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Paul Kantner & The Windowpane Collective - Venusian Love Songs album review

You can take the hippie out of folk…

Cover art for Paul Kantner & The Windowpane Collective - Venusian Love Songs album

After a lifetime of psychedelics and sci-fi that included a decade as one half of West Coast rock’s most regal couple, Paul Kantner’s overactive brain was getting addled by the start of the 21st century. He didn’t appear to have made many pension arrangements either, which is probably why he came up with various projects like this when he wasn’t appropriating the ‘Airplane’, ‘Starship’ or ‘Jefferson’ monikers, in defiance of agreements with his former bandmates.

The Windowpane Collective included his old friend David Freiberg, two of the girls he recruited to impersonate Grace Slick, his old folkie friend Jack Traylor, and even a rare appearance from the West Coast’s very own Cheshire Cat (‘Now you see him, now you don’t’) Marty Balin.

Whether this 2011 selection of love songs curated by Kantner makes more sense on Venus than Earth is hard to know. Maybe the Venusians appreciate cheap and cheerful covers of Van Morrison’s Crazy Love followed by Heart’s Crazy On You. They may baulk at Freiberg singing The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, though Kantner’s folk-inspired versions of his own Today and Martha plus Dylan’s Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right should please his fans on both planets.