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The Exkursions (1971)





The Exkursions were formed in Chicago in 1968. Mike and Fyl were in the original group and were later joined by Leon in 1969. The "group sound" was spawned out of Chicago's own particular blend of Jazz, blues and rock. This were a high-octane power rock trio absolutely blitzes, through eight tunes of heavy blues-influenced material in the vein of Hendrix and Cream. Led by Mike Johnson who later went on to record solo projects and even earn songwriter of the year award. It has since matured, along with the group's experience of life. The most critical factor in their music today is a relationship to Jesus, The Messiah. Their commitment to Him has brought a new sound a new hope, and a new way. They have toured extensively throughout the colleges and universities of the Eastern USA. In 1970 and 1971 the Exkursions were the featured attraction at Fort Lauderdale during Easter week. Nothing muffled sounds here - the production is top- notch and the guitars shine forth loud and mean, heavily imbrued with 60's psych effects. 'Baby You Lied', a love-gone- bad slow blues rocker sounds like one of those lengthy Derek & the Dominoes tracks and features wild stereo separation that I'm sure made many a hippie smile back then. Dual rhythm guitar and leads gives the band a fuller sound than most trios. Singer/lead guitarist Mike Johnson gives an exceptional performance - he contributed a number of fine solo albums in the 70's but none of them cooks with near the intensity of this baby. 'Third Eye' is a good example - after starting with some bizarre psycho-babble, the piece breaks into a minute-and-a- half electric guitar jam (recalling Stu Heiss' opening solo in Rez Band's 'White Noise'). The intensity doesn't let up until 'Would You Believe', a smooth piece of soft jazz that Mike also included on his Velvet Prince album. Band broke up because the other two members wavered in their faith --- (psychedelicbaby.blogspot)

Another trio with a blues rock influence in the vein of Cream or Hendrix. The lead singer and guitar player Mike Johnson has a stellar performance on this album and he continued to perform solo after The Exkursions broke up. Mike had a more jazz influenced sound.

This album is surprisingly crisp for 1970 and has a great drum sound and groovy stereo effects. It still sounds raw, like someone jamming out in your living room but the production quality is not muddy or muffled like so many other recordings of that period. I have read Mike did some recording and touring with The Mike Bloomfield Band in the 60’s and I am sure that experience was helpful to him on the production end of things.

This is the bands only album and it’s a treasure of fuzz guitar and blues licks with those “growly hippy” vocals that are just to cool! Sometimes it feels more like story telling than singing but it is done in a way that is never annoying. The drums and bass are very interesting and always keep the listener shufflin’ their feet or cruising down the highway.

Songs range from the emptiness and addiction of the drug culture to the psycho babble song Third Eye, which is an amazing blues jam tune. The Last song is a very evangelistic salvation tune with more jazzy influences. This whole album is a real gem that can not be overlooked in the historical canvas of Jesus Music. I think this is on CD and still available in some places. -MP --- (jrocklegends.wordpress)

Really great hard fuzz album. It was a true private release, with no label name used.

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