The Youngbloods - Rock Festival
Rock Festival is a live album by The Youngbloods and was released in 1970. It reached #80 on the Billboard Top LPs chart.
AllMusic Review by James A. Gardner
The Youngbloods follow their finest album, the previous year's Elephant Mountain, with a total departure, this disappointing live set. Where Elephant Mountain presented some of The Youngbloods' best material and demonstrated their versatility, from the acoustic "Sunlight" to the jazzy "Ride the Wind" and the highly arranged R&B of "Quicksand," Rock Festival merely sounds directionless and self-indulgent. They alternate between guitar and piano-based instrumentation, as on the previous album, but apart from the opening track, largely ignore their strengths: Young's voice and their songwriting. They offer an ill-advised venture into blues territory ("Peepin' and Hidin'"), a mediocre Banana lead vocal (the traditional "Fiddler a Dram"), and a knockoff of Elephant Mountain's "Ride the Wind" ("Josiane"). The instrumental "On Beautiful Lake Spenard," while pleasant enough, is a pretty modest high point. And they close with their most ghastly free-form jazz jam, "Ice Bag." This is probably an authentic representation of a typical northern California rock show, circa 1970, and of greater historical than musical significance. Unfortunately, it provides ample evidence as to why The Youngbloods never achieved greater success.
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