infatuation” and the afore mentioned, re-imagined Kevin Ayers, “Sing A Song In The Morning”. The wealth and riches embedded in these grooves deserve your full attention. “Naked, Stoned and Stabbed” is a gift to the senses. It evokes the British countryside, The Big Sur coast, African nightclub pulses and the great late 60’s Jazz/Folk scene. Remarkably it does all this while remaining contemporary and vibrant to the modern ear. Simply put this is best thing I’ve heard so far in 2010.