Jamasutra (Barry Melton & Stephan Missri)

Revolution Down the Road

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear, back when Country Joe and the Fish sang from the back of flatbed trucks to legions of anti-war demonstrators in Berkeley and in San Francisco, providing a heady mix of smart-ass rebellion tinged with apocalyptic fears and acid-addled visions of “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine.” Other than Country Joe himself, Barry Melton was the big fish in that band, a group more idealistic and studiously dedicated to political action than some others who would ride what was then known as “the counterculture” to fame and fortune. Melton kept the faith, working as a public defender while continuing to explore music, performing all over the world with his own band, and never losing his commitment to social justice and working for a better world. Here, on an album he made with guitarist Stephan Missri, Melton provides a sampling of what international psychedelia sounds like in the 21st century, performed by a guy who helped launch the genre, ably assisted here by Missri, an Algerian-born Parisian who brings his own magic to this party. Melton, Missri and friends create a musical plea to save the planet, with lyrics sung in French and English, backed by lots of kaleidoscopically rippling guitar riffs. Music like this no longer holds the power to “blow your mind,” but it might ramp up your consciousness just a tad.