We gave it a B-
Let’s face it, ’60s legend Country Joe McDonald deserves a C just for getting a record released. As the leader of Country Joe and the Fish, the hoarse-voiced McDonald epitomized hippie obstreperousness with the anti-Vietnam war whoops ”Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die Rag” and the profane ”F-I-S-H Cheer.” But since then, except for a mediocre reunion album with the Fish in ’77, McDonald has been little more than a hippie has-been, and the fact that Superstitious Blues isn’t bad is downright shocking. The album features McDonald both alone with his acoustic guitar and accompanied by old friend Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead; their guitar team-up on the pretty country-folk tune ”Standing at the Crossroads” is a blissful pleasure. Elsewhere, Superstitious Blues is both uneven and surprising, containing a lively salute to Red Cross-founder Clara Barton as well as a morose one to the late blues-rock guitarist Michael Bloomfield. McDonald proves here that he’s certainly no longer a nostalgia-mongering burnout.