Moby Grape - 20 Granite Creek (1971)

Moby Grape were an American rock band, part of San Francisco’s famous 60s psychedelic scene.

After their final contract-fulfilling album for Columbia (1969’s Truly Fine Citizen), the three remaining members of Moby Grape decided to call it a day. But not for long. In 1970 all five members managed to reunite - guitarists Jerry Miller and Peter Lewis, drummer Don Stevenson, bassist Bob Mosley (back from his stint with the marines - he didn’t get much further than basic training as he was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic), and even Skip Spence (who since departing in 1968 had spent time in both jail and psychiatric care, and recorded a bizarre solo album). Back together again, they recorded a new album, 20 Granite Creek, released in 1971 on Reprise Records. It’s a fantastic record, easily as strong as their 60s output (though obviously not as good as their still unbeaten debut). It opens with the brilliant guitar-heavy rock of Mosley’s “Gypsy Woman”, and goes on to move through various interesting sounds (featuring steel drums at one point). The band was helped out by a few session musicians, most notably Gordon Stevens on violin, guitar, dobro and mandolin.
However it’s worth noting that there’s only one Skip Spence song - the eastern-sounding instrumental “Chinese Song”. It seems he didn’t sing on the album at all. Clearly he was still recovering from his ordeal, and was is no shape to really contribute much to the reunion.
They played some concerts in support of the album (which apparently were disastrous), before Spence left again.

Truly Fine Citizen (1969) <|> Live Grape (1978)
More from Moby Grape



Anonymous said...

A very original post, definitely rarely seen. THX! Franco

Anonymous said...

Thanks for leaving this post up! This album is getting to be very hard to find in any format. Some label should remaster & rerelease this in the near future. Very nice blog too!