Monday, January 30, 2023

StumpWater’s “Sister of Mine” is a lost classic


StumpWater’s “Sister of Mine” is a circa 1973 sinister slide-guitar and ridden track, where the narrator recollects memories of his “sister.” “Sister of Mine” features a loping motif and steady rhythm section along with a vocal that recalls Dylan at his most foreboding. The track has stirred something within my soul and has at least made me curious about the band. I really wasn’t familiar and now you can be, by reading the press release below:

They say every journey begins with a single step, or in this case a single song! More specifically, we speak of a lone, warped, and colorfully-labeled 7″ recorddated 1975 from Aurora, Illinois, (yes, home of Wayne’s World), stumbled upon by Galactic Zoo Dossier/Galactic Zoo Disk Svengali Plastic Crimewave. That 45—a private press single by StumpWater, featuring the tunes “White Washed Afternoons” b/w “Watcher’s Brawl.” A search surprisingly yielded immediate results, as StumpWater was still active and gigging!?

Peppering their concerts with Crosby, Stills and Nash covers, StumpWater was still performing live, doing acoustic and electric sets (with a drummer – rock style!) AND still playing their 70s originals. But even more shocking? StumpWater had an unreleased LP from 1973!  Yep – and not only that, it’s a friggin’ concept LP about the characters populating a small town hotel (think Lee Hazlewood’s Trouble is a Lonesome Town, but not really) called Motel in Saginaw (a place ol’ Mike Nesmith seemed to know too).

To say the homespun album was a revelation is putting it lightly – gorgeous tunes about death that’d have Simon and G crying in their cappuccinos, creepy Dylan-esque tales that David Blue woulda liked to have written, maudlin hearts of gold in every groove – basically a hazy, sepia-stained song cycle for all the Judy Blue Eyes in the world to get lost in while rollin’ a dirtweed joint.   

The deluxe package includes an inner sleeve with photos and infos, a cracking mastering job by wunderkind Carl Saff and an original (hopefully non-warped) copy of their original private-press single! The complete StumpWater at last. So kick back, take your socks off, drop the needle on this lost classic-to-be, and let yer hair blow in the prairie wind, my dusty denim children. Listen to “Sister of Mine” now and let your freak flag fly! Motel in Saginawdrops on February 22nd. 

Greg Kinne
Greg Kinne
Greg started Culture Fiend as a way to discuss the many facets of pop culture. Greg usually surrounds himself with Star Wars action figures, Legos and a healthy supply of interesting films and unusual records.


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