Secretly Distributon

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2015-02-17
Alan Watts: This Is It!

Psychedelic music all began with the tiniest possible bang: a minuscule pressing of a self-produced LP by Zen Buddhist scholar Alan Watts. In one cosmic flash of inspiration and group improvisation, the next two decades of musical innovation was pre-supposed: psychedelic rock, spiritual jazz, and even new age. As this micro pressing barely made it out of the ashram, it was his writings that actually spread his ideas, usually through osmosis: he was profoundly influential on the beat poets and the subsequent counter-culture. He became the forebear of '60s counter-culture's spirituality, much as William Burroughs was the forebear of its hedonism.

Released in 1962, This Is It is an imaginative cacophony of percussion, non-verbal chanting, and free-flowing expression, punctuated occasionally by leisurely passes at a terrestrial piano, marimba, or french horn. It is at once, experimental, intellectual, and experiential. Three years before Ken Kesey's inaugural Acid Test, This Is It! constitutes the first transmission for a tuned-in counterculture of hippies, beats, and psychedelic revolutionaries of all stripes.

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2012-09-25
Alfonso Lovo: La Gigantona

The son of a prominent Nicaraguan politician, Alfonso Noel Lovo was an obvious target when Sandinista rebels hijacked a Managua-bound flight from Miami in December of 1971, ultimately putting several rounds through the talented musician's torso and hand. After several years, and as many surgeries, he would break ground on this psychedelic pastiche of Latin jazz and pan-American funk, recorded in his nation's capital in 1976. The binary stars of the sessions would be the agile Lovo and percussionist Jose "Chepito" Areas, whose timbale work can be heard on watershed records by Carlos Santana, including the Latin-rock milestone, "Oye Como Va." Lovo's unreleased masterpiece, combining the talents of Nicaragua's most notorious players, recalls at once the spiritual funkiness of Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi, the studio trickology of Lee "Scratch" Perry, and the dense propulsion of Billy Cobham's Spectrum. Fusion begets confusion, as hand-plucked guitar melodies tumble into synthesizer meltdowns with wasted grace. More experimental than Jamaica's heaviest dub plate, La Gigantona lays in a groove that is, at times, as deep in the pocket as it is in the clouds.

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2019-01-18
Antena: Camino Del Sol

1982, Brussels: Living on busking wages and next door to Tuxedomoon, Antena manage to make a contemporary bossa nova record that provides the missing link between Antonio Carlos Jobim and Kraftwerk. The original Camino Del Sol has been given back its spacious mini-LP quarters, recasting this short-lived combo's forward-thinking mile marker as a modern-day masterstroke.

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2014-11-11
Bedhead: WhatFunLifeWas

Original 1994 album remastered and repackaged in an expanded gatefold and pressed on 180 gram virgin vinyl.

"On a family vacation to Florida in the mid-'70s, Bubba cut his head on the bedside table in a motel room. I still remember it vividly and how I was haunted by the matter-of-fact line: 'you cut your head on the bedside table.' Its ten syllables sounded right, but the content is what really haunted me. It felt like the ultimate betrayal, the bedside table taking advantage of its proximity to a serenely sleeping body." - Matt Kadane

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2014-11-11
Bedhead: Transaction de Novo

Original 1998 album remastered and pressed on 180 gram virgin vinyl.

"I met them in full flower, in the depths of their mania, pursuing contemplative music with the kind of intensity normally found in psychopaths. No detail was too small to sweat, no crack in the veneer not worth gluing and clamping. We built a common language, equal parts philosophy, rock music, and disdain for the dullness around us." - Steve Albini, on recording Transaction De Novo

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2015-04-28
Bedhead: Live 1998

Captured during their Transaction de Novo tour, Bedhead's Live 1998 finds the group upon the fabled stages of Chicago's Empty Bottle and San Francisco's Bottom of the Hill. For their April 16th, 1998 performance in Chicago, recording engineer Bob Weston set up in the facility's basement, tracking the entire performance onto a mobile 16-track ADAT unit. Three additional tracks were recorded in similar fashion at San Francisco's Bottom of the Hill on March 14th, 1998. Mixed by the band and mastered at Chicago Mastering Service, these previously unreleased sessions celebrate the band's live show in ultrahigh fidelity. Limited to 1,000 copies.

