and the Live Sex Show
Panama Red Plays Roosendaal
to Amsterdam, Buffy
Nashville TN, October
10, 2004 - - Except for the packaging, Panama Red's newest CD
opus, "Choice Buds", is complete, and we at the vast (yeah,
right) Panama Red website complex are tired but happy little warriors.
I'm sitting in the office
here at the Murfreesboro Panamansion listening for one last private
time before it becomes available for and susceptible to criticism,
and I'd like to be the first to review it, or at least the first
to write about it.
The original idea of
"Buds" was that it would be kind of an extension of the
album HomeGrown, "Choice Buds" referring to the songs
themselves. But as time went by and friends got involved in the
project, the title's meaning grew to include them as well.
The Choice Buds playing
on the CD are, in no especial order, Charlie DeChant and Buddy Helm,
my old bandmates from Bethlehem Asylum; Ronnie Elliott and some
of the Nationals crew from his recordings- -Walt Bucklin, Harry
Hayward and Steve Connelly, all from the Tampa/StPete nexus; and
the Muscle Shoals contingent: Spooner Oldham, Scott Boyer, Jason
Isbell, Shonna Tucker, David Hood, Topper Price, Mike Dillon, N.
C. Thurman, Bryan Owings, Owen Brown, Billy Swan, and Donnie Fritts.
My friend and uber-producer Dick Cooper exhibited an admirable amount
of patience, humor and determination in bringing it home.
Those who found HomeGrown
to be too short will also be disappointed in ChoiceBuds, as it comes
in at just over thirty-two minutes. Those who expect reverb on vocals
will be keenly disappointed also, as the record is dry as toast,
even when old Panama is struggling with Fred Neil's "Dolphins".
The best review I ever got for HomeGrown was "There is no bullshit
on this record," and Dick Cooper and I held that as a beacon
in the fog for ChoiceBuds. There are a few falters and flaws. But,
I hope, no bullshit.
The songs themselves
come from a wide range of styles and time periods. I wrote "Bottom
Dollar" back in the 70's here in Nashburg with my choice bud
Billy Joe Shaver. "St Pete Jail" is new, having been written
with Ronny Elliott back in June of this year. "Expat Blues"
is a tune by my friend Rob (The Doc) Dokter with whom faithful readers
have become familiar from my European diaries. And the aforementioned
"Dolphins" is of course a tune by the late Fred Neil,
which I wanted to do because of my admiration for and friendship
with Freddy, but mostly because it's a great song. I would recommend
that if you like the tune you go to one of his records and hear
him do it because as anyone will tell you, nobody else can even
come close to performing his songs as well as he did.
The rest of the songs
I wrote alone: "Down in Sinaloa", "Duchess",
"Over You Now", "Wyoming County Catamount",
"I Don't Need No Doctor", and "All of My Dreams"
are particular and peculiar to me. Some friends requested that other
tunes of mine be included on this recording but, as these things
go sometimes, they are not there. Something to live for, I guess.
Thanks to everyone whose
support for whatever it is that I do makes it all possible. To attempt
to credit you all by name would necesssarily mean that some would
be omitted, so I won't try here. Thank you.
Yer faithful fan and correspondent
***LATE BREAKING NEWS***
I'm packing up and heading for Florida again. I have a few dates
there coming up in late October/early November. The production lines
at the plant we will use in the manufacture of "Choice Buds"
are jammed with pre-Christmas production already and so there will
not be time to make the "Official" version of the CD for
the Florida tour. As with the first unoffical version of "HomeGrown",
we'll have a limited number of bootlegs to vend at the gigs. Buying
those will be a good investment, just in case I get in a light plane
accident or as seems more likely, am struck by lightning for impiety.