Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Ozark Mountain Daredevils Men From Earth A&M Records 1976
Although they continued several more years past this release, this LP marks the end of a pretty good run for the Springfield, MO band that made a huge impression on Kansas City in their early days. This effort wasn't as consistent as their prior releases, but it's the same odd blend of old-time bluegrass, smooth pop, and country rock that sometimes goes song to song and other times within a single track.
There's a crazy story about founding member, Randle Chowning getting into a fight with his bandmates in Europe and quitting the band around the time of this LPs release. Apparently, a band sound mix pissed Chowning off, so he turned it to 11. After the show, he argued with band members and held a grudge all the way back home and ended up leaving the band. Despite that, he's listed as a sideman in the credits for 'Sideman From Earth', obviously appearing on some of the album tracks. Also interesting, the album was recorded EVERYWHERE. In Nashville, as well at the legendary Caribou Ranch in Colorado, and surprisingly at American Artist Studio in Springfield, Missouri, the same studio that drummed up business releasing a bunch of local custom and private press records in the area.
Again, 'Men from Earth' is a bit more uneven than the prior LPs, maybe due to the all the different recording locations. But, it's not a miss by any means, it has its share of enjoyable tracks, just lacking an obvious hit.
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