One Track Mind: The Avant-Garde, “Naturally Stoned”/”Honey And Gall” (1968)

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[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qi3V569WwEY&w=500&h=305]

Peaking at the No. 40 slot on the national charts in the summer of 1968, “Naturally Stoned” ropes together a spate of different elements, piercing the song with a relatively odd but undeniably catchy sound.

A softly swinging groove, implemented with brass arrangements and a glossy psychedelic pop sheen, are further joined by seductive vocals pitched somewhere between folk styled soul and lounge lizard chic, while a tight and tasty melody holds steady.

The flipside of the Columbia Records disc, “Honey And Gall,” spews stream of consciousness babble. Imagine William Shakespeare reciting views from The Tibetan Book Of The Dead, then inserting his own musings into the mix, and that basically describes this minimalist musically structured outing. Obviously peddling a spiritual philosophy, the track certainly makes for an amusing period piece.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kThJaudjvhU&w=385&h=280]

Based in Nashville, Tennessee, the Avant-Garde released three singles during their brief stint, which lasted about a year, with “Naturally Stoned” being their most successful effort.

These days, the Avant-Garde is actually more remembered as the band that featured Chuck Woolery, who went on to host popular game shows such as “Wheel Of Fortune,” “The Love Connection” and “Scrabble” rather than their one hit song. Now how cool is that!

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Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson
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