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This music is our genetic code - Bonnie Raitt, commenting on the importance of blues music

Author Topic: Trix is walkin? some more?  (Read 6840 times)

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Offline Bunker Hill

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Trix is walkin? some more?
« on: April 05, 2006, 12:11:04 PM »
I've been asked by somebody researching 70s specialist blues labels to excavate and scan this, so thought it might find an audeince here (From Blues-Link 3, Jan/Feb 1974, p.31-33):

Trix is walkin? some more
an Interview with the indefatigable Pete Lowry
by Valerie Wilmer

To some blues fanciers, the idea of devoting all one's time to running around the South with a tape-recorder and an ear for the righteous sounds, might well seem like a dream existence. It's hardly a way of making a living, though. To make a viable proposition of such activity, needs determination and stamina, qualities that Pete Lowry has in abundance.

Shortly, the first batch of Lowry's Trix LPs will be on the market. Eddie Kirkland, Peg Leg Sam, Frank Edwards and Henry 'Rufe' Johnson will be featured and, says Lowry, "The advertising accompanying these issues will be aimed to capitalise on the popularity of such as Fahey, Kottke and Taj Mahal. Essentially it'll say, 'If you happen to be listening to these people why don't you buy my records because these are the people they're stealing from'. I reckon that anything's fair in love, war and advertising!"

Lowry's activities in the Carolinas and Georgia have been well publicised in BU and Living Blues, but his special interest in the Piedmont area and style is relatively recent. It started when he was driving Bruce Bastin around the area in 1970 while the latter was collecting material for his Crying For The Carolines. Lowry felt that he ought to do a little more than act as a mere chauffeur and general sightseer.

"I think without realising it, too, I'd been into that region. I'd always liked Willie McTell's stuff, Curley Weaver and Blind Boy Fuller, so I bought a tape-recorder and a couple of microphones and was fortunate in getting a good match."

The first Trix singles appeared just over a year ago and Lowry anticipates his second batch of four albums in six month's time. They will feature Robert Junior Lockwood, Willy Trice, either Guitar Shorty or Tarheel Slim, and the first volume from some extensive taping he did at an after-hours piano joint in Detroit last year.

Lowry, who gave up a secure teaching job in order to pursue his first love, claims he was never surprised at the amount and quality of blues that the South continues to yield with a little exploration. "I never really believed all that stuff about the blues being dead," he said, "As with other celebrities who said 'my death has been greatly exaggerated', so the blues. I think it's been submerged beneath the overlay of modern black pop music, but hell?you go down through Georgia and the Carolinas and there's still country-suppers. Peg Leg Sam still goes around busking in the streets, blowing his harp and collecting quarters and dollars."

One of the Trix singles artists was the little known Roy Dunn, who lives in Atlanta. "Just to show you how the music has been submerged, I've given Roy Dunn 200 copies of his 45 and he's sold damn near all of them, just around Atlanta. And people have said 'gee, that's kind of nice?I always wondered why I couldn't buy records like I used to'. "

Lowry will be back from his third field trip in 12 months at the end of the year. He does all his travelling by Volkswagen bus, accompanied by a faithful hound and no less than eight guitars. One such trip lasted five months and netted enough material for 20 albums, all of which he will be processing himself. "I said, 'Christ, I've got an awful lot of stuff here?there's no sense in farting around with other people, I'll do it myself."

The guitars are needed because often the people he encounters have not played for a while or else their existing instrument may be in bad shape, rattling or buzzing. "I've always tried to keep a clean sound on my recordings unlike most of the so-called field work," said Pete. "I'm sort of in-between. I'm not just an out-and-out field recorder, nor do I use a studio as such. I usually say that the best sound-quality stuff I do is sort of in a Holiday Inn recording studio in whatever town I happen to be staying. You know, if it's not too cool where they're living or something, we go back to the hotel room. There's a beautiful Baby Tate tape I've got that's got a bloody dog barking in the middle for about a minute. It's an exquisite piece, too."

Of all the artists he has recorded, Eddie Kirkland impressed his as the most dynamic on stage. From Frank Edwards, who recorded for Savoy in 1950, he derived enormous satisfaction, because of the rapport they were able to build up. "He believes that I am what I am. The LP I'm going to put out is70-80% new stuff he's written for me. Chris Strachwitz sent him some royalties from the two cuts that were on Blues Classics, he bought a guitar with it and spent three months writing songs for me."

