The Slamhound Hunters
Ah...the Slamhound Hunters! Jet City Blues contributor Mark Dalton was kind enough to burn a copy of this CD for me recently, and I've really been digging listening to it. This now somewhat obscure CD by this great Seattle band is still available on Amazon (see the link above), and I highly recommend that you add this music to your collection.
So, what the hell is a Slamhound? Well, I'm not sure, but the first time I saw the name, it was a robotic bomb in William Gibson's sci-fi novel "Neuromancer." Perhaps Mr. Dalton can enlighten us as to some other meaning related to the band (please?!). Private Jungle was originally released in 1987 and released in 1999. The band members were Louis X. Erlanger (guitar and vocals), Kim Field (harp and vocals), Mark Dalton (bass and background vocals), and the one and only Leslie "Stardrums" Milton (drums and vocals on "Swap Crab"). All the tunes here are original, with the exception of the cover of Moon Martin's "Cadillac Walk," which originally appeared on the Mink DeVille album "Cabretta." What's the connection? Louis Erlanger was the guitarist in the Mink DeVille band in New York.
There ain't any bad tunes on this collection, folks! My favorites include the Slim Harpo-ish "Cadillac Walk" (more uptempo than the darker original), the rockin' "Hard Work," the sparse "Lonely Woman," the spooky "The Snake Sheds It's Skin," and the even spookier tune about a serial killer by the name of "Joe The Ripper." There is uniformly great playing throughout - the terrific rhythm section supports Louis' tasty guitar (including some great slide) and Kim Field's killer diatonic and chromatic harp playing.
The Slamhounds played around town quite a bit between recording sessions for their two albums (4/1 Mind was the title of the first recording). Various artist would play the live shows, depending on who was in town at the time. I recall seeing bassist John Lee and guitarist Dave Conant playing gigs with the band.
The Slamhound Hunters disbanded after a European tour in 1993. I hear that Louis Erlanger is living in New York, while the rest of the band is still living and working in the Seattle area. Mark Dalton plays with the Chris Stevens Band, Leslie Milton plays with pianist Lady Keys at the Alligator Soul Restaurant in Everett, WA, and Kim Field can be seen around town occasionally sitting in with various bands.
Here are some photos of the band members from that time:
Kim Field & the Left Hand Men at the Pioneer Square Tavern - Seattle, 1983. Left to right: John Lee, Leslie Milton, Kim Field, and Jeff Ziontz.
Louis X. Erlanger at the Central Tavern - Seattle, 1983.
Leslie "Stardrums" Milton and Cadillac. Lopez Island, WA - Mid '80s.
Mark Dalton at the Central Tavern - Seattle, 1983