Mashed Potato Records, a new community-based record label out of New Orleans, is announcing their debut records with a double compilation including tracks from Esther Rose, The Deslondes, Twain, Sabine McCalla and more.
Today they’re sharing the Twain fronted, Deslondes backed, “Run Wild” alongside Jackson and Janks’ hazy classic soul story of a night gone wrong on “Stumblin’”. Speaking to “Run Wild”, and the genesis of Mashed Potato Records, Sam Doores says.
“Recording “Run Wild” with Twain was exhilarating. His energy in that performance is profound and lit up the room. For years he had been backing up The Deslondes, filling in for John James on the pedal steel, fiddle & lead guitar. This time we got to back him up and it felt great because he’s such a powerful lead.
Every time Twain covers a song he completely makes it his own – I can barely recognize the original version.
This session was particularly important to me because it was the first time that Duff Thompson brought a reel to reel inside my living room on Deslonde St. to record a band – which ultimately became the foundation of Mashed Potato Records.”
Adding to this Twain says:
”It’s a completely amazing song. Four verses delivered in a little over two minutes, each one containing a crystalline image of various frantic longings; 1) wanderlust, 2) hungover-shame, 3) love-desertion paranoia, 4) interstellar love dreams. They just waft on by ! and after each one, the single-sentence chorus makes a mantra: “run wild while* you’re young and do the things you want to do”. Something about that combination churns people up, in a good way.“
While Jackson’s “Stumblin’” is, quite simply, about “bad news, leading to bad choices, leading to bad situations, all ending with a poor fool stumbling around in the dark.”
Mashed Potato Records began as a collection of 150+ field recordings created in the spring of 2016 in New Orleans. Using a borrowed reel-to-reel and a variety of improvised locations (including living rooms, backyards, and vans), musicians Duff Thompson and Bill Howard set out to capture an almost entirely underground Americana scene that was happening in the city at the time. Impressed by the quality of songwriting and musicianship found on street corners, in dive bars, at backyard campfires, and house parties from the French Quarter to the Lower Ninth, they hoped to capture and share the creative output of a community of artists who had converged in New Orleans sharing a love of American roots music. Fellow songwriter/musician Sam Doores quickly became involved, playing on and hosting many of the recording sessions in his house. By the end of 2016, Thompson and Doores had formed Mashed Potato Records with the ambition that this tight-knit community of songwriters and musicians reach a wider audience. Mashed Potato Records Vol I, the first half of their two-part label debut, features 12 songs from those spring 2016 recordings.
In early 2017, Doores and Thompson set up an analog home studio in a small house by the Mississippi River in the Holy Cross neighborhood. They upgraded their equipment and embarked on more formal and complex recording set-ups than the previous year. Over the course of a 40-day stretch in April/May 2017, almost every track on the second part of their label debut, Mashed Potato Records Vol II, was recorded. Although some of the bands were fixed, rehearsed line-ups (Tuba Skinny, Esther Rose, Chris Acker & The Growing Boys, and Jackson and the Janks), most were not. Musicians showed up and played on long sessions under less than ideal conditions free of charge for the sake of making the recordings. Numerous variations of the same sessions players can be heard backing different songwriters, most of whom are featured songwriters themselves (Max Bien-Kahn of Max and the Martians, Carver Baronda, Sam Doores, Duff Thompson, and Camille Wind Weatherford of The Lostines), and the distinctive aesthetic on much of MPR Vol II is a direct reflection of that.
Mashed Potato Records Vol I and Mashed Potato Records Vol II will be released August 9, 2019.