Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Barefoot Jerry: A history and critical review


.
Between 1970 and ’77 Barefoot Jerry, a Nashville based band drawn from the finest young session player elite of Music Town USA, recorded and released six albums, the first three of which are unsung masterpieces of progressive country rock that, in my opinion, no other band or artist has come close to equalling. Great songs, beautiful vocals, unbelievable playing and epic detailed productions, all of such majesty and depth that in the many years since I first heard them in the early seventies my love of Barefoot Jerry has never wavered or lessened or grown stale. Back in their day the band suffered from preconceptions from both sides. The rock audience dismissed them as a country band while the straight country audience found them too weird and adventurous for their tastes. The country audience might have had a point; the rock audience really did not. It didn’t help that the band hardly played live in those early days, members were either too busy with session work or easily lured away to more lucrative assignments. None of this is relevant in the long run because there are a ton of highly rated bands and artists who had little in the way of commercial success when they existed but are now highly lauded in the history of rock music. Not so Barefoot Jerry. I always assumed that the band would have been rediscovered many years ago and those first three albums embraced for the masterpieces they are, with a ten page retrospective in Mojo, prestige reissues on Rhino and in vogue musicians banging on about their genius and influence and queuing up outside Wayne Moss’s Cinderella Sound studios to record their albums.
.

Cinderella Sound Studios.
.
But unbelievably still to this day they remain nothing more than a much cherished memory to those lucky enough to have lived in Nashville and surrounding areas at the time and witness their many concerts over those years. But to the few thousand music lovers across the globe fortunate enough to have stumbled across their albums like I had, they are the greatest band that no one had ever heard of. A band of undisputed importance and genius who deserve so much more that the silence and ignorance that has been their lot up to now. The one constant through out Barefoot Jerry’s many line up changes was Wayne Moss. He produces all the albums brilliantly, plays some amazing innovative music, I would argue that even in the midst of such high calibre world class players as graced the band during their time he stands out as the finest. He wrote many of their best songs, even on their weakest album Keys To The Country his contributions are still superb. Without him there would be no Barefoot Jerry, he is both the head and heart of the band, no so much the leader but the shepherd to the dozen or so players that passed through its ranks in those few short years.
.
.
The Session Years.
Bradley Wayne Moss was born in Charleston, West Virginia on February 9th 1938 where his love of music started at the tender age of eight when he borrowed a guitar from a family friend and found himself fascinated with learning to play it. A year later he bought his own instrument for $6 from a local pawnshop and started listening with keen ears to records by Flatt and Scruggs. He had a friend who played a banjo and together they learnt to play songs like Foggy Mountain Breakdown and other from the Flatt and Scruggs cannon. Chet Atkins was another early influence and hero to the aspiring young guitarist.
.
.
In 1956 he wrote his first song "Starry Eyes" which was recorded by harmony group The Hilltopers and was playing guitar with the Echo Valley Boys. He's first credited as playing guitar and engineering a 1959 collection of cowboy hoe-downs for Leon Payne At the age of 21 he relocated to Nashville where he played guitar in R&B groups before joining Brenda Lee’s backing band the newly christened Young Casuals (originally just The Casuals) for the next couple of years.
.

The Young Casuals (Wayne Moss 2nd right)
.
Within twelve months or so of his arrival in Nashville Moss had opened his own small studio Cinderella Sound in a converted two car garage in Madison a suburb of Nashville perched between two lakes which he continues to own and operate to this day. Cinderella Sound is where all the Barefoot Jerry albums were recorded and is in itself a key element to the band’s amazing sound. Moss got his first break as a session player when A Team pianist Hargus "Pig" Robbins liking what he heard from the talented young guitarist started hiring him for sessions. The A Team were the premier Nashville session team of the time which included R.Stevie Moore’s father, and owner of Monument Records, along with Fred Foster, Bob Moore. At one such session another player said to Moss that if he ever got a record contract he would want Moss to play lead guitar on the recording. That guy was Tommy Roe and true to his word he brought him in to record his debut single Sheila which turned out to be the first of many number one singles that Moss was to play on over the next few years. He named his daughter Sheila in tribute to this early success. In the early sixties Moss recorded a solo twelve-string album released an instrumental single and played on countless sessions. He is responsible for the iconic guitar riff on Roy Orbison’s "Pretty Woman" and on which fellow West Virginian and future Jerry member multi-instrumentalist Charlie McCoy played sax.
.

Charlie McCoy
.
McCoy, amongst many other things, was responsible for introducing The Nashville Number System. By substituting numbers for chord letters musicians could work out an entire song on a single sheet of paper, while hearing a demo of any tune for the first time. This innovative method quickly spread among the other session players in Nashville and soon became the standard method of music notation in Nashville to this day.
A Team guitarist Harold Bradley recalls those early days:
"The A Team was still memorising all the stuff. One day we had a substitute; we had Wayne Moss. I looked over and Wayne had a little bitty small pad and he was writing and Charlie McCoy was over there working with him. I went over and said, ‘What are you guys doing?’ They said, "Well, we’re writing this down.’ Charlie had studied at the University Of Miami and what they were doing was writing down the number system. I walked away thinking, "Well what’s this?’ because we were used to memorising it. But I found out when I became a session leader myself that it saved you fifteen minutes a session if you could do these charts beforehand."
.

The Muscle Shoals team
.
But as the years passed and the studio work continued to flow in Moss started to think about doing music of his own. Meanwhile in Alabama keyboard player David Briggs, bassist, Norbert Putnam, and drummer, Jerry Carrigan were working out at a new studio called Muscle Shoals. Elvis Presley’s producer Felton Jarvis had already brought them up to the RCA studios in Nashville on occasion during ’65 because he wanted young musicians with more of an edge than the current Nashville A Team. These three were also tiring of perennial sideman gigs and over the next couple of years they headed for Nashville where they soon met up with Wayne Moss and discussed forming a band. But Moss and local Nashville drummer Kenneth Buttrey had commitments to Pat Campbell And Her Escorts, playing the clubs, though it was still fairly straight country music, so the plans got put on the shelf.
.

.
.
Charlie McCoy came down to see the Escorts one night, liked what he saw and joined. As the band grew more adventurous Pat Campbell decided to move on to other ventures and they became McCoy’s band, recording one single Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow released on Monument in 1964. Then Moss left to concentrate on his session and studio work, and in his place a fresh faced teenager named Mac Gayden joined their ranks. Gayden along with Moss, Briggs, Buttery and McCoy were amongst the many musicians who recorded sessions for Spar a local budget label that specialised in covers of Nashville and other hits. Often these Nashville covers would have the same players as the originals. Gayden was friends with Buzz Cason who had been in The Casuals back in the fifties and had just started up a small Nashville based soul and R N’B label Rising Sons distributed by Monument.
.

