Folk legend Michael Hurley has written a short piece exclusively for us about two of his old bands, Automatic Slim & the Fat Boys as well as Sheriff Mocus & the Deranged Cowboys, his time living in central Vermont in the 70s and how he got into fiddlin'.
With these bands, Hurley created the lost album Fatboy Spring, which includes unreleased tracks from the mid-70s and will be issued by Secret Seven/Mississippi Records this summer. Read the piece below by Mr. Hurley and check out an exclusive track called "Automatic Slim & the Fat Boys" here!
Automatic Slim & the Fat Boys
Formed: Vermont 1972
They lived in dwellings along the Lost Nation Valley Road, barns, sugar shacks, partially collapsed and low rent or no rent houses. Or; they built their own house. None of the Fatboys were actually fat. I had thought we might make a better stage presence if we all put pillows in our shirts while performing and I furnished the down pillows which we tried wearing for the first few gigs but we found that you soon get overly warm performing with a big old down pillow in your shirt and eventually the pillows would be removed and after a while all of them had been forgotten at the venues where we played. We played ski lodges and seedy taverns, the Bearcat Snowmobile Club and bar-b-cues and house concerts.
Today, local SF label Secret Seven Records releases Tiny Tim: Lost and Found, a collection of rarities! To celebrate, we've got an interview with one of the country's foremost experts on Mr. Tiny Tim, Justin Martell, who is in the process of writing an authorized biography of the musician, which will hopefully be out by Christmas, 2011. He has also been a consultant on and contributed liner notes to two posthumous Tiny Tim releases, I've Never Seen a Straight Banana (Collector's Choice Records, 2009) and this latest release to be discussed in the interview below. Basically, when it comes to Tiny Tim, he's the man.
Read on to learn much more about Tiny Tim's life and career, as well as the special stuff on Tiny Tim: Lost and Found!
Also, you can hear "If I Had a Talking Picture of You" from the new release right here!
How did Lost & Found come about?
Michael Hurley is one of the largely unsung heroes of the original 60s folk movement, and he's still around and putting out great music. If you haven't ever heard his stuff before, there's bunches of it to choose from. Might I suggest Blueberry Wine or Snockgrass or Armchair Boogie?
For your perusal, here is one of his most famous songs, "Werewolf," a version of which appears on Blue Navigator:
You can listen to "Who Ever Heard of You," also from Blue Navigator, here.
But if you are a seasoned fan, and perhaps a bit of a luddite too, I have some news for you! Secret Seven Records in conjunction with Mississippi Records is exclusively releasing one of Hurley's best albums, the previously way outta print Blue Navigator, on 8-track! Yes, you read that correctly: 8-track. We do sell 8-tracks here at Amoeba! Apparently Hurley was at some point in his long career an 8-track repairman, so this seems quite apt. The record originally came out in 1984 and has been unavailable ever since, as a fire destroyed the original master tapes. It's sound is classic Hurley: saloon-type piano rags, fine pickin' and songs about women, wine and wolverines, all crafted to loopy perfection. For more info on the release, check out the Secret Seven blog.
To get an idea of what Goodby Sunball sounds like, you can check out a track from the album, called "Swamp of Love," right here. You can also hear a cover of another track off the album right here, "Oh Can You Tell Me" by Grace Cooper of the Sandwitches. This cover reportedly made Yonkers cry when he heard it! Finally, you can watch the premiere of an entrancing video by Jeanne Applegate set to "The Day of Jubilee" for a final glimpse of this beautiful, idiosyncratic record. The interview follows below.