Matt’s Crate

A collection of posts from Matt regarding music, records or recent finds.

John Johnston: F**K CDs and Trailer Life Records

Trailer Life Records Releases

TLR 001 – Last Man Standing – “Fall” / Buckshot – “The Farmer”
TLR 002 – ???
TLR 003 – Porn Flakes – “Coffee” / Cloaca “Diggin’ In That Bag” – Released February 1993
TLR 004 – The Paper Tulips – “My Room’s A Mess” – published in cooperation with Flipside Records
TLR 005 – Pat Bova – “Wasting My Time”/”Stompin’g In The Trailer” – Placid Blonde Bull Box Set  – Yellow wax
TLR 006 – Paul Gull – “Cried In Vain”/”Goodbye Hell” – Placid Blonde Bull Box Set – bright red wax
TLR 007 – Bullet For Fidel – “(It’s Not Like)Where I’m From”/”Dino(Black Shoes Walk” – Placid Blonde Bull Box Set – dark red wax
TLR 008 – ???
TLR 009 – Unemployment Rock – Compilation CD TLR 010 – ???
TLR 011 – ???
TLR 012 – Go Dog Go – “A Piece Of Me/Kindling” / “Insulation” -33 rpm TLR ??? – Porn Flakes – “Business” & “Asshole”/”Chris Pfister” – Released August 1994 TLR ??? – Porn Flakes – “Ain’t This The Life”/”Transmission-Nutrition” & “ABC Alcoholics” – Released February 1996    

After “Trailer Life Records” was put out to pasture, John released a 7″ of his band, “L.E.D. Pop! Exchange” under the Methopop Record label.

Methopop Records 001 – L.E.D. Pop! Exchange – Side A – “Battery”, “Lilting” & “Ask A Singer” – Side B – “Cobra Friends”

John’s latest musical projects available on vinyl. Basement Transmissions Records BTR 103 – This American Song – “The Gray Is Darker” – Released 2013 Basement Transmissions Records BTR 101 – Johnny James And The Absolutes – “6 Songs” – Released 2011 - John left JJA after the release of this LP  

Buckshot was also signed to Spank Records

SPANK 03 – Buckshot – “Spitting Up”/”Grease Fire” – deep red wax
SPANK 04 – Buckshot – “Throw Down” & “Gold Digger” / “Burn Mark” & “Allergic To The Law”

John’s Recollections on the band, “Go Dog Go” – “Go Dog Go was a weird band. The 7″ is very early stuff and that singer quit about a year or so in” On “Placid Blonde Bull” – “That was a special release. Although it is also the second release that I lost money on (I lost a lot…they did not sell at all). Although it got a full page review in Magnet magazine. After that review I was sure I was going to sell some copies.” On his band, “L.E.D. Pop! Exchange” and the recording that never got released – “We recorded in a 24 track, 2” analog tape studio. Never released. Broke up. Our drummer was this long hair named “Spike”. He quit L.E.D. to join “Lonestar”, a country cover band. He was a nice guy but had no clue what we were trying to do. That is some of my favorite stuff that I’ve ever done. It was the first and only time I worked with a real engineer (not just local guys)…Guided By Voices and lots of others recorded there. Very spacey pop. Lots of feedback and vintage keyboards. We were super well rehearsed, took us two trips there. We were paying by the hour, but the guys (Scott, Chris and Kevin) were so nice and supportive considering they worked with big bands. We used to gig around with their bands (The All Golden and Witch Hazel Sound). They loved Gina. They thought she was a “voice of the generation.” The comparison they threw out, that is one of the biggest compliments musically that I’ve ever received…Spaceman 3 meets Young Marble Giants. I was beaming for weeks. Good times.”


This American Song (bandcamp)
This American Song (facebook)
Pornflakes Website

Matt’s Ep. 2 Notes

I’m sorry that this took so long! Here are my Episode #2 notes!

5: Mumford & Sons’, “Sigh No More”

4: Palace Brothers (Drag City)

3: John Fahey, “Days Have Gone By Vol. 6”

2:  Townes Van Zandt, “Flying Shoes” (Tomato)

1: Damien Jurado, “Where Shall You Take Me?”, (Secretly Canadian)


Episode 3: Matt’s Pics and Info

Check out some pics and info from our most recent podcast.

Supermellow on Discogs

100_5126 100_5127 100_5129 100_5132

 The Masters’ Witnesses, “Inspirations From Heaven”

I’d appreciate any other info in this gospel group or this release.

