Wednesday

Link Wray

Link Wray - 1971

I don't know as much about Link Wray as I should, but I truly love this album. After a hiatus throughout much of the sixties, the man credited with "inventing" the power chord dropped one of the most bizarre comeback albums in music history on an unsuspecting public. Recording many of the instruments himself on a 3-track recorder in his chicken coop-turned-studio, Wray and his brother Vernon created this country-rock masterpiece that rests somewhere between The Band and Captain Beefheart on an island of its own. While at the same time there existed bands who aimed to evoke a rock'n'roll vision of Americana, of white clapboard chapels, dungareed farmers, dusty drifters and outlaws, the Wrays were making the real thing, and doing it better than all of em'. Instead of a drum kit, Wray just had to "stomp real hard" on the floor. "It was no problem--all we wanted was time".

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot! Still looking for his friend Mordicai Jones' LP, recorded at Link's 3-track for Polydor, even better downhome music..........

:)

Eddie Riff said...

An excellent album, junior. I've enjoyed it quite a while, myself.

Russ said...

Thanks for letting me hear this, a true lost classic album, with really deep "Feel" that is hard to put into words, but The Band and early delaney + Bonnie, maybe Leon Russell,get close to this, a must hear for anyone interested in American Music

JR HeatWarp said...

Glad to hear that everyone's enjoying this one. I'm pretty sure I picked it up a few months ago from Eddie Riff over at riffingeddie.blogspot.com, so head over and check out the other great stuff he's posted.

Yesterday I bought a copy of "Link Wray's Three Track Shack", which combines "Link Wray", "Beans & Fatback" and "Modicai Jones". I'll definitely post the other two albums in the near future, so stay tuned. Great, great stuff!

Rob Tyner said...

Thanks for such a great post!!!

Do you think you could post some hi-res cover artwork for this? I'm not able to find it and it's such a great cover.

If you can find it, don't overlook the late period link CD "Shadowman" on Ace. It just sounds LOUD. Fantastic.

JR HeatWarp said...

Wow, THE Rob Tyner has graced the pages of The Heat Warps! Such an honor. Unfortunately, I don't have the cover art for this one, nor could I find it ANYWHERE on the web. The fine folks over at wraysshack3tracks.com have some scans of the promo materials for this album though, and they're definitely worth checking out (if you haven't already).

Thanks for the tip on "Shadowman", I'll make that my next Wray venture.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the gift JR Heatwarp! "God Out West" was the first song I ever heard from Mr. Wray. I was amazed! Has this album been overlooked by this generation? I'm 35 years old and this is the first time I've heard of this unique album. Thanks again and keep up the good work.

Koen said...

Thank you very much for this obscure classic. And if possible post more LW!

Eddie Riff said...

For Mr. Rob Tyner (my love is like a ramblin' rose) and everyone else, here is the artwork for the Link Wray. Thanks for the nod, junior, I know from experience that the heat in Austin can do some serious warping. Eddie

http://www.filefactory.com/file/519b5b/

Anonymous said...

I remember finding a copy of this in the record library at WHPK in Chicago and being intrigued by the cover--especially the picture of the shack/studio on the back. I couldn't believe what I heard when I got it home for a spin--almost a country gospel record. Nothing like what anyone would expect from the same cat that brought us "Rumble." Truly a lost gem. - Peter

Slidewell said...

This just might be the original "alt country" album! Lo-fi, ragged, but full of dixie-fried funk and soul. Thanks for posting this gem!

Anonymous said...

Excellent site, some great gems here.
Now what I really want to find is the Chris Darrow - Artist Proof album, the only one not on CD.

Sam Stone said...

Thanks for Link Wray. I'll check both albums out tonight :-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much!
I thought LW kept doing his twangy stuff after the sixties. What a beautiful to rediscover this great artist!
Perfect blog by the way. Your notes are very helpful and inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the avail. This was a truly monumental album in the course of rock/country evolution. It influenced a wide array of artists and albums that followed. Go back and re-listen to "Exiled on Main Street", which was released a year after this one came out. It's not hard to see where the Stones looked in reinventing themselves on what is largely viewed as one of their best records.

Not only the sounds and style, but the songwriting on this record is very unique and strong as well.

Thanks again.