Taos — “20,000 Miles in the Air Again”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — May 11, 2023


822) Taos — “20,000 Miles in the Air Again”

A Taos, NM commune gives us this “phased psychedelic boogie” (Nik, http://therisingstorm.net/taos-taos/) from an LP of “mellow, unpretentious, good-natured rural rock. . . . catchy, with sweet vocal harmonies. . . . [b]lending acoustic and electric guitars with loads of tambourines.” (Adamus67, http://rockasteria.blogspot.com/2012/10/taos-taos-1971-us-beautiful-psychedelic.html)

As to Taos, the group, Nik tells us:

Here’s an unusual jewel, released on Mercury Records in 1971. The band Taos was actually a quintet pieced together by a group of young men who had moved to the legendary Taos commune in the early 1970s, namely: Jeff Baker on guitar and vocals, Steve Oppenheim on keyboards and vocals, Albie Ciappa on drums, Burt Levine on guitar and banjo, and Kit Bedford on bass . . . . If the band’s commune connection leads you into expecting some sort of stoned, improvisational musical meanderings, however, you’re in for a surprise: their sole, self-titled record is pop music all the way. Indeed, the band itself is surprisingly together, tempering mildly eccentric diversions into psychedelia and country music with a solid foundation in 1960s rock and roll. . . . [T]he music here is almost too much fun to criticize. Again, this is pop music, and should be enjoyed for what it is.


Adamus67 adds that:

As the hippie dream turned ugly at the end of the 60s, plenty of folks decided to get out of the city & get back to basics. A huge commune in Taos, New Mexico called New Buffalo that was home to these fellas, and by 70 they were making laid back, slightly nerdy country rock with Byrds harmonies. The album was from 1968/1969. Lost U.S. rural rock gem, originally released in 1/1/1969 . . . (promo copy).


Burt Levine himself (I think) tells us:

Hi, this is Burt from Taos. We were there in 1968/1969, while the communes and ‘Easy Rider’ were going on. The locals would take pot shots at us and burned down the movie theater where we played a free gig for the residents. We were being watched and filmed by the FBI. We were all love and peace living in Nature’s Glory, but the population around us was often savage. When we left to go on tour, the house we were living in was burned down.


Not sure if all that was real or an acid flashback, but mesmerizing in either case!

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