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2014-11-11
Bedhead: Beheaded

Original 1996 album remastered and pressed on 180 gram virgin vinyl.

"Beheaded was such a quiet record out of necessity. I was living in a small apartment. Some of the songs I did are really quiet with no drums because I couldn't think of anything to do, we couldn't practice, and I didn't want to wake up the neighbors. It's a definite case of environment affecting the creative process." - Matt Kadane

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2014-11-11
Bedhead: 1992-1996

The complete studio recordings of Dallas, Texas, slow-core pioneers. Every cymbal crash, guitar brush, and whisper, across five LPs or four compact discs. Deluxe box includes WhatFunLifeWas, Beheaded, Transaction De Novo, and an additional disc overflowing with singles, EPs, and outtakes, alongside a perfect bound book dissecting the quintet's nervous slouch through the '90s.

"I met them in full flower, in the depths of their mania, pursuing contemplative music with the kind of intensity normally found in psychopaths. No detail was too small to sweat, no crack in the veneer not worth gluing and clamping. We built a common language, equal parts philosophy, rock music, and disdain for the dullness around us." - Steve Albini

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2018-06-08
Bernadette Carroll: Laughing On The Outside

Though not a household name, Bernadette Carroll is one of the more successful teen vocalists of the girl group era. She charted as a member of the Angels, as a solo act, and as a for-hire backup singer, performing on at least two #1 hits, selling over a million copies of each. You've heard her voice, whether you know it or not.

Her early '60s work with Hazlet, New Jersey, producer Tommy Falcone resulted in a handful of singles for the Cleopatra and Julia labels, including the syrupy ballad "Laughing on the Outside (Crying on the Inside)" and the upbeat dancer "Heavenly." "Laughing" was buried in a New Jersey basement until we pulled it from obscurity for last year's "End of the F***ing World" for Netflix, which garnered the track five million streams in its first three months.

Bernadette Carroll will be featured prominently on Teen Expo: The Cleopatra Label and Basement Beehive: The Girl Group Underground, both due this fall.

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2016-09-30
Blonde Redhead: Masculin FĂ©minin

Teeming with the energy and grit of pre-Giuliani Manhattan, Blonde Redhead's long out-of-print early recordings have finally crawled their way out of the '90s basement thanks to Numero Group who will issue the set on Sept. 30. Weighing in at 37 tracks, Masculin FĂ©minin compiles the band's first two albums for Steve Shelley's Smells Like Records (self-titled and La Mia Via Violenta), their period singles, extant demos, and radio performances across four LPs or two CDs. Dozens of previously unpublished photographs illustrate two lengthy essays on this essential New York band's formative years.

This is the latest installment in Numero Group's 200 Line series which has also included releases from Unwound, Bedhead, Codeine, White Zombie and The Scientists.

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2018-10-26
Blondie: Heart of Glass EP

The song that burst Blondie out of the streets of the Bowery to #1 on the charts, "Heart of Glass" was the pivotal moment in punk's choreographed slamdance with the mainstream. Inspired by Kraftwerk and Giorgio Moroder, Blondie transformed their campy "Disco Song" into a Roland-driven juggernaut and never looked back. Explored and exploded via six distinct versions remastered from the original analog tapes, the history of "Heart of Glass" is documented here in a copious essay and it's art reimagined by noted American illustrator Shepard Fairey.

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2015-06-09
Boscoe: Boscoe

The private issue answer to Chicago's afrocentric giants Earth Wind & Fire, The Pharaohs, and the Art Ensemble, boasting an unholy conflagration of soul, funk, spiritual jazz, African rhythms, and the politics of Black Power. Come witness the invocation of death, a war for peace that black America must fight, Malcolm X's violent passing, brains already in the grave, God's damning of us all, and a glib parody of "The Star Spangled Banner," all delivered by a crawling funk fusion as eager to blast us awake with harsh words as with insistent horns.

