Monday, September 25, 2017

Kurt Baker - The Lost Weekend EP

So there's a new Kurt Baker release out, and of course I'm stoked! The Lost Weekend EP, out on Little Steven's Wicked Cool Records, is a compilation of rare and unreleased tracks that will tide us over until the next Kurt Baker Combo album arrives next year. Some of these are solo recordings, and others were done in Spain with the Combo. Even if you own everything Baker has ever released, this is an EP you need to own if you're a fan. Three of these seven tracks are being heard for the first time ever, and another was only available as a bonus track on the vinyl version of the Play It Cool LP. Among the unreleased tracks is a terrific cover of "(What's So Funny About) Peace, Love and Understanding" - which Baker recorded with the very awesome Spanish band Los Reactivos a while back. I always appreciated the way Elvis Costello made that song his own, and here Baker and Los Reactivos do the same. Equally impressive is Baker and The Combo's run at the Larry Williams classic "Bad Boy" - which The Beatles famously covered in 1965. And how could it be that "Keep Away", which Baker co-wrote with Dan Vapid, has never been released before? That remains a mystery, but now we finally get to hear it!

The songs on The Lost Weekend EP that you may already be familiar with definitely fall into the rare category. "Give It Up" and "Motion Devotion" came out on a 7" on Hidden Volume Records that was limited to 300 copies and quickly sold out. The Nick Lowe inspired rocker "Girl's Got Money" is from a single released in 2013 on Collectors Club Records (only 200 copies made!). And Baker's cover of the '60s garage rarity "Thank Goodness It's Friday" by Doug Brown and The Omens will be new to you unless you own Play It Cool on vinyl.

In addition to its offering of unreleased gems like "Bad Boy" and "Keep Away", The Lost Weekend EP is such a treat because it shows us the many sides of Kurt Baker. These seven tracks run the gamut from '60s garage to power pop to straight-up rock n' roll, and all in all this release really captures the "have a good time, all the time" mind-set that has come to define Baker's music. The EP is available now from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, Google Play, etc.!


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