Lowry has the talent for inspiring that kind of respect in Black singers and musicians. He is obviously in their corner and not trying to steal from them. He pays everyone, very fairly for whatever he records and whatever the records sell, and from talking to 'his' artists I have discovered any number of great personal kindnesses.

Baby Tate was one of his closest musician friends and his untimely death last year grieved Lowry considerably. "My plan last Summer was to really record him in depth," he explained. " He was just an incredible person and a wonderful person to deal with. I can't say I'm satisfied with what I've got on tape because I know he could do three times more and a lot better. But just having been around him and dealt with him and lived with him, there's a degree of satisfaction."

Of the other artists he came across in the South-East, Henry 'Rufe' Johnson he describes as providing the biggest surprise. "I feel he's the best finger-picking blues artist I've heard in five or ten years. He's from Union City, S. Carolina. Peg Leg Sam had mentioned him and I figured that if so, he can't be bad because normally he's pretty choosy about who he works with."

And Peg Leg Sam he taped at a medicine-show in Pittsboro, North Carolina, which was also video-taped by the folklore department of the University of North Carolina, courtesy of Bruce Bastin. "Most of the artists we have been recording have been put on video-tape, too, which I think is helpful. And Flyright's going to be putting out my tapes of the medicine show as well as tapes of the concert that Bruce put on in March. " (This concert, incidentally, featured Guitar Shorty, Willy Trice, Henry Johnson, Elester Anderson and Eddie Kirkland amongst others and can be heard on Flyright's "Blues Came to Chapel Hill").

Lowry explained that all his Trix albums will be solo efforts by the artists concerned because anthologies are the worst selling type of LP to put out. "I don't know why this is but it is a reason why I'm not bothered about putting out an album by a relatively unknown artist. It just doesn't make any difference in terms of sales."

Even given the positive flood of blues albums available, he feels that Trix has a better than average chance of succeeding by virtue of the area in which his interest is currently concentrated. "This slightly ragtime-based kind of guitar is what a lot of white people are playing and listening to," he explained. "I'm trying to hook on to that because it is the essence of the Piedmont style."

Lowry described himself as a strange mixture of realism and altruism: "Realism in that I know I'm not going to get rich. I'll be lucky if I break even, but I've met an awful lot of good people, a lot of good musicians, and dammit?they should be heard. It's that simple."

"I'm in a position now where I've got the money to put out material and push it a bit, and hopefully I'll realise enough sales to keep the whole thing going. But it's just criminal that say, Eddie Kirkland is wasting away in Macon, Georgia, and that Baby Tate had to work as a bricklayer?you know?"

So?Trix is walking some more and if you want to support the effort or find out more about what's going on, write to Pete Lowry at P.O. Box 750, New Paltz, N.Y. 12561, USA. Albums are expected to be around $6 (post paid), plus another 50 cents or so for overseas, and you can grab hold of the six introductory singles for a mere 5 bucks.

Offline dj

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2006, 02:15:59 PM »
Thanks for the post, Bunker Hill. 

Most of the Trix LPs by Piedmont artists are on the Juke.  They're all good, but I'd have to say Henry Johnson's "The Union County Flash" is by far my favorite.  When the Trix catalog was reissued on CD in 1993, Pete Lowry added a short note to each detailing the artist's life after the original sessions had been completed.  In almost all cases, the note ends with a variation on "there's enough music in the vault for another release at a later date".  Sadly, none of this extra material ever saw the light of day.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2006, 04:38:13 PM »
Yes, thanks again for this. Very interesting. And there's that Baby Tate recording mentioned again, very positively I see. Dang, I'd love to hear that.

I agree about the Henry Johnson recordings. Excellent stuff.

Poking around about these, I notice that 32 Records (32 Blues) reissued some Trix stuff on CD fairly recently (2000). Their website seems defunct now. Does anyone know if they still exist?

