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Monday, November 30, 2015

Goin' Back AGAIN to Swamp Guinea! (Part Five)

There are large gaps in my Athens phonebook collection, so this 1976 listing is the earliest I can provide.

Many of you folks out there in Ichibanland are probably a bit mystified at this blog's longtime obsession with long-defunct Athens, GA-area restaurant the Swamp Guinea, but we're going there again, so you'll just have to accept it!

Thee Original.

     The thing that drives most folks' interest in the restaurant is this record, which has intrigued and confused record hounds in this region for decades. You may listen to it here. I've had a fair number of them pass through my hands over the last quarter-century– maybe as many as a dozen. Knowing my interest in the subject, the noted record collector/dealer Kurt Wood recently presented me with a surprise– a heretofore unknown Swamp Guinea record! It's not as fascinating as its predecessor, but it's a perfectly fine bluegrass tune. Its worst sin is that it's not as focused on the particulars of the restaurant, but I've gotten the word from composer Tony Pritchett that this is not happenstance. Asked to recall what had could about this, he responded:

     Hi, Devlin. I was mentored by a man named B.W. Coile back in the early 1970s. He asked me to write a song with Swamp Guinea in the title and in the song. I asked him did it have to be "about the restaurant" or could it be just a I thought about the name, Swamp Guinea, and it reminded me of my daddy telling me not to believe everything I read or hear. Because, it wasn't a swamp and it wasn't a guinea hen. So, I just wrote. Then B.W. took me in to the studio to record it. That's pretty much all I remember about it. He also asked me to write a commercial for Golden Pantry. That got some radio airplay. I've been an "Athens musician" for a very long time. Played almost every club there was to play. Now, my guys and I just do a little Jimmy Buffett cover show. Called Sons Of Sailors. You can access that here:

Previously on WFMU's Rock 'n' Soul Ichiban: (1) (2) (3) (4)

BONUS! Go here to read an account of a 1978 visit to the Swamp Guinea by famous author William Least Heat-Moon, from his 1982 NYT bestseller, Blue Highways!


Debbie D said...

I sure could go for a mess of catfish right now.

Debbie D said...

And what an interesting career this guys must have had!