Montgomery Chapel (The Search Party)

Digitally remastered two CD set. Recorded at the San Francisco Theological Seminary’s own Montgomery Chapel, acid-folk gem Search Party Montgomery Chapel was the brainchild of (then Reverend) Nicholas Freund. Having left Wisconsin in the late 1960s to join a burgeoning West Coast religious scene, Freund spent considerable time in Sacramento before making his way to San Francisco in 1968 to lay down this one-off with some students of his. The result is a spooky, metaphysical trip that’s equal parts God and acid-dripped mind expansion. Laced with haunting vocals and dreamlike passages, Montgomery Chapel is psychedelic music at it’s most evocative, and most spiritual. The recordings released by the St. Pius X Seminary Choir were made in the year or two which led up to the recording of The Search Party album. Not only did the three St. Pius X Seminary Choir records showcase the first work by Nick Freund, but they also were the first recordings of Search Party guitarist and vocalist Peter Apps. Our two-disc set includes both albums, plus bonus tracks taken from ultra-rare early albums by the St. Pius X Seminary Choir. The 32-page booklet is packed with information, thanks to Freund, who was gracious enough to delve into his memory, scrapbook, and photo albums to help US flesh out the portrait of one of the most potent, and perhaps one of the most unlikely, psychedelic groups to ever record an album.

The Search Party は知る人ぞ知るイカれたサイケの名盤だという認識が昔にあったものですが、いつの間にか(2013年)2CDにおいて未発表と思われる8曲と、St. Pius X Seminary Choir(翻訳サイトにかけたら「聖ピオ十世神学校合唱団」と出たけど)の録音がまるまるCD1枚に収録されているという、すごいのかなんなのかもはやわかんないセットが発売されていたんですね。 いやぁ、ちょっと欲しいなこれ。 なんていう私はセットじゃないのしか持っていないのであり・・・

サイケの隠れた名盤ということになっていますけど、本人たちはサイケがやりたくてやったんじゃないんだろうなという感じがします。 1969年にリリースされたこの唯一作は、サンフランシスコ神学校のアルバムタイトルのとおりモンゴメリー教会で録音されたそうで(ジャケットの苔むしすぎた教会がそれっぽい)、首謀者と思しき神父が学生とともに結成したのが The Search Party なのだそう。



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