It is often the case that you can listen to a release from a forthcoming album and that song acts as a sort of sonic roadmap, a stylistic signpost as to what the fully formed beast is going to be all about. What was great about Hillbilly Hippie Haiku Heaven was that after experiencing its eclectic, energetic, euphoric, philosophical funning and punning you just thought, “well, god only knows what they will get up to next.” It made you, if anything, less sure as to what to expect from them next yet more determined than ever to be there when it happened.
The Gospel According to Blind Uncle Harry is a strange blend of blistering, bluegrass musicianship, hippy vibes, strange pseudo-intellectualism, summer of love sentiments and raggedy folk jams. And if all that sounds a bit of a mess then you need to loosen up a bit, you need to dump all of those over-produced pop records and silly TV talent show notions and remember that music is something that happens in the moment, a collision of ideas, the sound of the one part of the universe harmonising with itself, humanity howling at the moons.
If I have learnt anything about the meaning of life, and I certainly haven’t, then I think that the point of us being here is so that we can unify all the broken and conflicting bits of the universe through song, to attract the opposites, to drum up the primal musical forces and make them dance together in one healing ritual. If this is the case, and again, it’s a very long shot, then The Gospel According to Blind Uncle Harry might just be a sort of cosmic hymn sheet.
Or it might just be the strangest and most brilliant album to pass your way in a long time. Either is fine really.