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Psychedelic States: Missouri in the 60s Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 (2017) review


Psychedelic States: Missouri in the 60s Vol. 1 & Vol. 2
Various Artists, Gear Fab Records, GF-282, 2017

Following its long time tradition May 19, 2017 marked the release of the latest installment of Roger Maglio’s Gear Fab Records’ Psychedelic States series. Missouri releases of the 1960s is the topic covered this time around, with 54 tasty treats included in this most impressive collection, with a total run time of 140 minutes.

Bands are included from all across the state and even some from the nearby East Side of Illinois. The tracks range from folk rock to garage and heavier psych numbers, an incredible array of sounds, making for a wonderfully interesting listening experience. As always, many obscure bands are included and serve as an excellent source for collectors, an incredible aid in their quest for lost gems and previously unknown acts alike.

The sound quality of the recordings is remarkable, especially considering the rarity of many of the releases included. It is truly a futile effort to select particular tracks for specific recognition as the set includes a run of the gamut of every sort of psychedelia and beauty does indeed lie in the ears of the beholder. As a fan of the heavier, guitar based sound, St. Louis’ The Happy Returns’ “To Give You Lovin’,” Elkhart, Illinois group, Symbols’ “What You've Shown”, Kansas City’s Chessmann Squares cover of The Who’s “Circles” and St. Louis’ The Herde’s cover of The Yardbirds’ “Mister You’re A Better Man Than I” are among my personal favorites. But, as mentioned the entire realm of psychedelic rock emanating from Missouri in the 1960s is included so that there is truly something for everyone to be found here.

Anyone familiar with Gear Fab’s Psychedelic States series has grown to expect only the cream of the crop of selections, and this Missouri installment will not fail to impress them. Fans of folk psych, pop psych, garage psych and heavy psych alike will be pleased with the amazingly varied array of bands and songs included. Obviously a labor of love, much time has been devoted to locating and including material to suit even the most discreet collectors, while never failing to please the casual listener as well.

As with all Gear Fab releases, a short introductory essay by label owner Roger Maglio is included. The extensive, informative liner notes are by Maglio with research and writing assistance from Massimo Contreras and Max Waller.  The two discs are housed in a slim line jewel case, its 16 page, full color booklet is profusely illustrated throughout with photos of individual, original 45 rpm sleeves and beautiful band portraits. The CD package design is courtesy of Tom Nikosey, of www.TomNikosey.com and is absolutely stunning.

Available from Amazon.com as well as directly from Gear Fab at gearfab.swiftsite.com, Psychedelic States: Missouri in the 60s Vol. 1 & Vol. 2 has a place in every 1960s music lovers library, even those to whom psychedelic rock is not their especially favored genre. The incredible variety of bands and tunes found among the 54 included truly offers something for everyone and at a most reasonable cost. I cannot recommend the Psychedelic States series highly enough and this latest installment shines as brightly as all those which preceded it.

- Kevin Rathert
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