.
Gayden, a big fan of such music, heard Robert Knight singing with his vocal group The Fairlanes one night at Vanderbilt University and was blown away, so he brought him to the attention of Cason who he knew was looking for talent for his new label. Cason was equally impressed and brought Gayden on board to help him write material for Knight and play on the sessions (along with Kenny Buttrey and Norbert Putnam). Together they came up with Everlasting Love, which went on to spend 11 weeks in the charts in the fall of 1967 and in the UK went on to be a number one for The Love Affair. Gayden and Cason wrote many more soul and R N’B singles over the next couple of years.
.

.
Area Code 615
As yet though these young Nashville session men were growing in dexterity but were still playing it straight. But all that was to change in the spring of 1966 when Bob Dylan decided to uproot from New York and take a walk-in the country. His chosen accomplices for the resultant "Blonde On Blonde" were to include Wayne Moss, McCoy and Buttrey. Between sessions with Dylan these three would sit around and play together, the germ of Area Code 615 was starting to grow. More importantly as he had done with the Beatles a couple of years before Dylan turned them on to the creative benefits of a nice smoke. Dylan's presence was to change many of the attitudes prevalent in Nashville studios at the time.
Moss said about the experience. 'I noticed that recording with Dylan was more relaxing and more enjoyable than the usual country things we did. When he came to town we were green as far as the dope culture went. For one, Dylan looked very strange to us, we were still what you'd call rednecks and he changed a lot of heads. He also altered a lot of the studio techniques we were familiar with, the new projects that began to spring up in Nashville didn't and couldn't have happened before. Dylan liked our sound I guess. He stuck with Buttrey and McCoy for his next few albums overdubbing them for all the cute little things they could do. All of a sudden it seemed like Nashville was fashionable. One of the things I would like to thank Dylan for is putting the players names on albums, that didn't happen before he got here."
Moss played mostly guitar and a bit of organ on "Blonde On Blonde" and, all the takes were as live as possible though they worked up "Sad Eyed Lady" for eighteen hours to get the feel Dylan required. For Rainy Day Women #12 with it’s famous "Everybody Must Get Stoned" Chorus Dylan wanted the players to get a little drunk before recording it.
"It’s not fake." Said Moss. "We were all loaded."
Yet Moss views the Dylan period as an eminently fruitful one artistically but of very little subsequent commercial use, they were still merely glorified sidemen playing somebody else's music.
.

In May of 1968, after completion on the filming for the Monkees’ film Head, Mike Nesmith headed down south to record some songs of the next Monkees album, (a proposed double album with each side given over to each of the four members). He was to work with Elvis producer Felton Jarvis at the RCA Victor studios in Nashville and they were set on using the cream of the young Nashville session players. Nine songs were recorded in all: Propinquity (I‘ve Just Begun To Care), Don’t Wait For Me, Hollywood, The Crippled Lion, Some Of Shelly’s Blues, How Insensitive, Good Clean Fun, Listen To The Band and St. Matthew. But the double album idea was dropped and only three of the tracks appeared on later albums, though the rest saw the light of day on the Monkees Missing Links albums. A whole bunch of Nashville’s finest, Wayne Moss, Charlie McCoy, Mac Gayden, David Briggs, Nobert Putnam, Kenny Buttrey, and Weldon Myrick were hired and then promptly left alone in the studio to amuse themselves while Nesmith went off to write lyrics.


 

Moss. "In between cuts we'd sit around and jam, playing stuff like "Lady Madonna" adding dirty lyrics, just cutting them instrumentally. Eventually we had some rough tapes, which we played to producer Elliot Mazer. He dug it and suggested that a group of us stick together. For a while we backed up other singers again, Joan Baez, Jake Holmes, Ken Lauber and Al Kooper."


They played the Fillmore a few times backing up Linda Ronstadt and she later came to Nashville to record her album Silk Purse at Cinderella and Barefoot Jerry played a few local support sets for her.
.

.
Moss. "Eventually a bunch of us decided to form our own band. We added Buddy Spicher on fiddle from Ray Price's band and Bobby Thompson on banjo and all sorts of stringed instruments. Bobby is one of the few country musicians who can really adapt to any style. His background is pure country, gigs with Jim and Jesse and the Virginia Boys, straight bluegrass, but he became a part of Area Code 615 and stayed with us right through, to Watchin' T.V. Some Nashville bands like Slewfoot Five, Grady Martin and the Bradley Brothers, Owen and Harold, had an instrumental flavour but Area Code could do it better. Everyone else was playing by the book union wise; it was still all Chet Atkins stuff, nothing too original. Mazer took the tapes to Polydor and they said, "Let's go with it." They thought we could be huge."
.

Charlie McCoy and Bobby Thompson on the Hee Haw TV show
.
Mazer was an up and coming producer at the time and recalls:
"I did a few projects at Wayne Moss' Cinderella Sound. Wayne let me engineer and I let him play bass. That room was a two-car garage and it sounded great. The Area Code 615 projects were done there. They had a great drum cage that Kenny Buttrey and Wayne built. Kenny was the kind of drummer that ate engineers alive if they did not get a good drum sound and a good earphone mix. That experience taught me a lot about recording."
.
.
A few months before flutist Edwin Hubbard did a project at Woodland Sound Studios using the various musicians who were soon to be called Area Code 615. It was an album of instrumental covers to be released under the name Captain Milk. A single was released on Tetragrammaton from the project, Hey Jude backed with The Impossible Dream though the album itself was shelved and remains unreleased. The idea of a collection of instrumental covers mixing old and more contemporary songs became the blueprint the new combo was looking for. Musically the band wanted to combine the best country playing with an R&B rhythm section something never tried before. When Mazer returned with cash from the label they entered Cinderella Sound with him and over the course of the next five days recorded the first S/T album released in 1969.
.

.
The band set about mixing older traditional material done in an innovative progressive country style a few originals and various Dylan and Beatles covers, including another run at Hey Jude but this time without the straight restraints set on them during the Captain Milk project. The playing through out is a breathtaking tour de force and the album met much in the way of critical acclaim though very little in the way of commercial success.
.
.
Area Code played on the Johnny Cash show and also, at the Fillmore West where they supported Country Joe and the Fish and The Sons of Champlin.
.

