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     This is a collection of songs that depict a specific time and place. It’s a snapshot of some of the musical output of a small community of songwriters and musicians who could be heard on street corners, in small venues, at backyard campfires, and house parties in New Orleans in the spring of 2016. Though some of the acts involved had attained national recognition and a number of the players were part of acts that enjoyed wider success, most were known only within the city through word of mouth. Little documentation of their work existed. Inspired by the quality of musicianship and songwriting of these artists, fellow musicians Duff Thompson and Bill Howard set about to record the songs they felt ought to be shared and appreciated by a wider audience than whoever happened to luck upon these gems in person. 

 

     Over the course of two months they recorded over 150 songs in a variety of improvised locations in New Orleans. Many of the sessions were hosted at songwriter/musician Sam Doores’ 

house, where he played on a number of the recordings with various bands (Twain & the Deslondes, Jackson & the Janks, The Lostines, Duff Thompson & the Full Grown Men, Pony Hunt). It was during this time that Sam had the idea to start the record label which became Mashed Potato Records. 

 

     A distinctive feature of the tracks on MPR Vol I is a strong influence from American roots music, the result of a community of musicians who converged in New Orleans sharing a love of traditional jazz, early country, blues, folk, and R&B. These influences permeate the recordings; Jonathan Henley’s Here to Stay is evocative of ‘70s-era Michael Hurley, Jackson & the Janks cover a hit gospel song from 1947 (The Trumpeteer’s Milky White Way), The Lostine’s Playing the Fool is a jubilant ‘60s girl-group throw-back, and their song No Mama Blues (co-written by Riley Downing) has the mournful storytelling of a classic American folk ballad.

     These recordings reflect the circumstances under which they were made; informal, without finances, and for the sake of making music as an end in and of itself. All the songs were recorded to a reel-to-reel borrowed from a friend (Max Bien-Kahn), and all but two of the songs featured were recorded entirely live with a simple two-mic set-up. Run Wild (Twain & the Deslondes) was initially recorded as the audio track for a video shot by Joshua Shoemaker. Did Life Make You Bitter? resulted from an impromptu live recording at a party, using Duff’s van as the live room and Bill’s van as the control room. A suggestion following a live show prompted an otherwise-unplanned recording session the next day, during which Duff Thompson & the Full Grown Men cut six live tracks in just over two hours. A friend traveling through sat down in Duff’s van to record five songs, leading to the compilation closer Rare Feeling. All five tracks have been released as Alternator, one half of a double EP from Twain. Indeed, most of the tracks included in this compilation are part of larger collections of songs captured in these sessions, and which I hope you will be inspired to seek out, listen to, and share as well.

 

