Wouldn’t it be something if Mockingbird could kick off a Three Dog Night revival?! These guys may not have written their own songs (neither did you-know-who), but boy could they pick ‘em. And they had quite the, you know, joyful sound. Some call it blue-eyed soul, some call it early 70s top-40 radio, I call it some kind of wonderful. And not just because they were partly shepherded into being by one Brian Wilson – though it certainly doesn’t hurt. The other connection that’s close to my heart is… The Muppets. That’s right. Paul Williams, who wrote the immortal score for The Muppet Movie (“Rainbow Connection” etc) and The Muppet Christmas Carol came to fame/prominence via Three Dog Night, who had the good sense to record, and make huge hits out of, his “Good Old Fashioned Love Song,” “Family of Man,” and “Out in the Country.”

But more to the point, hidden on 1970′s Naturally record – the one that yielded “Joy To The World” – was a little slice of post-flower power gospel called “Heavy Church,” written by Mr. Alan O’Day, who, it turns out, would go on to write hundreds of songs for Muppet Babies (…and people say there’s no God!). “Heavy Church” may be the Mockingbird find of the year, a terrific recording on every level: performance, production, feeling, and most impressively, lyrics. A beautiful vision of burnout worship, with a killer fuzz-guitar/organ solo, sung by a guy, Chuck Negron, who looked uncannily like Jesus (Christ Superstar). What more could we ask for? Viva les Trois Chiens!

Light my way with incensed candles
Rug so soft beneath my sandals
I’ve never been in here before
Like to feel the glory

Mercy, mercy on love defenders
Have pity on the love pretenders
A little help for all life’s losers
A little truth for the mind abusers
Ooh I need them playing in the Heavy Church

If you judge the way they’re living
Try to see the truth they’re giving
They only want to touch your hand with understanding

Mercy, mercy on love defenders
Have pity on the love pretenders
A little help for all life’s losers
A little truth for the mind abusers
Ooh I need them playing in the Heavy Church

Hear them, hear them, hear them, hear them
Run and see the truth they’re giving you
Hear them, hear them
Run and see the truth they’re giving you

P.S. Bonus track: