Charlie Pickett Bar Band Americanus: The Best Of Charlie Pickett And…

Charlie Pickett Bar Band Americanus: The Best Of Charlie Pickett And…
The explosion of roots punk in the ’80s is surely one of the most overlooked areas by American musical archivists. While the scenes in Minneapolis and Athens, GA get the bulk of attention, it’s becoming increasingly easy to forget the nationwide movement they both sparked. Hailing from Miami, Charlie Pickett ended up having a foot in both of these cities, working with R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and also recording for the legendary Twin/Tone label. Bar Band Americanus compiles virtually everything Pickett and the various versions of his band released over a six-year span, starting in 1981, with the clear highlights being tracks from the ’87 LP, The Wilderness, produced by Buck. But while these are arguably the only selections that stand up alongside the work of the era’s other seminal roots rockers, such as Green On Red, the Gun Club and the Long Ryders, much of Pickett’s raw mix of garage rock, blues and country clearly helped set the stage for what Uncle Tupelo would do a few years later. Of course, without this context Pickett sounds pretty unspectacular overall but for fans of those innocent days, Bar Band Americanus will provide plenty of pleasant reminders, as well as a few worthwhile surprises. (Bloodshot)