As a producer and author, Pat Thomas has been behind some incredible stuff, helping to reissue albums by Judee Sill, the Dream Syndicate, Bobby Whitlock and  more, authoring Listen, Whitey!: The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965-75 and compiling its accompanying soundtrack, producing the definitive version of Allen Ginsberg’s First Blues, and assembling Invitation to Openness: The Jazz & Soul Photography of Les McCann, an art book featuring McCann’s photos.

But he’s not only documented and unearthed great music. All the while, he’s made it as well. Thomas’ long running psychedelic collective Mushroom recently returned with Psychedelic Soul on Wax, a heady brew of Krautrock and free music. The record features members of Tin Huey, Hiss Golden Messenger, Brightback Morning Light, and Tom Waits’ backing band, but the album’s most prominent guest is the disembodied voice of Black Panther leader Eldridge Cleaver.

An early leader of the Panthers, Cleaver was spiritually and ideologically restless. At different points in his life, he embraced Islam, Christianity, and Mormonism, and he grew stridently conservative as he aged. But on the recording sampled here, from 1970, he sounds plenty radical, wary of “the armies of Babylonian agents” as he announces his “house arrest” of LSD pioneer Timothy Leary and his wife Rosemary Woodruff in Algeria. Below, an Aquarium Drunkard edit of the song. Grab the LP for the full, dizzying 18-minute plus version. words / j woodbury

Mushroom :: Psychedelic Soul On Wax (Eldridge Cleaver vs. Timothy Leary) (AD edit)

One Response to “Psychedelic Soul On Wax (Eldridge Cleaver vs. Timothy Leary)”

  1. Thank you–this is fantastic. I was too slow, though, and must wait buy this LP until it is no longer out of stock.

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