For Your Weekend Listening Pleasure: Brent Best Explains These 42 Slobberbone Covers

Categories: Local Music
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I've still got a few of the work-week rock-and-roll adioses stashed away, and guess I'd better use 'em or lose 'em between now and the next week or so. So let's start with this -- a bootleg officially known as The Bone Collection, featuring 42(ish) covers performed by Slobberbone and, in a few instances, special guests, among them the Drive-By Truckers and Danny Balis. And here's a special treat: I got Brent Best to annotate the collection, after explaining its genesis.

Says he: About, oh, 10, 12 years ago a guy from East Texas used to follow Slobberbone around with a tape recorder. "His name was something like 'Low Dog,'" Best says. "That's what we used to call him. And he would travel. Like, he showed up in Duluth one night -- you never knew. But we turned him on to My Morning Jacket, and he started following them. But then he ended up putting out this two-disc set, and I was amazed -- there's stuff on there I never knew we did.

"I remember when I was doing a solo tour with Anders Parker and South San Gabriel. We were in Austin with My Morning Jacket, and Low Dog gave me a set of those discs. I was like, 'I don't remember half of these.' Anders said, 'You played 'The Temples of Syrinx' [off Rush's 2112]? And I was like, 'I don't think so ...'"

Ah, but he did -- at Dan's Silverleaf, on February 1, 2003. And it's not the only Rush song on the set list either ...

This isn't complete, if only because, well, about half the songs on the collection are Neil Young offerings, including a "Cortez the Killer" from Austin in '03 featuring the Truckers. Says Best of that song and the others: "All the Neil stuff was second nature to us. 'Cortez' was good because you got a lotta leeway, depending on how you wanted the night to end. Some versions are nothing but feedback and squalor. ... We never rehearsed much, but we toured a bunch and you'd get bored. So you'd work stuff up in sound check. May be why Crazy Horse is one of my favorite bands. It was all about big notes."

"Looking For Lewis and Clark" by The Long Ryders, performed at the Gypsy Tea Room March 3, 2003: "The Long Ryders were a big deal for us."

"Cartoon" by Soul Asylum from the same show: "We generally did that one OK. We always had a rule in Minneapolis -- we'd never do Soul Asylum or Replacements or Husker Du covers. That was 'The Motherland Rule.' We were up there this past summer doing some dates with Tommy Stinson ... and at the end of the night, for the second encore, we did Husker Du's 'Makes No Sense At All' and 'Cartoon,' and then there's fucking Dave Pirner, and I'm like, 'Son of a bitch.' And he goes, 'You did a little medley there, hunh?'"

"Wendell Gee" by R.E.M. at the Allgood Cafe on May 11, 2001: "I doubt we got through 'Wendell Gee.' That was one of the records I taught myself to play guitar to."

"To Love Somebody" by the Bee Gees at the Patronaat in Haarlem, Netherlands on May 2, 2003: "Before we went and recorded Slippage we used to rehearse at Muddy Waters, and Joe Butcher was sitting in with us. We played it one night, and he was the one who informed me it was a Bee Gees song. Everyone and their dog knew but me. And we were fucking around in L.A. making that record, and he just recorded us playing it, and he'd be sad if it didn't make it on the record. The version on the record was first the take."

"Lord's Trusty" by Mulehead at Dan's on August 17, 2001: "That was written by my best friend, Kevin Kerby, who also wrote 'Josephine,' which we had a little success with."

"Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen at the Caledonia Lounge in Athens, GA, on December 1, 2002: "Typically in Athens by the end of the night we were pretty drunk and most everyone else was too. It's only two chords. I don't think I've ever known all the lyrics."

"The Temples of Syrinx" by Rush at Dan's Silverleaf on February 1, 2003: "I can promise you we didn't get through it, but it's the effort that counts."

"Haywire" by the Jayhawks at the Barley House on December 31, 2001: "Oh, that's cool. If we pulled it off."

"Makes No Sense At All" by Husker Du at that same show: "Kinda toward the last couple of years we did that one a lot."

"Have You Forgotten" by the Del Fuegos at the Barley House on July 1, 2001: "Probably the only time that ever happened."

