Sunday, June 2, 2013

Uncle Green: Lost And Found

The legend of the "great lost album" is one of the most enduring in rock 'n' roll.

In the case of Uncle Green, remembered from their major-label days in the early-to-mid '90s, the legend is actually true. And the evidence can be found in a newly released album called 'Rycopa.'

Singer-guitarists Matt Brown and Jeff Jensen, bassist Bill Decker, and drummer Peter McDade built a reputation on the late '80s college-radio circuit for tight, memorable melodies and offbeat songcraft � something like R.E.M. and Pylon having a couple PBRs, well chilled, with Big Star.

In the early '90s they were championed by producer Brendan O'Brien (Bruce Springsteen, Pearl Jam, Black Crowes) and courted and signed to contracts by Atlantic Records and Sony Music (under O'Brien's 57 Records banner). After reinventing themselves as 3 Lb. Thrill (a shout-out to the weight of the human brain), the erstwhile Uncle Green was poised for a breakthrough into alternative radio.

Encouraged by O'Brien to produce an album in the cozy confines of their rented Atlanta home, the band set about writing and constructing 'Rycopa' � a sprawling epic they believed would finally capture their distinctive, literate sensibility. Upon wrapping its 32 tracks in 1997, they were confident they had made their best record.

But fickle Sony "didn't hear a single" and passed on the album. And Uncle Green was left wondering what to do with its homeless magnum opus. After a false start with yet another major label (MCA Records), they decided not to release the album and amicably went their separate ways. And the master tapes for 'Rycopa' disappeared into the Sony vaults.

And there they languished for 14 years.

In 2011, the members of Uncle Green, long after they had started families and forged new careers, recovered the "lost" master tapes from Sony � and raised the funds through a Kickstarter campaign to mix 'Rycopa' with engineer and Coolies guitarist Rob Gal. And soon the album had a new home on Wampus Multimedia ( subsidiary Foldback Records.

'Rycopa' joins a Wampus Multimedia roster that includes recent releases from Aux.78, Waterslide, Big Bus Dream, The May Bees, Johnny J Blair, the matthew show, Kowtow Popof, The Crowd Scene, Arms of Kismet, and tvfordogs, as well as popular tributes to Jonathan Richman, Lou Reed, and Warren Zevon.

Wampus Multimedia is an independent media label run by artists, for artists. It is home to a growing roster including pop, AAA, Americana, alternative, ambient, blues, and folk artists.

'Rycopa' is available at Amazon, CD Baby, iTunes, and many other outlets.

Uncle Green

Wampus Multimedia

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