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MV & EE With the Bummer Road 

Green Blues (Ecstatic Peace)

It has been suggested elsewhere that Green Blues fails because MV & EE smoked too much grass before recording these seven listlessly rambling jams. But here's the real issue: multi-instrumentalists Matt Valentine and Erika Elder are white-bread, Vermont folkies sporting designer hippie threads, trying to bust get-down rock and roll improv with more than a nod to classic Royal Trux.

But neither one possesses a single drop of greaser soul. And that's painfully obvious from the stiff riff that opens "East Mountain Joint," a stoner-blues number full of pseudo-head poetics: "I'm driving up the East Mountain Road/Digging that rock and roll/And I spark one up/I'm in the mood." I mean, c'mon, that sounds more square than undercover Feds trying to jive-talk their way into a Black Panther rally, ya dig?

Green Blues does improve slightly when it drifts into one of several tranced-out, drone-and-moan elevator workouts ("Big Deal" in particular). But then -- on "Canned Happiness" and "Mine All Troubled Blues" -- it's right back to the crossroads for Valentine and Elder, whose mouth-harp-blowing, nag-champa-burning hippie-blues shtick makes even Widespread Panic sound like a Delta band.

Speaking of CD Review

More by Justin F. Farrar

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