Green Pajamas – Green Pajama Country!

January 01, 1970

(Endgame/Green Monkey)


With its cheery explanation point, Green Pajama Country! comes across as not only a gimmick, but a
jokey one at that. But Seattle’s
finest psych rockers are no strangers to thematic LPs – ten years ago the band
released The Caroler’s Song and In a Glass Darkly, back-to-back EPs
related to Christmas and J.S. Le Fanu respectively. The question here isn’t one
of intent, but follow-through. “Honky Tonk Girls (At the Little Red Hen)”
certainly fits the bill, evoking its titular milieu in sound as well as
tongue-in-cheek libretto. The dusty plea “Father, Father Do You Wait” and the
waltzing tribute “The Night Passed Over Into Day” fold in overt C&W moves
as well. The title track, which both opens and close the record, sounds like
the theme song for any number of 60s TV westerns.


But to call this strictly a country record would be
erroneous. For most of it, the Green PJs simply downplay their psychedelic rock
tendencies and emphasize their folk side, developing little that would put this
record on the country charts. (Not that that’s any kind of pride-inducing feat
these days.) That’s hardly a problem, though, unless one is a stickler for the
literal. After all, leader Jeff Kelly is at his best when he’s spinning a dark
tale of brokenhearted murder, as on “Pass Me Another Whiskey” and “Desiree,” or
enigmatic Gothic mysteries like “Dark Water (In the Wires)” and “Winter of ’23.”
The nine-minute “She’s Gone, She’s Gone, She’s Gone, Daddy She’s Gone” comes
right out of the PJs playbook, with a folk melody driven by power chords and a
mind slowly crumbling to pieces over a lost love. The straightforward “I Just
Wish That She’d Love Me” almost abandons stylistic affiliation altogether,
recalling, if anything, the Rolling Stones’ rootsy ballads.


Ultimately, Green
Pajama Country!
alludes not so much to a musical genre, but to the artistic
plane on which the Green Pajamas reside. Given the band’s continued commitment
to quality work, that title is perfectly accurate.


Me Another Whiskey,” “Desiree,” “I Just Wish That She’d Love Me” MICHAEL TOLAND

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