Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lost music: The Madd Scientists blues band

Toronto blues band Madd Scientists broke up about six years ago. To the best of my knowledge, what very little air-play they once received has dried up. Their only album, Antenna Town, was self-produced and only marketed in the form of give-aways to blues radio stations, of which a handful are now available on amazon.com for as low as a penny each. The man behind the tunes, Jim Layeux, seems to have taken his few dozen songs that I loved and quietly vanished with them. The world of Google and YouTube avails just one of his tracks, the instrumental title track to the above album.

The first thing I came to realize just the other night, is that there are songs that I love that I will almost certainly never hear again. I have never suffered this brand of sad realization before.

And the other thing that I came to realize is that I, their number-one fan so far as I know, am probably the only human being anywhere with a serious interest in keeping both their name and their body of work as relevant as possible.

I figure I have a moral duty and the only way to do it is to pour those 14 Layeux songs I do possess onto my YouTube site. I suppose this amounts to copyright infringement but if the act succeeds in dragging Layeux out of his hermitage in order to say so, then I will happily yank the videos and instead engage in useful dialogue with this excellent songwriter and see if I can't negotiate access to those beautiful songs that are currently lost to me.

Oh, and their bassist, by the way, was our own Dr. Lock.

This first Madd Scientists offering I have thrown together is actually a traditional song but Layeux does some really neat things with the words and melody making his the hands-down grooviest cover I can find:

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