Media Condition: VG+
Sleeve Condition: VG+
Genre: Rock, Folk, Country
Notes: Original copy from 1970. Cover has some discoloration and regular wear along edges and corners for its age. Vinyl shows no significant scratches, could use a cleaning.
If you like: Jim Ford, Tony Joe White, Jimmy Carter and the Dallas County Green, Crosby, Stills & Nash or even The Grateful Dead and anything else that traverses the lines of country or Americana-influenced ‘70s rock, you’ll enjoy Country Funk.
About: Though Country Funk’s short lifetime came during the first flowering of country-rock, the band’s music reflected psychedelia, hard rock, and blue-eyed R&B as much as rootsy Nashville sounds. While often cited as part of the Boston rock scene of the late ‘60s, Country Funk first came together in Los Angeles, CA, where songwriters and longtime friends Adam Taylor (who played lead guitar) and Hal Paris (rhythm guitar and piano) met up with the rhythm section of Jeff Lockwood (bass) and Joe Pfeifer (drums) and formed a band in 1968. Early gigs proved volatile, and after a residency at the famous Sunset Strip nightclub Gazzari’s, Lockwood and Pfeifer left the group, while Paris and Taylor opted to start something new. Pfeifer was recruited to join Paris and Taylor's new outfit after they met bassist Jim Lanham, who could also play pedal steel guitar, but shortly before the new act could play its first gig, Pfeifer got cold feet and new drummer Verne Johnson came on board. After a few dates in L.A., the band headed to Vermont to play a string of shows at ski lodges. Country Funk then hit the road for Boston, where they became regulars on the city’s club scene and opened for The Velvet Underground at the Boston Tea Party, though for a spell Johnson headed back to California and Pfeifer was persuaded to replace him. In 1969, the group landed a record deal with Polydor, and with Johnson back behind the drums, Country Funk headed to the Record Plant in Hollywood, where they cut their self-titled debut album. (True to the group’s shifting lineup, Pfeifer played drums on four of the album’s 12 songs.) Despite a strong reception, the album’s sales were poor, and it proved to be the group’s only record for many, many years–until 2011, in fact, when they returned with an album titled Zuma. *via Mark Deming
Why it’s worth your time: Slow, hot summer days spent reclining under the shade of an old tree, occasionally rising to dance about lazily and barefooted, and Country Funk’s eponymous album are a match so divine, it could only be made in heaven–it’s a plain shame more of us have not yet afforded such experience. An album that warrants much higher regard by the general public and collectors alike, Country Funk drifts along similar frequencies to Crosby, Stills & Nash, but presents listeners with an innovative blend of fuzzed guitars, jangly keys, mighty vocal harmonies, salient drumming, and traces of psychedelia, foreshadowing Little Feat and the likes of. A sure charmer, this one will be easily loved by fans of The Byrds and Deadheads alike and of course, leave you yearning for even more than this single offering and championing for its cult status upon first listen.
A favorite track: Really My Friend