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Oct. 2021: Throttle Body M/C – Super Hits Of The ’70s

Pumpkin latte, pumpkin pie, pumpkin cupcakes, roasted, pumpkin seeds … you get the idea.

Jerry HammackIt is October of these strange days and we carry on. For our Rocktober Album of the Month we bring you something newly created, but in the style of the way, way distant past.

Break out the platform shoes and polyester suits, and pour the world a Brandy Alexander for the release of Super Hits Of The ’70s —the fifth studio album from Throttle Body M/C. New members of the Green Monkey family, the long-time Seattle-now-Toronto-based collective is led by multi-instrumentalist, producer/engineer Jerry Hammack.

Founded in 1991, Throttle Body M/C incorporates a revolving line-up of musicians that has included Zoro (Lenny Kravitz, Vanessa Paradis, New Edition, Bobby Brown), Osama Afifi (Yanni, Vanessa Paradis), Stephen Dorocke (Handsome Family) and others.

Rod MoodyThis time around, Jerry is joined by GMR guitar monster Rod Moody (The Fuzz, Swedish Finnish, Swallow, Spike), Aaron ‘Coleslaw’ Taylor (Radio Nationals, The Squirrels, Survey Cez’) as he explores the pop, rock and soul sounds of early 1970s AM radio. “I have always loved that era of popular music,” Jerry states. “There was so much variety and richness in the Top 40 hits of coming across my radio and I thought it would be a fun to make an album that sounded like it belonged to that magical time.”

And from the first moments you’ve dialed into KJR in Seattle on a cool fall evening, you are transported with a feeling of déjà vu that you can’t quite put your finger on.

Aaron 'Coleslaw' TaylorIn the spring of 2020, Jerry wrote a series of nine songs Inspired by hits from artists like Gordon Lightfoot, Three Dog Night, Lou Reed, Stevie Wonder, Roberta Flack, Billy Paul, Bill Withers and Elton John and set to recording them in his Toronto studio with the help of Moody and Taylor (their collaborations coordinated from the Pacific Northwest through the magic of the Internet).

To dial in the sound of the era, he limited himself to the musical palettes of his inspirations. ‘If the original track had two acoustic guitars, one electric, organ, bass, drums, a lead vocal and two backing vocalists, that’s all I used.’ In one instance (“Blue Velvet”), the song called for a full symphony orchestra and a horn section—so he used of those too!

Super Hits of the 70s back coverJerry also researched the studios where the original recordings were made, recreating them in multiple virtual classic studios that included London’s EMI, Olympic, and Trident and The Record Plant in New York. While not slavish, the recordings also stuck to the limitations of the era, with just a handful of processing and sweetening tools applied to the tracks. ‘It was a challenge and a lot of fun to recreate those classic studios in my DAW and then record and mix the songs in them.’

Taken together, the songs are an homage to a wonderful variety of pop, rock and soul, but rather than giving you a clone of days gone by, he brings something familiar and completely new at the same time.

Jerry sent this heady mix to GMR and we said oh hell yeah.

Jerry is also author of the massive Beatles Recording Reference Manuals and a generally productive sort of fellow.

Next month

Chuckie-Boy LogoThe GMR/Chuckie Boy World Alliance will take its maiden voyage with the release of Village Green, hot out of the Chuckie-Boy archives from 1996 and remastered for you. More deets to follow next month.

The Green Pajamas - High Tea with Miss Ava G video

There is a new Green Pajamas video for “High Tea with Miss Ava G” that is pretty delightful. Jeff is going to be spinning out a few alternate mixes in the next few weeks, so remain alert!

The True Olympians continue to march toward completion of the Olympia album, though there are many miles to go. Notable last week, the band tracked 5 more songs (“Billy Frank Jr.”, “Olympia Oysters”, “Still Pretty White”, “People of the Water”, and “Arts Walk (Mossy Bottom)” the old fashioned, pre-covid way – we got in a room, counted 1-2-3-4 and then played them – all at the same time! Rockin out, baby!

The True Olympians at the baseball game

Of late, I have been contemplating how to add sonic variety for this massive undertaking and to this end, our organ/piano genius-man Joe Cason just recorded a pretty great, very minimalist version of “Little Hollywood” with Bob Hart and with Joe on lead vox that will replace my unfinished version on the album. Go Joe!

The Oly Mountain Boys and River ScheuerellEqually fun, we cut a 100% live – no overdubs – version of “Grandma Caught The Shark” with the Oly Mountain Boys, Oly’s top bluegrass band (IMHO). It is the true story of my grandparents Fred and Faith Kroll catching a 12’ Basking shark in Mud Bay in 1957.

The glory continued this week with K-records superstar Arrington de Dionyso of Old Time Relijun popping in to add some very individualistic bass clarinet to the bombastic “It’s Mud.” Love bass clarinet. You knew that. FYI, the new Old Time Relijun album Musicking is rather delightful!

On a final note, itsa done deal – The True Olympians have confirmed they will be doing a Christmas show Dec. 23 at the Spanish Ballroom at McMenamins Elks Temple, 565 Broadway, Tacoma. Deets to follow.

Action, baby.

See ya next month,


Oct. 2021

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