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Henry Flynt & Nova' Billy (2007)



"I want to be a rocker. Everybody else has walked away from rock. I want to walk towards it." - Henry Flynt

Country outsider Henry Flint assembled this weirdo fusion masterpiece between 1974 and 1975 with the assistance of a full-on rock band. As ever, Flynt's distinctively off-kilter guitar and fiddle sounds teeter on the brink of lunacy at all times, but the band help make some sense of the racket by switching from free jazz to funk to all-out garage rock at a moment's notice. The presence of Paul Colin's articulate sax work makes for a solid counterpoint to Flynt's more outlandish violin caterwauling on the opening 'Conga', while Communist anthem 'The International' is reconfigured as a duet for Colin and Flynt's twanging guitar improv. A little further in and there's some appealing swingtime hillbilly jamming on 'Virginia Trance', whereas 'I Was A Creep' sounds like James Brown's backing band as fronted by Mr. Mackey from South Park on vocals. A very strange piece of music by any measure, but a real winner nonetheless. It's the instrumentals that tend to be the most successful outings here however, and the twelve-minute set-closer 'Stoned Jam' is a particular highlight, sounding much as its title would suggest, opting for a kind of hazed-out blues in a downtempo groove.

In the mid-Seventies, as America was reliving a sanitized version of the Fifties with /American Graffiti/ and /Happy Days/, Henry Flynt (perhaps the only bona fide philosopher/hillbilly fiddler in the history of the world) assembled a crack band of downtown New York pals to remind everyone of rock’n’roll’s righteously unruly roots. No one listened at the time, but upon hearing it now, /Nova’Billy/ is a revelation. Flynt rethreads the sounds of early rock ’n’ roll — the rude bleat of Big Jay McNeeley’s sax; Chuck Berry’s briar patch guitar riffs; the slapback shuffle of Carl Perkins and the propulsive piano of Jerry Lewis — and swings it overhead for his own unruly lariat. That an avant-garde thinker created music this glaringly unpretentious and wholly alive in the conceited environs of pre-punk New York is accomplishment enough. As gnarly as /Nova’Billy/ can get, one intuits that this is how rock’n’roll felt at the beginning: a sputtering, barely-controllable cyclone of dancefloor energy and joyful noise. - Sam Sweet, Stop Smiling

Fried country blues, interspersed with moments of sax squeal and odd almost Velvets rants, if that band was founded in rural Arkansas rather than Warhol’s factory. How ever you want to take it, its highly listenable, playful music that fits nicely with today’s oddballs. The fact that there are actual funk passages on this album is just bizarre. So tune it for some old school freak weirdness if yr so inclined. - Steve Lowenthal, The Fader

Welcome back my friends to the hoedown that never ends. This is a barn dance called by an inspired madman, where the fiddles switch at bog bottom boogie and the drummer rolls like a good crank buzz, mean and hard and focused. Throw this into the ring with Canned Heat's Hooker 'n' Heat and Albert Ayler's New Grass tag teaming and Flynt might bitch slap 'em both. It might be the Chuck Berry piano on "Lonesome Train Dreams" that trips 'em up or maybe the howlingly hypnotic string buzz throughout that puts them off kilter but there's a ropeadope move in here somewhere. While largely known to experimental/outsider music enthusiasts, Flynt is surprisingly groovy here. This highly left leaning (there's a delightfully bent version of Communist anthem "The International") conflagration of bold ideas existed for slightly less than a year in 1974-75, and while woefully short-lived, they make most so-called "newgrass" acts today look like mere fluffers to these true porn stars. This is bold, fearless stuff that still hits you square in the gutbucket. A thousand thanks to Locust for helping this one resurface. If Nova'Billy doesn't make you scream out loud at least a few times I'd wonder if there's antifreeze in your veins instead of human blood. - Dennis Cook, Jambase

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4 komentarze:

Ankh pisze...

link

bruitysta pisze...

Fajnie że postujesz o Flyncie.
Jest może szansa na zdobycie takiego wydawnictwa 'Henry Flynt - Graduation And Other New Country & Blues Music'?

pausts pisze...

Henry Flynt-Graduation and Other New Country and Blues Music
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Życzę miłego odbioru :)

bruitysta pisze...

dziękuję - taki miły przezent na święta;) już dłuższy czas tego szukałem , w końcu się udało :)

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