Field Reportings from Issue #6
New recordings from three bands of particular interest in these pages –Son Volt, the (formerly) Jayhawks and the Bottle Rockets — are basically wrapped up and should be forthcoming in the record racks this spring. SON VOLT holed up with producer Brian Paulson at Pachyderm Studios in Bloomington, Indiana, in July and October for its sophomore effort on Warner Bros. The group also taped an episode of the PBS television show Austin City Limits on Nov. 14; it should air sometime in early 1997….
Also working with Paulson, at a Minneapolis studio, have been Gary Louris and company, who have yet to rename themselves since deciding not to keep the JAYHAWKS name after the departure of Mark Olson a year ago. Guitarist Kraig Johnson of Run Westy Run and Golden Smog played on the album and is also scheduled to tour with the group when they hit the road in support of the record. Geraldine Fibbers violinist Jessy Greene also played on several tracks. The record likely will be out in March on American Recordings….
THE BOTTLE ROCKETS also recorded in Bloomington, with Eric Ambel at the helm. Among the songs tentatively scheduled for this album is a new recording of “Indianapolis”, previously issued as a single on Rockville Records a few years back as a solo release under singer-guitarist Brian Henneman’s name. A spring release is expected on Atlantic….
The second album by San Francisco expatriate RICHARD BUCKNER, his first since signing with MCA, is due out in March. Bassist J.D. Foster (True Believers, Silos, Dwight Yoakam) produced, with John Convertino and Joey Burns of Giant Sand serving as the rhythm section. …
Convertino and Burns, meanwhile, have left Friends of Dean Martinez and have a new band called CALEXICO….
In other band membership changes regarding Sub Pop-related bands, bassist Stephen Desaulniers has reportedly left the SCUD MOUNTAIN BOYS….
IN PRINT: Topping a list of new ND-oriented books on the racks is Ernest Tubb: The Texas Troubadour, an extensive (456 pages) biography of the legendary country music pioneer written by Ronnie Pugh. It includes nearly 100 pictures and a remarkably detailed discography/sessionography that spans 75 pages. The publisher is Duke University Press (Box 90660, Durham, NC 27708)….
Back in print is the third edition of Country: The Twisted Roots of Rock ‘n’ Roll, a Nick Tosches book originally published in 1977 (Da Capo Press, 233 Spring St., New York, NY 10013). The book was Tosches’ first and is a circuitous, exhilarating history, exhaustively researched. Of special note is the ongoing mystery behind minstrel singer Emmett Miller….
The landmark Austin restaurant Threadgill’s, home of the Wednesday night “Sittin’ & Singin’ & Supper” session that was hosted by Jimmie Dale Gilmore for several years, has compiled Threadgill’s: The Cookbook, published by Longstreet Press (2140 Newmarket Parkway, Suite 118, Marietta, GA 30067)….
And a handful of folks from the America Online “No Depression” folder, spearheaded by ND magazine contributors Linda Ray and Kim Webber, have created Let’s Eat: The Original Alt.country Community (wherever that is) Cookbook, which promises to be more than just a meal. They’re reachable at Alt.Country Cooking, P.O. Box 6432, Evanston, IL 60204, or at AltCooking@aol.com…
CORRECTION: A review of a JASON RINGENBERG solo show in Atlanta that appeared in ND #5 stated that it was his first solo performance in 15 years. Ed Pettersen of New York City informs us that he saw Ringenberg “about four or five years ago at The Bottom Line in NYC. After every song, he would say something like ‘Merci beaucoups. That means ‘thank you very goddamn much’ in hillbilly.'”
FIND THAT BAND
When I saw “What ever happened to the Romans?” [“Find That Band”, ND #5), I contacted Alison Lloyd, the sister of one of the band’s members and asked just that question. Here’s a condensed version of her response:
“Roman,” just so you know, was San Diego area surf slang along the lines of “bitchen.” The original lineup was Michael Uhlenkott, Juan Gomez, Pat Delaney and Keith Mitchell. Mikey Borens joined them before the first album was recorded. Then Borens left, Robert Lloyd joined and Delaney moved to Ireland temporarily. Chris Cacavas was an informal member in the later days. With the personnel changes, the sound gradually changed from sort-of-surf to sort-of-country.
Uhlenkott, who was in the band Monitor, now works as an artist/graphic designer. He recently built a harpsichord and also plays with Billy Wisdom & the Hee-Shees, brainchild of artist/performer Craig Roose.
Gomez was in Human Hands as well as various Los Angeles Free Music Society projects. He now works for a classical record company and also plays with Billy Wisdom.
Delaney was in the Deadbeats and BPeople, and also played with Arthur J & the Goldcups in the early days. He moved to East Berlin (without his saxophone) in 1987 to finish his thesis, get a PhD and start a family. As far as anyone knows, he is still there.
Mitchell was in Monitor, Green On Red, Junkyard Love (Cacavas’ band) and Opal, and is now in Mazzy Star.
Borens was in the Consumers and was a sometimes-member of 45 Grave. He also did some time in the Navy as a chaplain’s assistant. He played with Junkyard Love for a while and is now back recording with them.
Lloyd has toured with Steve Wynn and John Wesley Harding but also sits in with many other artists as well performing his own music. He’s been a music editor and writer for L.A. Weekly, had a daily column in the L.A. Herald Examiner, has written for various other publications and is just now starting a new column for L.A. Weekly.
Cacavas, formerly of Green On Red and Giant Sand, is fronting Junkyard Love, who have several European releases and a couple in the U.S.
In a recent interview with Gary Louris of the (formerly) Jayhawks on the subject of classic Louvin Brothers songs, Louris mentioned that the Louvins’ “Great Atomic Power” used to be covered by a Chicago group called Souled American. “They were a great band,” Louris recalls. “They did a lot of old, weird folk stuff, and were a really gutsy band, They had a lead bass, and a kind of spooky guitar that wasn’t really a lead guitar. The lead singer, Chris, was a great singer, and they had some really cool songs. …
I don’t know what they’re doing now; I have no idea.”