Back in 1976 like many of my age, my musical tastes which had been predominately rock / blues based, were about to be reshaped quite dramatically. This was the year I experienced Punk music for the first time (The Rezillos @ Gigi’s in Glasgow) while over the ocean in New York, punk was primed to blossom from the No Wave scene.
Little did I know that in Kent, Ohio a band (who were later to recognised as one of the forefathers of the Akron / Cleveland sound) were successfully blending all those exciting new sounds with those of the traditional rock / blues riffs of the earlier half of the decade.
Their debut album, ‘Jimmy Bell’s Still In Town,’ was recorded live at Cleveland’s Agora Theatre on the night that they opened for Bob Marley & The Wailers and now long out print, is a highly sought-after slab of vinyl, with copies typically exchanging hands for upwards of £50.
Well, now Now York label, Exit Stencil Recordings are set to re-issue a limited run of 500 copies in a double-album, gatefold sleeve package. And quite rightly too – the more people get to hear / own this amazing album the better.
For me, this is one of the best albums of the year! I love how it embodies just about every musical genre that was floating around at the time: bluesy riffs; droned vocals; soulful sax; freaked-out sax! Rock meets proto-punk meets No Wave, meets Blues, meets Soul.
All nine tracks are on the money – but the title-track steals it for me:
(Released through Exit Stencil Recordings on 3rd December 2013)