Sunday, December 22, 2013
Back in the early 90's I was up in Portland Maine. I ended up at a local place that sold only vinyl. NO compact discs allowed! In fact, their CD section was a zip lock bag with broken CD's inside. I think its still there, but I forget the name of the place.
So I'm in there browsing around when the most fucked up distorted blues I had ever heard came chugging out of the little speaker in the store. It hit me like a freight train. What the fuck was this?! Ok, play it cool, don't go running up to the counter asking what the hell this was. So I continue shopping around.
Then another track bursts forth and its even more mind blowing then the previous one! Distorted vocals, killer harmonica that mimicked a train sound....jaw dropping stuff...
At the time I had been listening to a lot of what is now known as "garage punk" of that era. One band in particular that I couldn't get enough of was the Jack O' Fire. These guys were amazing. Amazing harmonica playing lead singer, like a twisted little brother of Howlin' Wolfe himself. The rest of the band was amazing too. They covered a ton of blues tunes and also did punk rock covers but in a blues style. Great, great fucking band.
Well the first two songs I heard that day sounded a hell of a lot like the Jack O' Fire.
It ended up being Papa Lightfoot.
So after a while I went up to the owner and asked what record he was playing. He showed me the record pictured above. It was a compilation of various artists from the Imperial record label. I asked him how much it was, to which he replied; "Oh, THAT'S not for sale!"
UGH, like a punch to the gut. I wrote down the name of the record and some of the artists and after buying some stuff that WAS for sale, went on my merry way.
That record haunted me for like 3 years. I found it at Amoeba records in SF. It's one of my favorite records that I play all the time. Pick up the other records in the series if you can find them. All great that I've heard anyway...