What with psychedelic ragtime
not an identified music genre, any effort to place the work of
the Holy Modal Rounders into a category is mentally strenuous,
to say the least. This loose confederation of musicians, who began
playing together in the early 60s and who continue to entertain
today, albeit most casually, have always defied pigeon-holing.
You just have to listen with an open mind and allow Stampfel,
Weber, Remaily and friends to create their own niche in your psyche.
From the light-hearted strains of Euphoria to the to
the moody, Marlene Dietrich-esque Silly Boys, composed
for playwright and former group drummer Sam Shepard, Last
Round is a manic, inventive tribute to American roots music.
Its like plowing (under the influence) through a crazy uncles
78 collection, minus the pops and hisses, to uncover a dozen lost
gems. The best known track is the classic Bird song, which
first invaded the national consciousness in Easy Rider and was
reworked to its creators satisfaction on this album. August,
1967 reminds of us of the time when we thought our minds were
endlessly elastic, while God, What Am I Doing Here? may
remain the only constant notion after three-plus decades.
New to this CD reissue are the final three tracks, including
"Snappin' Pussy," which necessitates the addition of
the Parental Advisory warning. Lyrics, vintage notes and an update
from Peter Stampfel are included to accompany the listener on
here to join a fan site that supports the Holy Modal Rounders,
the Fugs, Michael Hurley (Snock), the Du-Tels, the Unholys and
other like minds.