Untitled Album (Robert Hunter)

A studio recording by Robert Hunter that was never released. I've listed the titles under which the tracks usually circlate:
Boys In The Barroom 
Reelin' And A-Pitching 
Praise His Name 
Rum Runners 
It Must Have Been The Roses 
On Our Way Back Home 
Children's Lament 
Lady Simplicity 
Southern Fried Shuffle 
Ballad Of Buddy Holly 
Who'll Be Left To Sing This Song 
Keys To The Rain 
This is a confusing mixture. Many of the tracks sound like outtakes from Tales Of The Great Rum Runners. Six of the tracks were included on that album, released in 1974 - and indeed the versions sound almost identical. But "Roadhog" was the signature song of the band Roadhog, who (so far as is known) didn't tour until 1976 - when their setlists included "Boys In The Barroom", "Praise His Name", "Ballad Of Buddy Holly", "Lady Simplicity", "Keys To The Rain", "It Must Have Been The Roses", "Tales Of The Great Rum Runners" as well as "Roadhog".

Some interesting light on these songs is shed by Hunter's copyright registrations. He registered a bunch of songs in 1973 (with the rest of the songs on Tales Of The Great Rum Runners being registered separately in 1974):

Title  Ref  Date Possible alternative
Rose  EU0000420097 1973-07-19 It Must Have Been The Roses
Reelin' and a Pitchin'  EU0000420098 1973-07-19 
Southern fried shuffle  EU0000420099 1973-07-19 
George Buck's choice  EU0000420100 1973-07-19 Who'll Be Left To Sing This Song
Lady simplicity  EU0000420101 1973-07-19 
Boys in the bar room  EU0000420102 1973-07-19 
Elijah  EU0000420103 1973-07-19 
Boats  EU0000420104 1973-07-19 Wondering
Children's lament  EU0000420105 1973-07-19 
W. VA steel guitar  EU0000420106 1973-07-19 Ballad Of Buddy Holly
Lullaby  EU0000420107 1973-07-19 On Our Way Back Home
Road hog  EU0000420108 1973-07-19 
Rum runners  EU0000420109 1973-07-19 
Word  EU0000420110 1973-07-19 Praise His Name
Keys to the rain  EU0000425570 1973-08-22 

It's possible to match the registered titles with the songs on the album above: So the most likely possibility seems to me to be that the tracks were all recorded in 1973 for an album that was never issued. Six were subsequently used on Tales Of The Great Rum Runners, with another seven songs added later. It's possible that the band that recorded the album above was known as "Roadhog", even though that band (possibly with some different members) did not tour until 1976. The credits for Tales of the Great Rum Runners include thanks to "Jeff of 'Roadhog'". And two of the members of Roadhog, Rodney Albin and T. Will Claire (Ted Claire) are credited as "A Capella Vocal Group" - which would square with their singing on eg "Lady Simplicity". In addition, I strongly suspect it's Ted Claire singing lead on the song "Roadhog" - it sounds like Hunter's description "Ted Clare's [sic] croaking voice claimed lead honors on this tune".

The other possibility, that this album is spliced together from songs recorded for Tales of the Great Rum Runners with songs recorded later by Roadhog, seems contradicted by the Hunter copyright registrations. But I'd be grateful for comments/views.

Finally, it's possible that these are just out-takes from "Tales Of The Great Rum Runners" with songs that were left off the eventual release. In a 1977 concert with Comfort, Robert Hunter introduced "W. VA Steel Guitar" by saying Rodney Albin was going to "play a tune that never made it onto my Rum Runners record, but we've been doing it a long time."


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