On August 25, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready's HockeyTalkter label and Freakout Records are reissuing a rare 7-inch from 1967 by Monroe, Washington's the Bumps. "Please Come Down" / "Baby Blue" originally came out 50 years ago.
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In an e-mail interview, Freakout Records co-owner Skyler Locatelli said that he went through the remnants of Jerden and Picadilly Records, two active Seattle labels in the '60s and '70s, and was guided to the entity that owns licensing rights to many local bands from that era. "To my surprise, I was sent a lot of material and started sifting through it," Locatelli says. "I found the Bumps in there and immediately fell in love with their sound and in particular these two tracks from the band out of the 6 singles they cut."
"One of the main reasons I wanted to start a record label was to do reissues. I was aware that Seattle had a pretty vibrant psych-/garage-/folk-pop scene in the '60s, but I really started digging into Seattle music from '65-'69 to discover a plethora of artists I'd never heard of, like the Crome Syrcus, Magic Fern, Don & the Goodtimes, West Coast Natural Gas, and the Bumps."
The single's A-side, "Please Come Down," is a gently fuzzed, shivery slice of psych-pop in the vein of Electric Prunes' "I Happen to Love You." With courtly poise and concern, the vocalist sings, "You're flying on wings that no one can see/But baby, oh baby, please come down," advising a drug-happy woman to cautiously scale back. The B-side is the oft-covered 1965 Bob Dylan classic "Baby Blue," which the Bumps halo in reverence and sparkling piano and guitar tones and churchy keyboard drones. (You can listen to both songs here.)
The Bumps—whose original lineup consisted of Larry Richstein (guitar), Gary Walsh (keyboards), John Cleaver (sax/vocals), Bob Greer (bass), and Robert Van den Akker (drums/vocals)—existed from 1965 to 1969. One of their later members, Steve Moshier, went on to play drums with the Sonics.
Speaking of McCready, he composed the score for The Glamour & the Squalor, a documentary about celebrated Seattle radio DJ Marco Collins, who is credited for helping to expose the world to Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Garbage, and others. Lakeshore Records releases the album digitally on September 1 and on CD September 22.