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2008
| BS 154
$6.95

Bar Band Americanus

"Situating themselves at the crossroads where Johnny Thunders and Son House intersect, Charlie whipped up a bad voodoo vibe of heroin rock and midnight blues. These guys were one of the undiscovered giants of the late eighties." —Peter Buck, R.E.M.

All motorcycle boots and sneers, they rode a squall of throat-grabbing feedback and Stonesy musical middle fingers. They were as much Thunders and Reed as anything country.

Full Description

If you accept the premise put forth by Keith Richards that the title of "greatest rock and roll band in the world" is determined on a nightly basis, then we want to tell you about some guys that owned it on quite a few nights in the 80's, a band that, for a variety of reasons, fell through the cracks and never got the recognition they deserved. Twenty plus years on, we're aiming to rectify that with the release of Bar Band Americanus: The Best of Charlie Pickett and ...

Rising out of the fertile and groundbreaking underground music scene of the Southeast in the early 80's, CP and the Eggs (and later the MC3) were all motorcycle boots and sneers, and rode a squall of throat-grabbing feedback and Stonesy musical middle fingers. They were as much Thunders and Reed as anything country and their tales of scoring in Miami projects ("Overtown”), cowboy dreams ("A On Horseback") and laconic survivors' humor were unlike anything being heard on the nascent college rock circuit. For proof, check out “Liked It A Lot,” the love song that didn't just hurt, but had a streak of existential horror in it that STILL raises the hair on our battered souls.

The influences are easy to spot, old bloozers like Son House and Howlin' Wolf, rockers like the Yardbirds and Velvet Underground. It's also easy, in retrospect, to draw the lines between Charlie Pickett and Green on Red, the Gun Club, a more hillbilly Dream Syndicate and a more art-damaged Jason and the Scorchers. At the time, though, what they were doing with their influences came out of the slums and swamps of Miami like a tormented yowl.

Included in this collection are songs spanning Charlie's career, unavailable (unless you're a seasoned crate diver) in any form anywhere for way too long. You'll find his early singles on Miami's Open label ("If This is Love," "Slow Death"); tracks from the seminal EP Cowboy Junkie Au Go Go (tracks 3,8, 9, 13) which the Village Voice's Robert Christgau hailed at the time as "ace country punk;" remixed tracks from the Twin/Tone LP Route 33, featuring the then-current guitarist Jim Duckworth (Gun Club, Panther Burns) (1, 5, 7, 12); the The Wilderness LP produced by Peter Buck (and featuring his guitar playing on 11) (4,10,11), tracks 16-19 from the legendary LP Live at the Button, and finally a previously unreleased track (2) and even a new one (6).

Rounding out this overdue collection are liner notes from Peter Buck, Bloodshot Records co-founder and long time CP-acolyte Rob Miller, as well as a historical primer on Charlie's career from South Florida writer Jeff Schwier.

Short Description
  • Likely one of the best archival rock discs to be released this year...a hot 'n' sweaty amalgam that could be improved upon only by at least two beers and the knowledge that you don't need to wake up early the next day.

    — Palm Beach New Times
  • ...a trashed-out mix of dark, scuzzy blues and earthy country stomp, gothic voodoo steeped in the Stones and The Heartbreakers.

    — UNCUT Magazine
  • There's as much Keith Richards and Johnny Thunders as Chuck Berry in Pickett's songs, a druggy and blues-addled undercurrent lurks within even his most upbeat songs, and in Pickett's world when love goes wrong, it hits the wall at 110 mph. If there's a more bitter kiss-off to a former lover than "Liked It a Lot," one can't be sure who would have the courage to listen to it.

    — AllMusic.com
  • Swagger, saunter, sneer and brazen bucking, this is everything rock at its basest oughta be. If you discover one band this year, this is the one.

    — Holly George-Warren, The Yummy List
  • A passionate, hot ‘n’ sweaty amalgam that could only be improved by at least two beers and the knowledge that you don’t need to wake up early the next day. What separates Pickett from many bands with similar approaches is conviction—his voice drips with real-world desperation while not taking his damn self too seriously.

    — Crossfade
  • ...a trashed-out mix of dark, scuzzy blues and earthy country stomp, gothic voodoo steeped in the Stones and The Heartbreakers.

    — UNCUT
  • There's as much Keith Richards and Johnny Thunders as Chuck Berry in Pickett's songs, a druggy and blues-addled undercurrent lurks within even his most upbeat songs, and in Pickett's world when love goes wrong, it hits the wall at 110 mph. If there's a more bitter kiss-off to a former lover than "Liked It a Lot," one can't be sure who would have the courage to listen to it.

    — Allmusic.com
  • Swagger, saunter, sneer and brazen bucking, this is everything rock at its basest oughta be. If you discover one band this year, this is the one.

    — Holly George-Warren, The Yummy List
  • A passionate, hot ‘n’ sweaty amalgam that could only be improved by at least two beers and the knowledge that you don’t need to wake up early the next day. What separates Pickett from many bands with similar approaches is conviction—his voice drips with real-world desperation while not taking his damn self too seriously.

    — Crossfade
  • Pickett forged his brawling-roots mix of Johnny Thunders, Sun Records and trailer park Lou Reed in Florida bars, then bottled it to in-your-face effect on hot vinyl...That rattle 'n' smack now sounds raucously prescient. like a long-lost high-time link between the Replacements and the Drive By Truckers.

    — Rolling Stone

Track List

  • 1. All Love All Gone
  • 2. Get Off on Your Porch
  • 3. Liked It a Lot
  • 4. In The Wilderness
  • 5. Cowboy No. 77
  • 6. Penny Instead
  • 7. A. on Horseback
  • 8. Overtown
  • 9. Marlboro Country
  • 10. On The River in '59
  • 11. Death Letter
  • 12. Heads Up-Heels Down
  • 13. But I Didn't
  • 14. If This is Love, Can I Get My Money Back?
  • 15. Slow Death
  • 16. American Travelust
  • 17. Phantom Train
  • 18. Watch Out
  • 19. Shake Some Action

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