Back in the Pleistocene, when I published varying formats of the Camera Obscura zine, from broadsheet to cassette, I had a particular fondness for the lower end of prole artistry because it always possessed an energy and wit lacking in other modes, a street-level texture unavailable from Quantum Studio-produced works that were slick as cellophane. I discovered Ham Sandwich, The Trouble with Larry, Mark Tucker (yep, a musician mailman with my name in San Diego), and a bunch of garage cassettes and LPs in varying genres that sounded like they came from friends and neighbors rather than Hollwood factories. When I arrived at FAME many years later, I discovered The Escape the Floodwaters Jug Band (love those bastards!), Bill Bachman, and a clutch of similar acts with significantly upleveled acumen but still very much Everyman and distinctive. Now walrus-moustached fellow Boomer Billy Mitchell has collected 18 of his humorous novo-geriatric protest music pieces…and, er, that's gentle protest music, y'all, 'cause Boomers aren't quite as piss 'n vinegar firebally as they used to be. Trust me, I know.
Mitchell is the Boomer Bob Rivers making CDs in a back room studio that I can just picture housing the Nordic Track he used to trot on 15 years ago and now serves as a sculptured coat rack beside the piled up boxes of Xmas decorations stored until next Dec. 25th. I was particularly tickled by I Wish I Could Remember because, hoo boy!, I'm starting to get to that stage a bit myself, no better shown than when I turn the TV in the middle of looking for my glasses, catch sight of that asshole Bill O'Reilly, start fuming and fretting, work up an appetite, sashay to the kitchen to make a sandwich and…and…wait a minute!, what the hell did I start talking about?
Boomer Power's one of those discs residing halfway between what Irwin Chusid calls 'incorrect music' and Doctor Demento, and this CD's gonna appeal to rednecks, aging hippies (whoa, who just threw the photo of me at the Jefferson Airplane's '72 Forum concert across the room???), people collecting DIY populist art, and anyone who can't locate enough comedy music, myself among 'em. Mitchell's pop once sang with Perry Como (who???) (jes' kiddin'!) in the USO during WWII, and, the apple falling close to the cypress, Bill first joined a college band in the 60s, then a doo wop ensemble, and to this day fronts the classic rock band New York Minute, which even landed a spot at The House of Blues on Sunset Strip. Cast yer baby blues at the titles below, and you'll get an idea of what you're in for in this folky/bluesy/C&W-y fifth release from the guy who also issued the hilariously titled The Diva of the Silver Top Diner.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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