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Ny Times Stomp Review 3: Green Fuz at the Ponderosa Stomp - Jon Pareles

May 1, 2008, 3:10 pm
Jazzfest: Green Fuz at the Ponderosa Stomp

The Green Fuz, with vocalist Randy Alvey (center), performing at the 7th Annual Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans. (Lee Celano for The New York Times)
Tucked between the two weekends of the festival was the Ponderosa Stomp, the roots-rock extravaganza with the record-collector’s love of the obscure, and I was in town to hear it.

This year’s obscure find was the Green Fuz. It’s a Texas band immortalized (among collectors) by “Green Fuz,” a homemade garage-psychedelia single that Dr. Ike, the Ponderosa Stomp’s founder and fez-wearing host, gleefully described as having a “no-fi” sound, calling it “the crudest record ever made.”

Reunited on Wednesday night after nearly 40 years, with a three-guitar front line, the Green Fuz still didn’t have much material. The bulk of its set was the kind of cover versions (”In the Midnight Hour,” “Down By the River”) that countless local amateurs were playing at the end of the 1960’s.

But the Green Fuz had a new song: a minor-key rocker proclaiming, “We’re back from the ashes and we’re here to stay.” And of course there was “Green Fuz” itself, still unkempt proud of its youthful bravado: “Here we come baby, and you better run!” The singer Randy Alvey had the band vamp midway through while he introduced its members, but Dr. Ike insisted they play it again, the better to sound like the old 45.
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