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Rock/pop

The Jim Carroll Band: Catholic Boy

Catholic Boy
The Jim Carroll Band: Catholic Boy
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Jim Carroll, a prodigious young New York poet, arrived in Bolinas, CA circa 1975 to spend time in exile and recover from his heroin habit. Little did he know that he would soon be fronting an influential rock band and jamming with Keith Richards and Lou Reed. The Catholic Boy (1980), now reissued courtesy of Fat Possum (thank you, guys!), was the Jim Carroll Band’s debut. It features pure dynamic rock ’n’ roll with punk-paced compositions that sound remarkably fresh 40 years later. Jim’s vocals are accompanied by two guitars (Brian Linsley, Terrell Winn), bass (Steve Linsley), and drums (Wayne Woods). Allen Lanier of Blue Öyster Cult delivers electrifying solos on keyboards (“Day and Night,” “I Want the Angel”), and Bobby Keys sets the mood on saxophone for the cinematic “City Drops into The Night.” Ultimately, though, it’s Jim Carroll’s lyricism that will bewitch you. The first track, “Wicked Gravity,” will hook you with its story of NYC streets and its surreal imagery, all sung with a thick New York accent. You likely heard “People Who Died,” where Carroll screams his litany of young friends who are no more; but listen to the whole chilling story. It is worth it. 

By Malgorzata Quinn

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