Photo by Eva Vermandel, The Wire.

Photo by Eva Vermandel, The Wire.

In advance of tomorrow’s anticipated Record Store Day revelry/hysteria, we’d like to remind you of our very first official Record Store Day exclusive release, the first-ever reissue of Mike Cooper and Derek Hall‘s Out of the Shades EP, available as a beautifully restored 45rpm 7″ exclusively at participating shops tomorrow, April 16, 2016. Git out there and grip it, ye record heads.

Perhaps you’ve read about this indelible artifact of the British folk revival in recent features about Mike in The Wire or Shindig! magazines. Named for The Shades, the Reading, UK folk club where Cooper regularly performed, and which employed and housed guitar prodigy Derek Hall—who later played on Cooper’s 1969 debut LP Oh Really!? and was, in his estimation, “a guitarist who could actually match Davey Graham both in technique and musical ideas”—this little-heard EP of Mike’s earliest recordings was originally released in 1965 in an extremely rare edition of just 200 copies.

Here’s a taste to whet your appetite before you venture into your crowded local record store tomorrow. Previously we shared the melancholy helical rambler “Paul’s Song,” and now you can hear the duo’s little-heard version of “Skillet” as well.


“Skillet,” sung beautifully by Cooper, utterly transforms Uncle Dave Macon’s 1924 recording of “Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy.” Hall’s woozy, note-bending vamping unspools the second half of the song into an extraordinary instrumental passage full of mercury and momentum.

It’s a song about extreme appetites—cooking every hour, keeping Nancy “drunk and goosey all the time” on brandy—prefiguring Cooper’s later hungry experimentation. It’s also an alternative recipe, perhaps, for how to survive the rush of Record Store Day: Stay drunk and goosey with Nancy, and remember to keep that skillet good and greasy all the time.

See you in that shanty.

Mike Cooper & Derek Hall, Reading, 1965.

Mike Cooper & Derek Hall, Reading, 1965.


Going down to town
Gonna by a sack of flour
Cook it every hour

Keep that skillet greasy all the time, time
Skillet good and greasy all the time

Going down to town
Gonna buy a jug of brandy
Give it all to Nancy

Keep her drunk and goosey all the time, time
Good and drunk and goosey all the time

If you say so
I’ll never work no more

Hang around that shanty all the time, time
Hang around that shanty all the time




Cooper & Hall-newspaper