Sunday, December 13, 2009


The existence of a Joe E. Covington solo album shows just how popular the Airplane were at this time. If Creach was a known quantity, Covington has to have been the group's extreme X factor. Joe E. (or Joey as we'll call him from here on out) is right behind Signe Anderson on the list of least recognizable Jefferson Airplane members, and a drummer to boot (drummers' solo careers being notoriously hard to predict The one huge difference between this album and the rest of the fragments spinning out from the artistically imploding Airplane was that Covington had the decency to avoid any famous guests on his album. To clarify, Covington uses a stable band and is himself the most famous person around. Follow this ? with an extra ! then. He seems to have been a pretty quirky guy - mixing the pleasant California feeling with 50s doo-wop/early Motown and art-rock, or sometimes both ("Miss Unaverse"). The playing is excellent, which is good considering the rather strange combinations of these songs. The great opening track, "Your Heart is My Heart" sounds like early Temptations but with some great psychedelic guitar work by Stevie Midnite thrown in. The real catches are where he lets the band get into a loose groove, and the organ work of "Senator" Patrick Craig propels the music into Canterbury territory ("Mama Neptune", "Miss Universe"). It is all held together by Covington's tongue-in-cheek humor that echoes Zappa in places (the Hendrix-flavored funk "Hideout (Is a Crook's Best Friend)"), but nobody is around to tell him when to stop (the cloying 50s ballad "Moonbeam" with Covington just belting out his vocals). His drumming is uncluttered, fast jazz work, but his voice is often the key component (as like lots of drummers he wants to sing as well . Although he had a good range in the normal registers, is voice is kind of thin - think Joe Walsh at his best (the fun "Country Heart"). Which is why it is a good thing that he goes all nostalgic, because he overdubs well with himself, and the 50s material provides ample opportunity for him to use his good falsetto. One man's wacky vision should be chalked up as a winner, although you'll probably never see or hear it. The bassist is Jack Prendergast. Produced by Covington and Pat Ieraci.

He's also kind of mad in real life because he didn't get into the R&R Hall of Fame with Jefferson Airplane.

This review taken from The Obscurity Website of Reviews


  • Your Hearts Is My Heart (Covington/Craig/Mack/Prendergast)
  • Country Girl (Covington)
  • Moonbeam (Covington)
  • Mama Neptune (Covington)
  • Miss Unaverse (Covington)
  • Hideout (A Crook's Best Friend) (Covington)
  • Vapor Lady (Covington)

  • Joey Covington - drums, vocals
  • Pat Craig - keyboards
  • Steve Midnite - guitar
  • Jack Prendergast - bass


Anonymous said...

Looking foward to finally hearing this after all these yrs.
Really enjoying the "Grunt" series too :D

Anonymous said...

Hiya fae Scrabster, north of Scotland.

I'm on the road this week, and loaded up my netbook and MP3 player with a Grunt selection. The two standouts - (1) Black Kangaroo, Hendrix channeled, ace guitar, pounding bass, beating the hey out of my new Sony megabass headphones, and (ii) Joe E's little gem, Fat Fandango.

Joey's album is a wee masterpiece. Splendid stuff. Great fun. Wholly unlike Airplane/Starship. The reference points are nearer to Lowell George meets The Mothers in their Reuben guise, with some prog creeping in. Far more LA than SF. Nowhere close to Airplane on the cosmic genius scale, it goes without saying, but the Jeffersons were never this big cheezy wide grin fun...

Definitely worth a listen. Thanks for sharing. Your efforts are, as always, appreciated, but your Grunt retrospective warrants particular praise. Kudos.


Douglas fae Aiberdeen

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