Third Man Records
This is my 3rd #thirdmanthursday post and this time with Boscobel Blues, a small album with 7 tracks by The Greenhornes. It is one of my favorite Greenhornes albums and as written on the back, it consists of studio demos made in preparation for their soon-to-come album East Grand Blues. This was released as a part of Third Man Records Vault Package 6. I found this hilarious description of the album apparently written by Jack White himself on an old Popsike site and I think it does a better job than anything to describe this album. So I'm going to leave most of the geekery to Jack White:
hello you, wanted to let you in on some of the straight dope about the new records on the vault this quarter. this greenhornes lp is by far my favorite thing they ever recorded. after we finished the sessions for the van lear rose album, the greenhornes came back to the small home studio to begin recording their new album since l.j. and patrick dug the place so much. they gave me a cd of the recordings and it was about all i listened to in the months leading up to recording get behind me satan. it has a murkier vibe. patrick calls them demos, and wanted to name the album "nashville DEMOcracy" ha ha! because as he saw it, the band ended up re recording that album at brendan bensons studio to be eventually titled "east grand blues" (the street brendan lived on). i personally never understood why they wanted to re record it as i loved what they had on tape, but bb did a great job. and those songs just became my pet favorite greehornes record.
when we were negotiating putting out the four stars record on third man, i said "i'll do it, if you let me mix those nashville session and release it on the vault." the band thought it was a great idea, as they always wanted those recordings out there themselves. the record was recorded on one inch 8 track, just like van lear rose, but we mixed it in my studio. we actually mixed it to one inch 2 track. very heavy sound. it also contains my favorite song of theirs "shelter of your arms" in what i think is their best version.
hope you dig it, oh lj wanted to call the record "boscobell blues" in the end as that was the street that eric mconnell the engineers home studio was in nashville, hence the battle of nashville tin type photo on the front.
Now for the tracks. The opening: "I need your love" sounds like a track The Beatles could have made. Compared to the album version on **** I love the intro on this version. Side A finishes with "Open your eyes" and I had to check another Raconteurs Vault single which also features a track to hear if they were the same song. I mean they could have been since, LJ and Patrick Keeler are in both bands. But spoiler alert - they're completely different 🙃.
Finally, the B side. Love the B-side. "Shelter of your arms". It's sounds so dark. I'm not sure what they've done to it. More distortion maybe? I think Craig's vocal is also more dark in some way. Not sure, except it's really great.
And then there's the - in my mind - coup d'etat: I'll go crazy, a James Brown cover. I love multiple things about this track. First of all the intro. It sounds like they go directly from one track to this one. At first I thought maybe they just cut it like that and that the master contained a recording of another track but then I found a couple of live recordings on Youtube
and lo and behold, they play it in the same way there. The break between the intro and Patrick's bam-bam-bam bam-bam-bam is also delicious. Gives me goose bumps every time. Then the bluesy, heavy sustain and distorted walking riff comes on. Gah - it's so great.
I love how they took an old funk classic and turned it into such a delicious rock'n'roll track:
This live, slightly more upbeat version also features Joe Cocker and is a bit more rock'n'roll than James Browns original.