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It'll Shine When It Shines
The Ozark Mountain Daredevils

A&M 3654
Released: December 1974
Chart Peak: #19
Weeks Charted: 31

Original Album
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Ozark Mountain Daredevils

This second album from the highly versatile sextet comes off pretty well. The Ozarks play effete British-styled pop ("Jackie Blue"), solid rock ("Kansas You Fooler"), with some folky balladry thrown in and (despite their name) a relative paucity of bluegrass or country. Their chief asset is their excellent harmony vocals. Some of the lead singing, however, is uninspired. Side two gets a bit sluggish with too many undistinguished melodies on the slow numbers (they're much better uptempo), but the overall ratio of good songs is high. It'll Shine When It Shines stacks up as a crisp, impressive, playable album.

- Ken Barnes, Rolling Stone, 1/30/75.

Bonus Review

I liked the first Ozark Mountain Daredevils album a lot a few times but soon got over my need to hear it at all. It could turn out that way with this one, although I don't believe it will, but then longevity is not exactly the whole idea behind rock, even country-flavored rock. The band has a tuneful repertoire, self-created with the help of wives and friends, and a rhythm section considerably tighter than any of John Ehrlicman's alibis. The lead instruments, while fare from being inept, are never quite the most ept you ever heard, but that only helps make it all a little funky (a quality we claim we want), and the singing is plain and functional. I am inexplicably fascinated with Larry Lee's "Kansas You Fooler," and impressed with the way Steve Cash has -- like a good fiction writer -- laid in atmosphere in sneaky ways in "E. E. Larson" (and, of course, that cut is introduced by frog-pond sounds, and I'm a sucker for the sound of frogs croaking). The dead-on, driving rhythm of "Walkin' Down the Road" is an easy example of the spontaneity and sparkle that brighten mostof the pieces. There are a few, of course, like "Look Away," that have their sag problems, but a comparison with the first album readily shows something good: that the band is sticking with its style and improving both its material and its performances.

- Noel Coppage, Stereo Review, 4/75.

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