Long before the term Cosmic Americana was of common use there was a band ideally fitting the role. Back in 1976 the long psychedelic wave was rapidly fading away, but the market of private press was still in demand. The self-debut album of Relatively Clean Rivers came out the same year on the leader Phil Pearlman label. Pacific Is released just this sole album and was to a certain extent an original example of do it yourself. The brainchild of Phil Pearlman, the band was rapidly crossing genres focusing on extended long jam verging on Californian psych and proto-ambient country/folk. The man, a sort of local guru, was previously involved in two other projects: Orange County own The Beat Of The Earth and The Electronic Hole, so to speak different names for the same group of musicians.
While those two early efforts were explicitly devoted to a sort of LSD inducted trip, the Relatively Clean Rivers stand on their own, merging styles and – finally – proposing an accurate songwriting. The first press of this sough after underground masterpiece has been traded for thousand dollars, now here’s your chance to grab this rural manifesto. With much of the music being acoustic, there are elements of morphing electric guitars, smattered with strange spacey moments belaying a certain stoned atmosphere. The album is imaginative, melancholic, mellow, and exotically webbed. And then there’s the band Wilco, citing the Relatively Clean Rivers as being inspirational. Not a bad companion, right ? And if you just look at Jeff Tweedy instant progression from ‘Summerteeth’ to ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ the ‘suspect ‘ is more than reasonable. We’ll give you one more hint, Kevin Morby has been probably fascinated but this long lost gem as well.