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2014-10-28
Bulbous Creation: You Won't Remember Dying

In 1971, Bulbous Creation poured what little personal surplus they had into a full day of recording at Cavern Studios, tracking enough material for a full length album. The band wouldn't stay together long enough to save up for a custom pressing on Rock. Singer/guitarist Paul Parkinson was deeply individualistic, and left to perform his songs as he thought they should be, as a solo act. He preferred coffee shops to concert halls, and would stick to his craft another 20 years before hanging it up. Drummer Horstmann followed suit. Jim "Bugs" Wine and guitarist Alan Lewis soldiered on, shortening their name to the more sensible Creation and adding vocalist Wayne Austin, dynamic drummer Tommy Ward, and guitarist Roger Sewell. The Bulbous Creation LP was nearly doomed to oblivion, but for the efforts of Rich Haupt, who issued an unauthorized eight song LP in 1995 on his Rockadelic imprint. Lewis died in 1998 of esophageal cancer. When Paul Parkinson died of leukemia in 2001, a lone copy turned up amongst his possessions, with piece of mind that someone, somewhere, was listening.

Bump & the Soul Stompers: I Can Remember / Standing On The Outside

At the core of Kansas City’s vibrant classic-era soul scene was no record label or studio, but America’s Best Attractions, run by booking agent Allen Bell. America’s Best, and the exceedingly above-board Bell, kept countless local acts roadweary and comfortably paid. Bump & the Soul Stompers, led by Jerald “Bump” Scott, was among several Bell-related acts that bounced through enviable careers without ever having to enter a recording studio. Even so, “Bump” Scott did lead his band into one of the region’s best-known facilities: Damon Studios (deeded to Victor Damon, inventor of the spring reverb, and not to be confused with big band great Vic Damone). Bump and company’s first single, had ever been released, “I Can Remember” momentarily recalls The Delfonics’ “Do You Remember” before flipping its melody the other way around. On the B-side, “Standing On The Outside” makes further appeals to the lowrider set, brakepedaling the tempo a notch or two.

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2013-12-03
Calvin Harris: Love's Recipe / Wives Get Lonely Too

Previously unreleased, this 1972 pair of Calvin Harris’ masterfully crafted Earl Wiley-produced sweet soul demos might’ve stayed totally unknown, if it weren’t for Ed Cody’s devious forethought. An engineer at Chicago’s Stereosonic facility, Cody duped himself a submaster reference copy of the complete session. In ’73, Wiley heard “Love Won’t Pay The Bills” on 45—credited to a group called Elevation—and instantly recognized the Cody-engineered track as his own. Nearly 40 years later, through Numero Group research into Stereosonic, Cody, and Wiley, a cache of Cody masters presented themselves for new evaluation. The alternately buoyant and sobering odes to domesticity reproduced here finally grant honey-voiced Harris and the talented Wiley their long-deserved due.

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2013-09-17
Centaura: Lawdy, Lawdy, Lawd

Warrior horse-woman of myth or chimerical beast of late 1970s funk? It is simply Centaura, available here for what amounts to the first time. For Atlanta hillbilly impresario Bob Riley, the “Spiral Series” of 12”s was part put-on, part hustle—but for Birmingham, Alabama’s Centaura, that spiral-in logo appeared as a long-shot leg up. Their record’s two-color, one-idea cover was mass-produced for Riley’s envisioned run of potential releases…though nothing but the enigmatic Centaura ever filled the jacket—and just barely. Recorded in 1978, Lawdy, Lawdy, Lawd is a long-playing Golden Fleece of funk, disco, boogie, and deep post-Muscle Shoals balladry that would’ve surely failed to exist without Riley’s extreme penny-pinching tactics in service of a failed marketing ploy so ludicrous, it kept the LP out of stores, relegated to extreme scarcity forever. On Side One, Jesse Daniel and Cedrich Rutledge trade energized beats and freaks, before the synth-washed slowdown of “One of a Kind.” Side Two features Riley’s two textbook funk cuts and album-ender “Just Don’t Love You”—a mysterious tack-on of the Carbon Copies’ Git Down.

