Paradise of Bachelors is delighted to join Johnny Cash’s longtime friend and right-hand man, visionary Nashville artist Chance Martin, in announcing the first-ever reissue of his 1981 private-press masterpiece In Search, out July 16. Ringleader, maestro, and indomitable troubadour of Nashville’s most private, elusive and exclusive far-out scene – the Dead End – Chance (aka Alamo Jones, the Voice in Black, aka the Stoned Ranger) could have stepped from the pages of a Charles Portis novel or Coen Bros. script.
Under the direction of Chance as a guru, his band spent five years in secrecy recording this fierce, inimitable collection of mythmaking countrydelic tunes in a “bonus room” above his parents’ garage in Nashville. Despite its intensely personal origins, long gestation, substantial financial costs, and deadly serious deliberation, In Search shows minimal signs of outside influences or traceable authorship. Commanding, aggressive, and unabashedly masculine, the closest comparisons run from the gamut of Waylon Jennings, The Bob Seger System and Frank Zappa: a strange Southern Gothic, alternately frightening, funky and utterly transfixing.
After working and touring for eight years with his friend and mentor Johnny Cash, as cue card man, stage manager, and lighting designer, Chance began a new life in 1977. At age 31, he had already worked stagehand gigs for all the greats, hung and partied backstage with Cash, Cowboy Jack Clement, Tanya Tucker, David Allan Coe, Ozzy Osborne and others. Realizing it was now or never, Chance turned off all outside influences, hunkered down and began writing songs on Johnny Cash’s D35 Martin,gifted by the Man in Black himself.
In Search is the first-ever reissue of this long-coveted collector’s item and comes complete with dozens of outrageous photos and a 13,000 word oral history chapbook recounting Chance’s adventures with all the legends. It will be available on 150g virgin vinyl, in a deluxe, limited edition, as well as on CD and all digital formats. The album stands as a singular transmission from the underground realms of outsiders and weirdos prowling their own private, dimly lit lairs on the stoned periphery of the ubiquitous Nashville machine, in the company of like minded eccentrics and heroes.