Offline Bunker Hill

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2006, 10:01:29 AM »
The contents of the Flyright LP "Blues Came To Chapel Hill" which Lowry cites in his interview can be viewed in the 500 series (Fly 504) at http://www.wirz.de/music/flyrifrm.htm

Offline Doc White

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2006, 05:11:07 AM »
I'm not sue if it is still the case but Pete Lowry emigrated over here (Australia) in the mid 90's and was living in Sydney. Met him in 96 and 98. He still had an active interest in blues music then. Not sure what he is doing now.
Cheers,
Chris

Online Johnm

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2008, 06:48:39 PM »
Hi all,
i was up in Nanaimo, BC, on Vancouver Island this week-end, playing some jobs with Ginny, and stopped at my favorite used CD/video shop there, "Fascinating Rhythm", where I found and purchased the Trix Willie Trice CD, "Blue and Rag'd".  I've only had a chance to listen to it once so far, but am really enjoying it.  Trice, who at the time of the recording in the early '70s had already lost both of his legs below the knees to diabetes, was nonetheless a vital and energetic singer and guitarist still.  He shows a marked preference for playing in E and A positions in standard tuning, even to the point of doing a cover of "Diddie Wa Diddie" in E!  It sounds great, and I don't think I would have thought of it in a million years.  He also does two outstanding instrumentals with spoken commentary--"Good Time Boogie" and "She's Coming on the C & O"; both very strong and the second sensational.  One of the happy surprises of the CD for me is how individual Willie Trice's treatment of time and phrasing was.  He is every bit as individualistic in his phrasing as were his East Coast contemporaries (both slightly younger men) Frank Hovington and John Jackson.  Kudos to Pete Lowry for recording such long takes, too.  The shortest performance on the CD clocks in at 3:24, and in a program of 12 songs, six clock in at between four and five minutes and two exceed five minutes in length.  This CD is very strong and I would recommend it highly to any Country Blues fan, but in particular those who favor East Coast blues.
All best,
Johnm 

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2008, 07:29:55 PM »
Hi John,

I added a Willie Trice tag here which revealed a couple previous threads with content on him. Including a Weenie rarity - tab for Good Time Boogie.

I agree this Trice CD, which I discovered through the Juke (currently in a cryogenic chamber awaiting sanity from Congress or the Copyright Royalty Board), is a really good one. Along with the Henry Johnson disc dj mentions above, it is my favourite of the Trix CDs I have. Although the Pernell Charity disc is right up there.

Offline Slack

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2008, 08:36:21 PM »
Thanks for digging this up again Andrew, I love Good Time Boogie and had forgotten we'd done that tab -- I need to re-learn the tune from my tab! haha

I third the Trice CD, it is really good.  And those TAGS are handy!

Online Johnm

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2008, 11:23:06 AM »
Hi all,
Yesterday I found the Trix CD Andrew mentioned a couple of posts back, "Pernell Charity--The Virginian", and as he said, it's excellent, a real find.  Charity, who was born in 1920 and died in 1979, apparently lived all his life in and near the small town of Waverly, near Petersburg, in eastern Virginia.  Like John Jackson, he learned much of his repertoire from recordings, and like many East Coast bluesmen of his generation, he shows the influence not only of Blind Boy Fuller and Buddy Moss, but also Lightnin' Hopkins.  Pernell Charity does some excellent playing on the CD.  His favorite playing position was E in standard tuning, and of the 15 song program, 10 songs are played in that position, but despite this heavy concentration, his sound does not become monotonous, partly because he employs a variety of rhythmic treatments and touches in the right hand.  Charity also shows himself to be a strong player in A in standard tuning, and has one tune each in G and D positions in standard tuning.  His singing was serviceable, but perhaps not as distinctive as his playing.  High points of the program include "War Blues", an original played in D, "I'm Climbing on Top of the Hill" (influenced by Edward Thompson?), a very quirky adaptation/cover of Blind Boy Fuller's "Pigmeat Is What I Crave" that Charity calls "Pig Meat Mama", a terrific cover of Fuller's "Mamie", and an original, "Blind Man".  In listening to the program, I found myself more and more impressed by Pernell Charity's poise; he sounds thoroughly comfortable being recorded, with spoken asides during his solos and other signs that he was unself-conscious in a recording environment.  This is a very nice CD that I would recommend to any of you who can find it.  It's a shame Pernell Charity wasn't able to achieve more recognition for his music during his lifetime.
All best,
Johnm

Offline NotRevGDavis

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2008, 12:29:18 PM »
Thanks for posting that article.
I feel pretty lucky that I found almost all the Trix CD's mentioned a few years ago. Willie Trice is by far my favorite artist (kinda reminds me of Scott Dunbar) on the Trix label. But I also enjoy Henry Johnson, Frank Hovington, Roy Dunn, Pernell Charity (the hardest CD to find) and Tarheel Slim. Tarheel Slim's rendition of "Weeping Willow" is something else.