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2013-09-17
Centaura: Lawdy, Lawdy, Lawd

Warrior horse-woman of myth or chimerical beast of late 1970s funk? It is simply Centaura, available here for what amounts to the first time. For Atlanta hillbilly impresario Bob Riley, the “Spiral Series” of 12”s was part put-on, part hustle—but for Birmingham, Alabama’s Centaura, that spiral-in logo appeared as a long-shot leg up. Their record’s two-color, one-idea cover was mass-produced for Riley’s envisioned run of potential releases…though nothing but the enigmatic Centaura ever filled the jacket—and just barely. Recorded in 1978, Lawdy, Lawdy, Lawd is a long-playing Golden Fleece of funk, disco, boogie, and deep post-Muscle Shoals balladry that would’ve surely failed to exist without Riley’s extreme penny-pinching tactics in service of a failed marketing ploy so ludicrous, it kept the LP out of stores, relegated to extreme scarcity forever. On Side One, Jesse Daniel and Cedrich Rutledge trade energized beats and freaks, before the synth-washed slowdown of “One of a Kind.” Side Two features Riley’s two textbook funk cuts and album-ender “Just Don’t Love You”—a mysterious tack-on of the Carbon Copies’ Git Down.

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2017-05-19
Crimpshrine: The Sound Of A New World Being Born

Before Green Day, Operation Ivy, and Lookout Records put the East Bay's burgeoning punk scene on the map, a trio of Berkeley kids were reinventing the genre with music that was melodic but full of feedback, and a singer who sounded like he gargled glass. Crimpshrine's debut EP was Lookout's fourth release, followed by an album, a second EP, and a slew of split singles and compilation tracks before the band imploded in 1989 after a ridiculous two-and-a-half-month tour in a Ford Pinto hatchback. Formed around teenage binary stars Jeff Ott and Aaron Cometbus, Crimpshrine went through a series of lineups in their four-year run, utilizing future Tilt and Go Sailor bassists Pete Rypins and Paul Curran, and briefly including second guitarist Idon Bryant. Not overtly political, their fiery brand of introspective punk touched on homelessness, teenage pregnancy, drug use, friendship, isolation, and a grimy sort of romance. Two collections have emerged posthumously: 1992's Duct Tape Soup and 1998's The Sound Of A New World Being Born, both falling out of print in 2002. Ott went on to form Fifteen and author two books; Cometbus founded Pinhead Gunpowder with Billie Joe Armstrong and continues to edit his long-running fanzine.

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2017-05-19
Crimpshrine: Duct Tape Soup

Before Green Day, Operation Ivy, and Lookout Records put the East Bay's burgeoning punk scene on the map, a trio of Berkeley kids were reinventing the genre with music that was melodic but full of feedback, and a singer who sounded like he gargled glass. Crimpshrine's debut EP was Lookout's fourth release, followed by an album, a second EP, and a slew of split singles and compilation tracks before the band imploded in 1989 after a ridiculous two-and-a-half-month tour in a Ford Pinto hatchback. Formed around teenage binary stars Jeff Ott and Aaron Cometbus Crimpshrine went through a series of lineups in their four-year run, utilizing future Tilt and Go Sailor bassists Pete Rypins and Paul Curran, and briefly including second guitarist Idon Bryant. Not overtly political, their fiery brand of introspective punk touched on homelessness, teenage pregnancy, drug use, friendship, isolation, and a grimy sort of romance. Two collections have emerged posthumously: 1992's Duct Tape Soup and 1998's The Sound Of A New World Being Born, both falling out of print in 2002. Ott went on to form Fifteen and author two books; Cometbus founded Pinhead Gunpowder with Billie Joe Armstrong and continues to edit his long-running fanzine.

