Written By: Dan Harr
Music News Nashville
When Chief Greenbud first hit the scene several years ago, I found myself wondering whether the world was ready for a resurgence of Cheech & Chong-style marijuana humor performed to music. Six years and four albums later, Greenbud releases his latest, Chief Greenbud Volume 4, and there’s no doubt that he is here to stay. Chief Greenbud’s talents as both songwriter and performer are showcased with some funny, well-crafted songs.
Appropriately, the opening track “Fire It Up” sets the tone for the entire album while, at the same time, makes me want to light up the first joint of the day, kick off my shoes, grab a cold one and sit back to listen to the rest of the CD. So, let’s “Fire It Up” and listen to the rest of the songs…
“iBake” is a natural song for millennials who seem to have “i” everything… iPods, iPads, iPhones and so on. And, like those products, surveys and statistics prove that “iBakers” are here to stay. The third track, “Big Pharma”, is a political statement on America’s hypocrisy regarding the move to legalize marijuana – it’s okay for the big pharmaceutical companies to make money off of drugging the world with synthetics that have adverse side-effects while a natural remedy remains on the banned list. There’s something wrong with that and the Chief raises the point very well.
We all know “That Guy,” the one who forgets his wallet, always bums a cigarette or, in the case of the song, begs another hit and never shares his own. They sure are annoying and Greenbud’s humorous take on “That Guy” is a treasure.
So far, the album has been flavored with Americana/Folk style songs, but on track 5 this changes. “Smoke It” has a driving pop/rock feel and is somewhat of a departure of what fans expect with the Chief – a laid back style that sucks you in like a lungful of cannabis. I’ll admit – this isn’t my favorite song on the album, but it still flows well.
“Mr. Unreliable” returns to the fun side of things with an upbeat bluegrass roll that laughingly shouts with anger at the pot dealer who just cannot seem to be on time when you need a refill of your stash. “One Thumb Up” is a call to fans to be a part of the Chief’s marijuana movement. Admit it people, you’ve got “One Thumb Up”!
Track 8, “419”, is a great follow up to Greenbud’s “It’s 4:20 Somewhere”, which was a parody of the Alan Jackson/Jimmy Buffet song “5:00 O’Clock Somewhere.” In “419” the Chief asks why we need to wait for 4:20 somewhere? Toke up now and enjoy!
“Wake and Bake” reminds me of my own youth. Yeah, I admit it… I was a stoner in high school and the lyrics of the song hit home quite well. “The No Song” has a reggae feel and makes fun of those days when you’re just plain out of luck – no stash, no pipe, no cash. And it sucks – not the song, but having NO resources to enjoy a fatty.
Okay… so we come to my least favorite song on the album, “Flower Power”. Note to Chief – stick with what you know best… Americana, Folk and the occasional Reggae.
The album closes with a folk sing-a-long “Everybody Get High”. As I listen, I close my eyes and am transported to a better time when people weren’t so uptight, political correctness didn’t rule the day and it was fun to light up a joint and laugh at the moon as we sat on a rock in the desert after a long day riding our bikes.
Cheif Greenbud has a winner with Volume 4. It has a little something for everyone who smokes or is a proponent of legalization. It’s well-crafted, nicely produced and one I would recommend you add to your musical library.
On an aside to CHEECH & CHONG – take note!!! Chief Greenbud is someone you need to add to your lineup of acts to take on tour. With his cross between marijuana humor and Jimmy Buffet-style performances, your audiences will eat him up like the brownies they brought to the show.