First released way back in 1969 in limited circles around the California coast, the charming but mysterious Spirit of the Golden Juice was the solitary studio album by F. J. McMahon, and has slowly become a treasured cult favourite as the decades have gone by. Re-press includes 8.5"x8.5" Risograph booklet with liner notes and never-before-seen photographs.
Vinyl LP £15.49 ARC0461
Reissue LP on Anthology Recordings. Includes 8.5" x 8.5" Risograph booklet with liner notes and newly seen photographs and ephemera.
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- Spirit Of The Golden Juice by F.J. McMahon
What a lovely surprise to find this in the ‘To Be Reviewed’ box today! Had Clint not been away, I’m pretty sure he would have eaten this up, digested it and written some beautiful words about it; as it is, you have me. This album is beautiful, by the way. Originally released at the tail end of the ‘60s, and long out of print on vinyl elpee, F.J. McMahon’s only known record, Spirit Of The Golden Juice is a release chock-full of gorgeous songs in an Americana / acid-psych-folk vein. And that description truly does it an injustice.
So I’ll try harder: think of the easy voice with the slightly reined-in funk of Nick Drake in full mellifluous flow, only transported to the ‘merican heartlands. Truly wonderful guitar playing in a four-fifths country-blues, one-fifth jazz club style, soulful tap-tap-chukka-tap drums, gently rolling bass in the background and a rare mellotron appearance (on the highly evocative of sunrise on the prairie ‘Early Blue’). And then there’s McMahon’s voice again; a pleasing, comforting thing sounding like a country James Taylor.
Listening to these songs, I’m getting images of the musician leaning against a paddock fence, in the shade of an old oak, pickin’ his guitar with a horse nonchalently grazing to his left under an apple tree... The gentle tinkling sounds of a mountain stream as it tumbles lazily away over his shoulder. OK, I’m getting carried away now. A beautiful record highly recommended for fans of the era and anything psych-country-folk-souly; this’ll tickle your fancy. Original copies most likely go for £££s too.
8/10 Steven 8th August 2017
I first heard of FJ McMahon via Well ...alright!, a Noel Gallagher mix CD (also worth a look if you can find it) that came with MOJO a number of years ago as it features Brother Sister on it from this album so needless to say when I found that his album was being reissued I bought it purely for the track I mentioned alone and though it is quite a sombre album I would say it is well worth a listen. Perfect for fans of early Dylan and indeed Leonard Cohen due to the tone of the album. Overall I'd recommend buying it, you won't be disappointed.
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