Most certainly a product of its time, Indian War Whoop sounds rather dated today, but its buoyant good humor and chemically-altered enthusiasm remains effective, even when the Rounders' reckless pursuit of inner space sounds like it was more fun to create than to observe on record.
The Holy Modal Rounders were almost the very definition of a cult act. This isn't a case of a group that would be described by such clichés as "if only they got more exposure, they would certainly reach a much wider audience." Their audience was small because their music was too strange, idiosyncratic, and at times downright dissonant for mainstream listeners to abide. What makes the Rounders unusual in this regard is that they owed primary allegiance to the world of acoustic folk -- not one that generates many difficult, arty, and abrasive performers.
Indian War Whoop On their 1967 LP Indian War Whoop, Stampfel and Weber added other musicians, including playwright Sam Shepard on drums (Shepard also wrote some material). The resulting chaos was just as inspiring, but both material and performance improved on 1969's Moray Eels Eat the Holy Modal Rounders. This addled combination of folk and psychedelia was their most inventive work, and featured their most famous song, "If You Wanna Be a Bird" (which was used on the Easy Rider soundtrack).
Good Taste Is Timeless The haphazard style of the Rounders perhaps militated against any sort of stable lineup (Jeff Baxter, later to play with Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers, was one of the musicians who passed through the group briefly in the 1960s). Good Taste Is Timeless, in the early '70s, was engineered in Nashville by legendary Elvis Presley guitarist Scotty Moore, and generated one of their most renowned songs, "Boobs a Lot." Shortly afterward, Stampfel and Weber separated for a time, although they reunited in 1976 for Alleged in Our Own Time on Rounder. By this time, the Rounders were more of a concept than an ongoing group, and 1979's Last Round was recorded with various musicians who had been part of the group at some point. 1981's Goin' Nowhere, billed just to Stampfel & Weber, was their last recorded joint partnership.
Have Moicy!Stampfel has been much more visible as a solo recording artist than Weber, acting as a key contributor to Michael Hurley's critically lauded Have Moicy! in 1976. He's been recording on his own since the mid-'80s, sometimes with the Bottlecaps, in a fashion that keeps the spirit of the Holy Modal Rounders alive without sounding embarrassingly revivalist.
01. Jimmy and Crash Survey the Universe
02. Indian War Whoop
03. Sweet Apple Cider
04. Soldier's Joy
05. Cocaine Blues
06. Sky Divers
07. The Second-Hand Watch
08. Radar Blues
09. The I.W.W. Song
10. Football Blues
11. Bay Rum Blues
12. Morning Glory