No, this isn’t a project by the bald-headed ambient/techno one in praise of wine making. Rather it is what most critics and music fans consider the best release from the San Francisco area bands circa 1967. Greater than the sum of its influences; blues, country, folk, jug, psychedelic and early rock, it has held up exceptionally well for those of us still lucky enough to own the original vinyl. And that’s the problem. I have long coveted a CD copy however almost every review mentions how butchered the remastering job was on the CD re-issue. Finally took matters into my own hands and downloaded a freeware program called Audacity which does a good job of converting vinyl tracks to digital formats.
Besides, the vinyl version has a benefit over any CD. Included is a 22″ X 33″ color poster of the album cover artwork. Suitable for framing as they say. On my album cover Don Stevenson’s bird flipping finger against the washboard is airbrushed out, (music retailers didn’t have a sense of humor back them, come to think of it they still don’t) however his finger is fully intact on the poster. The ‘Grape’ had their share of problems; drug abuse leading to mental illness (M.G. had their own version of Syd Barrett in Skip Spence) Skip played guitar with the Grape but oddly enough was the original drummer for The Jefferson Airplane. Another Grape member joined the Marines (traitor to the movement!) in 1969.
I highly recommend their first album. (the follow ups, except for some interesting work-outs with Mike Bloomfield/All Kooper on ‘Grape Jam’ are lacking that original spark)
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