.
Moss. 'If you look at the cover of Trip In The Country you'll see us all outside the Fillmore. We were backing up Herbert Hunter, a fine black Nashville singer, and we played an instrumental set. Graham really got the audience primed for us too, which was kinda neat because visually people didn't know what to make of us. I guess we all had short hair. McCoy was wearing dress pants and a windbreaker and I had on a pair of white sneakers, we all had the cowboy shirts. I think it was refreshing for them 'cause they gave us a fantastic reception and we were thrilled, not having played outside home too much and certainly not in front of so many people. Afterwards Bill Champlin came up to us and told us, "Hey man, Graham don't ever work the audiences like that, he usually doesn't have a good word to say for the bands who play here.'
In the two years of their existence this was the only Area Code gig they played.
.
.
.
Moss: 'We weren't dedicated enough to devote our lives to playing live. I didn't mind too much at the time although that lack of road dedication has been the undoing of a lot of our later Barefoot set-ups. By the time we cut "Trip In The Country" a year later their attitude changed. We were nominated for a Grammy on the debut but Blood, Sweat And Tears got it which was fair because they'd sold an awful lot of copies of "Spinning Wheel" and no one had even heard of us.If we had won it I think a lot of people would have been shocked but it was a great honour to get that close. The second album is all originals except for the bluegrass Katy Hill which we adapted to our sound. Most of the other stuff is self-explanatory, like "The Devil Weed And Me". At the end of that we had "Ding Dong The Code Is Dead" 'cause Polydor were disenchanted with our lack of success and we said goodbye. I think we could have probably done a lot of things we didn’t do and made our way to the top real fast. It takes a dedication on the part of everyone involved and we didn’t really have that. We had it from a musical standpoint as far as making records were concerned but not in the standpoint of devoting your life to something. It was a hard decision for a lot of the guys to make, so it just sort of laid there and nothing much came of it.'

All the players involved continued to be much sort after session musicians so with no real success for their own albums it was inevitable that they would soon enough be torn apart. Area Code left behind two influential albums of stunning mostly instrumental music and for British music fans of a certain age the memory of Stone Fox Chase, which was the iconic theme to the Old Grey Whistle Test.
.
.
In ’69 Moss, Buttrey and Gayden became the nucleus of the house band for Nashville’s Sound Stage 7 label (Monument’s R N’B imprint) under session leader Bob Wilson taking the name The Music City Four. Monument’s Fred Foster had at first been dubious about the idea. It was Wayne Moss’ innovative bass line on Joe Simon’s The Chokin’ Kind that convinced him otherwise. When he heard the master he told the label "I think you need to remix it, the bass is way too hot." They asked him to trust him on this one and released it the way it was. The single went to number one of the R N’B charts and became the labels biggest success.

At the start of 1970 Steve Miller riding high on the success of his Brave New World album but with his band falling apart around his ears headed up to Nashville with some half finished tapes. He booked into Cinderella where, in between dates on the road with the likes of Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead, he completed the album with Charlie McCoy, Buddy Spicher and Wayne Moss. Number 5, released July 1970, was his greatest success to date. Over three days in the March of 1970 Tom Rapp along with his then wife Elizabeth recorded the forth and considered by most people best Pearls Before Swine album, the wonderful Use Of Ashes at Woodland Studios in Nashville. The band used were McCoy, Putnam, Gayden, Spicher, Buttrey and Briggs and the results are just beautiful. The cross-pollination of bluegrass and rock these players were experiencing on these sessions was filtering through into the music they were soon to create.
.
.
Barefoot Jerry
.
As the dust settled a core trio of Moss, Gayden, Buttrey and local doctor and keyboard player John Harris took to jamming together at Gayden's shack in the mountains. When they got the munchies they'd come down the hill to Barefoot Jerry's Grocery, that being the local store run by a grand old gentleman with an ear for a fiddle hoe-down and a campfire tale.
.

.
John Harris happened to have a friend at Capitol, Michael Sunday, who he had done a lot of session work for out in California. He was not in the executive class but able to voice some influence. Sunday listened to a 46 minute tape that these four cut straight off and liked what he heard. On it they'd worked up the chord patterns to four songs That's O.K. He'll Be Your Brother Some Day, The Minstrel Is Free At Last, Hospitality Song and Blood Is Not The Answer.

The legend begins.

Moss. " We sat round and jammed awhile and ended up with this 46 minute tape of stuff. We just started playing, trying hard to listen to each other on the earphones, didn’t have no engineer we just turned the tape on. We played for an hour and a half but the tape ran out after 46 minutes. It was a lot of fun to do, we were completely free and uninhibited. It didn’t matter, there wasn’t a producer there telling us to change this or shorten that or do anything, we were completely free. There were no boundaries we had to stay within like there was on the standard country sessions we were used to doing. I think we created a lot of beautiful things. It remained to be seen if anyone was interested in picking us up. And Michael Sunday said let me play this tape to one of his bosses at capitol and see what he thinks. And this guy liked it enough that he came to Nashville and sat down with us and listen to the tape again, along with Hospitality Song and a couple of others we had been working on since then and he was real impressed and said. "Hey that sounds good to me man and when you get the album finished just send it to us." It seemed like a no strings attached kinda relationship, which was really good. We went crazy cutting the greatest album the world had ever heard, giving very little thought to every having to play it live with just four guys. The smallest amount of pieces on one of the songs was eighteen and some of them rose as high as forty two. This was done an eight track machine so we doubled a lot of things."
.


.
On January 19th 1971 the four entered Cinderella Studios with Moss in the production chair and over the next few months recorded their first masterpiece Southern Delight. It is an astonishing work, a tour de force of playing and production. Of the ten songs the lion share of the lead vocals and song writing credits go to Mac Gayden. Three are co written with John Harris: the friendly country opener The Hospitality Song (on which Charlie McCoy and Bobby Thompson dropped in to play their part), then the storming anthem, Blood Is Not The Answer that closes side one so dramatically. Thirdly the epic multi-layered twisting gem that is The Minstrel Is Free At Last (which he was later to redo for the second Skyboat album.) Two are written with his brother Joe, who also helped engineer the album, Proud To Be A Red Neck and the exquisite love song Come To Me Tonight. The latter opens with a gorgeous shimmering piano solo from Harris and spin tingling lead vocal harmonies, the result on painstaking overdubbing on an epic level that was to become one of the band’s trade mark sounds on the next album. Finishing Touches, with some sterling work from Buttrey, is his only sole song writing credit. But besides these contributions Gayden brought something else magical and unique to proceedings when he introduced his unique and pioneering slide wah guitar sound. Moss contributes two charming songs, the blissful Smokies and the first of his characteristic dope related tunes Quit While You’re Ahead (A Song Of Sensible Compromise). The album closes with a traditional song Nobody Knows before the only track credited to all four members That’s Okay He’ll Be Your Brother Someday, progressive country rock of such effortless class and dexterity that only these musicians could attempt and achieve it so gloriously. Of all of their albums Southern Delight is the one that could have broken them into the rock music scene if only they had toured it and played the right national venues. As it was they only played a handful of local gigs and little more.
.

