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June 26, 2008

ROCKIN' WITH TOM: Part 2- The Rector Family


Tom and I have similar sensibilities when it comes to music, even if we don't always like the same records. We love stuff that rocks hard (hence Rockin' With Tom) but are equally fascinated by records that most people would rather NOT listen to. This may be a by product of music overload; when you listen to so many records, the unusual sounds stick in your brain the most.

Tom is also my #1 source for local music and has quite a few newspaper articles, interviews and facts to flesh out the scene surrounding records. Sometimes, however, he comes up with something with no story at all. Like this 45 by local gospel group The Rector Family on TMBA (Trans-Michigan Broadcast Association) Records.

These sides definitely don't rock and, if you like your music to sound "good," you may want to just wait for the next post. For me the shrill/ growly vocals, religious lyrics and odd instruments, (glockenspiel, accordion and steel ukelele?) of the Rector Family are mesmerizing. You can just about hear the smile on the face of the little girl singing on both tracks. The deep voiced dude harmonizing with her (and another female voice) on the first side's "I'll Trust In Him" reminds me of Calvin Johnson (K Records owner and musician) and they sound great together. The instruments are played unprofessionally making the recording spontaneous, rough and raw. Both these tracks are slow, shrill and earnestly religious, get psyched.

SIDE 1- THE RECTOR FAMILY- "I'll Trust In Him"




Posted by matt at June 26, 2008 10:11 PM


Oh my! One of the best I've heard in a long time! Thanks!

Posted by: Justin Gray at June 27, 2008 1:37 AM

Matt, thanks for posting The Rector Family. It sounds great, and I love to hear you sharing these awesome sounds. If anyone has any information on this mysterious group, then could you please share it with us here? Speaking of sharing mysterious sounds and info, I spin records every Monday night starting at about 9PM at Jukes Bar at 506 Leonard NW (49504), about 3 blocks west of 131 on the south side of the street (there's a big yellow sign for the bar.) Readers, if you dig the Rector Family or The Rattles, then please come check it out. It's pretty laid back, it doesn't get to crowded or smoky on Monday nights. They have board games and a pool table for use, and there's no cover charge to get in. It's a great forum for hearing new sounds and awesome music lore, if you ask enough questions of the folks hanging out there. One regular customer who's originally from Manhattan told me he was a member of Radioactivity, they used to play at CBGB's in the 70's. He said one time they hooked raw pork chops to their suits for a performance, an another time they performed their 2nd set nude! A lot of local musicians and scenesters frequent this bar, guys from new bands and old, across all genres. The non-musicians contribute to the puzzle as well. For instance another guy claims when he was a kid, his scoutmaster was Kemp, the manager of Phlegethon/Soulbenders, and he filled me in on the house fire that took Kemp's music room with all their master recordings -- it was news to me. He also claims to have acetates by the Beatles, obtained by his dad who went to see them at the Cavern Club. I can't verify or dispute any of these stories but they sure are good! One time I sold a white vinyl Queen/Night At The Opera LP right off the turntable for $70 right after I spun the incredibly mean "Death On Two Legs"! I miss that record. Anyway, Matt, thanks for getting the word out about great records like The Rattles and The Rector Family, and I hope you and your readers will come check out the rock'n'roll action at Jukes on Monday nights.

PS I just learned that Aris' Disc Shop closed. Anybody know the scoop on that?

Posted by: tom shannon at June 29, 2008 10:22 AM

I haven't heard anything about Aris' but I went in there a few weeks ago and it was TAPPED. Nothing good. I hadn't been in in a few years. It was definitely on it's way out it seemed.

Posted by: matt at June 30, 2008 8:29 PM

Sinkevics had a piece about Aris' shop's demise in his blog. I never had much luck at Aris', except one time he had a first pressing of Bo Diddley's first or second LP and a compilation LP called Memphis Gold on blue label Stax for only $5 each. All the rest of theh stuff was so boring and picked over. But I miss having accessibility to talk to him and pick his brain. Once I won records from him on ebay and I picked them up in person to save on the S+H.

Posted by: tom shannon at July 5, 2008 1:54 PM

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