Formaldehyde Blues Train: Six songs, circa 1992

Formaldehyde Blues Train: Six songs, circa 1992

Hollis Fitch: vocals
Dave “Jake Rancheroo” Weiss: guitar
Richard Jean: guitar
Murray Compton: bass
Jim “the Lieutenant” Petropoulos: drums

1. Backroads
2. Capt. Dog
3. Voo Doo Nectarine
4. Devil’s Eyes
5. St. Louie
6. The Swamp Song

Way back when, in a very different Brooklyn, there was a red-hot music scene in, of all places, Park Slope. Centered on Lauterbach’s, a sketchy basement dive on Prospect Avenue, the Brooklyn Beat embraced an insane variety of musical styles, played by bands of uniformly high quality. I can honestly say I never saw a bad show at Lauterbach’s.

Among the kings of the Brooklyn Beat scene was Formaldehyde Blues Train, purveyors of swamp-rock supreme. FBT had only two formal releases that I know of: the 1991 Friday The 13th 7″, and the 1993 CD EP Dig; both are long out of print, but there are used copies to be had. Given that four of the songs here appeared on one or both of those records, I’m figuring this super-rare tape surfaced sometime in between. Or maybe it predated them; I can’t be sure.

Anyhoo, if yer hankering for some volcanic, yowling swamp-a-billy, grab a bottle of hootch and crank this ‘un up! As an added bonus, here’s a fun old video that will give you a taste of what TBT were like in their prime:

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