Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the beginning of his recording career, the Rainer Music Archive is issuing Rainer Ptacek’s first ever album, Avid Demo List. Originally self released on cassette in 1979, none of this extremely rare material has ever been re-issued in any form until now. Although exact recording dates and location are unknown we are almost certain that Rainer recorded these tracks at home on borrowed multi-track equipment, as was his M.O. over the years for “demo” material he produced himself. Also unknown is how many copies were originally issued, but it’s safe to say that the edition was small.
Recorded before co-founding the band Giant Sandworms with Howe Gelb, Billy Sedlmayr & David Seger, Avid Demo List features a mix of covers and originals. These are tunes he would have been performing in coffee houses and clubs around Tucson in the late 1970’s. Rainer would continue to perform several of the cover tunes once he returned to solo performing and with his band Das Combo. The same cannot be said for the originals, only one (Let’s Pretend) and the first verse of another (Bridges...) survived for use in the future.
Meticulously restored and mastered by Jim Blackwood using a high-resolution (96/24) transfer of an analog safety copy of the original master reel (the original has gone missing), Avid Demo List sounds right at home in the 21st century! Yes, you’ll find a bit of distortion here and there that was present on the original master reel… we will gladly chalk it up to the D.I.Y. lo-fi ethic we love so much.
What you will find here is the album’s original 13 songs in the same order as issued on cassette along with an additional 10 songs found on the session master reel. There are many highlights here, including the original compositions unique to this release, a haunting take on Robert Johnson’s “Come On In My Kitchen” and tender readings of Willis Alan Ramsey’s “Satin Sheets” and Billie Holiday’s “God Bless The Child”.
Avid Demo List is available for download only at Rainer’s bandcamp page: rainer.bandcamp.com and you’ll find details on all things Rainer at the official website: rainermusic.org
released June 7, 2019
Rainer Ptacek – Vocals, Dobro, National Steel & Acoustic Guitars
Recording dates and location unknown, self released on cassette in 1979.
Tracks 1 - 13 comprise the original cassette release.
Tracks 14 – 23 are from the same master session reel
(available as part of the full album purchase only)
2,3,4,5,6,7 & 14: Rainer Ptacek (Mushed Music, BMI)
1: J.B. Lenoir (Zebralution, BMG Rights Mgmt.)
8: Jimmie Rodgers (Peer Int’l. Corp., BMI)
9,11, 20 & 21: Robert Johnson ((King of Spades Music, BMI)
10: The Doors (Doors Music Inc., ASCAP)
12 & 22: Kokomo Arnold (Universal Music Publishing Group, ASCAP)
13: Nick Lowe (Wellchart Music, ASCAP)
15: Traditional, Public Domain
16: Roosevelt Sykes (Prestige Music, BMI)
17: Willie Dixon (BMG Rights Mgmt.) / J.B. Lenoir (Zebralution BMG Rights Mgmt.)
18: Billie Holiday – A. Herzog Jr. (Universal Music Publishing Group. ASCAP)
19: Hank Williams (Hiram Music, Admin. By Rightsong Music Inc.)
23: Willis Alan Ramsey (Wishbone Music, ASCAP)
Track 6 interpolates the last verse of Robert Johnson’s “Love In Vain”
High-Resolution (96k/24bit) transfer, assembly & Mastering: Jim Blackwood
Pitch correction: Jason Chastain (Thank-you Jason!)
Archival research & preservation: David La Russa
supported by 8 fans who also own “Avid Demo List [40th Anniversary Edition]”
I find Howe Gelb's music sort of indispensable these days...when I listen to his slightly (?) skewed view of the world through his compositions, a strange sense of 'rightness' seems to settle my own misgivings and trepidations...how does he do that? John Cratchley