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Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen

Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen – 2003 (Wounded Bird)

Reviewed by Eli Messinger

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CDs by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen

Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen, the 1970s premier hippy-country-rock-swing band recorded 4 long players and an unlikely hit (a 1971 cover of Johnny Bond's "Hot Rod Lincoln") before jumping to Warner. This represents the peak of the band's studio craft, ably assisted by John Boylan (the man who put The Eagles together).

"CCAHLPA" finds the band playing, singing, writing and collecting songs across their entire stylistic range. Sad-sack country tales of displaced Okies spin back-to-back with jump blues and trucker tales (a finer reading of Lowell George's "Willin'" would be hard to find - never have "weed, whites and wine" been in more knowing hands), mixing it up with Hawaiian-themed pop and New Orleans R&B that draw on exquisite steel, piano and sax playing. Sausalito's Record Plant gave these tracks a clarity and crispness missing from the band's earlier albums, knitting the disparate material into an amazingly cohesive whole.