Spring & RSD 2021 Bring dB's-Related Releases
• Yesterday's Tomorrow — Live 2018 N.C.-centric Release
• Chris Stamey & Peter Holsapple's Our Back Pages — on vinyl & CD
• Chris' Brand New Shade of Blue — on vinyl for RSD
Warm Up Your Wallet, Your Plastic &/or Your Crypto-Currency
|Peter, Chris, Mitch, Will, Don & company|
Winston-Salem musical nostalgia at its best
|Digital-only delight to be released on vinyl & CD in June|
|Act fast: just 250 copies of this one will be released on vinyl in July|
ROB SEZ: In a mystical sign the pandemic might not actually last forever, the musical gods have smiled on fans of The dB's and their cohorts. Thanks to Omnivore Recordings (what an amazing label they are), we shall soon be spoiled by an embarassment of musical riches. While two of these titles are "new" thanks to vinyl- and CD-format releases of material that saw prior digital-only release, one of them is entirely new: Yesterday's Tomorrow: Live at the Ramkat 2018. This was a one-night-only live extravaganza that saw reunions of several bands Chris Stamey, Peter Holsapple, Mitch Easter, Will Rigby, Don Dixon (etc.) were in once upon a time, many moons ago. Sneakers, Little Diesel, Sacred Irony, Rittenhouse Square and many others came together for the event, and Mr. Stamey and Mitch made sure the evening was beautifully recorded for posterity. This one's out May 7th on CD and download, with Our Back Pages (on CD and vinyl) to follow in June and Brand New Shade of Blue (on vinyl) in July, coinciding with the summer Record Store Day release dates.
All righty, then: what are you waiting for?
PREORDER INFO & LINKS:
• Yesterday's Tomorrow: Live at Ramkat 2018 - out May 7th on Omnivore (CD & digital)
• Peter Holsapple & Chris Stamey: Our Back Pages - pre-order CD release on Omnivore HERE; read about RSD vinyl release HERE (note: CD and digital re-release will have 2 tracks not found in the original download: "Darby Hall" and "In Spain")
Read a recent interview with Peter Holsapple
about Yesterday's Tomorrow HERE
Yesterday's Tomorrow: All the Info
Live performance by reunited, iconic members of Winston-Salem scene
Package contains detailed liner notes by Stamey and a 24-page color history booklet
with anecdotes, artifacts, and rare photographs.
In a fun, Nuggets-like trip back to the Summer of Love era, Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Celebrating the Winston-Salem Sound, due out April 30, 2021 on Omnivore Recordings, shines a strobe light on the vibrant ’60s and ’70s Combo Corner rock scene of Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Original members of bands such as Arrogance, Little Diesel, Sacred Irony, and Rittenhouse Square —including Mitch Easter (Let’s Active); Peter Holsapple, Will Rigby, and Chris Stamey (the dB’s); singers Don Dixon, Dale Smith, Lynn Blakey, Bob Northcott; and many others — convened on May 12, 2018, at Winston-Salem’s Ramkat club to revisit those fuzzbox years, and this remarkable live recording shines brightly with their camaraderie and precise enthusiasm for those days of yore. In the mind-blowing songs of now-vanished local legends Captain Speed and the Fungi Electric Mothers, the classic set list of the Imperturbable Teutonic Griffin, and amid the amusing scene portrayals of collectors’ favorite Rittenhouse Square, the electric guitars soar, with plenty of feedback and sizzle. With the added oomph of the Occasional Orchestra (live strings, percussion, and brass), music direction by Doug Davis (Vagabond Saints’ Society), and stops along the way for affectionate renditions of then-faves by Bubble Puppy, the Easybeats, the Music Machine, the Electric Prunes, the Beatles, and even Kool and the Gang, there’s a lot to love here.
The impetus for this extraordinary concert was that Stamey had a book fresh off the press, a song-based memoir called A Spy in the House of Loud. A portion of the book references his time in New York, but the first part remembers, song by key song, the late 1960s and early ’70s creative rock music scene in Winston. This was sometimes called the Combo Corner scene, after the title of a short-lived column in Guitar Player magazine was repurposed to ironically christen a hangout spot at R.J. Reynolds High School. A surprising number of the Combo Corner crew went on to play and produce music professionally in the decades that followed — often with one another in different configurations (e.g., dB’s, Let’s Active, or with R.E.M., Steve Earle, Matthew Sweet, Vassar Clements, Hootie & the Blowfish, Big Star's Third Live, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Golden Palominos) and in different locales. They were still in regular contact the day Stamey suggested they try to “play the soundtrack to the book.”
The band that most credit with starting the ball rolling here, back in 1968, was the aforementioned Captain Speed. Sadly, their bandleader, singer/bassist Bud Carlisle (real name Richard Moore), had died in 2010, and the psychedelic pioneers never released any music whatsoever, although their live shows (complete with flying duck) were still the stuff of local legend. In order to perform their essential songs, Easter, Borthwick, Davis, and Corky McMillan (Sacred Irony’s bassist) created an ensemble just for the event, later dubbed the Love Valets—a tongue-in-cheek moniker taken from “N.C.’s Woodstock,” a 1970 music festival in Love Valley, N.C. And likewise, the catch-all for the new big-ensemble groupings was the Royal Opposition, only a consonant away from Easter and Borthwick’s seminal 1968 surf-rock combo, the Loyal Opposition.
Chris explains: “From the ’50s R&B stylings of the “5” Royales’ “Think” through the dense mystery of Captain Speed’s “Reptilian Disaster” all the way to the future-punk of Little Diesel’s “Kissy Boys” and Sneakers’ “Condition Red” and the sophistication of Let’s Active’s “Room with a View,” there’s a ley line running through a scene and a city, one that you’ll find is worth exploring. Maybe every city has a beloved scene in its rearview worthy of celebration? I hope this is indeed the case. But this one is our story. Or at least a time-tunnel’s glimpse into a part of it. As Captain Speed sang all those years ago, ‘Our high kites do star those nights, where you can see beyond today, tomorrow . . . forever.’ ”
The concert was captured to multitrack, lovingly mixed by Stamey and Easter, and is now available as Yesterday’s Tomorrow: Celebrating the Winston-Salem Sound. A multi-decade tour-de-force, and an important document in itself, Yesterday’s Tomorrow is more than just a celebration. It’s a history lesson, with the present happily dressed up in the past, looking toward the future.
- Hot Smoke & Sassafras—Rittenhouse Square
- Reptilian Disaster—The Love Valets
- Room With a View—The Royal Opposition feat. Lynn Blakey & Mitch Easter
- Talk Talk—The Imperturbable Teutonic Griffin
- Yesterday’s Tomorrow—The Love Valets
- Hollywood Swinging—Little Diesel
- I See Love—Sacred Irony
- Black Death—The Love Valets
- S'il Vous Plaît (Live) – Sneakers
- Got to Get You Into My Life—The Royal Opposition feat. Don Dixon
- Condition Red (Live) – Sneakers
- Every Word Means No—The Royal Opposition feat. Mitch Easter
- Think feat. Don Dixon—The Royal Opposition
- Like Wow—Rittenhouse Square
- King Battle of the Bands—Rittenhouse Square
- Kissy Boys—Little Diesel
- The Train Stops Here—The Royal Opposition feat. Mitch Easter
- I Am Your Doctor—Sacred Irony
- Maybe I’m Amazed—The Royal Opposition feat. Don Dixon
- Good Times—Sacred Irony
- Galaxies of Love—The Royal Opposition feat. Bob Northcott
- I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)—The Imperturbable Teutonic Griffin