Boy I miss The Juke.
Got the name, still workin' on the licks!

Online Johnm

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2008, 05:29:14 PM »
That's great that you have all those CDs, Gary.  I would be interested to know Roy Dunn's age at the time of the recording and where he was from, and the same information on Henry Johnson.  Are any of the musicians who made solo CDs for Trix still alive?
All best,
Johnm

Offline NotRevGDavis

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2008, 09:35:27 PM »
I dove in to my CD collection (and came out without calling search and rescue) I have transfered almost everything to my computer and iPod. All I could find tonight was Roy Dunn aka James Calvin Speed and Tarheel Slim (Alden Bunn). This is to the best of my knowledge Roy (Sidney) Dunn was 53 when he recorded the tracks on "No Time at All" in 1975 and it seems he spent most of his time in Atlanta working construction and playing music until he was involved in a serious auto accident on Christmas 1968. Roy died in March of 1988 in Atlanta. Tarheel Slim was 51 when he recorded the tracks on "No Time at All" in 1975 he was originally from the Carolinas but settled in NYC and died in August 1977.

The Trix recordings are fantastic and so are their liner notes. I'll look for Henry Johnson and Pernell Charity this weekend I have a feeling they are in my truck. Let me know if you would like me to make copies of the liner notes for you. Or if there are CD's you might like me to try and find, I'll be in SF next week or I can run to Santa Cruz where I found most of the Trix CD'S.

<on edit> I doubt that any of the Trix solo blues artists are still alive.
« Last Edit: February 13, 2008, 09:38:41 PM by NotRevGDavis »
Got the name, still workin' on the licks!

Offline Stefan Wirz

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2008, 11:49:25 PM »
... you can read at least some of the liner notes at http://www.wirz.de/music/trix.htm

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2008, 01:31:13 AM »
I know that Henry Johnson died of cancer shortly after his Trix LP was released. 

I had some correspondence with Pete Lowry at the time, helping with the source of a song he was unable to place and discussing the guitars used.  Apparently Lowry himself could not play, but was very adept at tuning the selection of guitars he carried, from which the performers could pick.  His reasoning behind this was that most of the blues musicians he met had no guitar or more likely one that was not good enough to record with.  I would have liked to hear more of "Rufe" Johnson on a wooden-bodied guitar, but he favoured the National himself, so Pete Lowry went along with that.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2008, 01:32:39 AM by Parlor Picker »
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Offline NotRevGDavis

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2008, 08:10:32 AM »
Thanks Stefan. I used your website as a resource when I was searching for Trix label artists.

Got the name, still workin' on the licks!

Offline doctorpep

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2008, 06:44:09 PM »
Hopefully I'm posting this in the correct place. After reading this, I bought the Trice and Johnson discs on Amazon, both brand new for a total of 5 dollars. It's amazing what some people will give away. I'm trying to find out where to buy the Slim disc; Amazon has it used for almost 100 dollars! When I searched for "Pernell Charity", I got some pseudo-Jazz-looking album cover. I finally found the Charity disc here: http://www.bluebeatmusic.com/index.php?main_page=product_music_info&products_id=4769 Unfortunately, there are no audio clips. Does anyone have any idea where I should be looking for the Slim disc and Charity audio samples? Thanks!
« Last Edit: February 22, 2008, 06:54:10 PM by doctorpep »
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Offline uncle bud

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2008, 07:17:43 PM »
doctorpep - if you like Blind Boy Fuller, I think you'll enjoy Pernell Charity. I'm not going to reimburse you if you don't, but I'd say you can't go wrong.  ;D

Offline mr mando

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2008, 07:52:10 AM »
doctorpep - whenever you're looking for records (CDs or whatever), to to www.gemm.com. Here are the hits for "The Virginian" by Pernell Charity (hell, my vinyl is worth 30 bucks!!! If only the dollar woudn't be so low, I'd be rich I guess)
http://www1.gemm.com/ddc/search.pl?&disp_ad_format_mode=0&artist=PERNELL+CHARITY&price_above=%2E001&&title=VIRGINIAN&price_above=%2E001&
« Last Edit: February 28, 2008, 07:55:29 AM by mr mando »

Offline NotRevGDavis

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2008, 08:10:51 AM »
I'll probably be bin diving in San Jose and San Francisco this weekend I'll pick up any (and all) Trix CD's I find.
Got the name, still workin' on the licks!

