Various Artists – Papa Nez

Papa Nez: A Loose Salute To The Work Of Michael Nesmith

Mostly known for his Monkee business, Michael Nesmith finally gets the “official” recognition for the complete works he’s done over the years, before, after and while being a Monkee.

Though mostly in the shadows of Gene Clark, Gram Parsons and the like, he definitely deserves a place among the names mentioned alongside the “country rock pioneers” phrase.

Some of the most interesting entries come from Buddy Woodward doing You Told Me, joined by his ex-band mates, The Grip Weeds, perfectly capturing the “Cowboy with the REVOLVER” formula, Western Electric, Sid Griffin’s latest futuristic Americana project, making Sweet Young Thing sound like the ’66/’67 Byrds line up doing some Harrison’s unreleased eastern-psych, covered by the Burritos, if you know what I mean.

The Heavy Blinkers do exactly what you’d expect them to do, and it’s making Texas and California closer then ever with Magic, an imaginary “Country Pet Sounds” outtake and John Jorgenson is joined by an all-star power-pop line up (featuring Bill Lloyd and Pat Buchanan) for a folk rocking You Just May Be The One.

As for the mentioned Monkee-business, it ranges from Tom Gilliam’s countrified version of Mike’s popsike gem The Girl I Knew From Somewhere, through Jamie Holiday’s rawking Daily Nightly to the pub rock ambience of Papa Gene’s Blues done by Two Fisted Tales, and of course, there’s Listen To The Band, done from Meredith Ochs’ female perspective.

It doesn’t matter if you “listen to the band”, meaning some of Nez’s own bands, or the versions done by the artists included here, what you’ll get is an essence of the country-rock/pop genre.

[Released by Dren 2002]

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