Criminally Overlooked: Masters of Reality


This Month’s Criminally Overlooked band, Masters of Reality, flew onto my radar in 1990. There wasn’t much traditional blues on FM radio then, it was a mishmash of boy bands and hair metal. Not to say the hair metal guys didn’t try Led Zepplinesque blues, they just fell painfully short. Thus, “Candy Girl” was like a bullet to the eye: high velocity and unforgettable.

Masters of Reality, organically flows into one of Jealous Sound’s previously reviewed bands, Mojave Lords. MoR’s Chris Goss worked on Mojave Lords album ‘Unfuckwithable’. Before I can tell you about Masters of Reality, a few words need said about the music culture from which they hatched. Desert Rock is a genre that sprouted up around the Joshua Tree, CA area at Rancho de la Luna recording studio (I’m trying to earn an invitation to visit). Desert Rock is in many ways several types of rock mashed together. This music can meander or be straight up rock songs, depending on the mood of the band. The musicians who hang out at Rancho de la Luna usually collaborate on each other’s albums, and form the core bands in Desert Rock: Queens Of The Stone Age, The Desert Sessions, Masters Of Reality, Eagles of Death Metal, Mojave Lords. Chris Goss, the only stationary member of MoR, liberally borrows from the Rancho de la Luna tribe for members.

Masters of Reality have a huge album catalog, but are typically known best for a few songs. “Candy Girl”, with its complex rhythms and Chris’ cool vocals, is an excellent intro to their work. “She Got Me (When She Got Her Dress On)” is straight kick ass blues with a blistering slide guitar, and their only charting hit. “John Brown” is more old school blues, with once again the great repeating melody and slide guitar. “Doraldina’s Prophesies” swings back to a darker, acid rock feel. However, their whole catalog is so intoxicating to dive into.

Masters of Reality saved my music sanity while I unknowingly waited for Grunge to surface. They need rediscovered and get the recognition they richly deserve. Chris Goss and Masters of Reality still tour, and their music is available on all streaming and online music stores.

Studio albums
1989 – Masters of Reality
1993 – Sunrise on the Sufferbus
1999 – Welcome to the Western Lodge
2001 – Deep in the Hole
2004 – Give Us Barabbas
2009 – Pine/Cross Dover

Live albums
1997 – How High the Moon: Live at the Viper Room
2003 – Flak ‘n’ Flight



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