Honky is the hallucinogenic country music soundtrack to a nervous breakdown in the desert. Simon Stokes is a former collaborator of Timothy Leary, and his musical career stretches back for decades, including a variety of soundtrack contributions, in addition to stints in bands such as the Nighthawks, the Black Whip Thrill Band and a host of other groups. Honky boasts some impressive guest players, including the likes of Wayne Kramer and the Bellrays' Lisa Kekaula, and Stokes's own voice ranges from a low, gritty growl to a full-blown raspy howl. Stokes writes songs that stretch from slow, off-kilter bluesy rockers to subdued country ballads, and the album offers lyrical underworld stories concerning varied topics such as outlaws, love and drugs. Tougher than rusted brass knuckles, Simon Stokes plays distorted country and blues with a well-worn sneer.
Considerably lighter than Madman Across the Water, Honky Chateau is a rollicking collection of ballads, rockers, blues, country-rock, and soul songs. On paper, it reads like an eclectic mess, but it plays as the most focused and accomplished set of songs Elton John and Bernie Taupin ever wrote…
While heavily influenced by Art Tatum, this performer was hardly considered a heavyweight pianist during his career. Born Louis F. Bush, or Busch depending on the source, the keyboard maestro who would also make heavy use of the stage name of Joe "Fingers" Carr managed to make it into Leonard Feather's Encyclopedia of Jazz, but with the following disclaimer: "A novelty performer rather than a jazz artist." The novelty itself was a kind of heavily sexed-up ragtime piano style that caught on in the very dawn of the hi-fi era. The invention was in sharp contrast to lounge music and would most likely have the opposite effect than a seduction if played in a bachelor pad. Carr began driving his piano this way while working as an A&R man for Capitol. In a brainstorm based on a sharp analysis of current trends, he decided to sign himself up as the mysterious "Fingers."
Lou Busch was a major arranger/conductor who created an alter ego for himself in the guise of Joe 'Fingers' Carr, the ragtime and honky-tonk pianist. For the first time on one compilation we present both facets of the spectacular Lou Busch / Joe 'Fingers' Carr career. All of Joe 'Fingers' Carr's hits are included "Let's Do It Again!", "Music! Music! Music!", "Maple Leaf Rag", "Portuguese Washerwomen", "Sam's Song", "Down Yonder", "Tiger Rag", "Beer Barrel Polka", "The Old Piano Roll Blues" and many more! In addition are his great orchestral works plus his hit recordings with wife Margaret Whiting and all three tracks from Roger And Hammerstein's 'The King And I'.