Exposé Online banner

Only a Mother — Feral Chickens
(TEC Tones 95002, 1995, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 1997-02-01

Feral Chickens Cover art

What do you get when you combine five highly original and multi-talented musicians with a veritable endless supply of musical instruments? Man, I'd hate to be a roadie for these guys, you'd need to drive a Bekins van of musical odds and ends to every gig. You name it, they play it — zither, bass, pump organ, bassoon, saxes, ukelele, banjo, clarinet, melodica, violin, cello, harmonium, trombone, bongos, guitar, drums, piano, ephicleide. Ephicleide? What the heck is that?! And did I mention the male and female lead vocals? Even at that, they still have guest musicians playing additional banjo, vocals, and accordion, among them Amy Denio and Eugene Chadbourne. From all this, Only a Mother have created their own unique and somewhat bizarre collision of styles that falls somewhere between unplugged European folk and American jugband, with some jazz, classical, and avant-garde elements added for good measure, and a twisted lyrical style that might recall The Residents. This is very odd music, as you might imagine, and thus nearly impossible to describe in any kind of comparative terms. All the tunes are originals, with the exception of their cover of the Stones' "Mother's Little Helper." This is their third or fourth album, and I must confess to not having heard any of the earlier ones. Yet. File under interesting, unusual, and adventurous.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 11, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Amy Denio, Frank Pahl, Only a Mother

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Cream - Disraeli Gears - Deluxe Edition – What comes to mind when you think of psychedelic blues rock? For me, it’s Cream. They were the most important UK rock band out of the 60s besides the Beatles and the Stones. Eric Clapton, Jack...  (2006) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues