Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Unearthing The Coolies' 'Dig?' (1986)

There was a definite smirk at work in the recording sessions for The Coolies 'Dig..?' LP in '86.

You can still hear it rising off the grooves of the album as the band plays different styles of pop music while roaming from one lovingly tweaked Simon & Garfunkel cover tune to the next.

(Well, okay there was one Paul Anka song on there, too. I guess that keeps it from being a 'concept' album.)

Band lineup:

Clay Harper, vocals
Rob Gal, guitar
Jeb Baldwin, bass
Teddy Murray, guitar
Billy Burton, drums

John Cerreta, keyboard on 'I Am A Rock'

The band was from Atlanta, Georgia. By the '90's, vocalist Clay Harper had formed his band The Ottoman Empire from the ashes of The Coolies, and would go onto fruitful solo albums. Collaborations with other artists would also lead to his musical role often shifting more to the production end.

From The Coolies LP, 'Dig..?' (Db Records, 1986), Listen to:

I Am A Rock
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Mrs. Robinson
The Only Living Boy In New York

(click for audio)


Anonymous said...

I've forgotten their name, but boy do I remember hearing this album on the "New Wave" radio station in L.A. at the time! I also remember that they followed up this album with a Rock Opera called "Doug" (Dig. Dug. Get it?) I wish this came out on CD.


BENBENEK said...

it's a very wonderful album and can be found around the internet at various blogs


Traitor Vic's Tuna Melt

thanks - KURT
Houseplant Picture Studio

Unknown said...

no wonder paul simon would not comment....wow....jeb

mike weber/fairportfan said...

I saw the Ottoman Empire opening for the Kinks the last time they played Atlanta - 1992, i think.

Something that a lot of people don't know - the fiddle player with the Ottoman Empire in those days was Danny Pearl later the Wall Street Journal reporter killed in Pakistan, subject of the film A Mighty Heart.

Anonymous said...

"Dig" and "Doug" were released as a double CD.

Might still be some around.

Brian P. Craig said...

There was a benefit at the Dugout near Emory in Atlanta, I think it was early '87. The Coolies topped the bill, and to this day one of my favorite rock and roll moments was hearing them get so caught up in playing Anka's "Having My Baby" that Clay Harper teetered and almost fell off the stage.

Trivia: also on the bill was Mr. Crowe's Garden, an early and not-so-good version of the Black Crowes.

Dennis said...

Saw The Coolies a couple times in NYC--CBs maybe--and "Having My Baby" was their standard set-closer. Hadn't thought of them in decades. Thanks!

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