Motel In Saginaw

Image of StumpWater - Motel In Saginaw
Record Label
Drag City

About this item

A few years back Galactic Zoo Dossier / Galactic Zoo Disk Svengali Plastic Crimewave stumbled on a colourfully-labelled 1975 Aurora, Illinois private press single by StumpWater, featuring the tunes ‘White Washed Afternoons’ / ‘Watcher’s Brawl’. There was a vibe here - rural folk rock that’d make David Crosby’s ’tache bristle; latenight unwashed laments that quirky / heady troubadours like Tom Rapp, Gary Higgins or even poor, jaded Phil Ochs could groove on. A search surprisingly yielded immediate results, as StumpWater were still active and gigging. Peppering their concerts with CSN covers, StumpWater were still performing live, doing acoustic and electric sets (with a drummer, rock style) at the same gig (like the aforementioned supagroup would do back in the day) and still playing their 70s originals.

Crimewave interviewed the band members Joe Gloor and Dan Berg (Dan Haligas sadly passed shortly beforehand) and got their story for his Secret History of Chicago Music column in the Chicago Reader and some Earth-shattering info was gleaned: StumpWater had an unreleased 1973 LP.

It’s a concept LP about the characters populating a smalltown hotel (think Lee Hazlewood’s ‘Trouble Is A Lonesome Town’ maybe) called ‘Motel In Saginaw’ (a place Mike Nesmith seemed to know too). To say the homespun album was a revelation is putting it lightly - gorgeous tunes about death that’d have Simon & Garfunkel crying in their cappuccinos, creepy Dylan-esque tales that David Blue would liked to have written, maudlin hearts of gold in every groove - basically a hazy, sepia-stained song cycle for all the Judy Blue Eyes in the world to get lost in while rolling a dirtweed joint.


The Hermit
Blind Darkness
Romantic Courtship
Turns Into Boring
Marriage Blues
Tired Man
Tommy’s Song
Now That He’s Passed
Sister Of Mine
Growing Time
Frozen Man
Motel In Saginaw
A Thousand Voices

Watcher's Brawl
White Washed

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