PH Factor – Merryjuana (1980)

PH Factor – Merryjuana (1980)
Artist: PH Factor
Album: Merryjuana
Label: Picc-A-Dilly
Year Of Release: 1980
Format: FLAC (tracks)
01. Love Love Love
02. Suzy
03. Eyes Of Love
04. Skin
05. Jerry Roll
06. Minglewood Blues
07. Barefoot John
08. 200 Pounds Of Heavenly Joy
09. 38 Gun
10. Merryjuana
11. Rain Island


Paul Bassett – Drums, Washboard
John Browne – Guitar, Harmonica
Davy Coffin – Guitar, Mandolin
John Hendricks – Mandolin, Mandola, Banjo, Guitar, Kazoo, Jug, Vocals
Dennis Long – Drums
Steve Mork – Bass, Jug
Nick Ogilvie – Guitar, Banjo, Harp, Vocals
Chris Robinson – Guitar
Mike Rush – Drums

On the evidence of this rare LP, PH Phactor were a band that, like the Lovin’ Spoonful, Country Joe & the Fish, the Charlatans, and Kaleidoscope, linked jug band folk to psychedelic rock in their versatile repertoire. PH Phactor, alas, weren’t as notable as any of those prior acts. But their music on this 1980 release (recorded during the 1960s, although only two tracks, the single “Minglewood Blues”/”Barefoot John,” came out at the time) was respectably enjoyable. As was the case with all of those like-minded groups, they sounded worst when they were trying to do comic jug band material. At other points, though (as on “Suzy”), they had an engaging, ragged blues-rock-psychedelic looseness and quizzical humor reminiscent of San Francisco bands like Country Joe & the Fish and, less closely, the Charlatans. Strange as it might seem, one of the singers — the guy who takes the lead on “Jelly Roll” and “Barefoot John” — sounds a heck of a lot like Jonathan Richman, though there seems no way Richman could have been influenced by such an obscure group. They do a surprisingly good blues-rock cover of Howlin’ Wolf’s “Three Hundred Pounds of Joy” (here retitled “200 Pounds of Heavenly Joy”), and get into eastern-influenced jazzy psychedelic improvisations on the seven-minute “Rain Island.”
Richie Unterberger

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