Moloch

Comprised of guitarist Lee Baker, drummer Phillip Durham, bassist Steve Spear, organist Fred Nicholson and vocalist Gene Wilkins, Moloch was a lynchpin of the Memphis psychedelic scene of the late '60s. Their one and only album was produced by Don Nix (the Mar-Keys, Leon Russell), who also wrote most of the songs on it. Wilkins and Baker are the stars of the effort, however, with the latter giving a pointed schooling in the essentials of blues-rock guitar on tracks such as the original recorded version of the standard "Going Down," which would go on to be covered by a who’s who of Blues and Rock legends, including Jeff Beck, Deep Purple, JJ Cale, Bryan Ferry, Pearl Jam, Gov't Mule, Stevie Ray Vaughan, the Who, and Led Zeppelin, among many others.

Moloch’s self-titled album is an outlier in the Stax catalog with its combination of rock, hard blues, psychedelic acid-washed guitar solos, and blue eyed soul. But despite the band members’ abbreviated time together, Moloch remain influential in the Blues world, and, even more so in Memphis lore. In his liner notes, Bob Mehr writes, "the legacy of the band is bigger than a single song. Over the decades, the LP became a totem for guitarists and blues seekers alike, for whom Moloch remains godhead.” Mehr goes on to praise the band’s late guitarist, Lee Baker, declaring that "Baker’s work continues to exert a profound influence on a generation of Memphis guitar players. The Moloch LP served as a touchstone for the North Mississippi Allstars’ Luther Dickinson and the Hold Steady’s Steve Selvidge, among other acolytes.”