Crimpshrine / Various Artists: 7 Song Demo / Berkeley Sampler

Pressed in a quantity of 500 and available to Bay Area stores only is the Berkeley Sampler, a vinyl reissue of the original Cometbus-issued 1987 cassette. The A-Side is Crimpshrine's first demo, while the B-side is the Rosetta Stone of Berkeley punk, with members of Operation Ivy, Samiam, Rancid, Tilt, and Wynona Riders in their earlier, teenage bands.

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2014-04-19
Dinosaur Jr.: Visitors

From 1985 to 1990, Maura Jasper was the go-to artist for “ear-bleeding country” trio Dinosaur Jr. From "Repulsion" to their self-titled debut LP, from You're Living All Over Me to "Freak Scene," from Bug to "Just Like Heaven,” and on posters, videos, and t-shirts, the Dinosaur Jr. look was born of Jasper's love for Norwegian expressionist Edvard Munch and English anarchist Gee Vaucher. Collected inside are Dinosaur Jr.'s first four singles, a bonus fifth 7" pairing "Show Me The Way" with a cover of the Byrds' "Feel A Whole Lot Better," plus a Jasper-penned essay on her creative process and a book of unused work from the period. Limited to 5000 copies.

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2016-10-14
Dry Bread: Yamar b/w Words to My Song

Steeped in Caribbean flavor and seasoned with a fistful of hand-percussion, "Yamar" was initially sidelined from 2009's Cult Cargo: Grand Bahama Goombay for feeling less like cargo than an authentic piece of pan-Americana. Phish fans may recognize this previously unattainable A-side as it as been a staple in their setlists since the late '80s, imported by bassist Mike Gordon who heard the Mustangs performing it in a Bahamian hotel. Backed with the sweltering "Words To My Song," this doubler-sider is a must for any sea side or pool side DJ.

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2015-10-16
Edge of Daybreak: Eyes of Love

Incarcerated funk has no right to feel this free. Musical convicts and actual convicts from across the Commonwealth, The Edge Of Daybreak's membership wrote and recorded Eyes Of Love while serving out sentences of six to sixty years. Set to tape inside Powhatan Correctional Center on the outskirts of Richmond, Virginia, these intimate 1979 sessions unlock the prison gates and peer into a collective consciousness concocted by a core of four confined artists. Assembled from distant love ballads and fanciful odes to freedom, Eyes Of Love is a prison letter composed by committee recorded hastily, and circulated regionally amongst adventurous clientele willing to take a chance on these felonious talents.

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2015-09-18
Elyse Weinberg: Grease Paint Smile

The unreleased second album by an original lady from the canyon. Recorded and recanted in 1969, Greasepaint Smile is more assured than its self-titled, Tetragrammaton-issued predecessor. Weinberg's finger-picked acoustic is layered over distant drumming, while her gravel-pit voice evokes life, love, and mortality. Fellow Torontonian Neil Young sears "Houses" with his signature fuzz-tone, casting chaos over the beautiful ballad, while J.D. Souther, Kenny Edwards, and Nils Lofgren, pick up the slack. Masterfully produced by David Briggs, Greasepaint Smile has climbed out of the canyon and is bound for every turntable east of the 405.

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2015-10-02
Express Rising: Fixed Rope

One-take ambient instrumental travels, composed in strict committee by the trio of Kevin Blagg, William Suran, and Dante Carfagna. Recorded spontaneously in rural Arkansas, bulging sub-woofers lope through fissures of skeletal banjo and pitched down pedal steel, while delicately arranged basins of synth and guitar reverberate, providing a steady stream of granular epiphanies. Utterly faded, yet still possessing crystalline clarity, these twelve songs continually attain summits rarely reached within the span of four-minute transmissions.

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2013-07-16
Express Rising: Express Rising

A decade ago, Dante Carfagna issued a somewhat anonymous LP under the Express Rising heading. That self-titled affair went in and out of print before 2003’s summer gave way to fall, thanks in part to its release by the frustratingly obscure Memphix label, but thanks more to how it broke new ground for the instrumental rap generation’s interest in the sub-sub-basement of record mining.

