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:

12 thoughts on “Formaldehyde Blues Train: Six songs, circa 1992

  1. There is also a cassette tape “More Coal!” dated 1989 – maybe a demo with phone # for booking
    Songs are
    Side A:
    St. Louie
    Yuppies for Breakfast
    The Jake
    Side B:
    The Desert Song
    Hamburger Eating Man
    The Boss’s Bottle

  2. Thank you for the kind words Jim, it was a scene that is hopefully being carried out by the next guard in dingy basement bars everywhere…….

    I still have the blue Formaldehyde guitar in the video LOL !! ( still using it secretly )

    1. I would love to get a copy of the more cold demo.
      I saw them play live in Richmond Virginia and got that demo tape but someone stole it from me.

  3. After unfortunately missing a recent reunion show, I popped Dig into my car’s CD player on the way to work tonight. Fantastic stuff. Great live band. Thankful to have made the acquaintance of most band members during my years living in South Park Slope. One member and I share an alma mater, another gave me guitar lessons, and yet another sold me an amplifier! (My brush with greatness.)

  4. I was in FBT for 4 yrs or so (including these tracks). Love those recordings. Some of the best I ever got to play on. Thanks for the memories.

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