Roky Erickson

All That May Do My Rhyme (Play Loud!)

Texas Platters

Initially released in 1995 on Butthole Surfers drummer King Coffey's Trance Syndicate label, Roky Erickson's tentative resurrection proved a labor of love with an emphasis on the former. While 1990's genre-topping tribute compilation Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye revived interest in Erickson's music, the artist himself was still living on disability checks in a Del Valle apartment. Forgoing the traditional artist/label relationship, Coffey became one of Erickson's caretakers during the course of the recording. Local A-listers including Charlie Sexton, Coffey's bandmate Paul Leary, and the late, great Barry "Frosty" Smith followed suit. Half the songs here were new recordings. The remainder sprung from remixes of 1985 French import EP Clear Night for Love. Heard as a whole – and on vinyl, to boot – All That May Do My Rhyme rings notable for its embodiment of Erickson's folkward leanings and fealty to Buddy Holly. Opener "I'm Gonna Free Her" leaps from the mundane to the mystic when the bard breaks meter and vows to "shelter her from anything where the beauty of her mind and more is not allowed." Lou Ann Barton takes a fine guest vocal turn on one of two versions of "Starry Eyes," while the plaintive "Please Judge" packs a heartrending gravity made all the more salient by Erickson's history.

***.5

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