March 27, 2010
This weekend’s TSV acquisitions range from the obscure to the mainstream, with some space grace in between.
First we have this creepy-sounding LP on the very obscure Scottie label out of Seattle:
Whatever reveries Elden Chapman experienced during the recording of this LP, they manifest themselves musically as a torturous mixture of Lowrey Organ noodling and occasional (thank goodness) chimes. This author has NEVER heard a Lowrey played in such a twisted manner. The liner notes mention how Chapman produces a “steel guitar sound” with his Lowrey Lincolnwood, but that is clearly a misnomer as it sounds more like a cat in heat than anything else. This is a classic “so bad it’s good” find, if you could ever find it. The Google did not produce much on Mr. Chapman or Scottie Records.
Next up is one of those “buy it for the cover” LPs. This cover illustration for Jack Holcomb’s gospel album expresses what one might call Big-Bang Theology, with “God” lighting the fuse:
My Father is omnipotent
And that you can’t deny;
A God of might and miracles;
‘Tis written in the sky.
It took a miracle to put the stars in place;
It took a miracle to hang the world in space.
But when He saved my soul,
Cleansed and made me whole,
It took a miracle of love and grace!
Hey, TSV is not gonna let religion get in the way of a great space illustration.
Now on to the mainstream:
Art Van Damme is one of the more underrated jazz musicians out there in TSVland. Like most of his dozens of LPs, Accordion A La Mode has that classic white-guy jazz quintet sound. It swings in a very safe way and is good background music for making Spam sandwiches. Below is an awesome YouTubes of Art’s Quintet. It’s both visually and musically interesting. ENJOY:
March 21, 2010
The “Talking Guitar,” in one form or another, has been around since the 1930s. Big Band pedal steel guitarist Alvino Rey was one of the first to electrically impart his voice into the output of his chosen instrument, creating a “gimmick” that others would take to great heights. And although most of America thinks of Peter Frampton when they hear a talking guitar, it was actually Georgia’s own Pete Drake that made a career out of the “talk box,” years before Frampton made teenage girls swoon with his plastic tube (whoa, that sounds kinda weird).
Yours truly picked up a clean stereo copy of the above Drake album on Smash Records at his local Goodwill. And he found a gem of a YouTube featuring the talk box master playing his big hit Forever. This is one of those videos that takes on a surreal quality that really can’t be beat; watch it before it disapears when the money grubbers claim it:
The links above will do a good job of putting the whole Rey/Drake/Frampton/Talk Box nexus together. It’s a decidedly American story that one should know. If you find a Pete Drake LP, you should consider yourself lucky as they don’t show up a lot.
March 3, 2010
The IP said he would find some more praise music group bus tour LPs, and this past weekend he was truly blessed.
First we have the above bus tour LP from Bob Wills & The Inspirationals. The IP is gonna give this group a coordinated polyester outfit waiver; maybe that rule was a bit too optimistic. But one would think that if you go to effort of having your own praise music tour bus you could at least go to Sears and get a good set of matching polyester outfits. How hard could that be?
The second praise music bus tour LP is also a bit problematic:
It looks like the GHBC are using leased busses; they don’t have the group’s name emblazoned on the side. Oh well. At least they have some coordinated polyester outfits. The GHBC are straight outta Decatur, GA boi!!
Among the vein of PM LPs uncovered at this particular Goodwill were a couple of “guitar gem” covers. The IP has no other way of describing these PM LPs that feature a way-cool guitar on the cover; these LPs tend to attract “indie” guitar player hipsters. It is yet another sub-genre of vintage PM LP:
As The IP was going through his first selection of PM LPs, a shoulder-surfing, Atlanta-area hipster dude commented on the above guitar held by Richard Lee. Hipster guy was sure that it was a Gibson and, after a little Intar-Webs research, it indeed proved to be a Gibson Hummingbird. The IP should note that the hipster verbally bemoaned the inside-the-perimeter thrifts because they were usually “picked over” by…you guessed it, “HIPSTERS.” He even had the full-hipster, ironic mechanic’s jacket and pants along with some thick mutton chops. He who lives in a hipster house should not throw disparaging stones at other hipsters. Maybe his comment, like his outfit, was MEANT to be ironic? Regardless, the guitar IS sweet, and that Swiss suspender dress on Miss Lee sure is purty.
The other cool guitar PM LP also featured a cool-ass Gibson:
Meet Mr. Dwayne Friend and The Goodmans. It looks like Dwayne is playing some sort of Gibson Citation, but if any of you pithecanthropes can help specify the exact model, well, that would be swell.
Turns out that Dwayne Friend and his friends the Goodmans made a big name for themselves on the PM circuit in the 1960s: WATCH
Heck. Dwayne Friend still gets out there and plays a good guitar: WATCH
No, Dwayne Friend ain’t no Jimmy Hendrix. But he’s not supposed to be. Friend was a fan of Chet Atkins which is clear if you listen to their playing.
Learning about these folks is what makes collecting Vintage Praise Music LPs a worthy endeavor.