Book Of Kills: For The Good Of The Cause, 1991

Book Of Kills: For The Good Of The Cause, 1991

“I don’t really understand Jim very well. I don’t understand why he won’t let other people hear his songs. I don’t understand why he always seemed so reluctant to pursue a life in music. I don’t understand how he could have let his gifts go to waste. But he did.” — Jordy Williams

James Nipe a/k/a Jim Shelley: Everything

Side One*
1.(I’m Glad I’m Not a) Rock Star
2. No Time For Love
3. Dear Annie
4. The Sound of a Door Closing
5. The Girl Can’t Help It!
6. Simple World
7. I Hang Heavy
8. Revelation

Side Two*
1. Wild Hog in the Woods
2. Hold the Wind
3. If the Light Has Gone Out
4. Who Will Bow and Bend?
5. The Ballad of Finley Preston
6. The Lexington Murder
7. Wind and Rain
8. Hit the Road Again

I lifted the quote above from the liner notes of this cassette, which detail how James Nipe had sabotaged his career up until that point. “I’ve heard a lot of his music that no one else has,” writes Williams. “Much of it is, if technically raw, nonetheless astoundingly emotional, riveting. I doubt he’ll ever release any of it.” Unusual, to say the least! Happily, Jim did grow (somewhat) more comfortable sharing his music, and released numerous tapes after this. Doubtless he’s still glad he’s not rock star, but by gosh, this is a rock star worthy album!

*My copy of this cassette has an unnamed ninth song on side one (“snakes shed their skin/I want to shed mine”), and side two is blank. I’ve no idea why.

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