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Mills & Nebraska
I Killed Van Halen with My Big Fucking Dick
Pasco Bane, Inc.

I got da blues.

Imagine it’s 1932. Imagine two fellers sitting on the front porch of their rickety old house facing the wide-winding Mississippi River. Imagine them playing two rusty old beat-up acoustic guitars. Forget any kind of formal training, guitar lessons, or music theory and remember what it was like to strike the six string with soul. Mills & Nebraska is the name of the group, but instead of coming from backwoods Alabama or some other far, remote place, the music is home grown, Orlando, 1993.

The original raw blues spirit of years ago is captured and preserved by Brian Salmons (heard in the left speaker) and Gabe Fowler (right side). This ten-song cassette is a total blues jam, no overdubs or fancy stuff, totally back to basics in old, old Robert Johnson (who incidentally appears on the tape’s cover) form rather than Eric Clapton Unplugged filler. The recording was done in Gabe’s garage through two microphones to an ordinary home-stereo cassette player and later mastered to DAT for duplication. The results is low-fi, low-budget that rivals any area studio.

The music doesn’t rehash or rip-off the blues legends in any way. In fact, the duo complements [them] while adding some nineties twists. “Dairy Farming” has an instructional tape on that very subject playing in the background as the guitars roll. “She’s on Her Way” is an up-tempo song with [a] Sonic Youth–style total trash ending, [demonstrating] what feedback would sound like on acoustic guitars. Brian’s bottleneck slide explodes all over “Poor Boy Blues” while Gabe shakes a piece of sheet metal and bangs on a tambourine. The lyrics are stripped down to something like “I’m a poor boy and I’m a way long ways from home.”

The songs are so loosely constructed that they sound like they’d fall apart [at] any second, which is absolutely perfect. The essence of the blues lives on in Mills & Nebraska. Send $4 for a cassette to: Pasco Bane, Inc., 1260 Wolsey Drive, Maitland, FL 32751. Hey, it’s produced by Greg.

Originally published in Ink Nineteen in September 1993.

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