Song Of The Day 8/27/2014: Ozark Mountain Daredevils - "Within Without"



Southern Rock Week: The Ozark Mountain Daredevils were from Springfield, MO and had one big hit, "Jackie Blue," which sounded closer to Anglo-Saxon pop than Southern rock (personally I thought it sounded like 10cc). It's so instantly identifiable, woven into the seams of '70s Top 40 ephemera, that it almost pre-empted the necessity of checking out anything else they ever did. Including me, I admit, until I started the 16 weeks (give or take) of solid research that went into this one week of Southern rock. Now I have a new favorite seminal songwriter who's been overlooked all these years and I get to tell you about him, which means I get a citizenship patch for my scout uniform.

Amongst their peers OMD's self-titled debut album is a bit of an oddball. They surfed throughout a lot of country traditions falling on the Gram Parsons and Little Feat sides of the Southern rock equation. Drummer Larry Lee, who co-wrote and sang lead on "Jackie Blue," had a couple of compositions on the debut album that are stunning. One's called "Spaceship Orion," and relishing the clash between roots music and outer space as I do, it took a considerable amount of effort not to put it up here today.

But "Within Without" is just too good, and my favorite of all the songs I'm going to force upon you this week. I suppose you could say nothing too earth-shattering happens in it, except for the acknowledgement of the possibility that they might have heard one of Chris Bell's songs from Big Star's #1 Record. Going through a quick survey of Lee's other compositions for OMD (and yes I love calling them "OMD" amidst your memories of triangular hair and John Hughes) there's a lot of that sort of meditative strain about his work.

Oh, hell, you know how I deal with these kinds of sudden musical epiphanies these days: I just toss you a playlist. There's one with some of Larry Lee's originals for Ozark Mountain Daredevils below. He's still around. Here's what he's been doing.

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