about the New stuff
1 GOING WEST was inspired by The Equals' great record "Police On My Back." And by The Clash version too. And I have family roots in West Asheville--my grandfather and father owned and operated Gardner's Shoe Hospital on Haywood Road for decades. The song is in remembrance of one of my schoolmates and musical inspirations, the great guitarist Matt Sluder (1959-2006).
2 LUCKY NUMBER is a Lene Lovich song. What a great concept, to be open to the changes that a love attack ("an alien vibration") might bring! That's GRACIE PEARSALL singing, in what might be her recording debut, or close to it. Musical good fortunes!
3 PRISONER is an instrumental take on Lucky Dube's song. MIKE RHODES contributed a drum part, and JONATHAN LLOYD composed some exquisite trombone lines (and played 'em, too!).
4 FIVE LEAF SEVEN is a musical translation of finding four-leaf clovers. And five-leaf clovers. In a pentatonic sort of sound.
ABOUT THE PRIME VINTAGE TRACKS
5 AMERICAN DREAM -- Wake up in a cold sweat! Who knew the Trump House, Holiday Inn line would take on such drama a few years down the line? Over a Yamaha DJX ragga rhythm (Style #62), John Winston Phillips plays bass and drum accents, Tyler Ramsey plays organ and synth lead, and Samba Ngo plays the second guitar lead. Originally released on Second of Nine.
6 I'M INTO SOMETHING GOOD -- Thanks Jason Reitman for including this on JUNO B-Sides: Almost Adopted Songs and on Music From The Motion Picture JUNO (Deluxe Edition)! Nancy Alenier’s vocal and song selection. She coached John Phillips on the drums. A 4-track cassette recording, from Second of Nine. Down in the basement!
7 PRODIGAL LOVE -- True-story love song from the debut album Hymns to Her. Nancy Alenier plays organ.
MORE ABOUT THE PRIME VINTAGE JJTLG TRACKS
8 and 19 LOVE IS COMING BACK AGAIN -- Originally conceived as a tribute to Pops Staples, this song later became an anniversary gift from Nancy to Jr. James. Nancy sang and played organ, and Tyler Ramsey played a funky bass, on the Second of Nine version. Then The Carpenter Ants (Michael Lipton, Jupiter Little, Ted Harrison, and Charlie Tee) made our wildest musical dreams come true by recording it and adding it to their live set. Don Dixon engineered the Ants' version!
9 RECOGNIZE -- A lyrical response to Britney-style pop music, we recorded this live at Collapseable Studio in West Asheville with Aaron Price, Mike Rhodes, Tyler Ramsey and Bill Reynolds. Tyler coached Nancy on the intro keys and Nancy coached Tyler on the outro slide. Aaron on accordion. From Soundproof Room. Only later did we realize the musical resemblance to The Only Ones!
10 EAST OF THE RIVER NILE -- Another Collapseable Soundproof Room session or two, with Mandorico horn players Jonathan Lloyd and Steve Farmer overdubbing some great lines, engineered by Jeff Rowe with Nancy producing. Respect, Augustus Pablo!
MORE ABOUT THE PRIME VINTAGE JJTLG TRACKS
11 JERUSALEM -- Hold on to your shekels when you tour the holy sites! Jeff Mettee played a transcendent guitar solo, and Alan Marcha added some sanctified hand-drum beats. That’s a real Jerusalem oud on the riff, played inexpertly by Jr J. From Serenader.
12 DUBATOMIC PARTICLES 2.2 -- Recorded live (maybe even a first take?) during the Soundproof Room sessions at Collapseable. Love Aaron Price’s melodica and guitar work, Mike Rhodes’s drum shots, Tyler Ramsey’s organ solo. Shout out to Jackie Mittoo! (Lucky arrangement fact: Aaron’s melodica jumped the gun on the outro, but the band eventually caught up next cycle around. It’s a take!)
13 EVERYTHING TAKES LONGER -- John Phillips’ drum and bass lines power this Semiconductor track from 2005. Props to inspirations Langston Hughes, John Trudell and the U.S. Constitution.
14 BRAND NEW ROCK -- A loud, live one. From Draw Blood! Undead at Stella Blue. Aaron, Bill, Tyler, Mike, Nancy, train rollin’ down the track, look out! Aaron’s guitar solo is on fire.
15 FAT MAN -- John Phillips played drums, bass, and keys. It’s the (atom) bomb! From Hymns to Her. Four-track magic.
16 THE SERENADER -- Inspired by an antique-mall guitar. Aaron Price, Asheville’s pop Paganini, played the incredible accordion and nylon-string guitar parts. Recorded at Echo Mountain, 2008. From the Serenader EP.
17 SURRENDER (THE GIVE-OVER) -- What happens when Jr. James tries to sound like Shaggy? Verse lyrics are all similes! Do the right thing and give yourself over to your lover, er, spouse! It’s over! Nancy sings on it, too. From Semiconductor.
18 TRANSLATION -- An ode to books, libraries, and language confusions. Jesse Lauricella and Seth Buddy help translate, vocally. A real, not a sampled, typewriter clicks a rhythm. From Semiconductor.
Some fine print . . .
All songs c. 2017 by Jr. James Gardner, A-Tone Music (BMI)
except Lucky Number by Lene Lovich and Les Chappell (Domino Pub Company OBO Oval Music LTD), Prisoner by Lucky Dube (WB Music Corp OBO Gallo Music Publishers), East of the River Nile by Horace Swaby (aka Augustus Pablo) (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society LTD), and I’m Into Something Good by Gerry Goffin and Carol King (Screen Gems−EMI Music Inc). Going West lyrics and arrangement by Jr. James with music inspired by the Equals’ Police on My Back by Eddy Grant (EMI Blackwood Music Inc OBO EMI Music Pub. LTD). Also, mastering of Lucky Number and Prisoner by the mighty Sonic Bloom (thanks, Madeleine!).