Much of my calendar year, every year, is spent sifting through record store bargain bins, estate sales, etc. and digging into the acquisitions. I win some and lose some, but I never write about it on AuxOut even though it accounts for a huge portion of my listening and discovery. In honor of the season of presents, I am celebrating some of the gifts bestowed upon me by the record gods during 2023.
Monday, December 11, 2023
The 25 Bargain Buys of Xmas: Day 11
Muswell Hillbillies (a pun on their home borough of Muswell Hill in North London) is The Kinks' Sweetheart of the Rodeo in a way. Just as The Byrds went 'n rode the Learjet all the way to Nashville to change up their sound, The Davies boys venture down a new aesthetic boulevard by channeling various strains of old timey Americana roots music to animate their English social class portraiture. I particularly like when they dip into a little Louisiana jazz, such as on "Alcohol". Coming after Lola closed out the classic 60s Kinks period with an exclamation point, Muswell Hillbillies is an overlooked record (at least I don't hear anyone talk about it) but a worthwhile one.
A playlist of tunes from each of the records I wrote about, I'll add a new song each day: