s-l1000
Earth Opera iTunes Tracks

Earth Opera

Taking elements of bluegrass, folk, country, jugband, neo-vaudeville, psychedelia and rock, EARTH OPERA were shaped intrinsically by songwriter/frontman Peter Rowan and multi-task instrumentalist David Grisman; both would find their feet subsequently in other bluegrass-biased outfits, the latter a sidekick of GRATEFUL DEAD leader, JERRY GARCIA, since guesting on the groundbreaking `American Beauty’ set.
Boston, Massachusetts was the place, the late 60s was the time, and The LOVIN’ SPOONFUL and others were lilting in the shade of the ensuing new genres. EARTH OPERA, a quintet also comprising musicians John Nagy, Bill Stevenson and Paul Dillon (a replacement for Billy Mundi of The MOTHERS OF INVENTION and Warren Smith), were America’s post-“Sgt. Pepper” answer to The INCREDIBLE STRING BAND; examples rife on their eponymous debut LP, EARTH OPERA (1968) {*6}:- `Dreamless’, `To Care At All’ and `Time And Again’.
Now without Stevenson, their Peter K. Siegel-produced second effort for Elektra Records, THE GREAT AMERICAN EAGLE TRAGEDY (1969) {*7}, showed signs they were moving towards a more mainstream or DYLAN-meets-GARCIA-like sound; their “jam”-packed 10-minute title track opus was certainly on cue for this assessment. The set featured guests JOHN CALE and Bill Keith (like Rowan, a former BILL MONROE acolyte) and broke into the lower regions of the Top 200 on the back of a minor hit, `Home To You’.
As previously stated, both Rowan and Grisman found their musical niche on various projects from the 70s onwards: PETER ROWAN initially with the BLUES PROJECT offshoot SEATRAIN (before branching out on his own); mandolin virtuoso DAVID “Dawg” GRISMAN with Muleskinner, Old And In The Way (with GARCIA), and a plethora of solo projects.
© MC Strong 2010/GFD // rev-up MCS Jan2017

Share this Project

Leave a Comment