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Stumpwater

Motel In Saginaw

Drag City
LP+7" $22.25

02/22/2019 781484073918 

DC 739 


They say every journey begins with a single step, or in this case its but a single song. More specifically, we speak of a lone warped 45 record, with one playable side. A few years back Galactic Zoo Dossier/Galactic Zoo Disk Svengali Plastic Crimewave stumbled on a colorfully-labeled 1975 Aurora, Illinois, private press single by STUMPWATER, featuring the tunes “White Washed Afternoons” b/w “Watcher’s Brawl.” Though only “White Washed...” played through fully, there was a VIBE here—rural folk rock that’d make David Crosby’s ’stache bristle; late-night, unwashed laments that quirky/heady troubadours like Tom Rapp, Gary Higgins or even poor, jaded Phil Ochs could groove on. . . . A search surprisingly yielded immediate results, as StumpWater was still active and gigging!? Peppering their concerts with CSN covers, StumpWater was still performing live, doing acoustic and electric sets, AND still playing their '70s originals. Crimewave interviewed the band members JOE GLOOR and DAN BERG (DAN HALIGAS sadly passed shortly beforehand), and got their story for his Secret History of Chicago Music column in the Chicago Reader. And then some earth shattering info was gleaned—StumpWater had an unreleased 1973 LP. Yep—and not only that, it’s a friggin’ concept LP about the characters populating a small town hotel (think Lee Hazlewood’s Trouble is a Lonesome Town, but not really) called Motel in Saginaw (a place ol’ Mike Nesmith seemed to know too). To say the homespun album was a revelation is putting it lightly—gorgeous tunes about death that’d have Simon and G crying in their cappucinos, creepy Dylan-esque tales that David Blue woulda liked to have written, maudlin hearts of gold in every groove—basically a hazy, sepia-stained song cycle for all the Judy Blue Eyes in the world to get lost in while rollin’ a dirtweed joint. Features the unreleased album, 7-inch and an innersleeve with photos and notes.

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