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1 & 2 (Remastered)

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iTunes Review

The Holy Modal Rounders made “freak folk” music at least a generation before the term was invented. The bizarre antics of co-founders Peter Stampfel and Steve Weber placed them on the far fringes the ‘60s Greenwich Village folk scene. This expanded edition of the Rounders’ first two Prestige albums offers a grab bag of tweaked traditional songs and skewed original numbers, united by an irreverent sensibility and an eclectic musical approach. Stampfel and Weber turn folk and blues chestnuts like “Long John,” “Junko Partner” and “Hop High Ladies” inside out, messing with the lyrics as they romp through the tunes. (The Rounders’ rewrite of “Hesitation Blues” contains one of the earliest references to psychedelics on record.) Transcending satire, these numbers spin off into free-associative flights worthy of a Beat poetry session. Weber’s careening guitar lines finds a perfect match in Stampfel’s manic fiddle and banjo work. The duo’s twang-drenched harmonies are a hoot all by themselves. The Holy Modal Rounders never gained widespread fame, although their legacy continues to influence younger disciples today.

Customer Reviews

"Give The Holy Modal Rounders A Dram!"

On the surface; it seems this is just two fellas a-pickin' & a-pluckin' away at some old fiddle & guitar tunes; dig a little deeper; and you will discover irreverent, out-there and subversive interpertations of Blues, Country and Folk songs long-since buried and forgotten! {Some of these songs would later be covered by major Rock & Blues artists like: the Allman Brothers, The Byrds, Hot Tuna & Taj Mahal!} The Holy Modal Rounders just "serve 'em up simple"; mostly guitar & fiddle; bare-bones n' all! And that's the cheeky + spacey charm of this Collection!(Rule 62-Don't Take Yourself So Seriously!) Grimmbo.

Floatin' around on a belladonna cloud...

I remember then. The Rounders had to be and they were! It was the time, man. It was the time. Acid folk. Awesome.


Formed: 1963 in New York, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

The Holy Modal Rounders were almost the very definition of a cult act. This isn't a case of a group that would be described by such clichés as "if only they got more exposure, they would certainly reach a much wider audience." Their audience was small because their music was too strange, idiosyncratic, and at times downright dissonant for mainstream listeners to abide. What makes the Rounders unusual in this regard is that they owed primary allegiance to the world of acoustic folk -- not one that...
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