Offline oddenda

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2008, 08:21:42 PM »
Hi, there, folks -

          Better late than never, as the saying goes. As the perpetrator of Trix Records' recordings (plus way more unreleased stuff), I must confess to have been a lucky individual. The folks I met were generally wonderful (the Buddy Moss episode was the exception) and I did the best I could for them with what I had at the time. Trix never made money, overall; I had a profit the year I sold the LP master tapes to Joe Fields (Muse Records) and that was the sole "plus" year! As has been mentioned, most of the people I recorded came from the South East - NC, SC, GA, VA - with a few major exceptions: Robert Lockwood, Eddie Kirkland, Homesick James, Honeyboy Edwards (those two at the suggestion of Jim O'Neal), plus the Detroit pianists. It was a long and wonderful trip, but I burned out by 1980 and stopped travelling. Worked with Alan Lomax on what became the "Deep River of Song' portion of the Lomax material on Rounder, then went to Folklore school at The University of Pennsylvania working on an unrealized PhD. Now living in Australia (and NOT on my ill-gotten gains from recording!), I can look back with pleasure and wonderment on what the hell I did for a decade. Not bad for a solitary White guy in the 70s, eh?!

          If there are any questions, fire away. I'll get to them eventually. And may the farce be with you.

yrs,
     Peter B. Lowry (f/k/a Pete Lowry)
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 04:33:17 AM by oddenda »

Offline oddenda

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #20 on: October 01, 2008, 07:27:24 AM »
Hey, there, Folks -

          As the perpetrator of Trix Records (and its sexist logo, which my partner abhors!), I am pleased to see that my efforts haven't completely fallen off the face of the earth. There were, I think, eighteen LPs originally with all but the Homesick James re-issued by Muse Records on CD [using the Trix name]. I spent a decade (1970 - 1980) in the SE chasing after older Blacks for their stories and songs, mainly secular in nature. I met some wonderful people in that time of solo travel (Bruce Bastin and I cracked the Piedmont in '69/'70, and Kip Lornell joined me for part of one long trip) in my van with guitars and recording equipment, eventually a good camera. Travelling from VA to GA on I-95 became the norm for me and my dog(s) for about a decade, before I burned out. Later on, I ran out of ready money to release stuff and so there's probably enough unreleased stuff for 40-50 additional releases. Would that I had been able to put out more material, but, ever the master of good timing, I started the label when the second-to-last blues boomlet was fading, and gave up before the last one took off! I was one very successful White guy, though, during that decade! Any questions?

          May the farce be with you.

yrs,
     Peter B.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2008, 12:09:21 PM »
Don't have a question at the moment but wanted to say thanks for working those 10 years making those records! Many are among my favorites since I discovered them not too long ago...

Offline NotRevGDavis

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2008, 01:23:25 PM »
Great job Peter. Funny I just picked up Big Chief Ellis today.
Got the name, still workin' on the licks!

Offline oddenda

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2008, 07:27:12 PM »
Bud -

          Better late than never! Where were you back in the day? Probably in kindergarten!!

NotRev -

          There are some interesting guitar players on it, too. Later I'll put up how Brownie was there.

yrs,
     Peter B.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2008, 08:58:43 PM »
Bud -

          Better late than never! Where were you back in the day? Probably in kindergarten!!

Pretty close. But as they say, third time's the charm... :D

Offline dj

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2008, 03:02:52 AM »
Gary, where'd you get the Big Chief Ellis CD?  It's one of the few Trix discs I'm missing.  I thought that was long out of print.

Peter, I'd like to add my thanks for all you've done in recording these artists and making their music available.  Over the years I've gotten most of the Trix releases, even the Danny DelSanto LP!  (I used to catch the Arm Brothers regularly at a bar in Verbank NY across from Sprout Lake, and I'd run into Eddie Kirkland in the laundromat in New Paltz, which should give you some idea of where I was back in the day.) 

