Sunday, October 20, 2013

John Biggs The Roads We Travel Blue Valley Records 1979

John Biggs The Roads We Travel Blue Valley Records 1979 CAT# 001

Private press LP from Manhattan, Kansas.  I got this by posting records on Instagram.  There's an absurd amount of people that post, brag about, and talk about records on Instagram.  I got into it just recently, started following @soundtracksunday.  He posts a lot of soundtracks and his thing is he started the soundtracksunday hash-tag in which you listen, post, and hash tag a soundtrack on Sundays (obviously).  I posted a copy of the Rockers soundtrack and mentioned I had a double, @soundtracksunday asked if I wanted to trade.  I replied, sure, but sent it to him without committing to any sort of trade at the time.  A few months later I got this out of it, cool right?

It is decent.  John Biggs is a picker and falls a bit more on the country side of things than he does the bluegrass side.  I wish there was a larger scene for stuff like this in Kansas.  Many, many, years ago there was Big K Records out of Kansas City that did a lot of root driven country music.  There's also the Walnut Valley Festival in Winfield, Kansas.  It's a large acoustic music festival catering to pickers, bluegrass and old time music.  There's also an absurdly large scene that goes from Springfield to St. Louis, Missouri.  Some of it incredibly good.  Most of it a little too influenced by Jesus, the Ozarks, and Branson, Missouri.  But, the good stuff is really good.  Since the furthest I'm going to get away from Kansas is St. Joseph, Missouri, I wish there was more stuff like this available from Kansans.

Biggs is good when he keeps it on the country side.  His originals aren't too bad.  The traditional songs that make up the bulk of the album are the best moments.  My biggest complaint is that his voice is in the higher registers.  The arrangements are crisp and it tends to make his voice sound like a minstrel Renaissance fair singer.  That, and he's from Manhattan, Kansas, but that goes without saying.


  1. I own this LP. John dated my older sister for a short time. I was in high school when he came through town with my sister. He was to go play a show and alowed me to sit and listen while he warmed up. I actually have the practice on a cassette. He changed my direction and was a big infuence for me. Any chance you may have a way to contact him? My email is

  2. that was supose to be

    1. Sorry man, just found his record. Actually, someone else found this and gave it to me...perhaps he'll see this post someday and get in touch with you.

  3. Yup, I have this - John was one of my closest friends during our time in Manhattan KS for some years. Used to do sound for him. The vinyl does not do him justice, but I treasure it still. Taped him (yes, tape) for several of his KSU concerts, but am afraid to try to run them. My all time favorite from the many gigs is his wonderful embellishment of Utah Phillips' "Good Though", which sadly he chose not to record. Stumbing into this posting has me wondering if I can find him after all these years. Thanks folks.

  4. I am the Keyboards guy on this album. Hope you enjoyed it.