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Damnation of Adam Blessing: Three and Out

The ballooning spate of hard rock and slight psych groups at the end of the ‘60s and into the ‘70s yielded such a huge catalog of useless dreck that it, often times, isn’t really worth the time to wade through the resultant products. It’s not the fact that these folks weren’t talented, but how many variations on the James Gang do you need? Probably none. But that Cleveland band, while probably only impacting the world at large by giving us Joe Walsh was pretty big in its home town. So big, in fact, that they were able to drag a few other Northeastern Ohio acts along to the national stage. One of these groups was the Damnation of Adam Blessing.

Formed from two lesser known ‘60s acts, the Damnation of Adam Blessing weren’t too much more than another hard rock band, occasionally veering into some electric boogies ala Canned Heat or even into some psych leaning explorations of rock, but nothing that should be recalled by anyone not from that portion of Ohio.

The band’s first full length, a self titled effort, featured some muscular guitar workouts tied to the flattened psych scene being levied on an unwitting public after the brief success of some acts from ’66. But by ’69 using lines like, “travel sideways into time,” seems a bit trite. MLK and two Kennedys had been killed during the last decade and as Vietnam became a more and more visible problem, prompting drop out kids to cop some modicum of purpose, the notes proffered by the Damnation of Adam Blessing, original or not, seemed to fall on deaf ears.

Repeating phrases like “technicolor daydream” seem out of touch with anything tangibly tied to whatever fractured counter culture there was left at this point in American history. Of course, the ‘70s brought about some unforeseen militancy, but a cover of “Last Train to Clarksville” probably shouldn’t have worked in favor of the group even if there’s a sizable guitar solo in there. It’s not all low points here, but a great amount of the disc comes off as some xerox work being perpetrated by these Clevelanders. It’s not heartless or soulless and while most of the disc sounds as if it finds the players here being genuine, their label saw fit to give ‘em the axe a few years hence. This problematic business quandary, however, found the Damnation of Adam Blessing rechristening itself Glory.

Under that name, the band released a disc entitled The Damnation of Adam Blessing. Yeah, it’s confusing and needlessly so. But the disc was probably the cohort’s greatest chance at chart success. It’s slew of catchy hooks and merciless guitar playing should have enthralled the ‘70s audience that it was geared towards. There’re clearly less psych passages included. And even if the disc was released, in part to spite, United Artists, the label might not have even noticed its appearance in record stores. I don’t believe that the disc has been reissued at this point – and it probably doesn’t need to be. But if you happen to be in Cleveland diggin’ around in some crates, you’ll probably have a decent chance at finding one of these albums. Good luck.