I try to design posts on Retrospace around on what I, personally, would like to see - and I love looking at old album covers. However, it is often frustrating for me to look at some of these strange and unique old album covers and not know what they sound like. One of my favorite sites to visit is the LP Cover Lover, but I'm often frustrated that I can't listen to what's behind the cover. It's like seeing an incredibly intriguing movie poster, and knowing you'll never get to see it.
That's why I include sound clips in my Vinyl Dynamite posts. Not because the record is particularly good (they are often huge disappointments), but to give obsessive people like me closure.
So anyway, this album is no exception. It's horrible. But lets take a look and listen anyway...
I'm sure many of you are familiar with the guy on the left with the suspenders - the famous chef, Justin Wilson. However, I wonder how many people saw this 1973 LP thinking the dude with the glasses is Jean Barleycorn? I mean, it's called Justin Wilson Meets Jean [John] Barleycorn and shows him presumably meeting someone!
The guy on the right, however, is definitely not Jean Barleycorn - unless he happens to be the ancient pagan personification of alcohol made from barley (i.e. whiskey and beer). I'd encountered the name a long time ago via the 1970 Traffic album, John Barleycorn Must Die, so I knew better. The bespectacled fellow is actually Peggy Bercegeay, the owner of the bar.
Basically, the whole album is Justin Wilson telling stories about drunken Cajuns. Here's a sample:
Justin Wilson began his career as a safety engineer, but became frustrated by the boredom and disinterest he encountered when giving training sessions. He started to inject Cajun humor into his presentations and it was a big hit. Before long, Wilson was on The Ed Sullivan Show telling his entertaining Louisiana tales.
Over the years, Justin recorded several records and became a well known chef thanks to his cookbooks and PBS cooking shows. Much like Emeril is identified today with "Bam!", Justin had his own trademark catch phrase, "I gar-on-tee!" He even appeared on Letterman as well as The Hollywood Squares, and even had his own line of kitchenware.
I'll end by saying that if you can sit through an entire album about nothing but alcoholic Cajuns, I gar-on-tee you have a higher tolerance for pain than I.