Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ozark Mountain Daredevils-It'll shine when it shines

It'll shine when it shines
The ozarks remain one of country rocks best kept secrets. Although SOMEdescribed them as 'One of the finest bands of the '70's in any field' they are not well known - but they should be.

Hailing from Springfield, Missouri the band are amongst the most eclectic in rock, almost every band member wrote material, sang and played an array of instruments. Their harmonies certainly equalled the Eagles, and their sound incompassed 'down at home' bluegrass, FM rock, melodic folk country, but also more experimental arrangements such as 'Colorado Song' on their debut release.

'It'll shine' is the ozarks second offering and it's great to get it on CD. There was a trend for bands in the early 70's to get back to the country, well the ozarks never really left it recording the material at a pre Civil War farmhouse with Glynn Johns producing.

There is a real joy on this disc, of a band in tune with nature and each other playing to their strengths. Everyone will know Larry Lee's 'Jackie Blue' which was a big hit for the band and is good straight pop rock, but not entirely representative of the rest of the material, although 'Look Away' and 'tidal wave' show the band can rock.

For me it's the lighter and rootsy material that make it. 'You made it right' with its southern gospel feel, 'Lowlands' with its magnificant harmonies and the slightly zany 'EE Lawson' typical of steve Cash's work.

The disc closes with the title track leaving on a sentimental, and uplifting note. This disc is waiting to be discovered by any serious music fan - give it a try. "It'll Shine..." is a terrific album. Although best known for the single 'Jackie Blue', there are no bad songs on this album. From uptempo country rockers like 'Walking Down The Road' and 'Tidal Wave' to ballads like 'Kansas You Fooler' and philosophical sing-alongs like the title cut, there is a consistency of quality missing from the vast majority of popular music. Filling the "country rock" space between Poco and Molly Hatchett, the Daredevils never made it very big in a commercial sense. However, "It'll Shine..." is an intelligent, artistic collection of songs with elements of rock, pop, country, folk, and the blues, with terrific harmonies and well-crafted instrumentation. Not to be missed by fans of thoughtful, listenable music

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