John Drendall & B.A. Thrower - Papa Never Let Me Sing the Blues
The words "private press", usually followed by some miniscule run and tale of woe or mismanagement tend to elicit a tingle of excitement when it comes to reissues. Trouble is most reissue labels know this
and its a crapshoot. Sometimes records never received pressings because they were deserving of that obscurity, though when that gem shines through and a label, like the appropriately named Out-Sider, comes through with that rare find its worth the risk for the reward of an album like Papa Never Let Me Sing the Blues. After borrowing a friend's SG and learning to play at night at the risk of being discovered by his father, John Drendall dropped out of college at Ferris State in MI and relocated to East Lansing as a truck driver while shacking up with a few Michigan State students. There he met the players that would come to populate Papa including B.A. Thrower and drummer Dick "DD" Dunham. The crew cut the record in Kalamazoo with the help a few friends from the house throwing in takes on piano and flute and Bryce Robinson, a former chess sideman, at the boards. The result is a lean, bluesy album that stands in easy company with plenty of contemporaries from the time that got wider acclaim, distribution and support and fell from much higher ledges to obscurity. It was run in a pressing of 100 and one of the band's friends spread them across the country on a road trip, planting them at record stores along the way; other than that, no distribution at all, just a lucky gem heard by the right people. Its been repackaged and reissued on CD and LP a couple of times in the last few years and all with great reason as it was a record born of sweat between day jobs and difficulties. Sometimes that's all it takes to make it worth it.


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posted by dissensous at 9:34:00 AM


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