It’s time to close out the Iron Leg Halloween thing, with yet another witch-related tune.
Last year I was on vacation in Maine with the family, and as if often (almost always) the case, I managed to crowbar a little digging into the trip. There was a store in downtown Portland that I had been in before, but our schedule, and the store’s oddball hours of operation conspired to keep me away. As luck would have (thanks to my lovely wife) we found a way to go to Portland on our way out of the area and I was able to make a quick stop.
Good thing too, because in addition to a couple of nice jazz/soul jazz records, I pulled a copy of the ‘Wizards From Kansas’ LP out of the ‘psych’ bin. The group’s name was familiar, it looked like my kind of thing, and since it was less than ten dollars I decided to give it a try and put it in the keeper stack. Much later that day, when we had settled in at our next stop, I logged on to the interwebs and started Google-ing my finds, when much to my surprise I discovered that the ‘Wizards from Kansas’ LP was actually worth a lot more than I paid for it.
The group was in fact from Kansas, and had recorded the LP in 1970. Though they hailed from the land of tornados, they sounded as if they’d come up in the ballrooms of San Fran, with touches of the Dead, late-period Moby Grape and even Kak in the mix.
The ‘Wizards from Kansas’ LP is a great slice of low-key, psyched out sounds that capture the ballroom sound right before it turned into something much heavier.
The tune I bring you today is ‘She Rides With Witches’, which aside from an era-appropriate, yet still clearly ill-advised drum solo, is a pretty groovy, somewhat spooky number. The band kicks back in after the drum solo with a jazzy rave up, with a very nice guitar solo. I’m not entirely sure that it makes up for the drum solo, but you take what you can get.
Apparently the Wizards From Kansas were another example of peaking too early, falling apart not long after their album was released, causing it to become a valuable obscurity. It has been reissued a couple of times, and there’s a comp out there featuring unreleased material.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back on Monday with something groovy.