(London) – Popular music aficianados were today advised to avoid all contact with cheap, ill-conceived puns in headlines relating to the “Sixeventies” rock group, Traffic. Public health officials say that articles with titles like, ‘Green Light for Traffic’ or ‘Traffic Stops In [Local Town]’ should remain unread, their authors publicly shamed. According to experts, the fact the band itself called one of its live albums Traffic On the Road is no excuse. Nice gatefold on this US edition, an inexpensive souvenir of the Family Asbo’s recent US jaunt. Famously beginning life as a Steve Winwod solo album, John Barleycorn sets up the template for future Traffic Lps, more folky, proggy and jazzy.
The Haynes Boys were always open about their many influences: Dylan, Stones, Beatles are easy to spot; the Beetkeepers, Doc Watson, the Clash were obvious, if you knew the band. And so on. But what of the bands they, in turn, influenced? Who did the HBs impact in the way that, say, fIREHOSE and Big Star helped shape the Boys’ sound?
On the eve of the 20th Anniversary Re-Vinyl Records re-issue of the Haynes Boys’ debut, Thrifty Vinyl spoke to bassist Aaron Rice about the enduring legacy of his old band. Rice is something of an armchair music critic and reckons he’s spotted a few ways in which the Columbus roots rockers have infiltrated musical culture over the last 20 years. We think you just might be astonished, given that the group shifted so few units in their day, just how far beyond central Ohio the band’s reach extends.
D’Angelo – Voodoo “His first record came out around the same time as ours and I think it freaked him out a bit. It was a Brian Wilson/Beatles competition thing. He was like, ‘I’m going to need some time to respond to that!’ In the end it took him like 7 years. He was still waiting for the other shoe to drop (i.e. a second Haynes Boys Lp) when he blinked and released Black Messiah.”
Etienne De Crecy – Super Discount “There’s a funny story here: When we were on tour in the UK and took a long weekend off to celebrate le quatorze juillet in France, there was this guy constantly following us around. I though he was looking to swipe Freddie’s wallet; turns out it was Etienne De Crecy and, inspired by our busking, he comes out with Super Discount a couple of years later.”
kode9 + the spaceape – Memories of the Future “If you really listen to the lyrics on Haynes Boys, they are, like, totally full of dread. [Hyperdub boss and kode9 alter-ego Steve] Goodman’s gone on record saying he copped Tim’s lyrical approach and insisted Sam [Gordon, aka the spaceape] follow it.”
Rhythm & Sound – w/ the artists “Again, kind of an obvious pick. The atmospheric production is an overt homage to (or blatant rip-off of – ha, ha!) Haynes Boys, and Moritz [Von Oswald, R&S producer and head of Burial Mix] has said so repeatedly in interview. I have a lot more respect for people when they give credit where it’s due.”
Syd Arthur – On an On “A genre blend of folk and progressive music that would’ve been unthinkable without the Haynes Boys, simple as. And as for the fact that they grew up in Canterbury [just 12 miles from where Rice now lives] well, I leave you to draw you own conclusions.”
Various Artists – Dubstep Allstars Vol.02 “Kind of a Zelig moment here. First of all, I’d begun de-tuning the low E on my bass to D, giving that subsonic ‘wooombbb’ so characteristic of dubstep, which DMZ, Digital Mistikz, etc. etc. were obviously paying attention to. Add to that my musical partnership with Bristol dubstep champion Gutterbreakz and the story writes itself basically.”
N.E.R.D. – …In Search Of “The Neptunes repayed a self-evident debt here with the production techniques we pioneered, no doubt about it! Just don’t blame us for ‘Happy’!”
Daft Punk – Discovery “If there’s one thing the Haynes Boys celebrated, it was unashamed pop music; and it a way, I think we made it ‘acceptable’ for ‘cool’ people to say, ‘Yeah, I like pop music, you know, sue me!’ Daft Punk took that message from us and ran with it.”
Various Artists – Soundbombing II “Another credit to the songwriter [Easton] for this one. Inspired by Tim’s storytelling style, the Rawkus crew co-opt the vibe and create one of the best hip hop compilations going.”
“I suppose it’s no accident that the above albums represent some of my favorite music from the past two decades, given the hand that my friends and I in the Haynes Boys had in its creation. Ultimately, I’m just thrilled and humbled that, in the words of Keith Richards, ‘we passed it on’.”
Darin was a swinging cat in the 50s, and yet his transformation to 60s hipster still made sense; witness, his cover of Tim Hardin’s “Reason To Believe” on the A of this single. The folky flipside must be one of the weirdest things to come out of that weird time. What is that Velvet Underground racket in the background? Hear here.
I’m a sucker for Atlantic stuff, ‘specially if it’s only 50p.
It’s not kitsch, it’s not a joke, it’s not taking the piss and it doesn’t only work when you’re high: if you play the “Jolene” single at 33 RPMs, it sounds awesome. I bought this today to enjoy the unintended consequence of someone’s late night jape.
