AHT 125 – Limited Edition of 50 copies with individually designed and hand drawn sleeves.
Purchase digital version on Bandcamp here.
1. Elton Wong – Mississippi Luau 02:49
2. The Warbling Birds – Hallucinating Runaway 02:52
3. Low-Ways – It’s Shiraz! 02:40
4. Katie Van Sleen – Fake Country Music 02:26
5. Ed Nolbed – Appeals To The Sun 02:31
6. The V-Tones Of Charleston – Bog Man 02:13
7. Doo Crowder and Celie Dailey – Plantation Of Pain 02:02
8. George Willard and Sydney Plunkett – California Is In The Way 02:48
9. Organ Failure – Leave No Traces 01:37
10. Matthew Edward Clarke – Health & Vitality 01:51
11. Malasada – Shag Dancing Is Cool 02:00
12. Little Whirls – Sadder And Sadder 01:32
13. Reguclarity – The Island Of The Robot Building Monkey 01:49
14. RHD – I’m Staying Here 01:30
15. I AM THE LAKE OF FIRE – Sinkhole 01:28
16. ScarPet – Baby Albert 02:03
17. Goosewind – ¡Viva Zapato! 02:55
18. Rebecca and Celie – Go To Hell 02:14
19. Staffers – Windows Of Opportunity 02:02
20. Golden Boots – Sleepwalk 01:26
21. J. Boulay – Go Home 02:03
22. Nutrition Fun – My Gambling Days Are Over 03:30
23. Shana Vorhauer – Next To The Harbor 02:41
24. Miniature And Presidential – Belly Of The Whale 01:23
25. Adam Void – Trainwreck 02:00
26. Gulf Fangs – Neddie Dubois 02:49
27. Caleb Fraid – Feu Feu Bitch #3 03:23
28. Broken Shoulder – Fightsong 01:51
29. Chris Bjornn and Hoops – Jim Phizz And The Crabber 01:02
30. Mechanical River – Positive Ring 02:04
31. Monogamy – He’s Got It Good 03:30
32. L. Eugene Methe – I Lock The Door Apon Myself 02:21
33. Poopylungstuffing – Babydoll Nite 02:01
34. Lovers Turn To Monsters – Nothing Can Stop Me 02:51
35. Will Milner and Celie – My Sleeping Dreams 03:23
36. Wio – I Thank My Lucky Stars 03:13
37. The Debts – Wiper Motor 02:08
38. Andy Gish and Kim Ware – The Story Of Baby Ned 04:45
39. Kids Of The Atomic Age – Story Of Sweet Suzy 03:04
40. Quimling – Liquor Store 01:54
41. Kitchen Cynics – Reaching For My Own Throat 03:22
42. Wckr Spgt – Corrupt Park Ranger 02:02
43. Mind Gem – Up To The Surface 03:46
44. Sam Locke Ward – Total Maroon 02:32
45. Ramon Speed – Your Man 04:23
46. Edward Gray – Visit 03:53
47. Plundershop – Fred, Ginger And The Irrational Fears Of Audie Murphy 05:58
48. Ed Rooney – Graveyard 02:56
49. Restaurnaut – Darla Come Down From Jackson 05:31
50. Stephen – Motorcycle Accident 01:54
51. Gary Alien – One-Eyed Bird Performance 02:15
52. Creeping Charlie – Float Away On Styrophoam 02:04
53. CRNDLSM – Boom Boom 02:24
54. John & Paul and the Studio Musicians – John Lennon’s First Band 01:53
55. Motormouth Mabel – Death From The Depths 01:43
56. Crude Iron – My Little Window 02:23
57. Fernando Christian Rodriguez Besel – Getting It Out Of My System 03:32
58. Mike Piss – Complimentary Supplement 01:02
59. de portables (featuring Luigi) – A Dead Bird And A Pine Cone 19:30
I’ve just started rearranging my collection of cassettes. It’s a job that had to be done and that I like it. Putting them in alphabetical order would be madness so I’m dividing the tapes by labels. Bacchanalian Revel, Theme Park and Traumatone on one side, those released by Shrimper on the other. A pile of Rok Lok cassettes and one by Bridgetown. Union Pole and Catsup Plate. There is no shortage of Unread, Fuck It Tapes, Doormat, TX, Studio Muscle and Sing, Eunuchs! releases. And there are obviously tons of cassettes released by Flannel Banjo: Charlie McAlister’s record label.
The first Charlie record that came into my hand was “Mississippi Luau”. Beautiful, starting with the cover. There was a scrap of fabric, a canvas or a piece of upholstery from an old sofa, on which a very enigmatic photocopied piece of paper was glued. The music was what you would expect to come out of a banjo played by Huckelberry Finn or Rip Van Winkle immediately after drinking something prodigious. I was hooked.
