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Rube Waddell
Rube Waddell
Crazed D.I.Y. trio Rube Waddell got their start as street buskers in San Francisco, employing a variety of homemade instruments (including the one-string guitar) and found percussion to create a sound as eccentric as their namesake, the wild, hard-drinking strikeout pitcher who dominated the American League in the early 1900s. Their bizarre take on American roots music -- particularly blues, but also folk and country -- often incorporates German cabaret (which, coupled with the junkyard percussion, can make them resemble Tom Waits at his most lo-fi), as well as bits of world music gleaned from Eastern Europe, Asia, and Ireland. Rube Waddell made their name locally by playing at Leeds -- not the site of the Who's epochal live album, but a shoe store of the same name in San Francisco's Mission district (although it's no longer there, the group kept playing regularly at that location). Group members Reverend Wupass (who handles most of the lead vocals), Mahatma Boom Boom, and Captain Feedback (later Captain Legit) transported their cache of instruments to performances using shopping carts, and their recordings reflected a similarly cheerful low-budget sensibility. Most of their 1996 debut album, Hobo Train, was recorded in the band's apartment on a dilapidated four-track, and the one-sided LP was initially released in a limited run of 1,000 copies. Their second album, 1998's Stinkbait, found them signed to Oakland indie Vaccination Records and graduating to eight-track recording. In 2001, Vaccination reissued Hobo Train on CD with several bonus tracks, which was followed the next month by the band's third album, Bound for the Gates of Hell. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi
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