For decades, the cognoscenti and the arbiters of hip never thought highly of soft-rock trio America. Times are starting to change, though, and the trio’s influence on modern alt-country and independent folk artists cannot be denied. Yes, their sound was slick, but the harmonies they conjured made up for that. It didn’t hurt that Sir George Martin would take them under his wing and helped them create some of the best music of the decade. Heritage II: Demos/Outtakes 1971-1976 is the second volume in the band’s archival examination. Much like Heritage, for the most part these demos are probably more of interest to the band’s longtime fan base.
Heritage II’s centerpiece is the long-rumored epic acoustic instrumental jam, “Jameroony,” recorded in 1971. Silly name aside–the band members do sound stoned when they name the song at the beginning of the tape–“Jameroony” is an a very impressive number. John Fahey or Robbie Basho certainly come to mind. “Jameroony” offers hypnotic beauty in its roughness, its melodies growing ever more mesmerizing with each successive listen. Learning that the number has long been the Holy Grail of America fans isn’t surprising, either. Even for the more casual fan such as yours truly, it’s a beautiful number to behold, and certainly worth the price of Harmony II‘s admission.
Purchase America Heritage II: Demos/Outtakes 1971-1976: Omnivore Recordings