Earth Opera: Earth Opera/The Great American Eagle Tragedy
Barney Hoskyns, Uncut, September 2004
THE NAME suggested some frightful prog entity, but Earth Opera were essentially Boston bluegrassers Peter Rowan and David Grisman, a pair intent on chucking tradition out the window in favour of spacey, SF-flavoured psych-folk. Rowans affectless vocals and guitar combine with future Jerry Garcia pal Grismans mandolin and mandocello (plus low-key vibes, drums and more) on slow, sometimes ponderous songs. Neither 1968s Earth Opera nor 1969s slightly jollier The Great American Eagle Tragedy – its title track a ten-minute condemnation of the Vietnam war featuring John Cale – have dated awfully well.
Total word count of piece: 93