Unlike 1976’s Love Is a Fire, which Country Joe McDonald filled with declarations of domestic bliss, the new Goodbye Blues evokes diverse moods and examines a wide range of topics. Evidencing the return of the artist’s sardonic wit, for example, “TV Blues” finds him being separated from his beloved color television. And “Blood on the Ice” (with Marty Balin’s vocal help) is one of three tracks to protest the killing of animals. The album, which bears the same title as Joe’s privately pressed 1964 debut, contains a disappointing number of prosaic lyrics and unexciting melodies. But it’s a step in the right direction, and present fans should give it a try.