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Trip Thru Hell

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Album Review

There's not much to compare this album to, even in the weird musical climate of 1968 — there are echoes of Country Joe & The Fish and the Doors, perhaps, in the mysterioso organ and morbid imagery. Not that Ken Erwin was in the same league as Jim Morrison, or even Country Joe, as a songwriter. But (with the exception of the brassy good-time cut "Underground Music"), psychedelia was very rarely this dementedly gloomy. Occasional pealing bells and curdling screams (to say nothing of the Boschlike cover art) add to the foggy underworld menace. Reissued without authorization in Europe in the 1980s, the 1995 domestic CD is a first-class job: the 12 bonus cuts gather some rare non-LP singles, alternate takes, and previously unreleased songs, and the liner notes feature extensive interviews with Ken Erwin and engineer Steve Longman.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s

Virtually no one outside Minneapolis heard of the C.A. Quintet during their late-'60s heyday. It was their fortune (or curse) to actually reach a considerably bigger international audience when their album was reissued in the '80s. Starting as a rather conventional pop-soul/garage band, their one and only album, Trip Thru Hell (1968), was a worthy slice of dark psychedelia. With spooky organ and the occasional trumpet of singer/songwriter Ken Erwin, the group's murky and macabre vision — dotted...
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Trip Thru Hell, C.A. Quintet
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