Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Bob Marriott Just Pickin Marriott Productions 1984
So, looking at this cover, what does Bob have his guitar plugged into? The chickens, a log, the barn? Who thought that photo fit the mood in the first place? Who rocks his Gibson in the barnyard? That said, this is better than most private press album covers. And, considering the backside indicates Mr. Marriott was living in Osawatomie, Kansas, I imagine you got to look country in those parts if you want your neighbors to listen.
Not for certain when this came out, not surprisingly, there isn't a lot of information out there on this Bob Marriott release, but, I'm going to guess early 80's. You don't get many clues from the backside, only that it was recorded at Westgate Studios in Lenexa, Kansas and as previously mentioned, Bob was living in Osawatomie.
Here's the kicker, though, the whole package looks pretty country and awful, but it's certainly not country, and awful is just one guy's opinion. Way back in the 60's it appears Bob Marriott used to perform as Bob Marriott and The Continentals and released a few 45s with singer, Chuck Vallant. The 45s were put out by Jayco and played locally, possibly regionally, and the band gigged in surrounding areas. The 45s now get sold as "Northern Soul," but are better termed R&B, or just rock n' roll. They've been bootlegged and are quite sought after. Further, they're pretty solid little rockers, well worth grabbing if you spot one. Again, this is only assumption, but given this albums song selection and the Jayco releases style, I think it's reasonable to conclude. In the albums outro, Marriott also thanks the Continentals along with a host or early rockers and soul stars.
So, it looks what you have here is Marriott using his Gibson and running through some 60's surf, rockabilly and old rock n' roll for ol' times sake. Just doing instrumental workouts with very few tracks crossing over the 2 minute mark. The production is a bit too slick which is what has me thinking this came out in the 80's. Oddly, the album features Rudy Passonno on keyboards, who, during the late 70s and early 80s was involved in everything local apparently.
It's a cool little album. Just one man's last hurrah, you know? I don't think he expected this to hit big or get airplay, the album just feels like he put this together as a gift to himself and his friends. One last recording session before he hung it up for good (although, I'm betting he'll still play for anybody who asks).