Today is the first day of 2010 and many of you young whippersnappers will be nursing sore heads, so today I'm posting a suitably booze-soaked album of goodtime hillbilly music. Some of you might know Jeffrey Frederick and the Clamtones from his songs on 'Have Moicy' (which must be one of my desert island discs), though he remains more obscure than his misfit collaborators, The Holy Modal Rounders and Michael Hurley. These musicians have deep roots in the counterculture of the '60s, and it shows, not through extended guitar solos and cosmic sound effects, but rather through the outlaw spirit and the irreverent, anarchic humour that pervades many of these songs.
While The Holy Modal Rounders and Michael Hurley were both part of the East Village folk scene that spawned The Fugs, Jeffrey Frederick was a country boy, originally from Vermont, and later settling in Oregon, where he recruited the Clamtones and recorded this great album. Here's some footage of the band playing an outdoor reunion concert in 1993:
Jeffrey apparently lived a life as colourful as his songs and one of his bandmates has collected a bunch of stories like the one that follows, on the Freakmountain website.
"Another time Jeff had been on a 2 day drunk.He had charmed this chicken
into sitting on his shoulder.By Sunday morning the chicken had been sitting
there for 8 hours or so --The gang goes to the End of the Trail for Sunday
Brunch-- The restaurant is packed with the after church crowd from Carson--
-Vida comes to the table and sez--"Jeff,,, you cant have that chicken in
here!!"--So Jeff takes the chicken off his shoulder,sticks it's head in his
mouth and bites it off.The headless chicken goes flyin',floppin'and flappin'
thru the restaurant,squirtin' blood all over the sunday suits and dresses.Vida
was NOT happy.Jeff was kicked out for a few days. He had to sincerely
01 Rotten Lettuce
02 Lazy Bones
05 Stolen Guitar
06 Beer Shits
09 Oh Me Oh My
10 Singing to the Dentist
11 Let Me Down
Get it HERE, though I would encourage you to buy the completely remastered CD entitled 'Resurrection of Spiders in the Moonlight' from over here.