Record Store Report: Hilton Head

Treasure Guide

OK, so I’m definitely playing fast and loose with the Record Store Report concept, but whatever. I spent a short week in a place without a single record store and managed to bring home seven albums, thanks largely to Mrs. YHT’s Aunt Barbara and the Treasure Guide™ she so kindly dogeared for me.

Johnny Smith — In a Mellow Mood

Johnny Smith

I started at an unfamiliar location of a familiar haunt: Goodwill. Was rewarded with two old-school, 10-inch jazz albums, and the first is a serious keeper. Smith’s playing is blissfully smooth in spots and blistering in others, always crisp and meticulous. What a talent.

Johnny Smith — “Stranger In Paradise” [Discogs]

Jimmy Dorsey — Latin American Favorites

Jimmy Dorsey

My other Goodwill acquisition, though I’m not sold on keeping this one. The singing is a little on the corny side. Apparently “Brazil” is in the Grammy Hall of Fame, so there’s that.

Jimmy Dorsey — “Brazil” [Discogs]

After striking out at a couple of other stores, I hit up the Litter Box, which had a double-sided, three-tiered bookshelf full of records. $.50. This was fun. After some tough cuts, I ended up with:

Jorge Ben — Tropical

Jorge Ben

Speaking of Brazil — at some point I got the impression that there’s a bubble around the value of Brazilian music on vinyl. I don’t know if that’s actually true, but the median Discogs price for this was enough for me to overlook a fairly ominous scratch to see if this would play all the way through. Not only does it play beautifully, it’s way too groovy to cash in on. It’s wonderfully diverse in terms of style, with a ton of soul mixed in. Mrs. YHT and I listened while cooking dinner last night and it got her seal of approval, then it got Sleepwalker Michael Yorke’s on Instagram. Just excellent all around.

Jorge Ben — “Georgia” [Discogs]

Various — The Black Swing Tradition

The Black Swing Tradition

A two-disc compilation of 78 releases from black artists during the swing era. I’m not familiar with any of these folks (though I did spend some time on Hot Lips Page’s Wikipedia page while at the Litter Box) so there’s lots to learn here.

Hot Lips Page — “Pagin’ Mr. Page” [Discogs]

John Fahey — A New Possibility

John Fahey

Already have this, but I couldn’t leave one of the greatest Christmas albums of all time just sitting there in South Carolina. It’s so hot there. Do you like Christmas music? Have a record player but don’t have a copy of this? Let me know.

John Fahey — “Auld Lang Syne” [Discogs]

Max Greger — Greger in the Night

Max Greger

Last stop was the Bargain Box, which had a rack of albums just inside the front door on the right. Also $.50. I watched a couple old Bond movies while in Jersey the previous weekend (Dr. No and Goldfinger), and this album could have soundtracked all the worst and jauntiest parts of both. But just look at the girl in the red hat. So badass. Like Blue Steel™ before there was a Blue Steel™. How could I say no to Blue Steel™? AND THAT HAT?!?

Max Greger — “We Can Work It Out” (Beatles cover) [Discogs]

The Young Tuxedo Brass Band ‎– Jazz Begins: Sounds Of New Orleans Streets: Funeral And Parade Music

NOLA Funeral

Two recent trends — a increasing interest in gospel and a greater appreciation for New Orleans after visiting at the end of last year — converge here. Was so thrilled to find this. Makes me think of the Garden District cemetery we toured while we were there. And by “toured” I mean “awkwardly walked a few steps behind a tour group.” Call it a second line.

I listened to this first when we got back to Richmond. It seemed like a fitting spin given the disparaging news I’d been following last week. So many guns. So much wrong. I desperately wish I could write some impactful, incisive sentence that would make make a dent in the issue and change a large number of hearts about the careless, destructive nature of the NRA or the necessity for a more modern interpretation of the Second Amendment. I truly believe that sentence exists, but I don’t know what it is. Something about our shared sense of responsibility or about guns being the clear independent variable in so many horrific situations.

It reminds me of what it’s like to move from your mid-twenties to your thirties. All the bad habits you have — eating fast food, drinking too much or too often, sleeping too little — start catching up with you, and you suddenly realize things like “Wow, every time I eat at McDonald’s, I feel like shit. Maybe I shouldn’t eat there.” or “Every time I get drunk, I get in a fight with my girlfriend. Maybe my drinking is the issue, not her.”

It genuinely feels to me like our country needs to grow up. The only question is how much damage will be done before we commit to doing so. In meantime, we’re going to need a hell of a lot of the light-in-the-face-of-darkness hope exemplified below.

The Young Tuxedo Brass Band — “Just A Closer Walk With Thee” [Discogs]

Record Store Report: Chicago


Was just in Chicago for Mrs. YHT’s brother’s wedding, and I managed to sneak in a couple record store stops.

I struck out at the Madison Street location of Reckless Records — just a few blocks down State Street from our hotel — on Friday afternoon, but I took advantage of a free hour on Saturday morning by Ubering over to Dusty Groove, which was a couple of miles away. I had to hurry, which was unfortunate, because their jazz section was something to behold. Dozens of albums behind each alphabetical divider. I’ve become monomaniacally focused on finding this one Chico Hamilton album — El Chico, thanks to AnEarful — and they didn’t have it, but I would have happily flipped through every jazz record thy had, just to take in the panoramic beauty of that kind of collection.


