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Drums, Percussion [Extra] – Peter Whyte Bonisteel
Electric Bass [Fretless], Trombone, Organ, Piano, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Chris Brubeck
Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Viola [Acoustic], Viola [Electric], Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – David “Spaceman” Mason
Harmonica [Acoustic], Harmonica [Electric], Flute, Jew’s Harp, Spoons [Wooden Cooking Spoons], Lead Vocals – Peter Ruth (Madcat)
Organ, Piano, Electric Piano, Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Electric Bass [Fretless], Kalimba, Washboard, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Jimmy Cathcart
Violin [Acoustic], Violin [Electric], Electric Guitar, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals – Stephan Dudash
Here is a list of instruments used to record New Heavenly Blue: Electric violin, flugelhorn, flute, harp, thumb piano, trombone, washboard and, of course, wooden cooking spoons. Are you as concerned as I am? First released in 1972 on Atlantic Records, New Heavenly Blue’s self-titled debut is an unbelievably random mix of pop, rock, country, blues and jazz with a sprinkle of bluegrass and a hint of gospel. I’m not kidding. “The Battlefields of History,” a song about “an Indo-Chinese child’s devastated world…,” features the band at its eclectic peak, the violin, flute and harmonica prominently displayed over more than six minutes of largely acoustic-based soft rock. “Love You Tonite” and “I Look Upon What I Have Done” represent the group’s most commercial-sounding material, while “Raft Song,” “Pegleg (Back in 35)” and “Tulsa Oklahoma Blues” all make ample use of the album’s varied instrumentation. The songs here are interesting, the playing is tight and there certainly isn’t a shortage of creativity, but the lack of musical cohesion makes for a rather scattered listening experience. One final note: New Heavenly Blue featured a guitarist by the name of David Mason. I think it’s safe to assume this isn’t the Dave Mason who played in Traffic. It is true, however, that Chris Brubeck is the son of Dave Brubeck, he of the Dave Brubeck Quartet jazz ensemble.