Monday, May 9, 2011

1989 Cassette Release: TRAIN TO NOWHERE-the American Xpress (Jack Starr)

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Sunday, May 08, 2011

Given my current financial straits it's not like I can buy out the nearest Cee-Dee market and give it to the poor with typical Eddie Haskell braggadocio. Heck, at this point in time I'm having enough trouble scratching up enough dinero to finance an order to one of my favorite online bizzez...not that there's that much being offered that I don't already have or which lights my pilot, but still I need that aural stimulation which has gotten me through even rougher times than these. And at this point in my life (which at times I think is 11:59 PM, if you get my drift) I have to do a li'l diggin' on my part, mostly through boxes of 35+-year-old cassettes which have been scattered about the place and are mostly hidden in long packed-away crates amidst tons of flotsam that has gathered throughout the ages. For the most part these tapes have been neglected over the past few years not because I'm that much of a new technology freak but because...well, I have been busy!
The arrival and sudden departure (via death) of Jack Starr on the underground rough 'n tumble record collector circuit was something that held so much promise but only delivered on one full-length album and two singles that I am aware of. Too bad, because this Starr guy seemed to have had so much potential to cash in on his varied (some might say "sordid") past and crank out a living and breathing legend for himself the same way that Hasil Adkins (the man Starr was often compared to) did just prior to Our Man's very own rediscovery back in the v. late eighties.

What most Starr fans did not know about was this particular one-hour cassette of recently-recorded material called TRAIN TO NOWHERE  recorded under the moniker the American Xpress and released on the Strike One label outta Dallas.  Sporting a 1989 copyright date, it's really hard to believe that these weren't taken from the same mid-sixties sessions that produced those rare Starr singles that appeared on side two of BORN PETRIFIED (side one being Starr during his fifties "rockabilly"/Ricky Nelson phase) because the music found here is just as low-fidelity as those  punk rockers he did back '66 way! And what's even more surprising is that these songs were recorded by the same backing band that appeared on those singles which makes this a bizarre twist of circumstances...guys in their late-forties playing the same songs (and recording in the same john!)  sounding as if they had not aged a day since! If only the Who could have ages this gracefully!

One track entitled "UFO" did make it onto that rare In The Red single but the rest of this romp as far as I know has remained unreleased to all but a few. And what makes it even more enticing is that the entire shebang comes off as if it was laid down after a hefty listening session of Bobby Fuller, the Seeds and (if you can believe it) the Doors! Some straight blues, one country creeper, and a whole lotta mid-sixties-inspired FUN (remember that word?) that kinda gives me the feeling that after they were done laying these classics to tape the whole buncha 'em got some Great Shakes and settled down to glom an episode of DOBIE GILLIS! Sure most of you cultured rock-as-art snobs would poo-poo such a base and crude idea as this but sheesh, we can't all attune our palates to fine wine, lobster and rectum like you obviously do!


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