.
Barefoot Jerry played their first gig at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and went down a storm though Moss admits they were quite terrified of the experience.

Moss. "The first few times we ever performed live it was just sheer terror on our part. The audience seemed to receive us real well, there was fifteen hundred people there in knoxville in a place were you could only fit about nine hundred normally. It was just wall to wall and we though maybe we ain’t crazy after all, maybe this stuff really is good."

Around this time Elliot Mazer, Norbert Putnam and David Briggs (I should point out here that Briggs is not the same David Briggs who produced Neil Young and Spirit amongst others) from Area Code had got together and built Quadrafonic Studios in a two storey Victorian era house. Mazer: "We wanted to build a slightly bigger room that gave us a lot of control but still sounded tight and fat like Cinderella." Hear that Neil Young was in Nashville to appear on the Johnny Cash Show, he invited him to a dinner party at the new studio. Young had some new material to record and well aware of his work on the Area Code albums asked Mazer if he could get them into the studio the very next day to back him on some sessions. Buttrey was the only one not busy and he brought John Harris with him, while Mazor arranged for other local musicians. Most of the tracks recorded over the next few days ended up on Harvest; Buttery also ended up as Young’s new drummer, though he did not last long before returning to session work.
.

.
Moss: 'Buttrey quit the day Capitol gave us a whole lot of new equipment. He was followed by Mac and so the label didn't have the band they'd signed. We were also disillusioned with their abilities to sell the record but the band just didn't want to tour. It isn't solely a matter of musical unity, you must have the same goals and too many of the guys wanted to stay home with their families.'



Gayden had been offered a record deal with EMI, it was a one off with Bob Johnston, Dylans producer with whom he'd worked on Dylan's album with, and Johnston asked him if he could produce him from that experience together and in 1973  they recorded Macgavok Gayden  with Kenny Buttrey on drums and that was when he left Barefoot Jerry. Johnston considers this record his Sgt Peppers and has sold for over $650 dollars an album in the UK, and has received critical acclaim with many music critics worldwide.Gayden subsequently got together his new band Skyboat, putting out two excellent albums, Skyboat and Hymn To The Seeker on ABC while doing session work for the likes of JJ Cale, Pearls Before Swine and Loudon Wainwright III.
.

.
The loss of half their members did not deter them for long, Moss took over the lead guitar stool vacated by Gayden while still playing all the bass and they added Russ Hicks on steel guitar and Kenny Malone on drums. They set about the recording of their second album in the May of ’72, again at Cinderella, this time with Harris joining Moss in the producing role. Hicks was to remain a constant along side Moss for the duration, his incredible steel guitar playing becoming one of the defining elements to that classic Barefoot Jerry sound.
.
.
Originally from West Virginia Russ Hicks switched from playing lead guitar to steel guitar after hearing Nashville legend Buddy Emmons in the early sixties. When his Gibson ElectraHarp got destroyed in a fire at a local club Hicks naturally decided on a long cherished Emmons steel guitar as a replacement. A chance meeting with Weldon Myrick at the Emmons factory the day he went to pick up his new instrument was to send him in the direction of Nashville. Myrick had just quit Connie Smith’s touring band He told Hicks to head down to Nashville and audition for Smith and he got the job. Hicks later replaced Buddy Emmons himself in Ray Price’s band (which also featured Area Coder Buddy Spicher). By the time a year later when he left the band there was enough session work coming his way to justify staying in Nashville. Charlie McCoy was his main connection after he did a Kitty Wells session with him and McCoy found out he was a fellow West Virginian and started putting work his way. Malone was raised in Denver and served in the Navy Band in Washington DC eventually becoming head of the percussion department at the Armed Forces School Of Music. He arrived in Nashville in 1970 and looked up an old student Ron Oats who introduced him to the likes of Bobby Thompson, Jim Colvard and Bobby Dyson. They did a lot of little demos sessions together for various artists over the next few months and then he did his first master session with Carl Perkins. After that the session work started flowing in.
You would think with the loss of their main songwriter and vocalist the band would have struggled. With no discernible lead vocalist and half the line up gone following up such a brilliant debut would have been hard enough anyway, but the arrival of the second album, just called Barefoot Jerry, released on Warner Brothers said otherwise. If anything the album is the definitive Barefoot Jerry album, a blissful master class in recording and playing that really no one has touched before or since. It’s an album that first and foremost plays by its own rules, impossible to categorise but is an eclectic whole to be savoured from start to finish. From shinning virtuosity heights to shimmering spine tingling depths it is an adventure in musical genius. If the loss of such a brilliant drummer as Buttrey seemed tragic, the arrival of Malone if anything took things to a whole new level. His playing is astonishing, melodic and inventive in ways not seen before. Listening to his work on Message is always a jaw dropping treat. John Harris contributes two stunning instrumentals the majestic Castle Rock and Ebenezer that open and close the album beautifully. Russ Hicks playing is masterful and inventive throughout, flick off a blistering crescendo here or a serene stone rippled ocean of liquid swell there. His punchy and twisting tune Snuff Queen is played by all with such friendly aplomb that it just knocks your socks clean off every time.
.

