On December 16, 2016, just in time for Christmas, MIG Music is releasing the album “Heading North 53°N 8°E – Live in Bremen” by THE BEAT FARMERS. Their rather peculiar mix of rock’n’roll, rockabilly, Americana, blues, folk- and country elements was called cowpunk. It is comparable a little bit to Jason & The Scorchers who were trying to conquer the market at practically the same time as the Beat Farmers. At that time, bands like Nine Pound Hammer from Kentucky or The Blasters were going in the similar direction. Just like The Blasters, the Beat Farmers came from the sun state of California, more precise: from San Diego.
Dick Montana and Jerry Raney had founded the band there in 1983; guitarist Bernard “Buddy Blue” Seigal and bassist Rolle Love, both originating from the rockabilly band The Rockin’ Roulettes, completed the quartet. One year later the first long player “Tales Of The New West” was released on Rhino Records. In 1985 the EP “Glad’N’Greasy” with six new songs followed, co-produced in England by Graham Parker and the multi instrumentalist Bob Andrews of Parker’s band The Rumour. After that the band switched to the C&W label Curb Records and released album number two, “Van Go”.
In 1987 came the third album “The Pursuit Of Happiness”. Meanwhile Bernard “Buddy Blue” left the band, and Joey Harris joined in (former member of Country Dick Montana & The Snuggle Bunnies). Now the Beat Farmers were completely in the right lane. The album was more rock-heavy and punchy than its predecessor “Van Go”. With “Hollywood Hills” the band created their super track, and only the single “Make It Last” was played by the American country radio stations. The buffalo on the cover became the band’s new brand.
In early summer 1988 the Beat Farmers went on tour in Europe. The concert at hand was recorded at the Bremen club “Modernes” on May 29.
Live, the Beat Farmers had taken no prisoners for a long time. The band was loud, rock-heavy, dirty, snotty, full of energy and in a playful mood. They were playing with punk and rockabilly attitudes but still playing homage to country music, nearly in the style of Dr. Hook & The Medicine Show.
Key figure of the Beat Farmers was Country Dick Montana. When he did not sit behind the drum kit, he would play the entertainer – telling little stories, acting the joker or the cursing cow punker, and somewhat by the way, shine with fast runs and catchy riffs on the guitar. At times, a so controversial and nearly absurd character somewhere between a Waylon Jennings and a Johnny Rotten. Those he not only lived on stage but also took them into his private life, a bit like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Daniel Monte McLain, so his real name, lived his terrestrial existence at double speed over many years until one night on stage, he dropped dead from his drum stool. That was 21 years ago.
For all fans this digitally remastered concert with its 16-page booklet, detailled liner notes and several photos will be a wonderful possibility to hear the Beat Farmers again.