* 2021 Stock * Keeping a band together was difficult in the late 1960’s. Tough too, because Michael Oosten was writing songs that veered away from pop-song structures. There was also the relative ease and lack of responsibility required for hauling around a guitar. So, Oosten took off, with a Martin guitar in tow, playing coffeehouses and clubs across the country. By the end of 1973, he was ready to record an LP—five psychedelic folk/rock tracks, ranging from the brightly smiling ‘Sunny Day’ to the epic ‘Hungry Horse Montana,’ where Oost switched seamlessly from Celtic picking to Middle Eastern chord progressions.
Oosten filled out his folk/rock/psych sound with the help of a few friends: piano from Tom Hennick on ‘Hey Babe,’ vocals from Jan Reek on ‘Garden,’ and bass from Al Byla on ‘Sunny Day.’ Oosten’s wayward vocals puts us in mind of other meandering faves from various eras (Incredible String Band, Perry Leopold, or the Meatpuppets, to name but three), and Oost proves himself a stellar guitarist in an eccentric and percussive mode. Considering the individualistic nature of the album’s genesis, no surprise that marketing and publicity for the album was limited. Columbia Records expressed interest in Oosten’s music; but after a single meeting with the label, it was clear that the album would be too difficult for the mainstream honchos to market.
Oost and friend Lester D’ore (editor of Chicago countercultural paper Seed and designer of the Yippie flag) holed up at D’ore’s Wisconsin commune farm to silkscreen each LP jacket by hand. For our deluxe Lion Productions replica edition, they’ve done that again—we’ve used the original screens for this hand-screened, hand-assembled replica edition. The work of a renegade, ripe for rediscovery.