Part 2 of my journey pricing our stacks of used 7-inch records. In my walk through our wax museum of recorded sound, sometimes I find things I need to share – so here we are. This is “From the Crates.”
BAND: The Deist’s Pouch
A-side – “Everybody’s Got a Pouch”
B-Side – “Backsliding Deist’s Prayer”
The story behind the Deist's Pouch begins with a car accident and the first law of thermodynamics. When singer and songwriter Vic Chesnutt got into a car wreck that left him mostly paralyzed at age 18, whatever energy present in his life was not destroyed but transformed into what would become a prolific music career, just as vibrant as it was tragic.
I’ll admit it was the album art that caught my attention. Staring at the monochromatic, bright green picture of a group of kids – one of them (perhaps Chesnutt himself) frowning straight into the camera - I had a gut feeling there was something important here.
The Deist’s Pouch, a side project of Chesnutt's, was recorded in 2003 at Fried Sound Studio in what discogs describes as "a one-off jam session of members of [Vic Chesnutt], Lambchop and Calexico," two of Chesnutt's frequent collaborating bands. By this point in his career Chesnutt was firmly established in the underground rock scene with eight records under his belt (two of which were produced by REM’s Michael Stipe) and a slew of collaborations including a tribute album in '96 featuring Garbage, REM, Smashing Pumpkins and more.
The record was released off of Sommerweg Records, an obscure, now defunct German label whose few releases were primarily underground American groups including Barbara Manning & The Go-Luckys!, Bruces, John Convertino, and Mountaineer.
The sound of this 45 reflects the much of Chesnutt's material; introspective lyrical profundity paired with his signature simple, folk-based chords - a sound partially determined by his limited physical capabilities after the car wreck and partially from his grandpa’s guitar lessons during Vic's early years in Athens, Georgia. In a 2009 interview with Fresh Air, Chesnutt stated, "My granddaddy, he would show me the chords to ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’ in G, and then we would play that song for an hour without stopping...and then a week later, we would come, and we would do, okay, ‘Sweet Georgia Brown’ in A flat...and we did it until we played all 11 keys, and that was it." It was his grandpa’s “guitar-does-well-tempered clavier’” instruction that instilled in Chesnutt the very chops that carried through his life. In the very same interview, then collaborator Guy Picciotto (Fugazi) described Chesnutt's sound, "There's so much in Vic's chordings, and there's so much in his melodies that you can also build on top of them...his music is the foundation, and it can support a lot of architecture." Picciotto's description in 2009 rings true in the material in the Deist's Pouch in ‘03. The two tracks stand as chiseled achievements in folk rock structure.
After hours of searching I can’t find ANY recordings available for streaming online, but you’ll have to trust me when I say these tracks are great. Interested? Come into the shop and we’ll put the record on for you!