Richard Swift - Ground Trouble Jaw / Walt Wolfman Vinyl LP
Richard Swift Ground Trouble Jaw / Walt Wolfman Vinyl LP
It was a great Swiftian irony that the shining moment of realization that is Ground Trouble Jaw first saw its release as a modest, digital-only EP in 2008. Here Secretly Canadian rights that wrong, and pairs it with 2011's Walt Wolfman EP, very much a spiritual twin of Ground Trouble Jaw.
Ground Trouble Jaw is the lens that pulls Richard Swift's catalog into a focused oeuvre. It was the first release that folded the tireless, vying personalities of Swift's art – the art brut R&B of Onasis; the John Fante saloon player of The Novelist; the Brill Building songcraft of Dressed Up For the Letdown – into a singular, succinct artistic statement. Here is a man discovering at once his own capacity for timelessness.
The triumphant, Sly Stone burner "Lady Luck" feels like a song your heart knew before you did, a ripe jazz apple that Swift plucked on a stroll through the orchard. You can feel his joy and the responsibility of his personal discovery. You can imagine a not-to-distant future in which parents and children slowdance together at weddings to the childhood sweetheart doo-wop of "Would You." The electric artistic breakthrough is palpable.
Walt Wolfman's blown-out, basement R&B speaker-shredders are not for the faint of heart. Highlight of the set, "MG 33" is a raw and ghostly trance, a blast of kinetic energy and that jazz apple smoke blown right in your face. The quasi-title track "Walt Whitman" is a cryptic salute to Whitman, whose American lineage of primal, urgent art can be traced to include Kerouac and Ray Johnson, Bo Diddley and Beefheart – right on through to Swift himself. He was an outsider-pop wanderkind who could do more with one worn, old mic than most men could with a high-end studio, taking "the holy moment" and making it eternal.
Richard Swift Ground Trouble Jaw / Walt Wolfman Track Listing:
1. Would You
2. Lady Luck
3. The Bully
4. The Original Thought
5. A Song For Milton Feher
7. MG 333
8. Laugh It Up
9. Zombie Boogie
10. Out & About
11. Drakula (Hey Man!)
12. St. Michael
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