Years ago in this blog, I wrote effusively of my affection for the work of Barbara Manning. A longtime indie music stalwart out of San Francisco, Manning has sadly had little mainstream success in her career. But in indie circles around the world, her name is considered sacred. For more than thirty years, pretty much everything she has been involved in as a solo artist or band member has been nothing more than gold. And this little EP is no exception; it's a weird and wonderful gem of a release.
For the stomp-rocker "The Ballad of Denny McLain", Barbara cedes vocal duties to bandmate Lincoln Allen. This song is another cover, originally recorded by the legendary and eccentric Bay Area band Mad V. Dog & the Merchants of the New Bizarre. It documents the story of the infamous Detroit
The final (and in my opinion, the best) song on the EP, the fuzzed-out psychedelic guitar workout "Dock Ellis", celebrates the Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher who allegedly threw a complete no-hit game on June 12th, 1970 while tripping on a massive dose of LSD.
Soon after finally acquiring World of Pooh's The Land of Thirst in 2000, I went on a big Barbara Manning buying spree, tracking down everything of hers that I could find: much of her solo work, the rest of her World of Pooh stuff, and her collaborations with 28th Day, The Original Artists, The Go-Luckys! and The S.F. Seals - including this disc. I'm glad I did; this is a superb addition to her canon. Check it out and see for yourself.
Here's The S.F. Seals' Baseball Trilogy EP, released by Matador Records on November 1st, 1993. Enjoy, and as always, let me know what you think.
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