Passion Politics Love

passion1996 CD release USA Revolting Records
1997 CD release Europe Brambus Records/Switzerland
Recorded at Steve Yates Studio, Chicago/Morton Grove.

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Audio Samples with Lyrics

“This is top-notch varied Americana.”

Bucky Halker and the Complete Unknowns unleash themselves on a batch of Halker’s roots rock, Americana originals.

At some point during 1993 the Remainders had lost momentum and I was ready for a change anyway. My girlfriend got a job offer on the Maine Coast near the Canadian border so we packed up and moved. It ended up a disaster, but for most of a year I had a pleasant time playing guitar, writing songs, wandering in the woods, paddling my canoe, cooking, feeding the woodstove, stocking the bird feeder, touring Europe for two months, and checking the tide tables. By the time we moved back to Chicago in the fall of 1994, I had enough songs for a CD that leaned on country, blues, honky tonk, rockabilly, and folk styles.

In the summer of 1995 I was back in Steve Yates’ studio, even though I had no money to pay him. I recruited former Remainder Gordon Patriarca on bass, ex-Freakwater guitarist Brian Dunn on electric guitars, Phil Levin on drums, Sons of the Never Wrong vocalist Sue Demel on backups, and old pals T.C. Furlong on pedal steel and Don Stiernberg on mandolin. Well known jazz bassist Jim Cox and celebrated tuba player Dan Anderson came in for a couple cuts as well. Great players and stunning performances. Brian Don’s playing is inspired, passionate, and frequently brilliant.

Unfortunately, getting this CD out was among the most difficult experiences of my lifetime. I pressed the first batch myself after several labels passed on the recording. I couldn’t pay my rent, but I believed in this recording and went deeply into debt. I worked out a deal with ZanMan Records and they promptly went bankrupt. Months later Whitehouse Records inked a deal and also went belly up. Fortunately, the CD did get released in Europe in 1997, thanks to Brambus Records.

Mostly this record was never heard in the USA though. Ten years later, the debts finally paid, I still think it’s a great record. I’m a brutal self critic but it stands up against any of the most touted alt country Americana recordings on the major or indie labels. Enough said.  Check out the 2007 review of this CD at

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