                                                                                                                                                 -Steph Green

                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                        

Mashed Potato Records Vol I - Credits

Run Wild - Twain & The Deslondes

Written by Merle Kilgore

Arranged by Twain & the Deslondes

Recorded & Mixed by Duff Thompson

Vocals, Guitar - Mat Davidson

Guitar, Backing Vocals - Riley Downing

Guitar, Backing Vocals - Sam Doores

Bass, Backing Vocals - Dan Cutler

Percussion, Backing Vocals - Cameron Snyder

I Don't Wanna Wake Up - Duff Thompson

Written, Arranged, & Produced By Duff Thompson

Recorded by Duff Thompson & Bill Howard

Vocals, Guitar - Duff Thompson

Electric Guitar - Bill Howard

Bass - Max Bien Kahn

Drums - Sam Doores

Violins - Julia Narveson, Mat Davidson, Craig Judelman, Chris Booth

Backing Vocals - Camille Wind Weatherford

Backing Vocals - Esther Rose

Rosemary - The Good Gollies

Written by Camille Wind Weatherford

Arranged by The Good Gollies

Recorded by Duff Thompson & Bill Howard

Mixed by Max Bien Kahn

Vocals - Camille Wind Weatherford

Vocals - Emma Eisenhauer

Vocals, Guitar - Jon Hatchet

Lap Steel - Matt Bell

Bass - Max Bien Kahn

Look at the Moon - Jonathan Henley

Written by Jonathan Henley

Arranged by the performers

Recorded & Mixed by Duff Thompson

Vocals, Guitar - Jonathan Henley

Vocals - Leonie Evans

Steel Guitar - Nikolai Shveitser

Violin - Coleman Akin

Bass - Robert Ayo

Drums - Duff Thompson

Did Life Make You Bitter? - Steph Green

Written & Arranged by Steph Green

Recorded & Mixed by Bill Howard & Duff Thompson

Vocals, Guitar - Steph Green

Violin - Lyle Werner

Lap Steel - Chris Herbst

Milky White Way - Jackson & the Janks

Written by Lander Coleman

Arranged by Jackson & the Janks

Recorded & Mixed by Bill Howard

Vocals, Guitar - Jackson Lynch

Lap Steel - Matt Bell

Bass Sax - Craig Flory

Keys, Backing Vocals - Sam Doores

Drums, Backing Vocals - Duff Thompson

Island - Max & the Martians

Written, Arranged & Produced by Max Bien Kahn

Recorded by Duff Thompson & Max Bien Kahn

Mixed by Ross Farbe

Vocals, Guitar, Bass - Max Bien Kahn

Lead Guitar - Jordan Odom

Piano - Shaye Cohn

Drums - Duff Thompson

Backing Vocals - Camille Wind Weatherford

Backing Vocals - Emma Eisenhauer

Playing the Fool - The Lostines

Written by Camille Wind Weatherford

Arranged by The Lostines

Recorded & Mixed by Duff Thompson

Vocals, Guitar - Camille Wind Weatherford

Harmony Vocals - Casey Jane Reece-Kaigler

Piano - Sam Doores

Bass - Callie Millington

Drums - Cameron Snyder

Backing Vocals & Additional Percussion - Duff Thompson

Dream of You - Pony Hunt

Written, Produced, & Mixed by Jessie Antonick

Arranged by the performers

Recorded by Jessie Antonick & Sam Doores

Vocals, Drums - Jessie Antonick

Piano, Backing Vocals - Sam Doores

Bass - Dan Cutler

Guitar - Chris Cummings

Backing Vocals - Ross O'Dwyer

I Don't Miss the Old Times - Duff Thompson & The Full Grown Men

Written, Arranged, & Produced by Duff Thompson

Recorded  & Mixed by Duff Thompson & Bill Howard

Vocals, Guitar - Duff Thompson

Electric Guitar - Bill Howard

Bass - Max Bien Kahn

Drums - Sam Doores

Piano - Mat Davidson

Violins - Julia Narveson, Craig Judelman, Chris Booth

Backing Vocals - Camille Wind Weatherford

Backing Vocals - Esther Rose

No Mama Blues - The Lostines

Written by Camille Wind Weatherford & Riley Downing

Arranged by The Lostines

Recorded & Mixed by Duff Thompson

Guitar, Vocals - Camille Wind Weatherford

Harmony Vocals - Casey Jane Reece-Kaigler

Piano - Sam Doores

Guitar - Duff Thompson

Rare Feeling - Twain

Written by Mat Davidson

Recorded by Duff Thompson

Guitar, Vocals - Mat Davidson

All songs Mastered by Carl Saff.

Album Artwork & Design by Julia Narveson.

The Deslondes (Dan Cutler, Cameron Snyder, Riley Downing and Sam Doores) appear courtesy of New West Records.

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     Mashed Potato Records was conceptualized in the spring of 2016, and by early 2017 a makeshift, analogue-based recording studio had been set up by the Mississippi River in a structure that was more a shack than a house, but unmistakably a home. Occupying this home were Sam Doores, Duff Thompson, and myself. With a fixed place to record, Sam and Duff upgraded to a better tape machine, got a four-channel mixer, and embarked on more formal and complex set-ups than the live, 2-mic recordings of the year prior. Resultantly, the songs on Vol II are higher-fidelity and fuller-sounding than on Vol I. Along with Sam and Duff, Bill Howard remained a major part of MPR in 2017, engineering and playing on many of the tracks.

 

     There’s an admirable amount of commitment and sheer gumption required to make quality recorded music with the lack of material resources the founders of MPR contended with. Creating a vintage analogue recording studio with low-to-no budget (and all the malfunctioning equipment that goes 

with it) is both foolish and exciting, and unspeakable extremes were taken to make it happen. Actually not really. But it was very difficult. Money, sleep, hygiene, sanity, morale, and dignity were all compromised as Sam and Duff embarked on scheduling, engineering, and often performing in dozens of recordings in little more than a month. All but two of the tracks on this compilation were created over a consecutive 40-day stretch of long recording sessions.

     MPR Vol II would not exist without the collective effort of the musical community it sprang out of, and it’s inspiring to see what a group of people with a shared passion will do when given the opportunity. Musicians showed up and performed on long days under less than ideal conditions completely free of charge because they loved their friends’ songs and wanted to contribute to recordings that reflected something meaningful to them. And because it was fun, most of the time. Although some of the bands in these sessions were already fixed, rehearsed line-ups (Tuba Skinny, Chris Acker & the Growing Boys, Esther Rose’ band, Jackson & the Janks), most were not. Throughout this compilation you will hear numerous variations of the same session players backing different songwriters, and in fact, almost every track on the compilation features one or more of the same four backing musicians (Sam Doores, Duff Thompson, Max Bien-Kahn, and myself). 

 

     Almost all of the artists featured on this compilation have released more tracks that were recorded during these sessions as full-length albums, EP’s, and singles, and you ought to hear them all.