.
But it is Wayne Moss who is at the heart of the matter here. His guitar playing is confidently understated, yet multi-layered and wickedly complex at times and along with his intelligent bass playing serves as the very substance of the album. Even after all these years I still find something new and wonderfully surprising from his work herein. It is as if all the players here are so impossibly talented that they have no reason to be flash or to grand stand or show off. Instead its pure musicianship stripped of ego or even playing for playing sake, every note is there to serve the creativity spirit at it’s most profound. The production too is bent to this purpose and is an endless and joyful adventure in sound, for me this has always been hands down the best production job ever. Not only brimming with detail, endless depths and musical instruments recorded with such striking clarity but graced with unmistakable warmth and humanity. The band pull all the creative stops out for a stunning rendition of Bobby and Eileen Thompson’s In God We Trust and the only traditional cover here Little Maggie (already done as an instrumental by Area Code) is rendered perfectly with some stunning vocals and concise and confident playing. Moss steps up to the song writing plate and delivers up a clutch of some of his finest songs. From the sardonic but humble swagger of One Woman, the laid back, witty and barefooted Message, the gentle climbing majesty of Friends (co-written with Harris) with its searing steel lightning strikes and the cool and clever instrumental of Fish N’ Tits, Moss delivered the goods. Warm (co-written with Hicks and Malone) is a laid back thing of real beauty as is his last song the tender Ain’t It Nice In Here. Both will bring goose bumps to your skin with their intimate melodies and playing. Possibly the most striking aspect of the album though are the vocals from Moss and Hicks produced so exquisitely, so clear and warm through out, they grab your heart and ears and never let go. The short sleeve note on the cover said it all. 'The recording level of this LP was high and can best be appreciated in the same manner.'

Moss: 'You can hear the Goodlettsville String Sextet, our simulated strings ensemble and the Hendersonville Horns on this one (fuzz guitar, blunt fiddle, harmonica, steel, melodica all re-dubbed.) We still had the live problem. There was still a lot of interest from former Code members in what we were doing except in the part of it which said you had to get out on the road and play for the people. That was the problem, why go out on the road when there was sixty, eighty thousand a year they could make without having to leave Davison County. But they liked what we were doing, would sit around and listen to it and though we were heading in a good direction and that sort of encouragement kept the band alive. But it was still impossible for the public to know who they were seeing when they turned up to one of our gigs. Although the flavour was the same, the faces changed so fast it confused everyone. When we appear in Nashville it's always good music but you never know who you're going to see. Until "You Can't Get Off With Your Shoes On" the most jobs we played with one unit was seven and that's not enough. You have to play a lot to sound real tight and stay loose at the same time.'
.

.
By the time they set about recording for the third album Watching TV, their first for Monument, the band were going through changes. Moss and Hicks remained constants. John Harris finding his commitment to both band and his actual profession as a medical doctor problematic left during the recording. Kenny Malone was to follow.
.
.
Moss: 'The problem is that we did lose guys because they were offered enormous sums to quit. That's why Buttrey left for Neil Young and Jimmy Buffett. With John Harris it was different. He's a doctor and only plays sessions in between running his clinic. We tried out a whole raft of drummers because we'd always had real heavy guys laying it down. When we auditioned Si Edwards, who was only a young guy, we were amazed. He knew all the licks, the right dynamics, when to be loud, when to go soft. He said, "Where do you wanna start?" so we took it from Hospitality Song and he had it down. All we could say was "Welcome to the band." When you shut your eyes and listen, Si was Buttrey, Malone and him all rolled into one.'
With the idea of putting together a functioning live band Fred Newell was brought in on bass. Newell from Illinois originally and newly arrived in Nashville was picked up by Charlie McCoy soon enough and it was McCoy who recommended him to Moss and Hicks along with another new Nashville arrival Buddy Skipper on keyboards. Dave Doran was also added as lead guitarist, though on the sessions all three new Barefoots played various instruments as was needed.
.
. Barry Chance
Moss: 'Dave got a little impatient although he is a tremendous guitarist and an awfully good lead singer and gave us immense inspiration. Afterwards he went on the road with Melanie, which is the story of a lot of our bands - they can earn so much money as sidemen, more than with the band. During that time we went from four to five to six to seven members before coming back down to six. '
This line up is capture for posterity from a live radio broadcast of the time recorded at the Exit Inn and released a few years ago. Moss, Hicks and Doran share lead vocal duties throughout and it is a wonderful and unique document of the band in concert. But when it came to the album Moss was looking for real direction in the vocal department.
Moss: 'A lot of that change was due to Terry Dearmore our new vocalist. We decided that we needed a lead singer even if he couldn't play. We were known for our musical abilities but not our singing talents. I don't fantasise myself to be a singer at all - a songwriter maybe -and we had a lot of insecurities about our live singing because we were used to backing up. Terry solved that problem and took up the bass after Fred Newell left.'
.
.
Originally from Oklahoma City Dearmore had been in Jubal alongside Dennis Linde. That band had recorded just one album in 1972 and had just been dropped by Atlantic and split soon after. Moss had helped out in the recording of that album. Texan songwriter Linde had arrived in Nashville back in ’69 and was soon writing hits for the likes of Roger Miller and Roy Drusky. On the back of this success he got to record his first album Linde Manor in 1970 though his second album recorded a year later Surface Noise remains unreleased. After the short lived Jubal things turned around when his song "Burnin’ Love" became Elvis last ever number one hit and from that he was signed to Elektra. His self-titled third album released in ’73 has his former Jubal bandmates on half of it. The other half, including his own version of "Burnin’ Love" was recorded at Cinderella with the second line up of Barefoot Jerry along for the ride. Dearmore dropped by Cinderella one day during the sessions for Watchin’ TV on Moss’s behest to and eventually ended up singing lead vocals on four tracks and joining the band. Bobby Thompson also got involved not just playing but co-writing three songs with Moss, "Funny Looking Eyes", "Violets and Daffodils" and "Mother’s Nature’s Way Of Saying High". Watchin’ TV even with the line up in transition is another perfect album. Side one opens in classic barefoot style with a prime slice of Wayne Moss’ easy philosophising Watchin’ TV (With The Radio On) and another of his wry dope songs, Funny Looking Eyes. New boys Newell and Skipper’s contribution the instrumental Pig Snoots And Nehi Red brings the picking on from Bobby Thompson banjo, while the band dance in dexterity around him.
.

.
A classic bass line leads into Russ Hick’s swaggering gem Hay Queen chockfull of effortless twist and turns before Hicks and Skipper’s Two Mile Pike closes the side. A monumental multifaceted instrumental work out, highlighted by a blazing guitar solo from Doran the can be witness performing it live in the studio in the documentary film Heartworn Highway. Side one is the band at their progressive country best but it is side two where they take us once more to such glorious heights.
.

