“Life is fine”: Barefoot Rock With Rainer And Das Combo (2013 Fire Records Rainer Collection re-issue)

So, I’ve not actually been around much to post something.  Well, when I say not been around I mean I’ve been pre-occupied with other stuffs.  Other stuffs being loads o’ new music, GTAV and The Shield.  Shocker.

Anyhoo, after my recent £5 Record Fayre splurge, I found myself parting with £8 for a very magical record last weekend.  Totally non-intentional purchase I should add (the best ones usually are, right?), but when I spotted Barefoot Rock With Rainer And Das Combo I just couldn’t ignore it.  Y’see, Rainer (Ptacek) was quite something.  A real talent (lauded by Robert Plant and described by Billy Gibbons as “one of my favourite guitar men“).  I first heard his music back in 2005 when a friend loaned me the Live at the Performance Center CD (which I later bought and lost. Urgh).  The emotional punch of that album was quite something, though it paled in comparison to watching him perform Life Is Fine on Later

I picked up a few of his albums on CD and was completely immersed.  Incredible and powerful stuff.  This one was Rainer’s first official record and it’s a cracker, too.  Recorded in 1985 and released the following year after Making Waves heard all about the waves Rainer And Das Combo were making.  It’s one of those albums that you can easily forget about given how overlooked he is, but I’m real pleased that it was part of Fire Records’ Rainer Collection.  Complete with bonus cuts (I believe some featured on a 1994 CD reissue?) and some notes from Howe Gelb (who also produced).  Magic.

While my favourite remains the sun-bleached Worried Spirits. This is a brilliant reminder of the brilliance of Rainer And Das Combo ((Nick Augustine and Ralph Gilmore).  Driving dusty blues.  Kicking up dust with brilliant and relentless takes of Willie Dixon’s Mellow Down Easy and Robert Johnson’s The Last Fair Deal among some truly brilliant originals.  As for the bonus LP, side 3 includes the fuzzy take of Worried Spirit’s Life is Fine and the brilliantly dusty and unsettling groove of The Unseen Enemy.

So yeah.  A nice set and really pleased to have it in the collection.  Looking forward to picking up the rest of Fire Records’ Rainer reissues.  Good work, Fire … good work.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve absolutely never of this or the artist! Sounds great.


    1. 1537 says:

      What he said!


      1. J. says:

        Rainer is truly wonderful. Whole load of awesome going on …


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