Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  And It Don't Stop
  Book Reports
  Is It Still Good to Ya?
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Xgau Sez
  And It Don't Stop
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Rolling Stone
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
Web Site:
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
CG Search:
Google Search:

Country Joe McDonald

  • Thinking of Woody Guthrie [Vanguard, 1969] C
  • Paris Sessions [Vanguard, 1972] B+

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Thinking of Woody Guthrie [Vanguard, 1969]
It's the concept of this album that I don't like. Musically, it's not bad--a nice selection of Woody's tunes rendered agreeably by Joe and some Nashville sidemen. As an educational project I suppose it could be called, er, worthwhile. But anyone who has read this far may consider himself educated; the real thing is easy to swallow and can be purchased at better record shops. C

Paris Sessions [Vanguard, 1972]
Amazing. The man (repeat: man) has written feminist songs that are both catchy and sensible. Despite the real/honest prison poem and the silly, outdated record fan routines, his best in about five years. B+

Further Notes:

Subjects for Further Research [1970s]: The proud author of "Bring Back the Sixties Man" has dated worse than John Sebastian because he has no pop sense. I liked Paris Sessions a lot in 1973 and it still sounds OK, but it's hard to, er, relate to the self-righteous feminist songs of a man who's subsequently proved much more dedicated to self-righteousness than to feminism. Still, he has a knack for the topical, and with Phil Ochs dead we may learn to appreciate him once again.

Everything Rocks and Nothing Ever Dies [1990s]