Frank Gutch Jr: The Best of Notes (and new notes too)…..


I wrote half a column about my father before I realized it was way too personal to put out in the Net, so I’ve decided to glean what I consider the best Notes I have posted over the past few years.  Notes, for those new to my process, are the small items I usually place at the end of each column, usually the more newsy or just musical items.  Lots of videos, a bit of news and a lot of fun to put together.

I hate leaving music in the past because I usually don’t consider anything old old.  To me, there is good and better and wow.  January of 2010 or June of 2015 means nothing if the music is killer.  For instance, in this weeks actual Notes section (scroll way down), I have posted videos by Aussie Bill Jackson, Zombie Garden Club, Andrew Johnston, and Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer.  I put them there because some people will want to see and hear them.  During the next year, I will more than likely post them again just in case anyone missed them.  That is what I have done in the past, too.  For myself, music doesn’t die with age (though I wish some of it would, starting with Free Bird and Stairway to Heaven).  It keeps going.  What do they say in the used goods biz— New to You?  If you’ve missed these, here’s your chance to catch up.

I ended a column with these two a handful of months ago.  From Lisa Parade to No Small Children, who are wrapping up their new album as we speak, if speaking this be.  The lines I used were “and who would have thought that this” (cue Lisa Parade) “would become this.”  I love these ladies.

Everyone in the States missed The Tamborines, I guess, but I don’t know why.  Overamped guitars and a retro sound I love to hear.  Think The Grip Weeds.  Hell, do more than think The Grip Weeds.  Check them out!

Not many people seem to want to grab onto Fauntella Crow.  I really don’t understand it.  These ladies impress the hell out of me.  Sunday Lane and Jessy Greene?  A match made in Heaven.

The Minnows, ladies and gentlemen!  I’ve been plugging the hell out of them for years!  Is anybody out there?  Is this mike on?  This track is live!  And it’s killer!  Hell, these guys are good enough to be Canadian!

There are only a few albums of cover songs I can stand.  Well, let us instead say that I will listen to.  The WinterpillsEcholalia tops the short list.  This is a live version of Track One, Side One, as we used to say in the old record biz.  Song by Sharon Van Etten.  If you’d read the Notes column from a number of months ago, you would have seen it.

I have been listening a lot to my vinyl copy of the New American FarmersFarmacology album and am completely enthralled by it.  I have two new albums in my collection to use to make the case for vinyl.  This and Chris and Gileah‘s self-titled album.  Oh, I shouldn’t forget Hymn For Her‘s Lucy & Wayne’s Smokin’ Flames.  That is a smoker!  Here’s why I’ve been on a NAF kick.

You should like this one because it’s just so damn pretty.  You should pay more attention.  Joseph LeMay.

Mad Anthony is… well, mad! (Are you paying no attention?)  I saw them play at the old Axe & Fiddle ion Cottage Grove, Oregon and they pinned me against the wall.  Very cool.  You get a chance to see them, take it!

Danny O’Keefe is a Pac Northwest boy.  I remember him from before he headed to L.A. And became a big thing.  I found this video through Huffington Post and meant to revisit it a few times but it got lost.  Just refound it.  From 1990.

You remember Highlight Bomb, of course.  From Tacoma?  Liar!  No one clicked through when I posted this the first time.  They are supposedly working on a new album (they have been working on it for a few years now, I think), but you can scope out what they had in the past.  I would love to see these guys live.

Freedom Hawk has a new album out.  I’m pumped.  This is from their first.

This is what I wrote when I first posted this one: I like the song, I like the voice, but more than anything, I love the arrangement.  Sometimes, arrangements make all the difference.  Ladies and Gentlemen, Audrey Rose:

Swear to God, I am having Chloe Albert withdrawals.  She;d better be home writing, by the gods, or I’ll know why.  In the meantime, here is what I’m talking about— this is fantastic stuff!  I wish I had a label.  I would sign her on the spot.

Carla Olive and Greg Godovitz!  Canada squared!  Freakin’ Godovitz makes it look so easy.

I can only give you a short blip of the band which is Norrish Reaction.  I got these guys right off and am totally crushed that few people outside of my little group of friends have found them.  The album is a monster!  And this 30+ second promo vid proves it!  Seriously, track this album down!  It’s going to be one of the real collector’s items in the years to come!!!!!  You know what?  I might just write a column about this album.  It isn’t ovet ’til I say it’s over kind of a thing.  Yeah…

I still get my head bent by this song.  I think it’s the rhythm.  The Barr Brothers.

There is a very early Simon & Garfunkel feel to this that I really love.

People who know music know Tom House, who writes like he was born during the depression in an area too far down to care.  This guy is authentic as it gets.  That Dorm Guy would be loving this.