A few years later I bought a stock of cassettes and in the lot, by chance, there are about twenty Charlie cassettes. It was love.
I tracked down Charlie in 2009, before putting Almost Halloween Time Records back on its feet, I wrote him because I needed more music and he had more… Oh god if he had.
Nobody knows the total number of cassettes made by Charlie, neither I do.
I started working at this project with Caleb Fraid. It was January 2020 when we received the first set of songs. We tought: “we will release this tribute and then will build the hightest fire ant mound in the world, it will have the size of the Taj Mahal and the magnificence of the vault of the Sistine Chapel.”
“Darla come down from Jackson” is exactly this, a tribute to the greatest home taper of all times, a collection of songs written by Charlie and covered by his many friends. Songs that originally appeared on long out of print tapes and records, that Caleb Fraid and I are not the only one to venerate. There is enough material in Charlie’s songs to start a cult.
But all we have now is this collection of songs for you, you will help us with the rest.
This compilation is dedicated to Charlie which although I never managed to meet, it was an ever-present voice in my head and my ears. It would never have been possible without the contribution of Jonathan Boulay who oversaw the mastering of all the material received (59 songs) and the approval of Charlie’s family and friends.
Now I leave the floor to Caleb Fraid.
The first time I did this was in the late 90’s and I managed to gather a whopping 29 tracks! Considering that it was all done by actual letter writing and long distance phone calls makes it all the more an achievement. All of the tracks were also submitted on cassettes. Of course, that was normal then.The end result was a tape called The Prisoner of the Spectacle. I couldn’t be more proud. To me, Charlie was a larger than life folk hero like Johnny Appleseed. He was a friend, as well. I knew I couldn’t be alone in thinking he was a genius so I reached out to everyone I knew and everyone I could think of that Charlie knew, etc. To my delight, people seemed pretty enthused about the project. I can’t recall all the details now but it definitely wasn’t a struggle. I didn’t have to plead and beg. I just asked for tracks and got ’em. Charlie and his music really made this happen. Can’t say enough about the packaging either. The cover art, created by Ashley Holt is just brilliant. He loves Charlie as much as anyone. He printed the actual covers himself to ensure they were of fine quality. Nothing but the best for this project. What’s more… we were able to keep it a secret from Charlie until it was complete. I then mailed it to him. Needless to say he was surprised and pleased. Ashley told me that Charlie told him that it made him feel “strong!” Ha! I love that! Currently there is an incomplete version of this comp on my Caleb Fraid Bandcamp page. I need to put up a better version. A goal for 2023.
So why do a second tribute if the first is so perfect? Well, there’s lots of reasons. First and foremost, it’s just fun. It’s been a quarter century since the first one came out. Time to see what all our new friends came up with, as well as the repeat offenders. Not only that but I long for Charlie to be more well known than he already is! Remember when they sent a Blind willie Johnson track up into space in the 1970’s?? They may do something like this again! “Space Play” going to Mars seems appropriate. (Or wait.. you would be dangerously less close to the sun if you were headed to Mars…pfft… details. Space! That was the key there.) My fantasy at the beginning stages of this second tribute was to hopefully get some real famous folks involved. To that end we failed or I failed. Doesn’t have any effect on the quality of the comp but I just think it’s going to take someone bigger than the people I know to cover one of his songs and get Charlie more recognition. If you’re reading this and you know how to get someone bigger involved then by all means please make it happen. I think it will be good for the world. You love him. I love him. Shouldn’t it be the case that some kid in 2069 gets a chance to love him? Charlie McAlister and Phillip Lee Duncan are the 2 super creative standouts I ever met in life and I’ve known plenty of very talented people. Since they are no longer with us it is our obligation I believe to spread their gospel. I don’t know how many years I have left championing them so finding more to carry the torch seems important to me. I just heard about a reissue on vinyl of some old Charlie tapes yesterday. All of these things help. Let’s always keep this ball rolling.
Anyway… big thanks to Luigi and Almost Halloween Time for everything. I’m excited to say that this time around we collected 59 tracks! We doubled the number of tracks this time around and have one extra to grow on! I’m at a disadvantage here having only heard a handful of the tracks but I know it’s going to be good.(btw…I was told that the sooner I write this the sooner the comp gets released so forgive me if I rushed thru it. I’m just as ready as you are to hear it in its entirety!) Thanks to everyone who participated and viva Charlie! I miss him as a real live human but at the very least we have his works. Please continue to share them.
released October 3, 2022
Mastered by Jonathan Boulay.
All songs originally by Charlie McAlister.