Monday, November 16, 2009

Shades Of Joy - Music of El Topo [1970 - USA]

Shades of Joy was a short-lived supergroup of a bunch of hippies jamming out some funky, trippy, and soothing grooves on a plethora of instruments. It's a mystery who was actually in this loose-knit group but supposedly Jerry Garcia was part of it. If you notice on the cover it says "arranged and conducted by Martín Fierro". After a little research I learned that Martín Fierro was a saxaphonist who played with not just The Dead but also The String Cheese Incident, David Grisman, Yonder Mountain String Band, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Sir Douglas Quintet, and the Allman Brothers, just to name a few- holy cow. Sadly, Matín Fierro aka "The Meester" passed away just last year.

El Topo is a concept album covering the soundtrack to cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky's film with the same name.

If you arn't familiar with Jodorwsky's movies, I recommend starting with La Montaña Sagrada (The Holy Mountain) and maybe a tab or two of acid- it's really really tripped out shit.


Anonymous said...

wow thanks for this a little imore info from discogs.
If you look at the artwork you can see on the back musicians are listed. I'll give it a few more listens but I don't think that it is Jerry on guitar? Great blog!

Eric Schwartz said...

Haven't done any research but one connection is the movie soundtrack was on Douglas records, same label as Howard Wales and Garcia's Hooterol

Brad Riesau said...

The remarkable left-handed guitar player Jackie King was the lead player on this recording. Jackie King passed away today in the Bay Area where he's lived, jammed, gigged and taught guitar for decades. He's a long-time collaborator with fellow Texan Willie Nelson (see their collaborative albums ANGEL EYES and THE GYPSY) and the classic Willie Nelson & Ray Charles DVD that features Jackie and his Bay Area jazz band backing Willie & Ray. A real treat. He started the Southwest Guitar Institute after having been asked to teach at GIT early on by Howard Roberts. He's also played and/or recorded with Chet Baker, Jimmy Witherspoon, Marian McPartland, The Texas Horns, Herb Ellis, Mimi Fox, Richie Cole, Doug Sahm, Porch Jones, Silver Moon and many others over the years. Jackie was one of the kindest, funniest, warmest people in the music business. RIP buddy.