Friday, February 15, 2008

Masters of Reality - John Brown - Live - Feat Ginger Baker

It's easy to forget that without Masters of Reality we'd have no Kyuss and no Queens of the Stone Age. A one-man band in all but name, Masters of Reality is generally QOTSA and Kyuss producer Chris Goss and whoever he finds lying around. Over the years the band has featured plenty of QOTSA alumni and plenty of desert rock heads.

One of America's most underrated bands in the last 20 years, they have produced a string of eminently classy albums, and they've another new one on the way this summer.

Their finest hour though, was 1993's "Sunrise on the Sufferbus" for Def American. For it, Goss somehow managed to make Cream drummer Ginger Baker part of the set up.

It's a staggeringly beautiful album, equal parts rocking and haunting, with Baker's playing a revelation. His thundering rolls, warm cymbals and meandering timekeeping really make the album, but even if he wasn't there this would have been a special recording.

From melodramatic string swept pieces like "Tilt-A-Whirl" and "100 Years", to rootsy rockers like "She Got Me", and "Rabbit One" to beautiful love songs like "Jody Sings" this evocative album has everything. If you've ever tried (and failed) to get a decent cuppa tea in the States, it has a song for you "T.U.S.A." in which Ginger moans about the standards of USA tea. So now.

The song above, "John Brown" is not from "Sunrise on the Sufferbus" though, as very little footage exists of this classic, chain-smoking line-up featuring Ginger. It's a song from the first Masters of Reality disc, but Ginger's drumming is something to behold.

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