.
Opening with a shimmering laid back version of the western swing standard Faded Love that sets the pace Moss then delivers up four of his most beautiful songs yet. There’s the gentle social commentary of There Must Be A Better Way (co-written with Dave Doran), the fuzzy quiet romance of If There Was Only Time For Love and the cascading elegance of his and Bobby Thompson’s Violets And Daffodils to curl round you mind before the side closes with the epic classic Mother Nature’s Way Of Saying High. It is music of profound beauty drowning in melodies of ethereal grace and subtle power. The production is magnificent and the playing and vocals passionate and measured to perfection.
.

.
By the time Watchin’ TV came out in ’74 Doran had been replaced by Jim Colvard. Colvard originally from Minnesota was playing guitar in local talent shows at the age of six. After moving to Nashville he became a regular member of the Ralph Emery TV show and recorded four albums as part of the Nashville Guitar Group for Monument. He was a seasoned session pro playing for the likes of Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson and Charlie McCoy. He was a stunning guitar player. Dearmore took over bass from the departed Newell and St. Louis born Warren Hartman who had arrived in Nashville the year before replaced Skipper on keyboards. and the band entered Cinderella with Moss in the producer’s chair and set about recording their forth album "You Can’t Get off With Your Shoes On."
.

The actual Barefoot Jerry
.
Moss: ' Our Namesake is an old gentleman that lives up in the foothills of the Smokie Mountains and he has an old run down grocery store, I guess he’s had it for a lot of years. He’s got a little steno pad on which he keeps track of all the sales he makes. You ask for a pack of gum and he’ll right it down, "one pack of gum-five cents". He grows tomatoes out back and he sells them in the store. His wife lives with him, in the same building there. He plays a fiddle, plays a lot of hoe-downs and things, tells a lot of funny stories and limericks. He knows a bunch of tales about those mountains up there, all the folk law and he’ll lay some of that on ya. The stores kinda doubles as his living room so its real homey and on occasion we’ve gone up there and sat around and got the guitars out and played some hoedowns with him. He was in a world unto himself and seemed unaffected by the jet age. That kinda signifies what the band are about, into a lot of nature trips, being laid back and being yourself and being happy. The title song of the forth album sums up Barefoot Jerry's philosophy, the man and the band. Most of the songs we come up with ourselves are on a positive note, we try to be uplifting and have something refreshing to say, hopefully. We attempt to write about current issues as well, from a social rather than a political point of view.'We try to show everybody our instrumental abilities, we like and instrumental or two or three on each album. With each line up we’re keeping a lot of the same roots. Like with songs such as Tommy Dorsey's "Boogie Woogie" (also featured on McCoy's "The Nashville Hit Man") which was in the country charts for twenty two weeks. I guess that song’s from the early forties. We’re trying to cover a range of years in what we do, some of the old blue grass things we do like Faded Love are that old but we try to make them identifiable as Barefoot Jerry. We try to mix it up and still have a direction to it and a seamless flavour for both the old and new songs. I hope we succeed".
.

.
This line up of Barefoot Jerry also recorded a later single Makin’ It Better (written by Marc Phillips and Tim Townley) and did sessions as a unit with Capricorn artist Johnny Wright.
Moss: 'Every time we landed that kind of job we got a little tighter but you didn't get the gratification in the studio that you find from playing for people in a club or for twenty thousand at a picnic all screamin' and hollerin' at yer. Not that doing records are a pain in the neck because they’re not, they are fun to do. But you wonder sometimes at the conclusion of a song you’ve just recorded if it’s the way it ought to be or if you’re the only one that’s going to like it that way and so on. And you find these things out when you play them live. The reaction you get to it inspires you to write other songs. One night at the Vanderbilt we had two big trash cans full of the silk flowers we used on the Can’t Get Off cover shot in front of the stage. We told the audience if they wanted a souvenir of the album to come up and help themselves and they did. Then a bit later we did Only Time For Love and all these flowers come flying back up on the stage and everybody was singing along. It makes you wanna go and write another song for them.
All the members in that line up really enjoy playing live, they enjoyed the vibes they got from the audience and respond accordingly on their individual instruments. It inspired them and makes them play better. We don't lay a lot of heavy messages on the people; rather we try and indicate what they might be missing. A lot of folks miss out on nature. The tremendous progressive strides we've made are killing the countryside. The mass transit of highways is eliminating the fields with folks taking the speed limits to the level where you couldn't enjoy the scenery if your life depended on it. Slowin' Down is about that.'
.

.
The album opens with Terry Dearmore’s Ali Baba, a song perfectly written in Barefoot progressive style and played with real panache a shinning and confident opener. Next up the strange choice of the inclusion of Charlie McCoy’s recording of Boogie Woogie (the various members of Jerry had been constant fixtures on the harmonica maestro’s various instrumental solo albums the last few years). Not only is it played by the earlier Watchin’ TV line up but, because it is from McCoy’s album the backing is mixed down somewhat and in consequence doesn’t sound quite right on the album. Things pick up again with Moss’ two songs Slowin’ Down and You Can’t Get Off With Your Shoes On, both classic Barefoot Jerry tracks played beautifully. As is Russ Hick’s West Side Of Mississippi though the song itself is not his best. Side two kick’s off with The Measure Of You Worth, written by Dearemore and Hartman it is another classy slice of progressive country. This is followed by a stunningly played but somewhat out of place cover of the Little Richard hit Lucille and Hick’s Hero Frodo, a beautiful melodic piece but the Lord Of The Rings lyrics are not really at home here. Hartman’s Sinkin’ In The Sea sounds more like a Bill Payne Little Feat song than anything suitable for Jerry and a weak one at that. But the album closes in style with the fuzzy, dreamy instrumental Cades Cove written by Moss and Hicks. The album is excellent both in playing and production (though the production is at times workman like compared to what had come before) but a bit piecemeal overall, some of it is not quite Barefoot Jerryish enough. Put together Ali Baba, Slowin’ Down, You Can’t Get Off With You Shoes On, The Measure Of Your Worth and Cades Cove add up to a classic side of Barefoot Jerry, the rest though is not quite up to scratch for one reason or other. It was definitely their most popular effort to date but with Monument not knowing how to promote them properly it was destined to fail.
Moss: "Many groups play country music but with us it is different. Country music we know because we have all worked in Nashville for years but we originally come from all over and we brought with us our rock and blues influences. What we play is what we love most."
.