 

                                                                                                                                                 -Steph Green

                                                                                                                                               

Mashed Potato Records Vol II - Credits

Stumblin' - Jackson & the Janks

Written by Jackson Lynch

Arranged by Jackson & the Janks

Recorded & Mixed by Bill Howard

Vocals, Guitar - Jackson Lynch

Lap Steel - Matt Bell

Bass Sax - Craig Flory

Keys, Backing Vocals - Sam Doores

Drums, Backing Vocals - Duff Thompson

If Nothing Else Comes Along - Steph Green

Written, Arranged, Produced, & Mixed by Steph Green

Recorded  by Duff Thompson, Steph Green & Bill Howard

Vocals, Guitar, Lap Steel - Steph Green

Lead Guitar - Duff Thompson

Organ - Ric Robertson

Bass - Max Bien Kahn

Drums - Sam Doores

Time - Leonie Evans

Written by Leonie Evans

Arranged by the performers

Recorded & Mixed by Duff Thompson

Vocals, Guitar - Leonie Evans

Lap Steel, Backing Vocals - Steph Green

Violin, Backing Vocals - Gina Leslie

Electric Guitar - Dave Hammer

Organ - Ric Robertson

Bass Sax - Craig Flory

Bass - Max Bien Kahn

Drums - Chelsea Moosekian

Tupelo Pine - Tuba Skinny

Written & Arranged by Tuba Skinny

Recorded by Duff Thompson

Mixed by Duff Thompson & Ross Farbe

Cornet - Shaye Cohn

Trombone - Barnabus Jones

Resonator Guitar - Max Bien Kahn

6-String Banjo - Jason Lawrence

Sousaphone - Todd Burdick

Clarinet - Craig Flory

Resonator Guitar - Greg Sherman

Percussion - Robin Rapuzzi

 

Burning House of Dreams - John James Tourville

Written by John James Tourville

Arranged by the performers

Recorded & Mixed by Sam Doores

Performers:

John James Tourville

Cameron Snyder

Joel Jackson

Derick Spivey

Mick Glasgow

Shaye Cohn

Barnabus Jones

Craig Flory


 

It's Been Wrong - The Lostines

Written by Camille Wind Weatherford

Arranged by The Lostines

Recorded by Duff Thompson & Jordan Odom

Mixed by Ross Farbe

Vocals, Guitar - Camille Wind Weatherford

Harmony Vocals - Casey Jane Reece-Kaigler

Lead Guitar - Jordan Odom

Bass - Dan Cutler

Drums & Backing Vocals - Howe Pearson

Keys & Backing Vocals - Sam Doores

 

You're Pretty Good - Duff Thompson

Written, Produced, Recorded & Mixed by Duff Thompson

Vocals, Guitar - Duff Thompson

Slide Guitar - Jordan Odom

Bass - Max Bien Kahn

Drums - Bill Howard

 

Doorways - Liza Cane

Written by Liza Cane

Arranged by the performers

Recorded & Mixed by Duff Thompson

Vocals, Guitar - Liza Cane

Lap Steel, Backing Vocals - Steph Green

Lead Guitar - Max Bien Kahn

Organ - Duff Thompson

Bass - Jordan Odom

Drums - Sam Doores

 

Stole My Heart - Sabine McCalla

Written by Sabine McCalla

Arranged by the performers

Recorded & Mixed by Duff Thompson & Sam Doores

Vocals - Sabine McCalla

Drums, Harmony Vocals - Leonie Evans

Harmony Vocals - Steph Green

 

Rocket Ship - Pony Hunt

Written & Produced by Jessie Antonick

Arranged by the performers

Recorded by Duff Thompson & Jessie Antonick

Mixed by Adam Keil & Jessie Antonick

Vocals, Guitar - Jessie Antonick

Lap Steel - Steph Green

Violin - Mat Davidson

Lead Guitar - Duff Thompson

Bass - Julie Shexnayder
Drums, Keys - Sam Doores


 

Dallas Does Debbie - Chris Acker & the Growing Boys

Written by Chris Acker

Arranged by Chris Acker & the Growing Boys

Recorded & Mixed by Duff Thompson & Bill Howard

Vocals, Guitar - Chris Acker

Electric Guitar - Gabe Federici

Lap Steel - Nikolai Shveitser

Bass - Zach Thomas

Drums - Ray Miccarelli

Backing Vocals - Camille Wind Weatherford
 

The Game - Esther Rose

Written by Esther Rose

Arranged by the performers

Recorded by Duff Thompson & Sam Doores

Mixed by Adam Keil

Vocals, Guitar - Esther Rose

Lap Steel - Matt Bell

Violin - Lyle Werner

Bass - Callie Millington

Drums - Cameron Snyder

 

All songs Mastered by Carl Saff.

Album Artwork & Design by Julia Narveson.

Dan Cutler, John James Tourville, Cameron Snyder, and Sam Doores appear courtesy of New West Records.