While putting together the excellent Jimmy Martin documentary King Of Bluegrass, filmmaker George Goehl came across some amazing previously unreleased live recordings that showcase the terror of Sneedville, Tennessee, at his ornery/entertaining best. Rather than let them sit collecting dust on Mike Seeger 's shelf, he added them to the documentary's companion disc, Don't Cry To Me (Thrill Jockey). Of particular interest to serious bluegrass fans (like there's any other kind) are four tracks recorded in 1960 documenting the stellar Sunny Mountain Boys lineup, featuring mandolinist Paul Williams and young banjo prodigy J.D. Crowe picking at a thrilling clip. It's great stuff, but don't deny yourself the added pleasure of the King Of Bluegrass DVD.
Jesus and Métal Urbain
Anyone convinced that the Jesus and Mary Chain were onto something totally unique when they came out of Glasgow back in 84 with guitars blazing needs to check out Acute/Carpark 's reissue of the debut LP by Dr. Mix and the Remix , originally released on Rough Trade back in 1979. The recording was actually a solo covers project by Métal Urbain frontman Eric Débris , but in his distorto-deconstructions of Iggy 's No Fun and Lou Reed 's Sister Ray you can hear the collision of Velvets , Stooges and Phil Spector aesthetics that provided the brothers Reid with the blueprint for their whole sheets-of-guitar-noise concept. A Rosetta Stone for JAMC fans. www.acuterecords.com.
Rockin' gals gone bad
While most collections covering women rockabilly upstarts tend to drift into honky-tonk, watered-down R&B and party pop, Ace 's new Good Gals Gone Bad set sticks largely to the accepted slap-back and hiccupping conventions of the genre, with classic tracks drawn from the Sun , King , Chess , Fraternity , Meteor and Ram archives. The focus is on cover star Sparkle Moore - a sort of female Gene Vincent - but the real stars here are talented Texans Margaret Lewis and Billy Jo Spears , the latter of whom delivers the delightfully dangerous Get Behind Me Satan And Push with a perfect sneer. It's a marvellous new discovery that was likely considered a little too threatening to get released back in the day.
The other Mayfield
Sure, those limited-edition CDs in Rhino 's Handmade series are terribly overpriced, particularly in the downloading era, but occasionally they'll come up with a comp that offers good value, like the 28-track Percy Mayfield collection cleverly titled His Tangerine And Atlantic Sides. Few singer/songwriters connected with the blues could match the poetic eloquence of Mayfield's refreshing, cliché-free takes on broken-hearted despair. These long-out-of-print mid-60s sessions - characterized by kicking bands and swinging charts - capture Mayfield in his soulfully sophisticated prime. Now that Outside is distributing Rhino Handmade discs in Canada, they should be available soon in a store near you. TIM PERLICH