Barefoot Jerry was a pop/roots rock project by a bunch of Southern studio musicians from the Memphis and Nashville scenes of the 1960s and '70s... The band was co-founded by guitarists Mac Gayden and Wayne Moss, who had worked together in the studio cat supergroup Area Code 615, along with country/soul players such as drummers Kenny Buttrey and Kenny Malone, steel guitarist Russ Hicks, picker Bobby Thompson, and harmonica player Charlie McCoy, along with many others who came and went through the band's constantly shifting lineup. Gayden left early on, in 1972, to pursue his own solo career. Barefoot Jerry had only modest success on the charts, but recorded several well-respected albums which have a nice niche in American roots music...
Barefoot Jerry "Grocery" (Monument, 1976) (LP)
This was a vinyl-only reissue of the first two albums, 1971's Southern Delight and Barefoot Jerry, from 1972.
Barefoot Jerry "Southern Delight/Barefoot Jerry" (See For Miles, 1997)
Another twofer reissue... see below for album reviews...
Barefoot Jerry "Watchin' TV/You Can't Get Off With Your Shoes On" (See for Miles, 1997)
Barefoot Jerry "Keys To The Country/Barefootin' " (See For Miles, 1997)
Barefoot Jerry "Keys To The Country/Barefootin' " (Hux Records, 2006)
Area Code 615 "Area Code 615" (Polydor, 1969)
(Produced by Kenneth Buttrey, Elliot Mazer & Area Code 615)
A funky, rootsy set of all-instrumental jams by several studio musician heavyweights, including then-ubiquitous superpickers such as fiddler Buddy Spicher, banjoist Bobby Thompson, steel player Weldon Myrick and Mac Gayden on guitar, with Charlie McCoy tootling on the harmonica. It's a loose, good-natured session, with these Nashville virtuosi obviously having a good time jamming together, dipping into bluegrass, baroque pop, and plenty of Southern-style, Muscle Shoals-y rhythm'n'rock. They cover several Beatles songs, perhaps the best of which is a steel-drenched "Hey Jude," take passes at Otis Redding and Bob Dylan, and Thompson plunks out an oddly slowed-down version of "Classical Gas." Some of the most inventive moments come with their covers of traditional bluegrass tunes, perhaps most surprising is on "Lil' Maggie," where Gayden plays some heavy electric guitar, flirting at the edges of the acid rock/proto-metal sound of the time, and Charlie McCoy gets into some gritty Chicago blues riffs ala Little Walter. Who knew he had it in him?? It helps to be a fan of instrumental music to get into this one, but it is a nice chance to hear some Nashville cats let their hair down and play a little rock'n'soul.
Area Code 615 "Trip In The Country" (Polydor, 1970)
(Produced by Area Code 615)
The second AC album feels more forced, less like a laidback jam session and more like an in-studio concoction. There's still certainly diversity: from the big, bright, brash pop-orchestral update of Bill Monroe's "Scotland" that opens this album, to the spacy proto-prog of "Stone Fox Chase," the group moves into a few tracks of outright easy listening, ala Mantovani, and finishes up Side One with a clunky acid-rock number by Mac Gayden called "Gray Suit Men." Their country roots are largely obscured between the Southern-rock electric riffs and the flowery muzak, with the banjo or fiddle drifting out of the haze from time to time, though the best tracks have more of a Muscle Shoals feel than a Nashville tinge. The core group is essentially the same, with the addition of pianist David Briggs, and the set list is almost all original material, in contrast to the covers-heavy first album. But it's pretty kitschy and easy listening-ish, with only one track, Weldon Myrick's robust instrumental, "Welephant Walk," to satisfy twangfans. After this, Mac Gayden took the 615 rhythm section of Kenny Buttrey and Wayne Moss, and founded the rock band Barefoot Jerry, which continued the country-meets-soul vibe going... On this album you can sense their impatience, from the sterile, multitracked feel of the songs to the album-art footnote that reads, "Ding Dong The Code Is Dead?" Farewell, too, to the Goodlettesville String Sextet, and to this chapter in country-billy crossovers.
Barefoot Jerry "Southern Delight" (Capitol, 1971)
Barefoot Jerry "Barefoot Jerry" (Warner, 1972)
Barefoot Jerry "Watchin' TV" (Monument, 1974) (LP)
Barefoot Jerry "You Can't Get Off With Your Shoes On" (Monument, 1975) (LP)
Barefoot Jerry "Keys To The Country" (Monument, 1976) (LP)
Barefoot Jerry "Barefootin' " (Monument, 1977) (LP)
Barefoot Jerry "Barefoot Jerry Live" (2007)
A live concert from 1973, apparently only available through the band's website...
Hick Music Index