ARTISTS & COMPILATIONS
MASHED POTATO RECORDS VOLUME II
Artwork by Julia Narveson.
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.
1. Stumblin' - Jackson & the Janks
2. If Nothing Else Comes Along - Steph Green
3. Time - Leonie Evans
4. Tupelo Pine - Tuba Skinny
5. Burning House of Dreams - John James Tourville
6. Rocket Ship - Pony Hunt
7. It's Been Wrong - The Lostines
8. You're Pretty Good- Duff Thompson
9. Dallas Does Debbie - Chris Acker & the Growing Boys
10. Doorways - Liza Cane
11. Stole My Heart - Sabine McCalla
12. The Game - Esther Rose