100_5134 100_5137 100_5139 100_5145

Black Pearl on Wiki

100_5147 100_5149 100_5150

Jimmy Cliff on Wiki100_5152 100_5154 100_5158

John Miller‘s Official Website

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Recent Digs, 12/13 to 12/16

I was able to do a little digging on my lunch breaks on Thursday and Friday, and some thrifting yesterday and today. The thing that I’m most proud of is that I only spent around $12 on all of these finds! I’m a digger so I don’t mind spending my time getting dirty and dusty to find a good deal. I also don’t mind picking up LPs that have destroyed covers if the record is in good shape. It’s really about the music for me.

On Thursday I hit up a couple of small junk shops that have record bins. Paid 25 cents for two records at one place and $1.00 a piece for a few at another. The latter shop is where I picked up the Guy Warren LP and the Hal Jackson comp. I would love to find a better copy of the Guy Warren record but I think that will be a hard one to hand at a decent price. Sure, this copy is far from perfect with a bunch of pops and crackles but the music is amazing.

On Friday I was able to hit up on of the local Salvation Army stores and a local record chain store. I picked up the Crusaders and the Joe Jackson record there. The most I paid over these last few days for a single record was $3 and that was for the Crusaders. I’m a graphic artist for a billboard company so I couldn’t pass on that great cover of their Unsung Heroes LP. The music is fantastic and funky.

Yesterday, I hit up the same Salvation Army store I hit on Friday and found the Ramsey Lewis, Sergio Mendes and a few others pictured. The Ramsey Lewis was a good find, but the cover is trashed. I’m not sad though ’cause the music is great. I was attracted to Mendes releases because they are earlier releases than the normal psychedelic covered releases that I usually come across. The Walter Wanderely Trio is something that caught me eye, especially since it’s a Verve release. I’ve been getting into some of the 50’s and 60’s jazz/pop/instrumental releases, in particular I’ve been diggin’ the Brazilian and South American influenced stuff. So, this looks like it will fit the bill.

Then today….I hit up one of my favorite Sunday digging spots, which was a good idea. I found the Van McCoy, Marvin Gaye, the Savoy gospel release, the Brubeck LP and Skynyrd as well as a really retro, wire record holder. The problem is I found a whole vein of funk, R&B, soul and hip-hop that was just too trashed to buy. Every time I found a good cover either it was an empty or the record was trashed…I was so sad, but I did score a few cool releases for a good deal.

I look forward to see what the end of 2012 has in store!

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Matt’s Notes from Episode 1 of Vinyl Miners – “Fire Drill”

Here’s the list of featured albums, songs and other links to check out.

The Black Keys’ “Brothers”, the featured song, “Everlasting Light”

Tom Waits’ “Mule Variations”, the featured songs, “Big In Japan” and “Come On Up To The House”

Bob Dylan and The Band’s “The Basement Tapes”, featured song “Going To Acapulco”

King Automatic’s “I’ll Walk My Murderous Intentions Home”, featured song “Real King”

Brother Claude Ely and the Cumberland Four’s “The Gospel Ranger”, featured songs

a cure for musty smelling records

A few months ago I was given about a hundred records from a friend of mine. When he told me about his collection, he told me that I could have them, but I had to take them all. They were stored in the garage of a house that he owned. We weren’t able to meet up in his hometown but he taking a trip into the city and he said that he could drop them off to me. We made the arrangements and I got the records. There some awesome titles, great LP’s in the genres that I love, problem is….they were moldy, wet and the covers were trashed. Only a small fraction of the LP covers were salvageable, the rest had to be tossed. The thing is that the records were still in great shape. They had little wear and they weren’t warped, so, what to do? First I sat on my front porch with some microfiber clothes and cleaner, cleaning each record and tossing the cover. After that long process I ordered some inner sleeves to protect these “lost souls”. I left them out to get some air, but the moldy, musty smell was not going away. So….I was at the local thrift shops and I saw that they had stacks of these Reader’s Digest box sets. Not collectible, but plentiful, plus they have these great, heavy, lined inner sleeves. So, I picked up a set, tossed the records inside and placed my musty records in the sleeves  back in the box and set them aside. A week or so later I opened the box, pulled out a record and I couldn’t believe it….the smell was gone! Completely gone. All of the LP’s outside of the lined sleeves and boxes still smelled bad. I am not sure why or how this worked, but it did. I have most of the records that I got from my friend in these old box sets now and they smell fine now. So, if you have some records that smell like a damp basement or garage, you need to try this. It worked for me, so hopefully it will work for you too.

Satan, Get Back!


