22 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

An obscure "outsider musician" from Texas rediscovered by the revered Norton Records label, Jack Starr came of age in the late '50s and early '60s. He played a demented form of rockabilly and early rock 'n' roll with a manic intensity and off-the-wall sense of humor that's earned these tracks a rabid cult following. The recordings are taken from scratchy acetates and lo-fi home tapes that capture Starr's spontaneous vibe. "Crazy Rock (Bald Headed Woman & a Long Haired Man)" blasts out of the speakers and completes its mission in less than a minute and a half. Many of the tunes are quick blasts of singular artistry. "My Love for You Is Petrified" is an acoustic rocker. "Come On" adds maniacal background vocals. "Done Away with the Mean Old Blues" is so beautifully muddy that it's difficult to make sense of the recording; Starr's leg-slapping is the clearest instrument in the mix. "Constellation of a Fool" features inspired guitar work, as does "Beat Doll." Starr has returned to the spotlight somewhat, thanks to Jack White covering his songs and revisiting (but never fully emulating) Starr's wild style. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

An obscure "outsider musician" from Texas rediscovered by the revered Norton Records label, Jack Starr came of age in the late '50s and early '60s. He played a demented form of rockabilly and early rock 'n' roll with a manic intensity and off-the-wall sense of humor that's earned these tracks a rabid cult following. The recordings are taken from scratchy acetates and lo-fi home tapes that capture Starr's spontaneous vibe. "Crazy Rock (Bald Headed Woman & a Long Haired Man)" blasts out of the speakers and completes its mission in less than a minute and a half. Many of the tunes are quick blasts of singular artistry. "My Love for You Is Petrified" is an acoustic rocker. "Come On" adds maniacal background vocals. "Done Away with the Mean Old Blues" is so beautifully muddy that it's difficult to make sense of the recording; Starr's leg-slapping is the clearest instrument in the mix. "Constellation of a Fool" features inspired guitar work, as does "Beat Doll." Starr has returned to the spotlight somewhat, thanks to Jack White covering his songs and revisiting (but never fully emulating) Starr's wild style. 

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About Jack Starr

Guitarist Jack Starr initially made his name with the East Coast metal band Virgin Steele during the early '80s, playing on their first two albums (1982's self-titled debut and 1983's Guardians of the Flame) before embarking on a solo career. Starr formed a backing band called Burning Starr, which bowed in 1984 with Out of the Darkness. Further albums followed at a steady clip: 1985's Rock the American Way, 1986's No Turning Back, 1987's Blaze of Glory, and 1989's The Orange Album. Taking a new direction for the '90s, Starr recorded an all-instrumental effort titled A Minor Disturbance in 1990 and subsequently joined the band Strider, which issued a self-titled debut the following year. In 1994, Starr self-released a collaborative project called Oxgen I (on cassette only) and spent much of the remainder of the decade backing other acts. In 1999, he resurfaced with the Jack Starr Blues Band, a project that allowed him to explore his long-dormant love for electric blues and blues-rock. ~ Steve Huey

Songs

Albums