Grant Lee Buffalo: Grant Lee Phillips (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, banjo, dobro, mandolin, harmonica), Paul Kimble (bass, piano, pump organ, electric organ, vocals), Joey Peters (drums, percussion).
Recorded at Brilliant, San Francisco, California and Master Control, Burbank, California.
All songs written by Grant Lee Phillips.
For an album released in the year 1994, Grant Lee Buffalo's MIGHTY JOE MOON seems out of place, and surprisingly sincere. After all, it's not country and it's not billed as "unplugged," but MIGHTY JOE MOON's heartfelt acoustic arrangements and nationalistic themes aren't the gum-smacking alterna-fare our ears have come to call pop.
Rich enough to cause a heart attack, MIGHTY JOE MOON is an album that deserves comparisons to the likes of Van Morrison and early R.E.M., but whose songwriter, Grant Lee Phillips, weaves melodies like a cross between Marc Bolan and Gordon Lightfoot.
The infectious patriotism in "Lone Star Song" and the dreamy "Drag" show a winning combination of Phillips' influences and how they translate to moving lyrics and strong melodies and arrangements. MIGHTY JOE MOON is a lovely album, which pays close attention to melody and mood without losing its punch.
Rolling Stone (10/6/94, p.84) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...Grant Lee Buffalo never seem retro even as they hark back to a time when America's idealism hadn't been completely overtaken by cynicism, when people still believed that a rock & roll song could really matter..."
Q (11/94, p.112) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...The trio's blend of stridency and lushness, fusing West Coast rock with prairie-embracing folkiness with brashly amplified 12-string electro-acoustic guitar and feisty lead bass, makes a wonderful spread..."
Alternative Press (11/94, p.89) - "...this is a solid effort, with songs of an almost mystically excellent quality...Grant Lee Buffalo were pretty unfamiliar to me prior to hearing this; they shan't remain that way..."
Melody Maker (9/10/94, p.39) - Highly Recommended - "...Stunning, absolutely stunning. Wild West album of the year..."
Musician (1-2/95, pp.75-77) - "...looming below, like the rumbling drums that anchor these tunes, are currents of complex emotions that keep pulling you in..."
Village Voice (2/28/95) - Ranked #32 in the Village Voice's 1994 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll.