From the late ‘80s to mid-90s, the intrepid garage-blues duo -- that’s right, such a thing did exist before the White Stripes -- the Flat Duo Jets paved a rollicking path with its raw intensity and soulful charm. While the band is now long gone, the duo has announced release of Two Headed Cow, the soundtrack to the 2006 documentary of the same name. The disc contains seventeen unreleased tracks recorded in 1986, ranging from early FDJ favorites (“My Life, My Love”, “Mexicali Baby”) to jaw dropping cover tunes (The Collins Kids’ “Hoy Hoy”, Ray Charles’ “Mary Ann”).
Two Headed Cow is a movie about roots rocker Dexter Romweber and his music. His original band the Flat Duo Jets was one of the most influential bands of the last two decades and has been an inspiration for many other musicians from Jack White and Cat Power to the Rev. Horton Heat and Neko Case (White, Chan Marshall aka Cat Power and Case appear in the film along with Exene Cervenka and Jason Edge of the Original Sinners.)
Visually stunning and filmically poetic -- and featuring original black and white footage dating back to 1986 -- Two Headed Cow traces the formative years of the band through their signing to a major label through the break-up and Dexter’s life today. It tells the story of an artist who never compromised and never backed down.
The film was directed by Tony Gayton (Athens, Ga. - Inside/Out, Murder By Numbers), produced by Emmy winning casting director Lisa Wells Fincannon and Bill Cody along with executive producers Craig Fincannon and Frank Capra, Jr. premiering at the Full Frame documentary film festival in Durham, NC April 8th, 2006.
With origins dating back to the mid-80s, Chapel Hill, North Carolina’s Flat Duo Jets finally made the leap to a major label in 1998. However, it was not coincidental that the label they moved to, Outpost Recordings, was overseen by highly esteemed alternative rock forefather and R.E.M. producer Scott Litt. He had seen the band develop over a 10-year period and considered the duo (vocalist/guitarist Dexter Romweber and drummer Crow) to be “phenomenal’. Their energetic revival of early rockabilly had first come to prominence after featuring in the 1986 music documentary, Athens, Ga. - Inside/Out. They subsequently released a series of independent albums for a variety of local labels, with highpoints including 1990’s self-titled long-playing debut and 1993’s White Trees.
For Flat Duo Jets’ Outpost debut, Lucky Eye, Litt contracted dB’s alumnus Chris Stamey, who worked alongside him as co-producer. Sessions were completed at the Muscle Shoals Sound studios in Alabama, and over 18 tracks explored roots rock, traditional R&B and surf guitar with Romweber’s distinctive playing being influenced by old rockabilly records, and Charlie Feathers in particular. A 12-piece orchestra, arranged and conducted by Susie Katayama, contributed to songs such as “New York Studio 1959” and “Lonely Guy”.
Other contributors included Tom Maxwell and Ken Mosher, the horn players for the Squirrel Nut Zippers. By 1999 the band had broken up. It was nevertheless stated that there was a “strong possibility” that the duo would work together again in the future. Romweber carried on the Flat Duo Jets mix of rockabilly, blues and surf music on a number of well-received solo releases.
Two Headed Cow Tracklisting:
Release Date: February 12th, 2008
02. Hoy Hoy
04. Everybody’s Movin
05. Frog Went A Courtin’
07. Never No More
08. Mr. Guitar
09. Rock House
10. Mary Ann
12. Itty Bitty Everything
13. Golden Strings
14. Rockin’ Bones
15. My Life My Love
16. Mexicali Baby
17. Rock Boppin’ Baby
18. Bonus Track: Burning Bridges
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