I have Dalton to thank for this one. He called one night like he often did and asked excitedly… “hey, killer band playing tonight, can you go?!”
I had kids and worked in a factory I had to be at by 6:30 in the morning, but I took him up on it any chance I could. That night I could. I’m pretty certain this was the first time I was ever at The Barrymore Theater. We had great seats and I’m sure that being my first time there had a lot to do with the experience, but Chickasaw Mudd Puppies WERE an experience. They were not the headliners, but they were what I remember of my first time being in The Barrymore.
I had never heard of this band before (as it was with a lot of bands Dalton took me to) but they made an impression.
Onstage there was only a rocking chair and a guitar. No drum set at all.
When they cam out one guy picked up the guitar (Ben Reynolds) and the other guy sat in the chair. The guy in the chair was Brant Slay and he was dressed in tatters and there was duct tape on his shoes and I was like what the hell? When they started playing though it all cam together.
He was using the rocking as a bass drum and there was a microphoned stomp board under his feet that he was working and playing harmonica to boot. He interspersed a lot of whoops and hollers along the way.
Yep, washboard too.
The music and the experience was fantastic. The vibe was very back woods with a pinch of Cajun spice. It was nothing I was prepared for and it kind of blew me away. These guys made an impression.
Of course when we got home we scoured the internet for songs from Chickasaw Mudd Puppies. The first song we found was them doing a cover of CCR’s “Lodi”.
There was a lot we didn’t know about the band, like how they were protégés of Michael Stipe from R.E.M. and share the Georgia connection.
This album, “8 Track Stomp” is their second outing and a great mixture of all the styles that were on display at the show at The Barrymore than night. You have up-tempo tracks where you can hear the stomp board and harmonica, then bluesy slower tracks, all with that backwoods feel all over them.
Turned out to be their last album unfortunately. They apparently didn’t make it big except in Athens (Georgia) despite having Michael Stipe helping to produce the albums.
So, it may not be for everyone, but I dig it and was totally stoked to find this CD used one day. It brought back so many memories of that show and what a cool experience it was.