Though he’s been attached to such seminal compilations as Chains and Black Exhaust, a grip of Eccentric Soul titles, and the recent electronic soul collection Personal Space --and though his signature “Records I barely like but maybe you will” approach to writing helped build the Wax Poetics brand--Dante remains a tough man to pin down. Reaching back to 2008 and an Akai four track, these 11 songs break from the foraging tradition employed by Dante’s debut, swapping out breakbeats and samples for guitar, Wurlitzer, banjo, steel guitar, synthesizer, and an arcane drum machine.

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2014-01-21
Family Circle: Family Circle

Family Circle’s 1973 LP draws a tight ring around the most beguiling soul tropes of its era, with its full house of ambitious players and hook-laden originals. Newark, New Jersey’s Simmons siblings—George, James, Mary, Don, and David—rallied around journeyman arranger George Andrews and business maven/producer Randy Irwin, whose industry ties brought studio luminaries into the Simmons orbit: session guitar giant Cornell Dupree, guitarist/songwriter Billy Vera, and the inimitable Bernard “Pretty” Purdie on drums. Charles Simmons’ “Well Runs Dry” dipped several toes into Jackson 5-saturated waters, while “I Hope You Really Love Me” stayed together with the Al Green ethos. Where the bowling, basketball, and karate-obsessed Simmons fivesome was hitching to—thumbs unfurled and dressed to impress in Central Park on Family Circle’s back cover—is anyone’s guess, but their sparkling, layered sound, gospel-honed vocal chops, and instantly relatable melodies should’ve dropped them off on everybody’s turntable. Give Family Circle a lift, drive ‘em around awhile.

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2014-01-21
Family Circle: Family Circle

Family Circle’s 1973 LP draws a tight ring around the most beguiling soul tropes of its era, with its full house of ambitious players and hook-laden originals. Newark, New Jersey’s Simmons siblings—George, James, Mary, Don, and David—rallied around journeyman arranger George Andrews and business maven/producer Randy Irwin, whose industry ties brought studio luminaries into the Simmons orbit: session guitar giant Cornell Dupree, guitarist/songwriter Billy Vera, and the inimitable Bernard “Pretty” Purdie on drums. Charles Simmons’ “Well Runs Dry” dipped several toes into Jackson 5-saturated waters, while “I Hope You Really Love Me” stayed together with the Al Green ethos. Where the bowling, basketball, and karate-obsessed Simmons fivesome was hitching to—thumbs unfurled and dressed to impress in Central Park on Family Circle’s back cover—is anyone’s guess, but their sparkling, layered sound, gospel-honed vocal chops, and instantly relatable melodies should’ve dropped them off on everybody’s turntable. Give Family Circle a lift, drive ‘em around awhile.

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2014-10-28
Fern Jones: The Glory Road

Her voice was all Saturday night, delivered on a Sunday morning. Patsy on Jesus. Elvis without the pelvis. Fern Jones' only album, released by Dot Records in 1959, captured 36-year-old Sister Fern as she anointed church music with the same untamed energy that younger white Southerners were bringing to their rock 'n' roll. Produced by Mac Wiseman and showcasing crack Nashville session players Hank "Sugarfoot" Garland, Floyd Cramer, Joe Zinkan, and Buddy Harman fresh off their June 1958 session with The Pelvis, Singing A Happy Song should've taken Jones from dusty canvas big tops to the Opry's storied stage. But with no 45 to flog, Jones instead sold nary a record and never did hear herself on the radio. Her fiery rockabilly gospel was a few shades too radical for the conservative, traditional, near puritanical public she played to anyway. Fern Jones: The Glory Road collects her Singing A Happy Song LP and cuts including "Didn't It Rain," from her The Joneses Sing album, into one rousing package, rich with the details and imagery of a brief career spent tethered to the hard ground and gazing skyward. The Glory Road's sound gnaws at the bit and stands in reverence, a runaway rockabilly tent show without a single drop of rain on the horizon.