Thursday, April 18, 2013

Mighty Baby - A Jug Of Love (1971 uk, ethereal uplifting west coast influenced rural psych rock, Sunbeam reissue)

 Originally released in 1971, Mighty Baby's second release is a deft, understated, and often magical synthesis of any number of musical strains.

Stepping further away from the group's louder roots in the Action and taking in everything from an embrace of Sufism to further explorations ranging from Gram Parsons and the Band's country-rock to jazz and obscure folk, A Jug of Love is all the more remarkable for being a rushed effort, recorded in barely a week's time. But the group's strength in performing together for years served it well, and the resultant album, while a minor classic rather than a holy grail, is still a classic as it stands.

Certainly anyone familiar with the Byrds and Spirit, to name two groups among many, won't be surprised by the end result, but the bandmembers themselves freely admitted to the influence (the cover is surely a nod to Fifth Dimension, at least), and songs like the gentle gospel-blues of the title track and the mandolin-tinged "Slipstreams" speak to it clearly.

Moments like the beautiful buried harmonies that help open "The Happiest Man in the Carnival" and the subtle interplay of the musicians during the extended instrumental break on "Virgin Spring," at over nine minutes the longest of the album's tracks, show the band's evident talent well in hand.

Even the fairly straightforward boogie of "Keep on Jugging" works well enough instead of simply killing time, thanks in part to a fantastic extended coda.
by Ned Raggett
1. A Jug Of Love - 6:22
2. The Happiest Man In The Carnival - 7:11
3. Keep On Jugging - 8:44
4. Virgin Spring - 9:25
5. Tasting The Life - 6:47
6. Slipstreams - 5:26
7. Devil's Whisper - 3:40
8. Virgin Spring - 7:03
9. Messages - 3:46
10.Ancient Traveller - 3:50
All songs by Mighty Baby

Mighty Baby
*Martin Stone - Acoustic, Electric Guitar, Mandolin
*Alan King - Acoustic, Electric Guitar, Vocals
*Mike Evans - Bass
*Roger Powell - Drums, Congas
*Ian Whiteman - Piano, Harmonium, Organ, Saxophone, Flute, Vocals

1969  Mighty Baby
1970  Mighty Baby - Live In The Attic
1971  Reg King
1966-90  The Action - The Ultimate Action

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  1. The 'A Jug Of Love' lack strong tracks, which would pulls album,on debut  was such a strong accent 'Egyptian Tomb'. On the second and last album in the discography of Mighty Baby - could to point out the title track A Jug Of Love and the wonderful 'Virgin Spring' as something special, but they are far too long and this is the weakness of this album. Its length tracks. Band more so than on their debut album emphasized sophisticated arrangements, making music has gained more pastel shade. Still, my opinion remains unchanged that these works should last much shorter. Then the album would be more than very good so was only a charming plate (bewitch) persistent listener an extremely reflective aura, but nothing more. As the band admits they were inspired to make American artists such as The Byrds and then very influential group The Band, which can be heard quite clearly. Apparently this is a progressive rock psychedelic shrouded in a light mist, but at the same time on different tracks for most of the time hovering spirit of folk and country - would give rise to associations with the genre of the guitar (for example, the use slide technique in the title composition.) and the sound of the piano. Maybe that's inability to assign the contents of the 'A Jug Of Love' to a category is the strength of this album? Do you always need to pigeonhole everything? One thing is certain, the music usually posted on the LP is far from a typical rock style.

    I believe that the the team did not the end of the aptly chose tracks on the album. It turns out that the album lacked a genuinely wonderful, almost mystical 'Ancient Traveller' party decorated with beautiful flute. The song waited twenty years for the first official release, when it was included as a bonus second CD reissue. But it was worth the wait, because for me this is the essence of style Mighty Baby.

    I admit that after a while the music begins to collapse in memory. There's no denying that on the melodies pay special attention. For me, this fundamental issue. I think nobody likes listen to music,which the 'nohow' can not assimilate. So 'A Jug Of Love' is an album perfect for the autumn weather. Toned. At times, based on a more lively rhythm. Sometimes while muted. But always full of wonder and elusive charm. There are also the greatest moment of the album is in my long instrumental coda said 'Virgin Spring' brilliant plan put forward for the first mandolin and piano improvisations. It is also one of those songs that I listen to often obscenely. Album produced by Mike Vernon, the album released only in the UK owned into it the record label Blue Horizon. It was a decadent period of the well-deserved - especially for the blues - label. Of course plate vanished on the market and now it is not only very rare (especially in perfect condition), but also very expensive.

  2. Sorry if it's obvious and I just ain't seeing it. But what is the password to open Mighty Baby's A Jug of Love? I've looked high and low. Thank you very much. Great blog too.😀

    1. Thanks, man. Great blog. And I respectfully disagree with that guy up there. I LOVE the looonnngg trax.