(Heaven) — You would have thought, that having named his band The Grateful Dead, deceased guitarist Jerry Garcia would have been pleased as punch shuffling off this mortal coil.
But nothing could be further from the truth, and nearly two decades on from his demise the dead head Deadhead proclaimed himself, “bored to tears of the Afterlife” in a celestial interview yesterday.
“Frankly, I miss playing music with my friends,” he sighed. “And it’s just not the same in Heaven since all of the other dead Grateful Deads here only play keyboards.”
The self-styled Captain Trips added that he’s “very much” looking forward to the deaths of ex-bandmates Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann to “jazz things up a bit up here.”
“At least I don’t have to see Pigpen since he’s in Hell,” Garcia smiled.
Editor’s Note: Having been force fed Dead in my youth, I’ve been relatively slow coming round. I still think their singing is mediocre at best, but I’ve picked up a few GD pieces over the years, all of which I enjoy. I got Live/Dead a few weeks ago in trade at a second record store in Canterbury. Unfortunately, the second disc turned out to be warped beyond playability. When I returned the album, the shopkeeper just said, ‘Keep it’ and gave me store credit.I’m keeping it for the first record, which has a lovely version of ‘Dark Star’, and the cover.
(Columbus, Ohio) — His voice quavery and raw, local man Lightfoot McGee blamed his world of hurt on the nebulous psychological condition known as the Blues, which he claims were “fallin’ down like hail”. The itinerate musician says he noticed the symptoms when he woke up this mornin’ at which point, having rolled and tumbled the whole night long, he began a-weepin’ an’ a-moaning but still couldn’t get no relief.
The Blues, which area psychologist Becky Crane likened to “having a Hellhound on your tail”, presented itself with several physical manifestations, including McGee’s biscuit roller being gone, compulsive broom dusting and stones in his passway. Having tried hot foot powder all around his door and squeezing his lemon till the juice ran down his leg, McGee claims he still has “mean things all on my mind.”
Crane says she believes that McGee is going to have to beat his woman till he gets satisfied.
Editor’s Notes: This French 2 x Lp anthology more than lives up to its subtitle “A collection of authentic Blues By America’s Greatest Blues Artists”. Actually, one could argue that “authentic” is a somewhat problematic word in this context. While there’s no doubting the skill and sincerity of these performances, most are on electric instruments; not sure whether Messers Patton and Johnson would recognise them as “authentic”. I won’t split hairs though, this is stirring stuff.
Despite being an ex-library copy American Festival Folk Blues is in great shape–contrary to whatever you teenage boys might say, “FML” stands for “Fulham Metropolitan Library.” The chap who bought this record paid 40p less for it than I did some three decades later when I picked up last week.
(New York City, New York) – The release date, April Fool’s Day 1969, should have been a clue, but today Bob Dylan revealed what some had long suspected since the album’s release: Nashville Skyline was a prank.
The singer-songwriter called Nashville Skyline a ‘major league goof’ that ‘suckered most critics and record buyers alike.’
‘I sounded that way because I sung it from the back of my throat,’ smiled Dylan. ‘And not because I’d quit smoking!”
Speaking on the eve of the hoax country-rock Lp’s re-release as part of Dylan’s lauded Bootleg Series, the veteran rocker further disclosed that the ‘Kermit the Frog’ voice utilised on the album was one of several attempted for the project. Accordingly, The Bootleg Series Volume 11 – Nashville Skylarking will feature entire discs of Dylan trying to perform ‘Lay, Lady, Lay’ etc. in a faux operatic style, a heavy metal shriek, a Jamaican patois, a Sinatra-esque croon and a series of James Brown grunts as well as a normal version unreleased until now because Dylan felt it was ‘too straight’.
Editor’s Note: Nice original mono edition of one of Bob’s best albums in VG condish, cost me a pound; was part of the same collection as Oh Mercy below along with an interesting bootleg called Bob Dylan Vol. 2 – Little White Wonder.
Despite its reputation as Dylan’s return-to-form after a rum run of albums, I remembered Oh Mercy as sounding a trifle cold and undercooked. What a pleasant surprise then to now find the Daniel Lanois-produced album so warm and well thought out, the producer updating the notoriously slapdash record maker’s sound without sounding dated, a feat made all the more remarkable given its vintage.
By 1989, cds sold approximately 10 times more than vinyl record (though specifically how Dylan releases reflect this ratio, I don’t know), so scoring a worthwhile Lp from the time for a pound the day before yesterday represents a minor coup of sorts.
10″ worth of quirky butterfly’s kiss folk on short-lived Yesternow Recording Co. An unlikely charity shop find, but there we are. Several things caught the eye here: the size, date, distributor (Baked Goods, who also work with Tectonic) and location (Ducie House in Manchester, late [and future?] home of Blood & Fire). 50p at the Cheriton Mind store this afternoon when I was dealing with tiresome mobile phone issues.