Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
It's a funny story, how the Chicago band Bat Masterson, came to be invited to our studio for a session. You see, our friend was up on stage at one of our local bar's, dancing to a song that sounded like a lost garage rock number that owed some of its groove to Stax or Hitsville U.S.A. She danced and swayed to it, with a notepad and a pencil, playing the part of a waitress to an imaginary customer. The customer was ordering a banana cream pie. It got messier than a real waitress, at a real restaurant, serving a real customer would have ever liked it to have been, but she played wasn't trying to keep it clean. Toward the end of the song, which had an extended bridge in the middle of it, our friend - the burlesque troupe member - was lacking most of the clothing she'd started out with, 'cept for some tassels up top and some lingerie in the pelvic region. Following the performance and the re-robing, we asked her boyfriend what we'd just listened to, because we had a pretty clear idea about what we'd just seen. It was that night that began our interest in Bat Masterson and we're happy that they came to us, even if they had to do so in such a questionable manner. Who are we kidding? It was a great way to get exposed to them and we soon found out that they weren't a one-trick pony, but instead a group that has created a solid sound of retro-fitted rock and soul that reminds us of the Vietnam War years and not to care too much about what's making us strip our clothes off or what's making us move our hips in different and new ways. A song of theirs, entitled "Greasy Spoon," takes us into the band's neighborhood, to a spot where they chow down to their hashbrowns and their scrambled eggs with hot sauce. It's an homage to the hole in the wall that has trustworthy grub and even when they're getting specific about different dishes, making the song sound like a foodie's wet dream (or nightmare), all filtered through classic melodies and vibes, singing, "You always pay in cash/To eat your corned beef hash/Read the day's newsprint and grab a peppermint." It's almost as if we're in an episode of "Mad Men," with the diner loyalty, making it feel as if we were blasted back into the past of another time and don't look now, but they're asking the waitress for her telephone number.