Despite the winter chill, things are heating up at Paradise HQ; we have a full slate of upcoming releases, and it’s getting busier around here. First, we’re pleased to announce that you can now purchase 320k MP3 albums of select PoB releases from this website (thus far, PoB-05, PoB-04, and PoB-01.) Vinyl and CD purchases of records for which we have digital rights will now include an emailed link for immediate download of the record–that’s in addition to the coupon code included in the vinyl package. Huzzah! Of course, you can also purchase MP3s of the above, and most future PoB releases, on major DSPs as well as from our Bandcamp page.
Our reissue of the Red Rippers’ Over There … and Over Here was officially released last Tuesday, and it’s been attracting some interesting press from around the globe. (If you haven’t picked up a copy, you can do so here–part of the proceeds will be donated to a veterans’ charity.) Thanks to Thom Jurek for his glowing review for Allmusic–we think he nailed it:
“Many ‘lost’ and ‘collector’s’ recordings never live up to the hype, but this nine-song collection is the real deal… These are not run-of-the-mill protest songs. These are songs by an outsider who sees all sides. A meld of raw ’70s boogie, outlaw country-rock, psychedelic guitar, and excellent D.I.Y. production, they poetically yet directly offer a view of the returning soldier’s mind from the inside. ‘Vietnam Blues’ is the only blues song you ever need to hear about that war. Bankston’s songs move far past the limits of Vietnam in reflecting the combat veteran’s experience. As thousands of servicemen and women return from battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan, these songs offer an unmatched musical empathy. Over There … and Over Here is a singular document, a rock & roll protest record born from actual spilled blood, sweat, tears, and alienation but which refuses to surrender.”
The legendary and always perceptive critic Kris Needs, our man in Cornwall, had the following to say in his 4-star review for Record Collector:
“Now something of a mythological collectors item, the ever-diligent Paradise of Bachelors have restored the Red Rippers LP as an essential Vietnam War statement from those who fought it, then got spat out by their country… This is worlds apart from righteous anti-war chest-beating but, chillingly, still sounds relevant.”
We were delighted to find Will Hodgkinson‘s review for the Times of London, which includes this nugget:
“Over There … and Over Here is a fascinating piece of folklore… [The songs] give glimpses into everyday life and death in the major conflict of the Cold War era.”
Finally, we loved reading this inspiring editorial in the Augusta Chronicle urging aspiring musicians to follow in head Ripper Ed Bankston’s footsteps and “record what you’re doing.”
As the April 2 release date for Hiss Golden Messenger’s astounding Haw LP approaches, stay tuned here for more new content. We’ll have something special to share when we open pre-orders on February 19, and another album track later on. Thanks to Jordan Lawrence at Shuffle for this excellent preview of the album, which he deems a “mesmerizing collection [that] builds on Poor Moon‘s success, spinning various American musical roots into expressive sonic tapestries.” We agree wholeheartedly. Thanks also to John Mulvey at Uncut for his advance appreciation for Haw.
If you haven’t yet heard the Haw track “Sufferer (Love My Conqueror)”, you can stream that below:
And HGM fans should certainly check out this CCR cover from a collaborative performance with Mt. Moriah at a NARAL benefit at the Pinhook in Durham:
The new Steve Gunn album, Time Off, is now officially in production, and you can expect it on LP, CD, and digital formats sometime in June. We can’t stop listening to this record! We’ll be previewing the artwork soon–thanks to photographer Constance Mensh for the wonderful portraits of the band, including the above.
We’re hard at work on our reissue of the countrydelic private press masterpiece In Search by Chance. The album will include an extensive oral history with the artist… the exact extent of its extensiveness to be determined. Chance Martin is a master storyteller in the tradition of Charles Portis, and it’s proving very difficult to edit stories about one-armed assassins called The Magician, swashbuckling swordplay on Johnny Cash’s roof, and the Dead End–it’s all just too rich. There’s lots of karate involved too.
Lots more exciting announcements to come! Until then, keep on chooglin’ and don’t forget to boogie.