Offline oddenda

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2008, 04:52:03 AM »
dj -

          Eddie at the laundromat... those WERE the days! At certain points in time, Eddie stayed with me at my house outside of Rosendale, but slept in his car. Eventually, when he was with Shirley as manager, they stayed in my guest room. I saw Eddie in Melbourne a couple of years ago - he was brought out for a week-end of gigs (I kid you not!) by a radio dj known as Mohair Slim. With little proper rehearsal, it was mainly 12-bar stuff, but he went over fantastically, in spite of it all. That's Eddie! We essentially picked up where we left off six years before! A good friend. I took the train down from Sydney so that I could bring along my National (1939 vintage) for him to play on the radio - ABC-Melbourne, and a public station. Gives you an idea how far I'VE gotten from the Shawangunks. Once upon a time I was on the faculty of the New Paltz college in biology - traded that in for field work and recording.

          I recorded most of the Ellis album at my house in Cottekill... Joe Wilson and Dick Spottswood did the sides with Cephas. It ain't in catalogue, but one might get lucky on a remaindered copy, or used. Good luck. Have some with all my stuff, but that's in storage in NJ and I ain't!

          Are you aware that Dan DelSanto died some years back in Mexico where he had fled to avoid prosecution for a serious marijuana case - he refused to roll over, or go to jail, and headed south. Unfortunately, he developed a kidney problem that could have been taken care of in the States, but, in Mexico... on the lam... nope. Terry Lickona has advised me that Timmy Duran is also deceased... don't know the details, only that he went hermit late in his life and had emotional problems. I think I went to that bar, but saw them mostly at Smitty's.

          May the farce be with you... it's the only thing to keep us whole.

yrs,
     Peter B.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2008, 04:54:42 AM by oddenda »

Offline dj

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #27 on: October 04, 2008, 06:58:14 AM »
Pete,

I'd heard about Dan's death from a friend who's kept in touch with Terry.  Sad and seemingly unnecessary.

I've been thinking about Trix Records for the last few days, and have a few questions.  Feel free not to answer if you don't feel they're appropriate...

What was the average pressing of a Trix record?  Did any of them sell enough that you had to repress?  Did anything stand out as a bestseller? 

And about the CDs that came out in the early 90s - were you involved at all with those?

Offline oddenda

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #28 on: October 04, 2008, 07:22:28 PM »
dj -

          No worries! I have to work from my sometimes shaky memory, but I think that I pressed maybe 2000 of most LPs, with the Lockwoods as high as 5000... the first got re-pressed to get there, the second started at that. Sales were underwhelming, so I don't think that I re-pressed any others... maybe the second Kirkland w. a band. One of my favorites, Frank Edwards, sold pitifully and he ended up with most of what was left before I departed the US. I gave outright 10% of each pressing to the artists and NEVER had "charge-backs" in our contracts; Lockwood and Kirkland got them as needed so that they could sell them off their stage at gigs. Trix lost money every year but one, the one where I sold the LP masters to Joe Fields of Muse Records: overall, the label was a money-looser for me. If there was a best-seller, it would have been Lockwood's "Does 12" album which was VERY favorably reviewed in both the jazz, rock, and blues press... two reviews in the San Francisco Examiner, one rock, one jazz!!

          As for the CDs that Joe released on Trix in the 90s - I had a small hand in it all, writing updates for the inserts on all artists. He issued them all SAVE 3315/Homesick James "Goin' Back Home". I had planned on feeding him more albums, but things got in the way - Joe hooked up with Chris Millar and issued three CDs of stuff he'd recorded (Willie Willis, Homesick, Harmonica Slim). Since he had a new album by Homesick, he put off issuing "my" solo album until later (which never came)... 32 Blues, on the other hand, did re-release "my" Homesick James album, probably the best thing that he ever did. Joe sold all his issued master to 32 Jazz and started new labels, including Fedora w. Chris for blues... now on hold due to poor sales. 32 went belly-up and Savoy Jazz picked up "my" masters, but have issued little. And so it goes.

          As for the six 45s, I think that I pressed up 500 of each... there was a re-press of the first two, I think.  Did that at first w. Baby Tate, and Eddie Kirkland in order to show the "world" what goodies I had stumbled upon. The world was not impressed, yet I continued on into LPs... what a masochistic act! Such is life, and may the farce be with you. ANY QUESTIONS? Fire Away!

yrs,
     Peter B.
   
« Last Edit: November 01, 2008, 04:36:35 AM by oddenda »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Trix is walkin? some more?
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2010, 08:15:56 AM »
I notice that the last issue of Blues and Rhythm (#254) has an article on Trix Records by someone who would know: BLUES IN THE SOUTH EAST USA - More Travellin' & Recording The Blues: Trix Records by Peter B. Lowry.