The Exkursions The Exkursions (Born Twice) 1971

1. Picture Woman (5:30)
2. Dry Ground (3:44)
3. Baby You Lied (6:01)
4. What Happened To Me  )2:40)
5. Third Eye (5:51)
6. You & Me (4:55)
7. It's Been Set Down (4:44)
8. Would You Believe (4:20)

The Exkursions? Who the heck are The Exkursions? I had no idea either, but a good friend who is as deep into music as I am hooked me up with the 2011 Born Twice reissue of the band's debut album.

The Exkursions are a power trio from the early 1970's led by guitarist and vocalist Mike Johnson. The music in the vein of Cream, and to a lesser degree, early Jimi Hendrix. The album is a mixture of hard rock and blues with most songs fueled by a fuzz guitar tone and Johnsons' raspy voice. The word "groovy" certainly applies here. Bell bottoms and flower power for sure. The album opens with two songs that are pure rock and roll. "Baby You Lied" is a straight-forward blues song. A few songs, such as "Third Eye" feature nice guitar jams. I would have loved to have heard more of those. Unfortunately, as far as I know, this was the only album the band ever recorded after which Mike Johnson pursued a solo career, heading into a more jazz oriented direction.

For an album recorded in the early 1970's on what surely must have been a shoe-string budget, the music is surprisingly well recorded. All instruments are clearly heard and the overall recording isn't muddy whatsoever. It almost sounds like this album could have been recorded live, which would suit the loose, bluesy vibe of the album.  What's also surprising about this album is that the band was a Christian band, though the lyrics are not overly preachy. However, a few songs such as "Would You Believe" and "Third Eye" seem to have an obvious evangelistic messages.

The CD reissue comes in a 6-panel digi-pack with liner notes by Mike Johson. The album was also digitally remastered.

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