Mitchell In Nashville with some of the players
.
In ‘75 French singer Eddy Mitchell (called by some the French Elvis) who’s flagging career had recently picked up with a compilation of his old hits flew out to Nashville to meet up with Charlie McCoy. In just one day they recorded an album at Cinderella with the cream of Nashville players including Moss, Colvard, Buttrey, Spicher, Thompson and Hicks. Rocking In Nashville went to number one in France and led to a Barefoot Jerry line up of Moss, Hicks, Colvard, Buttrey Spicher, David Briggs and guitarist Dale Sellers accompanying Charlie McCoy and Billy Swan to Paris in 1975 to play at the Olympia for 31 straight dates. There’s a video of a live French TV appearance in existence from that time performing You Can’t Get Off With Your Shoes On as well and another with Charlie McCoy and two backing Mitchell himself.
.


Moss and Mitchell in Paris
.

.
Also that year saw the release of the impossibly rare double album radio promo Anthology Vol. 1 which mixed album tracks with an interview with Wayne Moss.
In ’76 Monument got hold of the first two albums and re-released them as the double Grocery. As ever though the label unsure how to promoted the band chose to use obscure artwork and missed the opportunity to enlighten potential listeners to the genius contained within with any sort of sleeve notes.
.

.
Back in the States their reputation remained pretty much a local phenomenon and Colvard returned to session dates for the likes of Pearls Before Swine, Dennis Linde and John Hartford to be replaced by Barry Chance. Chance was the son of Floyd "Lightin’" Chance one of the founders of the original A Team and twenty years the staff bassist at the Grand Ole Opry so Nashville and music was in the guitarists blood. Steve Davis replaced Hartman. Chance was a real find, Davis not so much. Keys To The Country, the fifth album, was laid down in sixteen days at Cinderella with Moss producing and was their most straight ahead country picking album by far. By Jerry standards it’s weak with a lot of obvious covers and Davis’s gospel tinged song My God (Is Alright By Me) is the low point.


There are a few real highlights though. Dearmore’s charming Tonite’s The Nite I Do being one and the covers of Mac Gayden’s Appalacian Fever and Bill Monroe’s Uncle Penn working particularly well. Moss’s Woes Of The Road is good stuff while his other contribution the beautiful You Can’t Say It All is the jewel here. By Barefoot Jerry's own standards it falls far short of its predecessors as Moss will readily admit. As it was the band seemed to be following the familiar trajectory of most of their contemporaries, delivering up their finest and most experimental albums at the start of the decade and then growing gradually less vital by the middle of the decade.
.

.
But if Keys To The Country seemed like the beginning of the end, the end itself turned out to be something unexpectedly glorious.
Dearmore found that his rent was better paid doing national jingles and keeping up his night-time job as a Nashville D.J. and departed, replaced by ex roadie Michael McBride on bass, Davis also left. Banjo player Buddy Blackmon, who had only arrived in Nashville a couple of years before was good friends and mentored by Bobby Thompson and McCoy, also joined and best of all Charlie McCoy finally took off his shoes and joined the Barefoot boys. The new line up seemed to totally revitalise the band and in February of ’77 the band convened at Cinderella with Moss once more producing to record Barefootin’ their sixth and as it turned out final album. The flaws of the previous two albums are absent here and every target aimed for is hit dead centre. The sprit of the band shine through every jubilant moment. The album opens with a cover of Robert Parker’s Barefootin’ sung with style by Charlie McCoy and blazed through with a guitar solo from Chance who delivers up the goods through out the album as do all the players. Where Keys To The Country often sounded like covers with Barefoot Jerry playing on them, the few covers on this album once more sound like Barefoot Jerry plain and simple. Two superb Hicks songs next, I Ain’t Getting No Touching is classic sardonic Hicks, where as Keep On Funkin’ sung by Chance is brilliantly delivered progressive country at it’s most buoyant. Ex member Warren Harman’s song Sentimental Man is, unlike his Sinkin’ In The Sea from two albums before, perfect Jerry material. The side closes with Charlie McCoy singing another classy cover Dixie Dancer. If side one is the confident and classy commercial sound they had been striving for on the previous two albums, side two is on another level entirely harking back to the genius days of the first three albums. Moss’ Hiroshima Hole is classic old style Jerry and his most epic and impassioned work. In 1975 the Tennessee Valley Authority began construction on the Hartville Nuclear Plant (though it was never completed and shut down in 1984) Moss spat his outrage at this monstrous blight on nature into a song.
.

.
Moss in an interview at the time done with Max Bell for the small British music magazine Darkstar said at the time.
"I'd like to do Hiroshima Hole live. The Hartsville nuclear plant is the biggest in the world. They cool reactors using my drinking water; if it leaks we all get cancer and if terrorists seized it they could level one third of Tennessee. I took a lot of care with that song, forty parts for acoustic guitar and six electrics, that's why we can't do it live.'

Diana written by and sung by McBride is a charming love song imbued with a quiet intimacy that sits well here. The unmistakable steel guitar of Hick’s leads us into Moss’s last and most direct social drug song "Tokin’ Ticket" (co-written with Chance). Moss was actively involved in the legal battle to prevent the Mexican authorities spraying the grass crops with the poisonous chemical, Paraquat.
Moss said at the time. 'That's a deadly poison, kills you pretty fast. There are several lawsuits aimed at reforming the marijuana laws. The main stumbling block is that there's no unity or sense to them. If you live in the right state you're fine but with some Federal laws you can get fifteen years for the same offence. Since we cut that song Mississippi and New York came through pro-changing the laws. We do of course play "Tokin' Ticket" live. We don't get offered a lot of gigs outside the state or Davidson County, sometimes a Buddy Spicher Fourth of July date at his farm will turn up. But the companies bite their nails over our dope songs and just want us to stick to ballads or the social comment which I refuse to take notice of. I think they should exploit all aspects of the group but Monument were never into publicity. They couldn't sell Roy Orbison or Billy Swan he had to go to France to collect his gold records for "I Can Help". Subsequently the papers never give us coverage. Rolling Stone won't touch us and we've done no TV in two years. There's too much business and not enough music in American rock companies. Unless you have an aggressive image or an aggressive label .you stay put. It only makes us more determined to stick with the group now. I won't do any more session work but I have to make a living producing and engineering though I'd rather work solely with the band.'
Moss’s delightful "Heading for the Hills" is a cantering love song for the joys of nature and then the album closes with the Hicks and Blackmon instrumental Highland Grass highlighting the stone cold fact that when it came to playing nobody could really touch the dextrous grace of Barefoot Jerry. Barefootin’ is a wonderful album all round and a fitting swansong to this most unique and special band.
.
.
The information on the band’s live performance history is sparse to say the least. Locally they played the Exit Inn quite a few times and at Volunteer State Community College, National Guard Armoury, and at Vanderbilt with Dan Fogleberg on the same bill (the photo on the back of You Can’t Get Off is taken at that show.) Most famously was the Barefoot In The Park free show in Centennial Park where the audience came barefooted.
Moss talking about the last line up said at the time: 'In the studio we try not to hurry because we're striving for artistic excellence. We get the budget, turn up with the album and don't run up big bills. Live we try to be up-tempo because most of the audience are wrecked so anything too sophisticated tends to get lost. We keep it earthy and toe-tapping, half straight Charlie McCoy, then five or six of mine and some other Jerry material.' He's delighted to see their audience get laid back. In his own words the band are 'usually half on our ass when we play live."
And that surely was what it was all about in the end, to get religiously high with Barefoot Jerry.
As Wayne puts it, "It's just music for the body and the soul."
.