 The Search for Brother Claude Ely

   I have been aware of Brother Claude Ely for a while now. I was first introduced to who Brother Ely was when a friend of mine shared a link with me from an NPR show on which Ely’s nephew, Macel Ely II, is interviewed about his book, “Ain’t No Grave: The Life and Legacy of Brother Claude Ely“. Since I grew up in a very traditional Holiness-Pentecostal denomination the audio clips throughout the interview sounded very familiar and Brother Ely’s voice was powerful and his presentation was moving. I had to hear more or should I say feel more?

  I did some searching on Amazon and on eBay to see what recordings were available or even out there by Brother Ely. There is one CD that is currently available and there are some scarce, out of print LPs and 45s out there, but they all are a little pricey. I decided to hold off for a little while….then it happened

  I was asked Wayne if I’d like to go with him and a friend on a record dig to the giant flea market in Rogers, Ohio. I put some cash away to buy some records, we setup which Friday we wanted to go and that’s what we did.

  We were there early, but as the day went on more vendors showed up, including a collector/seller from Ohio. He had some amazing records for sale, including Brother Claude Ely’s, “The Gospel Ranger Brother Claude Ely and the Cumberland Four” on King Records. I couldn’t believe it. The price started a little high, but we were able come up with an agreeable price and it was mine.

The Gospel Ranger Brother Claude Ely and the Cumberland Four

King Records #801 – Electronically Rechanneled To Simulate Stereo


Be on the lookout for anything Brother Claude Ely has released. Powerful voice and music.

Brother Claude Ely


Some more info on Brother Claude Ely:



It’s been too long! Today’s yard sale and thrift finds…


I’ve dug a lot of vinyl since my last “find” post, so I’ll try to play catch up at some point, but for now, here’s what I found today. I found 24 records total, spending less than $10!

This first set was found at one yard sale for a quarter a piece! I couldn’t figure out why Porter was sweating so much on the cover of his record that I picked up. I thought it was cool to find the Sleepy LaBeef on clear, gold vinyl. I’m really pleased with everything I picked up at the sale.


This next batch, I picked up at a local thrift shop. I was surprised by these comps. When I spotted the “Best of Bomp!” I was really excited…then I found a couple other rock samplers and the Ziggy Marley record. The trucker comp with the crazy illustration is sealed, so that was a cool find too.


Overall, a good day of diggin’.



Gospel Inspirations’ “He’ll Hold To My Hand”


“He’ll Hold To My Hand” by the Gospel Inspirations

Heart Records, Princeton, West Virginia

Engineer – A. A. Cunningham

Side One:

1.                              He’ll Hold To My Hand

2.                              Satan Lied To Me

3.                              When I Get Home

4.                              Use Me Lord

5.                              What Heaven Means To Me

Side Two:

1.                              I See A Bridge

2.                              I Recommend My Lord To You

3.                              How Long

4.                              That Heavenly Home

5.                              One Drop Of Blood

From the back cover:

“The Gospel Inspirations were formerly known as the Sprague Trio. We made a small record in 1967.

  The group includes; Tom Lewis who sings lead in “He’ll Hold To My Hand” and plays the Bass Guitar. He is the son of Mrs. Mary Lewis who sings lead and Alto. Sarah Hill sings Tenor, lead and plays rhythm guitar. Juanita Meadows sings Contralto.

  We have been singing Gospel songs in Southern West Virginia and surrounding states for 15 years. We have appeared on local radio and television stations.

  We feel we were called by the Lord to sing His Gospel. One reason we made this record was because so many people told us our singing encouraged them as they could feel the spirit of the Lord in the songs. We have seen many souls come to the Lord while we were singing.

Mrs. Mary Lewis

Mrs. Sarah Hill

Mrs. Juanita Meadows”

A few months ago I was digging through some records at a thrift shop and I young lady with purple hair asked me what kind of records I looked for. I told her I like a lot of different genres of music and she told me that the antique shop she worked at down the road had hundreds of records in a back room. So I quickly got the directions and headed over there. While digging I found this hidden gem. The production is decent, but rough around the edges. But, as “people” have said, I can definitely feel the spirit in their performances of these songs. “Satan Lied To Me” is a real standout as is “How Long” on side two. Their harmonies are good, but combined with the sparse arrangements that include piano, mandolin, bass guitar, dobro and acoustic guitar, these songs turn into time capsules. You can almost see these dear folks crowded into a local radio station studio sharing a microphone and singing it out over the airwaves. I hope to stumble across the “little record” they put out as the Sprague Trio.


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