"Champagne Supernova" by Oasis at Dan's on July 7, 2001: "I think any song we were closing a set with that ended with A, we'd go into it. We never rehearsed it. I didn't know all the words. There was a girl in Athens who did all our web work and hates Oasis, and once we heard she was so aghast by it, we took it upon ourselves to play it more often. She did good work too."

"New Madrid" by Uncle Tupelo at the Barley House on August 17, 2003 and "Tulsa County" by Pamela Polland at the Barley House August 10, 2003: "I don't remember ever playin' that. But I think I played that with Danny [Balis]." (Editor's note: Sure sounds like him. Balis thinks so too.)

"Underneath" by Kevin Salem at the Barley House on December 31, 2001: "By the time we did Barrel Chested his first record was out, and everyone was so country-rock crazy -- or gettin' that way -- and wanted to talk to us about those records. But guitar sound-wise, all we were trying to do was sound like Kevin Salem."

"The Dark/Picture of You" by My Morning Jacket at the Sons of Hermann Hall on May 31, 2002, and at Dan's Silverleaf on June 22, 2002: "I didn't know anyone who knew them then. I didn't know about them till I did an in-store in Holland. I got paid in records. I said, 'What's that playing?' and it was their first record. I brought it back with them, and years later they got big. You're welcome."

"Pretty Persuasion" by R.E.M. at the Barley House on December 31, 2003: "We might have pulled that off."

"Working Man" by Rush at the 400 Bar in Minneapolis on March 4, 2000, and "Limelight" by Rush at Dan's Silverleaf on October 10, 2003: "Everyone in my band except for me and Brian hated Rush. But we could get Tony on board because it was early Rush, simpler. Alex Lifeson was just doing Led Zeppelin. As for 'Limelight,' I played that riff a million times."

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16 comments
tim pittsinger
tim pittsinger

 Burying the lead.  You should have a sit-down with Lowdog. 

Chuy
Chuy

So the file you link to is named "SlobberboneCoversVolume2.wma", and while I can't thank you enough for that gem, is there also a Volume 1 out there somewhere?

In closing: Slobberbone is God.

Jmerr1
Jmerr1

Nothin better than watching Slobberbone at the 400 Bar.  Only person stinkier than Brent at those shows was probably me except for the time Brent missed the toilet and peed on my shoes.

Jack
Jack

Robert: with your depart, this weekend posting will be missed.  I doubt anyone can fill the void

spock
spock

my thanks also for the post and for all of them over the (years?)...hopefully you figure out a way to keep up the weekend tradition.  twitter?

me
me

proud to be associated with Slobberbone's appearances at the Sons of Hermann, Gypsy Tea Room AND AllGood Cafe (as well as a New Years Eve to-be-remembered at the Longhorn Ballroom a few years back with the Drams (in-between Old 97s and Boys Named Sue ... were you there ???) but the Biggest Night to Remember was Slobberbone at the Gypsy Tea Room followed by Alejandro Escovedo, and then the Jayhawks! Brent was invited to join the Jayhawks for their encore (Neil Young cover, I believe) and he litterally tore-it-up. Brent, THANKS for the Memories. Let's make some more.

G_David
G_David

What a crazy mash up of artists they covered.  The only way this could get any better would be if you had Pete Best annotate, rather than Brent. 

Sadly, it took a shout out in a Stephen King book (for Give Me Back My Dog) for me to discover the greatness of Slobberbone.

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

holy s, i just mentioned the Henderson Barley House on COA about the same time this posted. i miss it and will very much miss this weekend feature.

Smokin Joe
Smokin Joe

Jayhawks did a reunite show through here a month or so ago.

glitter lee
glitter lee

I was there!!! and it was one of the most AWESOME line-ups and night of music!! man, to have THAT happen again....

me
me

and thanks to Robt for posting this gem. Gonna miss you here, but look forward to what you bring to the DMN. It's just UNFAIR.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Oh, I doubt you've seen, or heard, the end of it. I'll just have to think of a different way to do it, so's I don't repeat myself.

MushMouth1
MushMouth1

 You know there is a poor little orphaned Twitter egg out there in the ether

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