Album: Beacon From Mars & Other Psychedelic Side Trips
If the Night
Keep Your Mind Open
Come On In
Minnie the Moocher
I Found Out
Bald-Headed End of a Broom, The
Life Will Pass You By
You Don't Love Me
Beacon from Mars
Lie to Me
To Know Is Not to Be
Contains SIDE TRIPS (1967) plus selections from BEACON FROM MARS (1967) and
Kaleidescope includes: David Lindley (vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin, violin); David Solomon Feldthouse (vocals, guitar, dobro, oud, bouzouki, vina, droumbeg, saz, bass); Chris Darrow (vocals, guitar, mandolin, bass);
Chester Crill (violin, harmonica, keyboards, bass); John Vidican (drums).
Personnel: Solomon Feldthouse (vocals, guitar, dobro, bouzouki, oud, saz); David Lindley (vocals, guitar, banjo, mandolin, violin); Chris Darrow (vocals, guitar, mandolin); Jeff Kaplan (vocals); Chester Crill (violin, harmonica, keyboards); John Vidican, Paul Lagos (drums).
Liner Note Author: Arnold Shaw.
Recording information: 04/12/1967-07/18/1969.
Parties seeking a more or less comprehensive assessment of Kaleidoscope's mid- to late-'60s Epic Records output are encouraged to locate 2004's Beacon from Mars & Other Psychedelic Side Trips compilation. As might be surmised by the name of this package, the bulk of the material originally came from the Side Trips (1967), A Beacon from Mars (1967), Incredible Kaleidoscope (1969), and Bernice (1970) long-players. Although each is represented, only the debut affair is offered in its entirety. Their initial inventive synthesis of straight-ahead rock, ragtime, and Eastern influences was a product of the times, as well as the undeniable and considerable talents of Solomon Feldthouse on saz, bouzouki, dobro, vina, oud, dumbek, dulcimer, fiddle, guitar, and vocals; David Lindley on guitar, banjo, fiddle, and mandolin; Chris Darrow on bass, guitar, mandolin, and vocals; Chester Crill on violin, viola, bass, keyboards, and harmonica; and John Vidican on percussion. The decidedly ethereal "Egyptian Gardens" and Darrow's noir-tinged "Keep Your Mind Open" contrast with Lindley's earthy retro readings of "Hesitation Blues," "Come On In," and Cab Calloway's "Minnie the Moocher." While there isn't really a bummer on the whole Side Trips platter, other standouts are the acidic "If the Night" and the pop harmonies of "Pulsating Dream." They followed with the even stronger collection, A Beacon from Mars, ranging in styles from the extended psychedelia of the title track and the folk-flavored "Life Will Pass You By" to the zany "Baldheaded End of a Broom." Deserving particular mention is their gritty reworking of Willie Cobbs' R&B classic "You Don't Love Me," rivaling Quicksilver Messenger Service's early live versions. Incredible Kaleidoscope provides the group-penned jam "Lie to Me," Lindley's inspired instrumental raga "Banjo," and a heavy adaptation of "Cuckoo," a traditional tune that was interpreted to great effect by Janis Joplin on Big Brother & the Holding Company (1967). Fittingly, the sole Bernice-era cut is also among the better ones in the form of the funky "To Know Is Not to Be." ~ Lindsay Planer