War “City Country City” (1973)
May 15, 2017
Here’s a show of love from Guest Rediscover-er, Andy Moreno. Take it away Andy….
Even though War’s “The World is a Ghetto”, was the #1 selling album in 1973, I don’t feel they’ve received their deserved accolades: they were, and are, a treasure. Recently I’ve been revisiting key albums from my brother’s 70’s record collection, ones that moved me enough to ultimately include them in my own pile. He’s 68 now, and battling liver cancer. This ritual helps me to feel close to him while examining that time from an older perspective.
Musically, the 70’s had so many faces, emotions, and ways of mirroring the world. Wherever you were in your life, there were bands to perfectly portray that place. War’s instrumental track “City Country City” is an excellent example of their moody variety of musicianship. Like a song recalling better days, Lonnie Jordan’s organ gives a gorgeous sundowning feel, before he lights it all on fire. That pairs just right with Lee Oskar’s slightly somber, and hypnotic, genius harmonica chorus. A sax solo was never so cool, with conga drums guiding you through it. In this song, you hear all the energy of youth, as reality and struggles pour in. For me, this multi-cultural blend of Latin, funk and jazz especially in both this album, and “All Day Music” (1971), perfectly echo the bleakness, and grace of my Midwest factory hometown.