Title - Tales of the New West [Deluxe 2CD]
Artist - The Beat Farmers
For those unaware, The Beat Farmers, one of roots-rocks most beloved but unsung combos, finally get their due with a deluxe reissue of their classic 1985 debut album, Tales of the New West, out April 2nd, 2021 from Blixa Sounds.
This deluxe CD reissue features all 12 tracks from the original album released on Rhino Records, as well as a second disc, Live at the Spring Valley Inn, 1983, a 21-song recording of the Beat Farmers on their home turf of San Diego that helped land the band a record deal.
Tales of the New West features the Beat Farmers classic lineup of singer-guitarists Jerry Raney and Buddy Blue, bassist Rolle Dexter, and drummer-singer Country Dick Montana.
With their trademark double-barreled attack, the Farmers had the unique talent to deliver a mix of earnest roots-rock with killer riffs on originals like Blues Lost Weekend and Raneys Showbiz, and choice covers of the Velvet Undergrounds There She Goes Again and Bruce Springsteens Reason to Believe.
And then they capped it all off with the over-the-top lunacy of Country Dick on tracks such as California Kid and Happy Boy.
CD 1: Tales of the New West
1. Bigger Stones
2. There She Goes Again
3. Reason to Believe
4. Lost Weekend
5. California Kid
6. Never Goin Back
9. Lonesome Hound
10. Where Do They Go
11. Selfish Heart
12. Happy Boy
This is the best music put out by the best American band to come out of the 1980s, period. This roots/rockabilly/protopunk group of San Diego music scene stalwarts were together for only two full-length discs and an EP, and here are most of the best cuts from all three.
The late Buddy Blue, in particular, shines on such rockabilly gems as his Goldmine, Lonesome Hound, and the always great to hear Lost Weekend. Indeed, his singing and guitar licks are matched only by Jerry Raneys harder rocking edge on Selfish Heart, and the wistful Where Do They Go.
The late Country Dick Montana is in full, booming voice on the magnificent, and hilarious cut California Kid and so from the Paul Kamanski penned opener Bigger Stones through a killer Lou Reed cover, originals and the aforementioned amusing Country Dick vignette, this is, without a shadow of a doubt, the Beat Farmers album to have (especially now that it has been expanded, of course!).
CD 2: Live at The Spring Valley Inn, 1983
1. Never Going Back
2. Trying to Get to You
3. Jump Right Back
4. Lonely Blue Boy
5. Beat Generation
6. Selfish Heart
7. Assembly Line Rock
8. Lonesome Hound
9. Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Loud, Loud Music
10. Big River
12. Sloppy Drunk
13. Sunday Morning
14. Reason to Believe
15. Big Rock Candy Mountain
16. Big Ugly Wheels
17. Upsettin Me
18. I Still Miss Someone
19. Lost Weekend
20. You Cant Judge a Book by Its Cover
According to Buddy Blue himself, Live At The Spring Valley Inn, 1983 was never meant to rear its ugly little head, but was intended for use by the band to con their way into a recording contract with somebody - anybody - and Rhino Records originally rose to the bait!
Since the master 2-track of this show has now gone the way of Gene Simmons hair, this disc was ACTUALLY transferred from a filthy cassette Blue apparently pulled out of thin air and despite what is being said about failed attempts to gloss up the sound quality, it is really not that bad.
Well, in truth, as I think we all know, The Beat Farmers sonic squalor was never meant to be stripped and clinically clean anyway, but rather raucous, loose, and bordering on Neanderthal, alive with a booze-fueled sense of invincibility and leaving behind a slick of petroleum!
So what we get is a rather swashbuckling mix of rock and roll, country, blues, and rockabilly (although, and much to their eternal chagrin, they were also saddled with the label cow-punk) possessing the chops to knock the snot out of covers of Joel Maphis Dim Lights, Thick Smoke And Loud, Loud Music, Johnny Cashs Big River, Bruce Springsteens Reason To Believe, and even Willie Dixons You Cant Judge A Book By Its Cover, as well as the ballsy brilliance to pen originals like Jump Right Back, Showbiz, Big Ugly Wheels, and, especially, Lost Weekend.
FYI: A gatefold package houses the two discs with a 24-page booklet featuring rare photos and other images. Also included are liner notes by the reissues producer, Dan Perloff, an early champion who discovered the band while attending San Diego State University and brought them to the attention of Rhino Records executive Gary Stewart.
Amazon 2CD Purchase Link
Amazon Vinyl Purchase Link
Beat Farmers - Tales Of The New West: Deluxe Reissue [Video Promo]