Remember the illustrious Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band from the fun packed 70’s? Well they are sort of back. John “Drumbo” French has assembled some of the Beefheart alumni to take us on an acid laced trip back in time. Among the ranks of the musical mayhem are Bill Harkelroad (aka “Zoot Horn Rollo”), Mark Boston (aka “Rockette Morton”). Greg Davidson (aka “Ella Guru”), and John Thomas.

Although this CD features all brand new material they have worked hard to recapture the musical style of Don Van Vilet, the one and only Captain Beefheart! In my opinion they have captured the very essence of Vilet’s musical style.

City Of Refuge was no easy feat to bring to fruition, and is the result of several years worth of effort. The tracks on the CD being recorded in both England and various locations in the US while the ensemble was touring.

Mark your calender, City of Refuge hits the stores on November 18th. My advice, pick this one up at your local store, pop it on the player, grab your bong, and take a trip down memory lane! The label Proper Records out of England have a web page supporting the release and they have a couple of tracks that you can sample, well worth a visit.

Even better, Drumbo is planning another US tour in 2009, so keep an eye on the music pages to see if he is coming to a town near you.

While reading the sleeve notes I noticed that they have dedicated this album to the late John Peel, which I feel is an amazingly appropriate thing to do. Many in the US may not be familiar with the name John Peel. He was neither a performer, nor a writer. But his influence within the music industry was huge.

John Peel was a radio and TV DJ for the usually very conservative BBC (British Broadcasting Company), and he did what no other DJ in the 70’s would have dreamed of doing. If the music was in the top 10, he did not play it. He played Prog Rock, he played Electric Folk, he played Punk, when Punk didn’t even have a name! Counterculture hardly describes it. I can not even begin to guess how many bands owe their success to John Peel.

To get the John Peel stamp of approval was something every band coveted. To be interviewed by him almost certainly meant musical success. John died in 2004, and is sadly missed by all of us involved in the music business.

Simon Barrett

Be Sociable, Share!