We recently caught up with Kent Stump from Wo Fat to discuss what he feels are the TOP 10 best stoner rock tracks from the 1970s. So sit back, relax and become one with the Stoned Insight of Wo Fat!
Kent from Tejas-based psychedelic blues-doom band Wo Fat here. With our performance at the 420 Music & Arts Festival in Calgary, I remembered a lyric from one of our older songs, “Enter the Riffian,” which was on our second album, Psychedelonaut. In the bridge of the song the lyrics say, “…with a Stoned Insight, and the Riffs Sublime.”
So this got me to thinking about that lyric. The meaning of that to me, and you’re welcome to put your own stoned spin on it, is that once having smoked pot and experienced it deeply, one is often changed and sees things from an entirely new perspective. Your awareness and understanding of many things is no longer what it once was, and more specifically, for art or music, it can be an openness, intensity and a wiliness to follow where the art leads as well as focus on the present.
Much of Wo Fat’s music is influenced by what went on in the music of the 1970s, which was a time of exploration and freedom. A time of breaking free of the old boundaries and blazing new trails. This all led to, among other things, heavy metal, and then punk rock and all the heavy incarnations of metal thereafter. There was an openness and attitude towards freedom rather than an adherence to traditional structures, even though traditions still played a foundational role. It was about expansion, expression and exploration.
So with my list of TOP 10 ’70s jams that have the Stoned Insight, these are all things that, in one way or another (notice the reference to one of the songs on the list), they all have that attitude and aspect to them, whether it’s in execution and performance or concept. Of course, there is so much more than this list, but these are the songs that came to mind for me.
Dig it. And if you’re not diggin’, then maybe you need another hit.
10. May Blitz – “Smoking the Day Away”
– Maybe an obvious entry to the list based on the title, but they live up to it hardcore. They smoked more than the day away. Super jam.
09. Poobah – “Jump Through the Golden Ring”
– Love these guys! Some American proto-metal that has all of the sensibility of Hendrix and earlier ’70’s freedom but at the same time a dark heavy metal heaviness.
08. Howlin’ Wolf – “Moanin’ at Midnight” (from This is Howlin’ Wolf’s New Album and He Hates It)
– This is utter stoned greatness. I couldn’t seem to find a YouTube link with just this song, so this link is for the entire album. Go to 12:24 to hear the song I’ve picked, but it wouldn’t be a bad thing to check out the entire album if you’ve got the time. This particular song embodies the dark stoned trance that is a deep part of the blues that truly influenced Wo Fat.
07. Herbie Hancock – “Sleeping Giant”
– This jam melts your brain. The rhythms, the journey…
06. Cargo – “Summerfair”
– Stick with on this. You get some twin guitar a la Wishbone Ash up front, but it leads to some righteous super toasted jams. I believe this is from ’72 and they were a Dutch band.
05. Alfonse Mouzon with Tommy Bolin – “Golden Rainbows”
– Ultra groovy, hazy, Fender Rhodes-driven fusion trip from killer drummer Alfonse Mouzon with a bitchin’ ethereal guitar solo from the one and only Tommy Bolin.
04. Cactus – “One Way or Another”
– Stoned rock n’ roll greatness at its best. These guys were the epitome of rockin’ super hard but still having that baked mindset of going wherever the high takes you.
03. Toad – “Cottonwood Hill”
– Heavy Sabbath riffs and nods to Deep Purple, lead to an off-the-rails stellar jam at the end. On a side note, there was a completely sticky bongload of a psyche record of the same name, Cottonwood Hill, from the band Brainticket.
02. Mahavishnu Orchestra – “Dreams”
– More tripped-out ’70s jazz fusion. This live recording starts out dreamy (aptly) and trippy and builds to an insanely intense jam that leaves the earth’s atmosphere and hurdles out into space but remains tethered by some funky grooves.
01. Funkadelic – “Mommy, What’s a Funkadelic?”
– Nobody deserves the number one spot of delivering with a Stoned Insight more than the mighty Funkadelic and this jam in particular, with its head nodding wah groove and psychedelically profound lyrical teaching about the roots of rock and roll.
Check out Wo Fat’s slick stoner jams on the album Midnight Cometh