10 Songs, 38 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

1973 produced a bumper crop of fine country-rock albums, and among them was the Ozark Mountain Daredevils’ self-titled recording debut. In many ways, this release invites comparisons with the Eagles’ first effort, which appeared the same year. But the Missouri-based Daredevils were looser and less calculated than their L.A. counterparts, leavening their music with dollops of humor. The rambunctious “If You Wanna Get to Heaven” got the sextet on AM radio and remains a Southern rock classic. The rest of the album digs deep into rustic themes and down-home observations, with celebrations of rural living (“Colorado Song”) and easy-going love (“Country Girl”) predominating. The cleanly-twanging guitars of John Dillon and Randle Chowning (along with Steve Cash’s chugging harmonica) catch an agreeably old-time spirit in songs like “Beauty in the River” and “Road to Glory.” The group’s penchant for goofiness comes through in the fowl-but-funny “Chicken Train,” and such tunes as “Within Without” and “Spaceship Orion” meander into jazzy territory without losing their folksy tinge. Throughout, there’s a sense that these Devils are genuinely having a good time and enjoying each other’s company.

EDITORS’ NOTES

1973 produced a bumper crop of fine country-rock albums, and among them was the Ozark Mountain Daredevils’ self-titled recording debut. In many ways, this release invites comparisons with the Eagles’ first effort, which appeared the same year. But the Missouri-based Daredevils were looser and less calculated than their L.A. counterparts, leavening their music with dollops of humor. The rambunctious “If You Wanna Get to Heaven” got the sextet on AM radio and remains a Southern rock classic. The rest of the album digs deep into rustic themes and down-home observations, with celebrations of rural living (“Colorado Song”) and easy-going love (“Country Girl”) predominating. The cleanly-twanging guitars of John Dillon and Randle Chowning (along with Steve Cash’s chugging harmonica) catch an agreeably old-time spirit in songs like “Beauty in the River” and “Road to Glory.” The group’s penchant for goofiness comes through in the fowl-but-funny “Chicken Train,” and such tunes as “Within Without” and “Spaceship Orion” meander into jazzy territory without losing their folksy tinge. Throughout, there’s a sense that these Devils are genuinely having a good time and enjoying each other’s company.

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