What with the descriptive title of this disc and most of the proceeds going to NORML, it's easy to see where this blunted benefit is headed. Assembling an impressive array of talented artists sympathetic to the pot cause, freetheweed floats easily from hard-rock to hip hop to reggae to country and beyond. The highlights are many, beginning with George Clinton's political commentary on "US Customs Coast Guard Dope Dog." Southern rock's presiding power trio, Gov't Mule, covers the Humble Pie classic "30 Days in the Hole," featuring a slashing guitar duel between Warren Haynes and ex-Black Crowe Marc Ford. Big Sugar does a thoroughly blasted version of Paul McCartney's "Let Me Roll It," and the covers just keep coming with Spearhead performing a red-eyed rendition of Steve Miller's "The Joker." While the Freddy Jones Band's take on Traffic's "Light Up or Leave Me Alone" isn't quite up to the original, Wayne (MC5) Kramer's interpretation of "If You're a Viper" should not be missed. Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise performs a sentimental version of "Don't Bogart That Joint," and even the duo Brewer and Shipley get together with the Rainmakers for a nostalgic reworking of "One Toke Over the Line."
There are also great new songs by Mike Watt, Vic Chesnutt and Miss Dar Williams. Outlaw Willie Nelson makes a grand appearance with a live version of "Me & Paul," and there's a lot more songs I would gladly mention except now I've got the munchies and feel like taking a nap.
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