Running, Jumping, Standing Still - 1967
While Dylan and the Band were holed up in basement of Big Pink brewing up their response to the summer of psychedelia, Spider John Koerner was doing much of the same back in Minneapolis, and with arguably better results. Instead of eschewing any and all drippy hippie elements like his Woodstock counterparts, Spider John and barrelhouse pianist Willie Murphy carefully plucked and weaved curious harmonies, bizarre instrumentation, clever production and the finer elements of the technicolor scene into an LP that remained firmly rooted in the brilliant folk songwriting with which he'd made his name as one third of Koerner, Ray & Glover. Produced by the same Mohawk production team responsible for Dr. John's magnificent Gris-Gris LP, Running, Jumping, Standing Still is an absolute rarity; an album of incredible depth and ingenuity that has remained far enough off the radar to detract hordes of imitators, and in turn, has managed to age more elegantly than most anything of its time. Standouts include the title track and "Magazine Lady", a couple of the album's finer examples of the duo's penchant for loose grooves and patchwork time shifts, as well as the pillowy leadoff track "Good Night." An album as satisfying on its first spin as its twentieth.