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The Mugwumps

The Mugwumps

(Collectors' Choice; US: 5 Jun 2007; UK: 12 May 2007)

Nobody would care about The Mugwumps today if not for two things.  First, three out of the four band members went on to fame and fortune after the original group broke up.  Cass Elliot and Denny Doherty formed half of the Mamas and the Papas while Zal Yanovsky became a founding member of the Lovin’ Spoonful.  Secondly, The Mugwumps were name checked in one of the Mamas and the Papas best songs, “Creeque Alley”.  While The Mugwumps made some recordings in the early sixties, the music was not issued on vinyl until after the Mamas and the Papas and the Lovin’ Spoonful became successful.  The music has recently been reissued again, this time on a CD with new liner notes.  Unfortunately these nine songs are nothing special.  The band plays pleasant pop folk music.  While it’s great to hear Elliot’s wonderful voice in harmony with male singers, including her first husband—the never to be famous Jim Hendricks—the material and performances are just okay.  The two Elliot/Hendricks originals, “Here it is Another Day” and “Everybody’s Been Talkin’” are the best things here.

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Steven Horowitz has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, where he continues to teach a three-credit online course on "Rock and Roll in America". He has written for many different popular and academic publications including American Music, Paste and the Icon. Horowitz is a firm believer in Paul Goodman's neofunctional perspective on culture and that Sam Cooke was right, a change is gonna come.


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