Rhino Handmade Spotlights Celebrated Songwriter’s Self-Titled Debut With Deluxe Three-Disc Edition Featuring The Original Album Remastered And With Out-of-Print And Unreleased Recordings, Plus a Rare 1972 Interview. Limited Edition 7” Available With First 500 Copies, Pre-Order Now Exclusively At Rhino.com.
Due For Release On August 16
“Swamp pop” pioneer Bobby Charles is perhaps best know for writing songs that became hits for others, like “See You Later Alligator” for Bill Haley and “Walking To New Orleans” for Fats Domino. But in 1971, the Louisiana native moved to Woodstock, New York and recorded an overlooked masterpiece that combines Charles’ Cajun roots with R&B and country influences on ten timeless tracks. Released in 1972 on Bearsville Records, Bobby Charles features Charles leading a session stacked with top-shelf talent, including Mac “Dr. John” Rebennack, pedal steel ace Ben Keith, guitarist Amos Garrett, saxophonist David Sanborn, as well as Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Richard Manuel, and Garth Hudson of The Band.
Rhino Handmade shines a spotlight on this “lost” classic with a three-disc Deluxe Edition that combines a remastered version of the original with a wealth of unreleased material recorded during those sessions and others recorded at Bearsville Studios throughout 1974. The set closes with a newly unearthed, 30-minute interview Charles did with Barry Hansen (aka Dr. Demento) that was recorded shortly before the Bobby Charles album was released in August 1972. BOBBY CHARLES – DELUXE EDITION is available now for pre-order exclusively at www.rhino.com for a suggested list price of $49.98 and will be available on August 16. The first 500 copies will include a limited edition replica 7” vinyl of Charles’ Bearsville single of “Small Town Talk” b/w “Save Me Jesus.”
Produced by Charles, Danko and John Simon (producer for The Band), the album remains Charles’ most enduring work. A Louisiana vibe is present throughout, steered by the singer’s Cajun accent and relaxed phrasing. Every song feels like a hit – evidence of his natural ear for a good hook. For much of the album, Charles sings about life’s simpler pleasures – the love of a good woman (“Let Yourself Go”); the things he wants to do in life (“Grow Too Old”); the calming power of nature and companionship (“Wild Apple Trees”); and daydreaming of better days (“Tennessee Blues”).
Along with the original album, the first disc also features “New Mexico,” “Homemade Songs,” “Rosie,” and the single version of “Small Town Talk” – four songs that first surfaced on the now out-of-print import, Bearsville Box Set. Four unreleased tracks are also included on the first disc: “Save Me Jesus,” (mono single version); “He’s Got All The Whiskey” (long version); “Don’t Be Surprised” and “You Were There.”
The set’s second disc contains 17 tracks for more than an hour of unreleased music. It begins with four songs from the Bobby Charles sessions: take one of “He’s Got All The Whiskey”; a demo for “New Mexico”; plus a pair of languid country shuffles – “Homemade Songs” and “Done A Lot Of Worse Things” – that rank among Charles’ finest work. The remainder of the disc gathers more than a dozen songs Charles recorded with producer Paul Rothchild at Bearsville Studio in 1974, including the New Orleans pop and R&B of “Better Days,” “Jealous Kind” and “Whatever Happened” and the Southern funk of “Please Please” and “Why Are People Like That.”
Sadly, Charles did not live long enough to see the deluxe reissue of his masterpiece. The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame inductee passed away on January 14, 2010 at the age of 71 after collapsing at his home in Abbeville, Louisiana.
Bobby Charles: Deluxe Edition (Rhino Handmade, 2011)
Disc 1: Original LP and bonus material
I Must Be in a Good Place Now
Save Me Jesus
He’s Got All the Whiskey
Small Town Talk
Let Yourself Go
Grow Too Old
I’m That Way
Small Town Talk (Single Version)
Save Me Jesus (Mono Single Version) *
He’s Got All the Whiskey (Long Version)*
Don’t Be Surprised *
You Were There *
Disc 2: Bonus material (all previously unreleased)
He’s Got All the Whiskey (Take 1)
New Mexico (Demo)
Homemade Songs (Long Version)
Done a Lot of Wrong Things
Ain’t That Lucky
You Came Along
Livin’ in Your World
Nickles Dimes Dollars
Why Are People Like That
Little Town Tramp
Keep Cookin’ Mama
What Are We Doing?
Cowboys and Indians
Disc 3: Barry Hansen Interviews Bobby Charles, 1972 (previously unreleased)
Disc 1, Tracks 1-10 released as Bearsville LP BR-2104, 1972
Disc 1, Track 11 released on Bearsville single 15508, 1973
Disc 1, Tracks 14-16 released on Bearsville Box Set – Pony Canyon PCCY-00727 (JP), 1996
All other tracks on Disc 1 previously unreleased.