8 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

A gratifyingly strange bit of early-‘70s progressive psychedelia, Hurdy Gurdy’s self-titled debut blends Hendrix-influenced guitar pyrotechnics with primal rhythms and long-form freakouts that evoke the tribal jamming of less polished prog psych acts like Guru Guru and Gong. Hurdy Gurdy formed in the late ‘60s, emerging from the ashes of the Danish R&B outfit Peter Belli & The Boom Boom Brothers. Deeply influenced by the likes of Hendrix, Zeppelin, Cream, and Jethro Tull, Hurdy Gurdy moved away from its more traditional R&B roots and began cultivating a looser, more lysergic aesthetic that can be heard immediately on tracks like “Ride On” and “Lost in the Jungle,” an exploratory epic that peaks with an incendiary extended solo from guitarist Claus Bohling. Hurdy Gurdy’s debut is a thoroughly rewarding bit of European prog that should appeal to listeners curious about the ways in which the late-'60s psychedelic revolution made itself felt in mainland Europe and beyond.

EDITORS’ NOTES

A gratifyingly strange bit of early-‘70s progressive psychedelia, Hurdy Gurdy’s self-titled debut blends Hendrix-influenced guitar pyrotechnics with primal rhythms and long-form freakouts that evoke the tribal jamming of less polished prog psych acts like Guru Guru and Gong. Hurdy Gurdy formed in the late ‘60s, emerging from the ashes of the Danish R&B outfit Peter Belli & The Boom Boom Brothers. Deeply influenced by the likes of Hendrix, Zeppelin, Cream, and Jethro Tull, Hurdy Gurdy moved away from its more traditional R&B roots and began cultivating a looser, more lysergic aesthetic that can be heard immediately on tracks like “Ride On” and “Lost in the Jungle,” an exploratory epic that peaks with an incendiary extended solo from guitarist Claus Bohling. Hurdy Gurdy’s debut is a thoroughly rewarding bit of European prog that should appeal to listeners curious about the ways in which the late-'60s psychedelic revolution made itself felt in mainland Europe and beyond.

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About Hurdy Gurdy

Hurdy Gurdy arose out of the Danish group Peter Belli & the B.B. Brothers in 1967. Three of the B.B. Brothers -- guitarist Claus Bohling, drummer Jens Otzen, and English bassist Mac MacLeod, then temporarily based in Denmark -- split from Belli to form a psychedelic-hard rock-oriented trio. The band moved to England in 1968, after MacLeod had been deported. It's been reported that Donovan, a friend of MacLeod whom Mac had played with previously as a backing musician, wanted to produce a version of the band covering "Hurdy Gurdy Man," a Donovan composition. However, Donovan released his own hit version of the song, and Hurdy Gurdy didn't issue anything while MacLeod was in the group, despite doing some recordings produced by Chris White and Rod Argent of the Zombies. Two late-'60s tracks by the MacLeod lineup of Hurdy Gurdy, "Neo Camel" and "Tick Tock Man," eventually appeared on the 2003 MacLeod anthology The Incredible Musical Odyssey of the Original Hurdy Gurdy Man, and are rather loose and frenetic pieces of period guitar psychedelia. Bohling and Otzen had to go back to Denmark shortly after those recordings, owing to their inability to secure work permits. There they picked up a new bassist, and in the early 1970s recorded a self-titled album for CBS Scandinavia. The record, a routine, early-'70s hard rock offering with Hendrix-influenced guitar by Bohling, was reissued on CD by Akarma. ~ Richie Unterberger

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