Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Crazy Cajun strikes back with raunchy Gulf Coast 60s garage punk comp

Excavated from deep in the vaults of Huey P. Meaux’s Crazy Cajun empire, Ace has assembled the rippin' new 26-track Don't Be Bad! collection sourced from the analog master tapes. Even better news for serious garage-punk hounds – 10 of the tracks included are previously unreleased!

Maverick Texas-based producer Huey P. Meaux hit paydirt with Sir Douglas Quintet’s ‘She’s About A Mover’ in early 1965 and immediately threw out a cattle-call in order to rope in the next bunch of teenaged longhairs who could deliver him a hit. That didn’t happen, but over the next few years he amassed a catalogue of superb grassroots punk and rock’n’roll recordings, spread across his Pacemaker, Tear Drop, Pic 1, Ventural, Capri and other imprints.

While there were occasional visitors from out of state – the Phinx from Mississippi, the Pirates from Louisiana and the Trashmen of Minneapolis – the bulk of Meaux’s acts hail from Texas, ground zero for the raunchiest, gnarliest 60s punk. Mostly taped at Gold Star in Houston or Meaux’s Pasadena Sounds facility, “Don’t Be Bad!” celebrates his garage rock legacy. All tracks are from the golden punk period of 1965-66, as Meaux’s tastes, not to mention the start of his lifelong problems with the law, precluded much investigation of the psychedelic era.

This is the first time these tracks have been officially reissued. Master tape sound on classics such as Barry & Life’s ‘Top-Less Girl’, Destiny’s Children’s ‘The Fall Of The Queen’ and the Passions’ ‘Lively One’ guarantees a punchy listen. And extensive research into the vault located at Houston’s Sugar Hill studios provided unreleased sides from the Driving Wheels, The Sands, Gaylan Ladd and others.

In recent years the Ace team spent weeks sifting through the rarely tapped archive, blowing the dust off countless tape boxes with Texas expert Andrew Brown, who would raise his thumb in appreciation whenever a reel revealed some punk gem or gutbucket blues workout – and would just as easily point it downward if the contents proved to be schlocky pop or wretched white gospel.

The cookers were compiled on Don't Be Bad! – the handle taken from the raging Driving Wheels gem that tops the heap – and you can check out the complete track list along with brief song clips on the Ace site right after listening to the Passions' frantic "Lively One", The Pirates' "Cuttin' Out" and "Girl Said No" by the What's Left.   

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