Search - Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, David Freiberg :: Baron Von Tollbooth & Chrome Nun

Baron Von Tollbooth & Chrome Nun
Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, David Freiberg
Baron Von Tollbooth & Chrome Nun
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Paul Kantner, Grace Slick, David Freiberg
Title: Baron Von Tollbooth & Chrome Nun
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Release Date: 8/4/2009
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Styles: Folk Rock, Country Rock, Psychedelic Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 886974850823

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CD Reviews

Mystical space rock masterpiece !
Hallstatt Prince | MA. USA | 06/14/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"True rating - an entire galaxy (Andromeda)
Some wonder what happened to the principle players of the original Jefferson Airplane. The answer is that they kept getting better. During the time of this album's release, it was period of the Jefferson Airplane -Jefferson Starship continuum when Jack and Jorma went off to form Hot Tuna while Grace Slick and Paul Kantner had a child and for a time made some of their best albums.

After Paul Kantner's successful solo project the 1970 science fiction rock epic "Blows Against the Empire" Kantner found himself in one of his most prolific writing periods. His writing style takes the form of the prophetic as he contemplates the meaning of the psychedelic experience -his conclusion is that man's destiny lies in the stars.

Baron von Tollbooth and the Chrome Nun (the pet names bestowed upon Slick and Kantner by their friend David Crosby) is a very mature well produced yet a daring album that continues the Kantner space theme. Sharing the bill with Kantner and Slick is old folkie friend David Freiberg. They are joined by a group that reads like a who's who of the San Francisco psychedelic scene: drummers John Barbata (formerly of CSN&Y) and Mickey Hart (loaned out from the Grateful Dead), Jorma Kaukonen, legendary bassist Jack Casady, Violinist Papa John Creech, the Pointer Sisters, David Crosby, Jack Traylor (a fellow psychedelic space rocker) and even Jerry Garcia himself. The entire album has a polished sound that has somewhat mystical theme layered on top of Kantner's visions of life in space.

1) The Ballad of the Chrome Nun (Freiberg/Slick)
The song is classic Slick in its irreverence but is also optimistic. Although she may be poking fun at traditional religion there is a spiritual nature to it. The song is well textured and Slick is in great voice.

2) Fat (Slick)
Backed up by the Pointer Sisters this song has unmistakable religious almost Gospel music sound to it. Her lyric "so we all went through the wall" suggests such things as telepathy and telekinesis. And the fat which she sings about seems to refer to excesses - most likely the excesses of the 60s. Yet in no way is this group giving up their values but paring them down in preparation for a new world they envision. The repetition of Slick belting out the word "someday" is moving and hopeful. It is obvious that they want the psychedelic parade to continue but with a new focus.

3) Flowers of the Night (Traylor)
The song is sung by Kantner and in the lyric of this song Traylor lists political, intellectual and spiritual revolutionaries as the song tells a story of change. The song contains some beautiful guitar work.

4) Walkin' (Kantner/Slick)
The music is bouncy with Creech on Violin in his characteristic style and Slick on the piano. The lyric is somewhat cryptic but seems to offer a justification for the chances taken in their psychedelic rock and roll life style as well as an invitation to the listener to live vicariously through their life, music and visions. Again like the rest of the songs on the album it is a very hopeful song.

5) Your Mind Has Left Your Body (Kantner)
This song seems to have to do with astroprojection and it was written in the days when Kantner Leary and others were attempting to experiment with the phenomena. The "White Bear" some say refers to Augustus Owsley Stanley and the part of the chorus "riders of the rainbow" may come from the book title "Warriors of the Rainbow"-a book about the mystical experiences of the American Indians. It is a beautiful visionary and haunting.

6) Across the Board (Slick)
A beautiful but campy song and in true Grace Slick fashion Grace does her best vocally to spice things up. The lyrics are more than a little suggestive but quite witty.

7) Harp Tree Lament (Freiberg/Hunter)
Co-written by Robert Hunter Jerry Garcia's song writing partner the title refers to the Bible verse in which the children of Israel are goaded to sing for their captors. It is a somewhat slow down beat song but beautiful.

8) White Boy (Transcaucasian Airmachine Blues) (Kantner)
In this song Kantner sums up his work and states his thesis which began with the album Blows Against the Empire and which he continues to this very day. It clearly proposes idea that civilization is progressive and our ultimate future is in outer space and further that we don't really belong here. It is a very thoughtful (and again hopeful) song. In 1973 when other rock artists were questioning the experience of the 60s and a feeling isolated Kantner gives a more hopeful view.

9) Fishman (Slick)
The lyrics at first blush sound pretty bizarre but it is actually a love song from Slick to Kantner. Slick's voice is powerful and she really belts out the lines.

10) Sketches of China (Kantner /Slick)
Sung by Kantner and Slick and accompanied by oriental sounding rock it tells a bizarre story in picture fragments. There seems to be some word play going on in the song between China the nation and China Kantner (Grace and Paul's daughter). It is ultimately a triumphant sounding song.

Baron von Tollbooth is one of the most beautiful and hopeful albums of the JA/JS opus. In it Kantner and Slick do their best to keep the spirit of the 60s going while focusing their eyes on the stars.

Highly recommended

Jim Connell "Hallstatt Prince""
Fly the chrome nun
Eli Dolphin | Bear Hollow Rd., Blueberry, Va. | 03/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"...for those that loved the sound evoked by grace and the the chrome nun to new astral levels....grace is strong and beautiful ....and the sound...although criticized by some.....will lift you to where you need to go...great lineup of muscians..........itz what i liked best of the airplane...but more of it"
Slick's Best Work of the Early '70s
Toolshed | Los Angeles, CA | 05/14/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Grace Slick and Paul Kantner--along with various members of their extended musical entourage--recorded several little-known, but really great records in the early '70s on their way from Jefferson Airplane to Jefferson Starship (n.b. Dragonfly has their names on the cover). Sunfighter (1971) is the first, but Baron von Tollbooth (despite the overly-whimsical title) is a stunning collection of songs that feature some of Slick best writing ever. Her contributions range from the highly melodic "Fat" to the imperious and bracingly-delivered "Across the Board." "Sketches of China" is a great song, mobilizing each band member's skills nearly perfectly. Kantner and Slick always generously gave over space on their records to their collaborators--with almost uniformly bad results and here, Friedberg's token track is one big New Left platitude after another. Overall, the album has a beautiful, deep sound, and Slick's vocals are particularly crisp and set off strikingly. And who ever missed the hystrionics of Marty Balin?"