Wednesday, August 1, 2018
– Drive-By Truckers announced the release of "Town Burned Down," the first-ever official release from singer/songwriter/guitarists Mike Cooley and Patterson Hood's original incarnation as Adam's House Cat 28 years after it was recorded.
Cut in 1990, but never-before-released as intended, the album is out on ATO on Sept. 21.
While Cooley and Hood founded DBT in 1996, the two musicians had in fact first come together more than a decade prior. They met on Aug. 1, 1985, the day Hood moved into a basement apartment in North Florence, Ala. shared by Cooley. The two sang songs, including one that took its title from the Southern colloquialism, "I wouldn't know him from Adam's house cat."
A few songs later, Adam's House Cat was born. Once ultra popular, the Muscle Shoals recording scene suffered. The live scene in the mid-1980s was limited to Top 40 cover bands and country and western.
Hood and Cooley enlisted drummer Chuck Tremblay, more than a decade their senior. A series of bass players did short time with the band before the arrival of John Cahoon, son of the mayor of Tuscumbia, Ala.
Beginning in 1987, Adam's House Cat spent three years grinding it out in bars and clubs around their home region Despite being named a first place winner (out of over 1,500 entries) in MUSICIAN Magazine's Best Unsigned Band Contest, no deal came.
The band cut a collection of original train songs on four-track cassette dubbed "Trains of Thought." On Nov. 25, 1990, Adam's House Cat recorded basic tracks for 15 songs with producer/engineer Steve Melton (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band, Traffic). Recording continued, but Cahoon abruptly left the band mid-summer, replaced by Chris Quillen, who eventually contributed a high-harmony vocal to the album's "Long Time Ago."
Hood and Cooley relocated to Memphis in early September. By months' end, the band split after a gig in Nashville.
The original 24-track tapes were lost after Muscle Shoals Sound was sold and liquidated. Melton's mixes were boxed up and sent to Jackson, Miss. Malaco Studio where they were later destroyed when a tornado struck the building in 2011.
Hood and Cooley carried on, collaborating on a couple of ill-fated projects, but in 1993, the two had a falling out that lasted until Hood relocated to Athens, Ga. in April the following year. Their musical partnership resumed, with Hood making monthly visits to Cooley's Birmingham apartment to record four-track demos together. With Cooley now also writing original songs, a new vision began to take shape. Hood and Cooley intended Quillen to be a founding member but the bassist was tragically killed in a car accident that May, mere weeks before Drive-By Truckers officially came into being. Cahoon passed away in 1999.
DBT soon formed and went onto record 11 albums.
In 2015, three boxes labeled "ADAM'S HOUSE CAT" appeared in the tape vault of longtime friend and DBT producer David Barbe's Athen studio. Contained within were the unmixed 2' tape master tapes of "Town Burned Down" along with another reel containing an EP's worth of songs recorded the previous year.
Partly inspired by Chuck Tremblay's near fatal heart attack in the spring of 2017, Hood made a New Year's resolution to finally complete the CD. In February, Barbe baked the fragile tapes and placed them on reels for the first time in more than a quarter century.
Hood decided to attempt new vocal tracks. Within two hours, vocals were recorded for the entire album.
On April 16, 2016, Hood, Cooley, and Tremblay convened at Barbe's Chase Park Transduction studio in Athens to complete mixing, the first reunion of the Adam's House Cat founding members in more than 27 years. The final mixes were later mastered at Sterling Sound in Edgewater, N.J .by longtime DBT collaborator Greg Calbi.
"Finally releasing "Town Burned Down' brings a sort of closure to one of the saddest and most important chapters of mine and Cooley's lives," writes Hood in the LP's liner notes. "The years we spent pounding out these songs made us the people and artists that we have later become, but we carried with us a darkness from never having been able to get the album out. The sound of these songs blasting out of the control room after all of these years while Cooley, Chuck and I grinned from ear to ear has truly been one of the most joyous events of my entire life. Songs from literally half of my life ago that somehow still seem vital to me all of these years later."
Adam's House Cat will perform live for the first time in 27 years, opening for the Drive-By Truckers in Knoxville, Tenn. on Sept. 27 and Atlanta on Sept. 28 and 29.
The track listings is:
Town Burned Down
Down On Me
6 O' Clock Train
Love Really Sucks
Kiss My Baby
Shot Rang Out
Long Time Ago
DBT tour dates are:
Aug. 25 - Amsterdam NL - Once in a Blue Moon Festival
Sept. 2 - Sausalito, CA - Sausalito Art Festival
Sept. 3 - Richmond, VA - Stone's Throw Down
Sept. 22 - Chicago, IL - Goose Island Block Party
Sept. 27 - Knoxville, TN - Bijou Theatre #
Sept. 28-29 - Atlanta, GA - Variety Playhouse #
Sept. 30 - Chattanooga, TN - Walker Theatre
Oct. 2 - Peoria, IL - Monarch Music Hall *
Oct. 3 - Lincoln, NE - Bourbon Theatre *
Oct. 5 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater *
Oct. 6-7 - Fort Collins, CO - Washington's
Nov. 6-8 - Birmingham, AL - Saturn
Nov. 9-10 - Nashville, TN - Cannery Ballroom &*
Nov. 13 - Little Rock, AR - Revolution Music Room *
Nov. 14 - Tulsa, OK - Cain's Ballroom *
Nov. 15 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
Nov. 16-17 - Austin, TX - The Scoot Inn *
Jan. 27, 2019 - Feb 1 - Tampa, FL - Outlaw Music Cruise - SOLD OUT
# - w/Adam's House Cat
*- w/T. Hardy Morris
& - w/Lily Hiatt
Patterson Hood solo dates:
Oct. 12 - San Diego, CA - Music Box
Oct. 13 - Santa Monica, CA - McCabes
Oct. 14 - Mill Valley, CA - Sweetwater Music Hall
Dimmer Twins date: (Patterson Hood & Mike Cooley)
Sept. 7 - Cockeysville, MD - Drool of Rock