Mount Rushmore ’69 (1969)

The band’s fortunes (and playing and songwriting) didn’t improve on their second album, although at least they didn’t lose their shirts this time.

Kronomyth 2.0: TAKEN FOR GRANITE. Mount Rushmore’s second, final album doesn’t audibly improve on the formula of the first. It’s psychedelic blues rock played with some measure of competence but not enough personality. Mike Bolan is a decent guitarist, and there are moments when the band flashes some instrumental chops (“Toe Jam,” “Love Is The Reason”), just not enough of those moments to justify forty minutes of your time. Producer Ray Ruff doesn’t do the band any favors; the production is downright listless in spots (“10:09 Blues,” “I’m Comin’ Home”). The group still continues to struggle with writing their own material, digging back to the original lineup’s repertoire for two tracks and taking Mose Allison’s “V-8 Ford Blues” for a spin. The originals from Glen Smith aren’t very (original), constituting standard blues exercises. I will tell you, “10:09 Blues” is a slow train comin’. Cream, Hendrix, The Doors and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band could run rings around Rushmore. Their first record was a little more exciting and had the benefit of choosing from the cream of the band’s live repertoire. Leftovers like “King of Earrings” and “Love Is The Reason” are laughably bad in spots. While it would seem the band’s demise was premature, Mount Rushmore was never destined for great things. There must be a dozen bands from the era that warrant the archaeological interest more than Mount Rushmore. If you’ve dug that deep and still haven’t reached bottom, then feel stone free to take a peak at Rushmore’s twin monuments—unless, that is, you don’t believe in statues.

Original LP Version
A1. It’s Just The Way I Feel (Glen Smith) (4:35)
A2. 10:09 Blues (Glen Smith) (5:53)
A3. Toe Jam (Terry Kimball/Travis Fullerton/Mike Bolan) (5:45)
A4. V-8 Ford Blues (Willie Love) (2:35)
B1. Love Is The Reason (Thomas Dotzler/Warren B. Phillips/Mike Bolan/Ed Levin/Esterlie) (3:55)
B2. I’m Comin’ Home (Glen Smith/Mike Bolan) (7:35)
B3. King of Earrings (Warren B. Phillips) (4:00)
B4. Somebody Else’s Games (Glen Smith) (4:35)

The Players
Bull (guitar), Kimball (bass), Smitty (vocal), Travis (drums). Produced by Ray Ruff; engineered by Stan Ross.

The Pictures
Cover photography by Bob Jenkins. Art direction by Honeya Thompson. Liner notes by Phil Flamm (editor-in-chief of GO magazine).

The Plastic
Released on elpee in June 1969 in the US (Dot, DLP 25,934).

  1. Re-packaged with High On Mount Rushmore on 2-for-1 compact disc in 2002 in Germany (Lizard, LR 0716-2).

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