Churchwood is freaking nuts.  You can quote me.

Jane Gowan (Shade) recently told me she is back in the studio!  I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.  She has a real touch when it comes to basic Pop.  Like here:

Hannah Gillespie put out an album a couple of years ago titled All the Dirt which had me singing her praises to anyone who would listen.  This video is a bit rough on the vocals, but you can hear the talent.  Scope out Dirt and then let me know what you think.  Some excellent stuff on that.  I think this is pretty nice too.

I’m sure you guys have plenty to listen to.  But let’s go one better.   Here are this week’s…

NotesNotes…..  Australian Bill Jackson is making a move to record in Nashville.  Unlike others who have jumped the pond, Jackson is not swimming in opal, so he is reaching out.  He will undoubtedly bring Pete Fidler, his longtime resonator guitar/steel player along (they are Down Under’s version of David Olney and Sergio Webb) and possibly a few others will join in as well.  Jackson’s The Wayside Ballads Vol. 1 has just been released and Vol. 2 will be the goal.  Some pretty cool “gifts” available including a print of the artwork of Jackson’s The Nashville Session album jacket and a hip flask— yep, a hip flask.  If that ain’t retro, I don’t know what is.  “Branded” and everything, according to the fundraising page (I think that means engraved or something.  Swear to God, you have to live there to understand most of what they say).  I don’t normally write about fundraisers (though I have made a few exceptions), but Jackson is a personal favorite.  My father, who was a WWII vet, told me that if he had to fight next to anyone, it would have been the Aussies.  Had a soft spot in my heart ever since.

Bill writes most of his tunes with brother Ross.  Until now, the pictures I had seen of Ross were of backyard snapshot quality.  This, sports fans, is what a songwriting team looks like.  You can check out the fundraiser page by clicking here.

Bongo Boy Records out of New Jersey has put itself out there promoting videos by bands who make the cut on their cable TV channel (we don’t get it out here in Oregon, but I am sure there are Internet connections…. I need to do something about that).  Their latest connection has been with Zombie Garden Club, a band steeped in heavy backbeat and, on Ache of Love, an overload of reverb and tremelo looking back to the early days of Link Wray.  This is damn nice stuff, if you like electric.  Full album, self-titled, released on June 15th.  Check out the vids here.  You could be heading to Bongo Boy for the full album shortly thereafter.

Full catalog info about this and other Bongo Boy releases can be had by clicking here.

andrewjohnstonMy God!  I really need to check my Inbox more, or weed the wheat from the chaff.  I found this video in a press release I received on April 30th.  It is a beautiful and emotional song by a Canadian artist, Andrew Johnston, who has recently released an EP titled Brace For Impact.  The song is as good an example of song-meets-production as I’ve heard recently.  Here is the story behind the song, stolen from the YouTube page:

More than a few years ago I wrote a song for a dear friend of mine from high school that took her own life. It was one of those highly personal, uncomfortable songs that I thought would never see the light of day. One day my wife heard me strumming it, and told me how much she liked it, and in this way it was resurrected. I guess today that Night Owl gets its first real introduction into the world, via an exclusive video premiere on Surviving the Golden Age, which is a blog based out of the UK. It’s my way of paying tribute to the departed and getting to say the goodbye that is necessarily absent in these situations. I hope it resonates with people and that Allison lives on somehow in the song.

First, take a deep breath.  Then click.

While I am not totally convinced of this, I think it worth checking into deeper.  An old high school friend of mine, Judy Yocom, sent this link regarding cleaning records with wood glue.  Two things:  One, I like the way this dude handles his records.  He knows not to put fingers on the grooves and to use the tools provided by the turntable.  Two, the results speak for themselves but are not conclusive.  The process did take away a chunk of the surface noise.  I would worry about the leftover residue on the record, if any, and the stylus’ propensity toward picking it up.  What might be good for the record may not be good for the stylus.  Still, if this works as shown in the video, this may be a way to recoup that damaged record you have sitting around— the one you could not replace (or could not afford to replace).  Just do your research first.

Hot damn!  Dave McGraw & Mandy Fer just posted this video which supports my contention that Mandy is one fine guitarist!  Dave ain’t bad himself, but…..  This is another reason to scope this duo out!


Frank’s column appears every Tuesday

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DBAWIS ButtonFrank Gutch Jr. looks like Cary Grant, writes like Hemingway and smells like Pepe Le Pew. He has been thrown out of more hotels than Keith Moon, is only slightly less pompous than Garth Brooks and at one time got laid at least once a year (one year in a row). He has written for various publications, all of which have threatened to sue if mentioned in any of his columns, and takes pride in the fact that he has never been quoted. Read at your own peril.”

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