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HI​-​FI '90 - Live at Cushing Street

by Rainer and Das Combo

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Life Is Fine 05:52
Powder Keg 03:47
Limit To It 04:49
Sleepwalk 05:09


The Rainer archive is pleased to present: HI-FI '90 - Live at Cushing Street.

As an experiment, back in the fall of 1990, in cooperation with Rainer, I brought my JVC HR-S6600U Super VHS Hi-Fi recorder to Cushing Street Bar and Grill in Tucson, Arizona, hoping to capture quality recordings of Das Combo during several of their weekly gigs. I had heard somewhere that VHS Hi-Fi was the equivalent of a reel to reel deck traveling at something like 120 IPS. Plugging into the soundboard, I captured those nights in full. We were curious to hear the results and listening back afterwards, Rainer was pleased enough to allow me put together this compilation for a possible cassette release. Never happened, but a VHS Hi-fi master of the project has been in my possession ever since.

All but the last two tracks here were recorded in this fashion. Those two are from cassette recordings made by Das Combo drummer Ralph Gilmore, who was obsessive in his documentation of the trio's gigs.

Although these recordings were never issued at the time, Rainer liked the results enough to ask to borrow my deck when recording tracks at Ralph's garage studio in April of 1992. The fruits of those recordings can be heard on the bonus disc of the 2013 reissue of the Barefoot Rock album.

We sincerely hope you enjoy these gems, and if you were ever lucky enough to be present for any of Rainer's many performances out there on the Cushing Street patio, we hope this brings back some good memories.

“To be listened to in the spirit in which it was made”

David La Russa, November 2021


released November 14, 2021

Rainer Ptacek: National Electric Guitar, Vocals
Nick Augustine: Fender Jazz Bass, Backing Vocals
Ralph Gilmore: Drums, Backing Vocals

Recorded in August and September 1990 at Cushing Street Bar and Grill, Tucson, AZ.

Tracks 1-10 recorded by David La Russa.
Tracks 11+12 recorded by Ralph Gilmore.
Originally mastered by Wiley Ross, Fall 1990
Restored and Remastered by Jim Blackwood, Fall 2021

Tracks 1,2,5 & 11: Rainer Ptacek (Mushed Music)
Track 4: Langston Hughes/R.Ptacek (Mushed Music)
Track 3: Greg Brown (Hacklebarney Music)
Track 6: Robert Johnson (Public Domain)
Track 7: Bob Dylan (Rams Horn Music)
Track 8: Blind Lemon Jefferson (Public Domain)
Track 9: Paul Kelly (Kelly World Music)
Track 10: Lennon/McCartney (Maclen Music)
Track 12: Farina Bros. (Trinity/Climax Pub.)


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