Wayne live last year.
.
Post Script.
As to the end of Barefoot Jerry things get a little vague. I know that they played another 30 shows with Eddie Mitchell in Paris sometime in 79 but after that is anyone’s guess. Moss continues to own and operate Cinderella Sounds, never advertising, all done by word of mouth. A few years back he put up a Barefoot Jerry site. http://barefootjerry.com/


In 2001 Moss, McCoy and Hicks were invited to Japan to be part of an Area Code 615 tribute tour back by a nine piece Japanese band. Barefoot tracks "Fish N’ Tits", If There Were Only Time For Love", "You Can’t Get Off with Your Shoes On." and "Two Mile Pike" were performed amongst the Area Code stuff. A live CD of this tour is available via the site along with the Barefoot Jerry Exit Inn archive release and the live in Paris 1979 album.
.

Live 2009
.
On June 8th 2008 Barefoot Jerry played a storming set at the annual Goose On The Lake Festival with Moss and I’m not sure who else and they returned for the 2009 festival too with Russ Hicks and Terry Dearmore. Starting this year Moss has taken to playing relaxed solo "Barefoot Jerry" sets with guests at the Piccadilly Cafeteria in Madison ever Sunday at noon. Guests so far have included Weldon Myrick, Buddy Spicher and Billy Swan. You can buy all three Barefoot Jerry CD’s from his site along with the before mentioned Live At The Exit Inn which really is a fantastic release.

.
Later Photos.
.
.
Wayne behind the desk at Cinderella
.

Moss and Hicks at Cinderella
.

Moss on Stage
.


A Reunion photo


















with Billy Swan at the Exit Inn











This is a photo of the musicians that played on the Memphis Slim " I'm going Back To Tennessee " album recorded here in Nashville at Cinderella Studios in the early 70's. Wayne Moss, Phillipe Rault / Producer, Kenny Buttrey, Charlie McCoy, Reggie Young, David Briggs, Memphis Slim, Russell T. Hicks, Henry Strzelecki and  Steve Davis.







                              The Escorts




                               Skyboat
The Albums
.
Southern Delight
.
                                 Mexican edition


Southern Delight advertisment
.
Barefoot Jerry S/T
.
.
Grocery: First two albums reissued on Monument in 1976
.


Watchin' TV
.
You Can't Get Off With Your Shoes On
.
Keys To The Country
.

Barefootin'
.
.
Barefoot Jerry Live: Mother Nature’s Way; Snuff Queen; Friends In High Places; Smokies; Faded Love; Little Maggie; Two-Mile Pike; Pig Snoots And Nehi Red; There Must Be A Better Way; Quit While Your Ahead; I’m Proud To Be A Redneck; One Woman; Message; Watchin' TV (recorded live at Exit Inn in 1973. Distributed through B.J. website only)

 live Paris 1979
.
The Singles.
.

.
.
.
.
.

.

10 comments:

Dave said...

Those of us who have enjoyed the music of BJ for nearly 40 years truly appreciate this work. Thanks for posting it.

Anonymous said...

Two things -

First, it's Buzz Cason, not Carson.

Second, you said "He is responsible for the iconic guitar riff on Roy Orbison’s "Pretty Woman""....
That is debatable - I'd love to know the true story - I always heard it was Billy Sanford, who was Roy's guitarist throughout Roy's 1960s career.

Otherwise, a great read! Thanks.

jay strange said...

I've corrected the Cason/Carson mistake..thanks for picking up on that.

Alphonso B. Kind said...

this is a great post. thanks for pulling it together.
from the moment I dropped a needle on hospitality song, I was hooked. lately been really into the skyboat stuff and wishing I could find a copy of mcgavock gayden. was lucky enough to stumble on the anthology radio show a few years back. i love listening to wayne break it down. they should have been huge.

sunny15blue said...

a marvellous read for me, i'm from newcastle england and back in the 70's there was very little info on any of these guys here,rbut once hearing area code i found myself chasing after BJ mac gayden and denis linde music over the years -hoovering up many of these albums without knowing very much about them just thoroughly enjoying the music . it was nice to see the actual barefoot jerry ,i always thought the pic of the store was very evocative on that sleeve too-so it was nice to get that part of the story.many thanks

Anonymous said...

Hi-
Really neat history of BJ that I recently discovered.
One correction, though.... In the section where Dave Doran is discussed about 1/2 way down, the picture of the young fella with the red Les Paul isn't Dave. It's actually Barry Chance. I know this, because he was my dad. :)
Wayne Moss was a gigantic influence and mentor to my dad his entire career. And at around age 21, dad had the unenviable task of essentially replacing Dave in the band, who was one of his guitar heroes. He still talked about having to learn some of Dave's brilliant licks as a favorite story to reminisce about.
-Jayson Chance (Nashville, Tn)

the mad taper said...

that whole side that start with faded love is my alltime fave
album side.one jewel after another
time for love,ahhhhh....

the mad taper said...

faded love,ahhhhhh.. one of the best bands ffr

Anonymous said...

I never get tired of these albums! Ted

Tom Genese said...

Great blog stating the history of the band…

I was wondering if anyone from the band or a fan out there can help me out here. To make a long story short just yesterday I was listening to a weekly playlist that the Spotify app automatically creates for me every week. The Barefoot Jerry song 'Smokies' comes on and I immediately recognize the barefoot guy on the cover as my father! He went to Belmont Abbey College during the 60s. Does anyone out there have any info on this photo?!? PLEASE CONTACT ME with ANY INFO:
/Users/tom/Desktop/IMG_2279.JPG.jpeg