Monday, September 17, 2012

Cotton Mather - They're Back (Really)

I recently had the chance to see two amazing performances by Cotton Mather.  The band has recently reunited to support a deluxe re-release of their 1998 classic album "Kontiki".  This is no "play the hits" nostalgia trip tour.  During the shows I saw, the band kicked with purpose as they reeled off one Beatle/Badfinger/Big Star influenced number after another.  Bassist Josh Gravelin is up and down his instrument recalling the late John Entwistle.  Guitarist Whit Williams soars with short bursts of psychedelic punctuation,  Drummer Dana Myzer is a pro - propelling the band with force and precision and Robert Harrison is truly back after his five year stint is chief alchemist in Future Clouds Radar.  (He looks 15 years younger since losing his Future Clouds wizard beard.)  He cycled through the Cotton Mather back-catalog in his typical Lennonesqe timber, jumping and spinning and generally providing strong focus for this great band.  This band is on and they really deserve a position among the Power Pop elite.

For me the biggest news is that the band is recording an album of new material. I couldn't be more excited.  I loved the tunes that Robert wrote during his Future Clouds days, but there is something more compelling with them being performed by a premier rock band.  The release is supposed to happen next spring.   Until that time, we've been treated to an appetizer of new tunes, in the new digital and vinyl single release of:

1 I'll Be Gone -  a classic Swedish Power Pop rave up originally written and performed by Ola Framby and the Girls.
Animal Show - a new slinky rocker.  The band rocked hard on this one during their recent performance

I've pulled together a compendium of recent live Austin recordings from the reformed band.   Thanks to the folks at KUT who broadcast the first five tracks.  They are truly studio quality.  Thanks also to the posters of the remaining four live performances on YouTube.   The handheld recordings still capture the power of this classic quartet.   Really looking forward to next spring's new Cotton Mather release.

1 Camp Hill Rail Operator
2 Panama Slides
3 Aurora Bori Alice
4 Amps of Sugarland
5 Homefront Cameo (incomplete)
6 She's Only Cool
7 Spin My Wheels
8 My Before and After
9 Password


johnnybgoode said...

REally! enjoyed this post. Thanks. Do you know if the b-side - animal show - is available in digital format. from your link,it looks like the mp3 download is only of the a-side, and as much as i like 45's - i never get a chance to listen to 'em. thanks again for a great post and here's to a new cotton mather CD!

spavid said...

Nice post. I'm definitely in the minority here, but I think Cotton is King smokes Kontiki big time.

bglobe313 said...

Kon-Tiki is one of my favorite albums, and I have shelves load of "power pop". It's an amazing record. The recent reissue is well worth it, not only for the new tracks, but also for the remix.

Love this band. Also love Future Clouds and Radar. A friend pronounced their first two-CD release as maybe better than Kon-Tiki. Fightin' words for me, but not necessarily wrong.

Great site, too.


Oxy said...

Thank you! I've been searching forever for this. I got to KHUT a bit too late. As to all their albums, tough to choose the best. I was hoping they'd be putting a new album out, as I knew they did a few gigs outside of Austin.

Nice post and great site! I snagged the radio songs from Future Clouds and Radar you posted awhile back and since you did put in a link to those songs in this post, you should know the links are all dead or gone. Sigh.

Haper said...

In terms of favorite Cotton Mather record, I'd have to go with the crowd and say mine is Kontiki....still I was listening to the Big Picture over the weekend and Hotel Baltimore the week before that. Genius! They're all great to me.