Thursday, August 15, 2013

Mary Jane (The Vulgar Boatmen)

This song began its life on the Vulgar Boatmen's 1989 debut album You and Your Sister, where it was performed as a full-tilt rocker and sung by Robert Ray. I like that version, but the heartbreaking, minimalist one above, from the band's compilation album Wide Awake, is the one that gets under my skin. Here it's sung by Dale Lawrence, and accompanied starkly by guitar, organ, and Kathy Kolata on viola. Ray and Lawrence are the songwriters.

Wide Awake was issued in 2003 by No Nostalgia Records, the Boatmen's own label, which sadly no longer seems to exist, and the CD also seems to be unavailable,* but downloads are available in the usual places. This band deserves better than the obscurity that largely seems to be its fate.

* As is the above video, as of 2017.

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