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Spirit Blues from the Soul album cover
2.00 | 2 ratings | 1 reviews | 0% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2003

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond (3:01)
2. Wagon of Wood (3:41)
3. Tell Me (Didn't Mean No Harm to You) (2:47)
4. Key to the Highway (2:30)
5. When You're Smilin' (1:48)
6. Pawn Shop Blues (3:37)
7. Ever Since You Left Me (4:01)
8. City (2:53)
9. Fixing to Die (Shake My Ego Down) (3:56)
10. Pick a Bale of Cotton (2:30)
11. Run Sinner Run (1:57)
12. Cosmic Smile (The Other Song) (5:58)
13. Charlie James/Miss This Train (8:12)
14. Jimi's Back (2:59)
15. Red House (7:49)
16. Kokomo (3:54)
17. Devine Love (3:29)
18. When the Saints Go Marchin' In (2:37)
19. Like a Dog (1:57)
20. Lord I'll Be With You Always (2:31)
21. I Had a Dream (3:54)
22. The Letter (3:26)
23. Ain't Superstitious (2:55)
24. Ever Since You Left Me (Maui Wowie) (3:29)
25. Poor Boy (6:18)
26. Cold Rainy Night (3:12)
27. California Blues (4:53)
28. Sugar Mama (4:32)
29. Charlie James (2:14)
30. Shattered Dreams (5:16)
31. Kokocass Jam (2:16)
32. Dreamy Eyes (4:12)
33. Miss This Train (4:45)
34. Down and Dirty Blues (24:13)
35. Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream (1:52)

Line-up / Musicians

- Randy California / guitar, percussion, vocals, keyboards
- Ed Cassidy / percussion, drums
- Matt Andes / slide guitar
- Scott Monahan / keyboards, key bass
- Mike Nile / bass
- Janet Wolfe / vocals

Releases information

CD Acadia 8047 (2003)

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SPIRIT Blues from the Soul ratings distribution

(2 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(0%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(0%)
Good, but non-essential (0%)
Collectors/fans only (100%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

SPIRIT Blues from the Soul reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by ClemofNazareth
2 stars At some point it seems that almost every serious guitar god makes a pilgrimage back to their blues roots, usually in the form of an album of traditional blues covers that is critically acclaimed but sells about 95 copies before being relegated to the cutout bin. I suppose this is one of those records, although to be fair lots of these are original compositions and this 2-disc set was released long after Randy California had perished in a surfing accident off the coast of Hawaii. In fact California himself had declined to release most of these songs under a record of the same name while he was still alive, preferring instead to focus on 'California Blues' which would become the last Spirit album before his passing.

This really isn't a Spirit album any more than many of their latter albums were, unless you are in the camp that believes anything with Randy California and one of the Andes brother qualifies as a Spirit recording. If that's the case then yes - this one fits the bill as original band member Mark Andes' brother Matt appears on several tracks.

This really is a true compilation, consisting of a buttload of blues tunes recorded by California and friends over several years, mostly in the early nineties. Several tracks are little more than Randy himself on acoustic blues guitar and accompanied by bassist Mark Nile and usually his stepfather and band cofounder Ed Cassidy. But there are some treats as well, like the opening "Gonna Need Somebody on Your Bond" which includes vocals from California's sister Janet Wolfe, or "Fixing to Die (Shake my Ego Down)" which features some wicked electric guitar riffs and some of Cassidy's best drumming since the 'Spirit of 76' release.

For the most part though this collection is exactly what it appears to be - a compilation of outtakes and studio discards (and a handful of live tracks) that were assembled by some label with publishing rights to the Spirit name long after the band had ceased to exist. And there's little here to remind anyone of the more progressive leanings of the band's very early work (except possibly the over-indulgent jam session titled "Down and Dirty Blues" that closes out the second disc). This is not the lineup that blasted out "I Got a Line on You" or "Fresh Garbage" in the late sixties, nor the grooving stone soul-jamming trio that blew away fans with a timeless covers of "The Times They Are a Changing" and "Like a Rolling Stone" for our nation's bicentennial. By the time they recorded these tracks in the nineties the former wonder-kid who played with Jimi before he was old enough to drive had become a middle-aged hippie, and the cover photo shows just how much of an anachronism the spirit of Spirit had become by that point, let alone by 2003 when Acadia released yet another in a seemingly endless line of Spirit collections. I suppose it says something though that the legacy of the band is strong enough that they now have more compilation albums in their discography than the number of studio albums they recorded while the group was active. Kind of like the Doors in that respect.

Anyway, this one is for collectors only, but if you were a true, hardcore Spirit fan then you probably have a modified hookah and love beads in your basement somewhere, most likely wrapped in a moth-eaten tie-died tshirt. If you're so inclined late this autumn might be a cool time to dig all that crap out and put it to use while taking in these sounds and remembering a time when they were both relevant and eye-opening. Two stars out of five but recommended to fellow travelers.


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