WILD BILLY CHILDISH: “I Remember…”: LP

This record isn’t brand new, but new enough to me. There were some release delays (but the good folks at M’Lady’s persevered) plus my own laziness that delayed this record in finding its way into my home. Billy Childish is one of my musical heroes. (It’s no understatement to say there would be no ‘80s or ‘90s garage punk if it wasn’t for Mr. Childish. I’m not talking that Paisley Underground blech, but the raw efforts of a bunch of Thee bands… Milkshakes, Mighty Caesars, Headcoats, et cetera. begat “budget rock” and its ilk.) I own a lot of Childish-related records, but in this current economic climate I have to ask myself, “Do I need another one?” The answer is always yes, even when it’s no. A reissue of a solo Childish LP from 1988, “I Remember…” is a twelve-song blues romp, and I was surprised to find each tune is a Childish original. I’ve long been hesitant about white guy blues, as I was traumatized as a teen by my “musician” friends who worshiped at the altar of some awful Erics (Clapton and Johnson.) Ugh…. Anyway, Childish’s voice, his home recording aesthetics, and plebeian lifestyle are of a folksy, bluesy tradition. There are some songs that would work as Caesars or Headcoats rockers (“I Remember,” “Not Many of My Kind”) and some that seem to have been works in progress at the time of recording (“No 2 People Built the Same,” “Come Love”). M’lady’s released another Childish solo effort from this same era that’s next on my list. –Sal Lucci (M’lady’s, mladysrecords.com)