On a trip across the state, I made a pit stop at a few small antique shops, actually I was only killing some time before a local thrift shop opened, to nose around for vinyl. I find antique stores to be hit and miss, and more times than not, they are miss. When I entered the first store I noticed a small box of 20 – 30 records on the floor, the majority of the records were standard early rock and country, Herman’s Hermits, Beatles, Elvis….. and all marked at the high end of “book” value, which is very standard at antique stores. Most of the time the sellers are not music or vinyl fans, for example in the stack was a copy of Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water with a price tag of $10 and a note that it sells for $25-$40 on eBay, if you spend some time in vinyl shops or second hand stores, you will quickly find out that the Simon & Garfunkel is not too difficult to find.
As I made my way to the back of the store, I noticed a raggedy box marked $.50 each with another stack of records in it. This was more my speed. Many of the records were hip-hop, soul, folk and reggae. The following are the highlights I picked up from the box.
John Martyn – Solid Air
This is one of best records I picked up on this trip. I really like the style of the music, it is a solid effort cover to cover. I’m a little surprised, and somewhat embarrassed, that I never heard of John Martyn. He is a british folk artist that really pushed the boundaries of folk on this record. The cover of Skip James “I’d Rather Be the Devil” and the tribute to John’s close friend Nick Drake – “Solid Air” are my current favorite tracks, but I’m sure the more I listen to this album I will find other favorites.
John Renbourn – Sir John Alot of
I recognized John Renbourn from his work in Pentangle, another British folk band, but was not familiar with his solo work. It is a solid record, in the very British folk way.
The Mustangs – The Wonderful Side of
The Mustangs are a Caribbean band from the Bahamas. I find this album to be hit and miss. There are a few of the songs are in a reggae style, which I like, and many of the song are more of a standard crooner island style, lacking the backing bass or rhythm. I find the island style songs a bit bland.
Atlantis – Rebellious People
Atlantis is very similar to the Mustangs, another band from Bahamas with a few reggae style songs and a bunch of soft island jams.
I left the first antique shop a happy camper, with low expectations for the second store, when I walked in the second store I immediately noticed piles of records stack up in a corner booth. A few hundred were in sleeves with prices, but most were pilled on the floor. I was expecting to see a lot of Perry Como and Big Band music on the floor, but to my surprise the majority of the records were rock and roll. After an hour of flipping, hauling and kneeling, I pulled these from the stacks:
The Clash – The Clash
Ok, The Clash = great, and this album is one of the best, I’m so bored with the USA. I have been hunting for this album for many years, and have been unwilling to shell out the $20 for a new reissue. It seems like one of the records that necessitates a original copy in the collection. This one is mint in the shrink wrap, I was supper pumped and the rest of the records were just gravy on top.
The Godz – Contact High
The are an interesting lo-fi band, which I was vaguely aware of before buying this record. I think I remembered this album from YouTube wormhole sessions. It might be my favorite album from the day. The album is very raw. I’m not sure if it is true, but I could see how they could be an influence of Robert Pollard and Guided By Voices.
Warm Dust – Peace For Our Time
Warm Dust is a jazz infused, prog rock band. There are a few interesting tracks on the record. I was drawn to the LP by the Timothy Leary quote included on the back of the dust jacket. It is a very political album, with narration about historical war tactics. The music features driving bass, keyboards and sax on many of the tracks. It is a pretty funky album.
James Brown – Soul On Top
This is a great James Brown album, upbeat and full of attitude. It is on the red King label.
White Witch – White Witch
This is a solid rock – glam/prog rock album. I’ve had my eye out for it, but never saw it for a decent price. I really like the range of the songs on the album.
Appaloosa – Appaloosa
Appoaloosa is a jazz-folk band, which was produced by Al Kooper. The songs are interesting, and musicianship is impressive. You can learn more about this album at Richie Unterberger’s site.
United Natural Grass – United Natural Grass
This is a regional bluegrass band from the mid seventies. I love the coordinated stare out of the frame. The album contains several quality covers of great bluegrass songs.
Emitt Rhodes – Mirror
This is one of Emitt Rhodes better alubms, he is very Beatlesk in his delivery and style.
I also picked up these three albums, which I need to spend some more time with. Overall it was a great day.
Here is the full gallery of covers.