Singer/songwriter/swimming pool motor technician Jack Logan has certainly made
a name for himself by not following any traditional career path. He literally
stumbled into the music biz when he blindly sent off a tape with a few of the
over 600 home recordings he'd cut with friends to Peter Jespersen, owner of
Minneapolis' Twin/Tone records and the producer credited with discovering the
That shot in the dark resulted in Logan's stunning
double-disc debut, 1994's appropriately-titled, Bulk, and it's
follow-up, 1996's more Stonesy Mood Elevator.
So, when Logan was
preparing to enter the studio to record the follow-up to that album, he figured
he might as well throw a few more x factors into the mix, just to make it
interesting, for himself mainly.
"We basically made a record that is way
better than we could afford," said Logan by phone from Georgia last week. "We
started at ground zero and wrote a bunch of new songs, about 80, and put 14 of
those on it and just tried to make it more diverse than last time."
Logan's new record, Observe, isn't scheduled for release until
September 16, but the journeyman was more than happy to give ATN readers a
sneak peak at what sounds like his most accomplished work to date. The album
was recorded at Casino Royale studios in Atlanta and produced by Kosmo Vinyl,
the Clash's infamous tour manager, and because Logan says he didn't want to
make "Mood Elevator II," it features a number of surprise guests and unexpected
sounds. "Melancholy Girl," a song...
"Melancholy Girl," a song Logan has been performing live
"for years and years," which he describes as a "very simple, straightforward
tune we just couldn't get down on tape" (and which was on the original tapes
that comprised Bulk), features Drivin' & Cryin's Kevin Kinney on backup
The songs "All Grown Up" and "Pearl of Them All" boast guest
backing vocals from Logan's pal, Vic Chesnutt, who also shows up on "Diving
Deeper" in what is being touted as his "trombone playing debut." Logan says
"Diving Deeper" has a "watery, almost psychedelic, creepy feel to it."
for Chesnutt's trombone playing, the nearest Logan could come to describing it
was "like a freighter moving through a harbor."
The song "Hit Or Miss" is
bolstered by a string quartet and "All Grown Up" gets a lift from a pair of
gospel singers who Logan says nailed a song that he included because, "I always
have to have a Stones rip-off, and I thought this one was too cheesy for the
record, but I was convinced to try the Gospel thing and it worked."
Richmond Boston of the Swimming Pool Cues adds backing vocals to "Metropolis"
and Thom Gray of the Brains (who penned Cyndi Lauper's hit "Money Changes
Everything") plays dobro on "Pearl of Them All."
Logan, who comes off as
nothing less than a perfect southern gentleman in conversation, shyly admits,
"I'm never going to be some big, revolutionary guy who will change the way
music is made. The best I can hope for is some interesting ideas occasionally.
A big part of that is the lyrics, which will hopefully touch some people
And, since all the band members have "real lives" which
include day jobs, Logan is cautiously optimistic about how much touring they
will do this time around. He's hoping it's considerably more than last time.
"That's the trick of it," he said. "Do as much touring as you can without
fucking up the day job. I'm willing to roll the dice a bit. Hell, I could
always wait tables."