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ARTISTS & COMPILATIONS

MASHED POTATO RECORDS VOLUME I

Artwork by Julia Narveson.

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 Trumpeteers' 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

TRACK LIST

1. Run Wild - Twain & The Deslondes

2. Crab Walk! - Duff Thompson & the Full Grown Men

3. Rosemary - The Good Gollies

4. Look at the Moon - Jonathan Henley

5. Did Life Make You Bitter? - Steph Green

6. Milky White Way - Jackson & the Janks

7. Island - Max & the Martians

8. Playing the Fool - The Lostines

9. Dream of You - Pony Hunt

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

11. No Mama Blues - The Lostines

12. Rare Feeling - Twain

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

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

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

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 - Minnie Heart, Craig Judelman, Chris Booth

Backing Vocals - Camille Wind Weatherford

Backing Vocals - Esther Rose

Crab Walk! - Duff Thompson & The Full Grown Men

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 - Minnie Heart, 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

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

Playing the Fool - The Lostines

Written by Camille Wind Weatherford