Adding to an excellent run of cosmic country of late, the debut from Athens’ Pink Stones is just about ready to land on the decks. The record is a workday respite, cloaked in billowy vocal dreams and put to bed on the sunset glow of pedal steel. The band picks at the tender laments of Blaze Foley and John Prine and wraps their songs in the skyline shimmer of Parsons-years Byrds and New Riders riffs. The Pink Stones’ debut aims to be a porch light staple as the summer months hit, but before it reaches the racks the band’s Hunter Pinkston laid into a Hidden Gem for the site. He’s gone with the rowdier end of their spectrum, picking out a plum gem from Commander Cody. Check out how the record came int this life and the impact its had on the band.
“This one is so huge for me. I feel like Commander Cody generally is slept on, but this album, damn,” exclaims PInkston. “From the first song to the last, it has so many of my favorite musical elements in it. From boogie woogie to country rock to trucker songs and western swing, it’s just all there for me, not to mention an incredibly skilled
and talented cast of characters playing together.”
“I got into Commander Cody from a close friend and mentor of mine, Greg Reece, of the famed Athens, GA country band, Redneck Greece Deluxe. When I was first taking The Pink Stones out and playing truck driving songs and getting all into that kinda thing, Greg came up to me at work and handed me a (different) Commander Cody live album, that was recorded at the Armadillo World Headquarters. I was sold, and have been studying ever since. That record is great, but there’s just something different in the air on this one. They cut it in London, which is crazy and cool to start with, but they played pretty much all the hits on it, and then some.”
“I still remember the first time I heard this specific album,” recalls Hunter. “I was in the passenger seat of Logan’s car that we were driving to what I believe was Birmingham, Alabama. We got to the fourth song on the record, ‘Big Mamou,’ and I had to keep playing it over and over. I believe it’s originally by Link Davis, but the Commander
version is so far out. They do one of my favorite tricks and start with a classy waltz and then pick it up, not to mention, he sings in French after the pickup. It’s a really groovy one and still my favorite on the album to this day.”
“It’s really hard to pull off mixing all sorts of different styles of music together, but this is one of those albums, and bands, that can just meld it all together in a very natural and consumable way. The first song is basically a boogie woogie tune, followed by ‘I Took Three Bennies’ and ‘My Semi Truck Won’t Start.’ After those two songs, I’m all ears. Then comes Bob Wills, Merle Travis, Kokomo Arnold, and more. Not to mention, they play their hit ‘Seeds and Stems’ which will always be one of my favorite stoner country songs. They basically just don’t stop shredding from the beginning to the end. Between Commander Cody himself singing and playing piano, the master of the telecaster Bill Kirchen, Bobby Black on pedal steel, and a whole cast of other amazing players, they really control and command the songs in a special way and shine together as a band.”
“I’ve hijacked a few lines and tricks from this album. They were obviously around a lot of the other bands from that era that I enjoy, but they were on a completely different planet. They were looking outside of the box and getting really different with it. I listen back to this album all the time and find little things I had never heard and get that much more inspired every time. Maybe more people know about this album than I think, but
either way, it’s so huge for me and I hope that some new people get a kick out of it. I hope everyone gets the same joy, excitement, honky tonk blues, and laughs that I get out of this one. Go get Lost in the Ozone!”
I’d have to agree with Hunter that Commander Cody and his band of misfit hippie country rockers don’t get the kind of household recognition that they deserve, but thankfully that works out for you, as this album can still be picked up pretty easily on the cheap and its killer all the way through. The Pink Stones’ debut album is on the way from Normaltown next week, so while you prep for that, feel free to lock into some live country madness here.
Buy Hunter’s pick HERE.