Monday, April 7, 2014
Steve, Bob, & Rich Balls Bat 1984
Man, glad I finally found this. It's been on top of the list for some time. I know of a copy down the street from me for $50, but when this showed up for $30 I happily took advantage. It's the Rainmakers before the addition of drummer, Pat Tomek. At this time in the band's career, they were gaining a substantial following in the area and front man Bob Walkenhurst was doing so from behind the drums. It's a private release the band put out to sell at shows and obviously act as a demo prior to signing with a major label. They called their label, "Bat," but it's clearly privately done. The catalog numbers is the initials for Steve, Bob & Rich, and the label address simultaneously acts as the address to write the band.
Since discovering that the album existed, I've been building up this LP up in my mind. I really like the ideas Walkenhurst put down on the Rainmakers LPs, just have a tough time dealing with the uber-slick 80's production. I figured this LP would be a very young and raw edition of the band. Stripped down roots rock like it should be.
After listening, it wasn't the album I had envisioned. Overall, it's still pretty slick, wetback drums galore and some really polished guitar riffs. However, there are real bar bands moments and the music sounds more live than their later major label output. There's also some repetition, the Rainmakers debut features re-recorded versions of "Let My People Go-Go," Nobody Knows," "Big Fat Blonde," and "Information" that first appeared on this Steve, Bob, & Rich album.
Overall, it's a fun album to have. Some of the moments showcase the band doing their early 'bring down the house' numbers. For big fans of the band, it's got be essential, the quality is here even at the early onset of the band. While I wouldn't find any of the tracks not included on the debut Rainmakers to be amazing, they still showcase Walkenhurst's literate lyrics and the band's charm. There's also some moments without Walkenhurst taking lead vocals, which is nice change of pace and something they could have easily done more of later in their career.
Steve, Bob & Rich-Let My People Go-Go