I quickly poked around elsewhere. I ended up passing on a new repress of Max Richter’s Songs from Before, which will probably haunt me, but I did latch onto a copy of the posthumous Allen Toussaint album that just came out. I’ve been listening to it via Spotify a bunch, both at work and at home. I first gravitated toward “Mardi Gras In New Orleans,” a song I played repeatedly in the hotel room while Mrs. YHT and I were in New Orleans in December. That was Professor Longhair’s upbeat version, but this version is slower, almost elegiac. Really affecting, especially given Toussaint’s recent passing.


The other song I’ve gravitated toward is the cover of Paul Simon’s “American Tune.” It suits Toussaint’s soft voice, and having a hard copy of that song might have been justification enough for buying the record and schlepping it all the way back to Richmond, but Side D sold me. The three bonus tracks — not available on Spotify as of yet — including two extra Longhair tunes and “Moon River,” which tends to rip my heart out of my chest every time I hear it. I’m typing this on the plane ride home, so I haven’t listened yet and don’t know if it’s instrumental or if Toussaint sings those sweet, fatalistic lyrics. If it’s the latter, I may never recover.

Allen Toussaint — “American Tune” (Paul Simon cover) [Spotify/iTunes]

Record Store Report: New Orleans

New Orleans

Another new feature for 2016: Going to do a better job of reporting back about the out-of-town record stores I check out. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Davy, this is just an excuse to work record shopping into the trips you and Mrs. YHT take.”

I have only one response to that accusation.

Let’s start in the Big Easy, where Mrs. YHT and I spent three nights two weeks ago. Taking a trip right before Christmas, one of the most stressful times of the year, may seem a little crazy, and it felt a little crazy when we were making final preparations, but it was awesome. Relaxing, even. We went to a Saints game, ate beignets every morning, walked around the French Quarter a bunch — hand-in-hand, booze-in-hand — and we even got to stop in a few record stores.

We hit three, and while one was atrocious (going to let that one go unnamed), two were excellent. They were:

Euclid Records (3301 Chartres St.)

Euclid 3

What a selection. A ton of new vinyl, lots of used to flip through, a generous New Orleans section for tourists like me, and an upstairs jazz collection that I barely even scratched the surface of. I could have spend half a day there. We were there for a solid hour before Mrs. YHT — very reasonably, it should be said — shot off the “Hey, we’ve been here a while…” flare.

Euclid 2

The person at the counter was extremely friendly when chatting with other customers (OK, so I have a habit of eavesdropping while flipping through records), and he was nice enough to give me a media mailer to keep my two acquisitions safe on the flight home. Those acquisitions:

tUnE-yArDs — Nikki Nack (used, $8)


I passed on getting this when tUnE-yArDs came to the National earlier this year, though I did pick up a few other items. One was this “Water Fountain” 45. I love “Water Fountain” (I’ve embedded the Song Exploder episode about it below), and the 45’s B-side is a Nikki Nack supercut, which started out as fun but gradually made me regret not getting the actual album. Very glad to have gotten a second chance at it. While Discogs says the $8 price point is normal for this pressing — translucent red vinyl! — it still felt like a steal.

Song Exploder 38: tUnE-yArDs

Soul Jazz Records — New Orleans Funk, Volume 1 (new, $32)

New Orleans Funk

Had a minor panic attack trying to decide which volume in this series to get, because they all looked excellent. This is the side of funk I enjoy most — the earliest takes on the genre that linger closer to blues and soul. It wasn’t cheap, but the three discs pack in a ton of great stuff. The day after we got back to Richmond, I had this on from about 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. straight, just cycling through the sides and feeling funky as hell. Looking forward to checking out volumes 2 and 3 (3 is actually on Spotify).

The Meters — “Hand Clapping Song” [Spotify/iTunes]

Skully’z Recordz (907 Bourbon St.)

Skullyz 2

Just a block or two away from our hotel in the French Quarter. So often, stores that are close to the main tourist drag are crap, but I loved Skully’z. It’s tiny — you’d probably measure its footprint in square inchage instead of footage — and that’s definitely part of its charm.

Skullyz 1

You have to work together with the other patrons to make the best of the space, and I got this neat, “We’re all on the same team” vibe while I was in there. Way more fun than the “I’m terrified and we need to walk away very quickly” vibe I got when we stopped in front of the LaLaurie House on the way back to our hotel.

Snagged two things:

Professor Longhair —Hadacol Bounce (new, $23)

Professor Longhair

This was part of the store’s New Orleans section, and I was immediately drawn to the cover art. How badass does Professor Longhair look there? I mean c’mon. Baby YHT actually demands to stare at this record, because she loves the photo so much. It’s a German pressing, and as far as I can tell, it’s still not on Discogs, though I do see an Icelandic pressing. The person behind the counter (also very friendly — almost everyone we met in New Orleans was) said it had just come out the week before.

Not sure if this is the exact right version, but here’s “East St Louis Baby,” which is a dead ringer for Longhair classic “Go To The Mardis Gras.”

Professor Longhair — “East St Louis Baby” [YouTube]

The Shouting Matches — Grownass Man (new, $17)

The Shouting Matches

Found this in the very last bin I was going to look through. I love this album, and I’d been keeping an eye out for it — with no luck — since it came out in 2013. Which is funny, because the person I talked to (Skully himself?) said they’d done really well with it and sold a bunch when it first came out. Seems strangely appropriate that I found it in New Orleans. There’s a bluesy looseness to Grownass Man that reminds me of the atmosphere there. Maybe I’m manufacturing a connection. Either way, it was on my Phil Cook appreciation bucket list, and it may have been the find of the trip. That or Le Big Mac at Cochon Butcher. Holy crap, y’all. Life changing.

The Shouting Matches — “Avery Hill” [Spotify/iTunes]