The copy we are selling is similar to the one pictured above.
Side One: Mint Minus Minus
Side Two: Mint Minus Minus
- A Delta Momma Blues like you've never heard, with solid Double Plus (A++) grades from start to finish
- The overall sound here is rich, full-bodied and Tubey Magical with plenty of energy and bottom end weight
- No one does beautifully spare and gut-wrenching country music quite like TVZ – this set contains two of his best songs — "Tower Song" and "Nothin’"
- 4 stars: "On Van Zandt’s fourth album his voice hasn’t yet attained the weary gravitas that made his later albums so shattering, but his dark, skewed visions of life are already in place."
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Vintage covers for this album are hard to find in exceptionally clean shape. Most of the will have at least some amount of ringwear, seam wear and edge wear. We guarantee that the cover we supply with this Hot Stamper is at least VG
This vintage Tomato pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn't showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to "see" the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It's what vintage all analog recordings are known for -- this sound.
If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it -- not often, and certainly not always -- but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.
What The Best Sides Of Delta Momma Blues Have To Offer Is Not Hard To Hear
- The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
- The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1971
- Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
- Natural tonality in the midrange -- with all the instruments having the correct timbre
- Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space
No doubt there's more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.
What are sonic qualities by which a record -- any record -- should be judged? Pretty much the ones we discuss in most of our Hot Stamper listings: energy, vocal presence, frequency extension (on both ends), transparency, spaciousness, harmonic textures (freedom from smear is key), rhythmic drive, tonal correctness, fullness, richness, three-dimensionality, and on and on down the list.
When we can get a number of these qualities to come together on the side we’re playing, we provisionally give it a ballpark Hot Stamper grade, a grade that is often revised during the shootout as we hear what the other copies are doing, both good and bad.
Once we’ve been through all the side ones, we play the best of the best against each other and arrive at a winner for that side. Other copies from earlier in the shootout will frequently have their grades raised or lowered based on how they sounded compared to the eventual shootout winner. If we’re not sure about any pressing, perhaps because we played it early on in the shootout before we had learned what to listen for, we take the time to play it again.
Repeat the process for side two and the shootout is officially over. All that’s left is to see how the sides of each pressing match up.
It may not be rocket science, but it’s a science of a kind, one with strict protocols that we’ve developed over the course of many years to insure that the results we arrive at are as accurate as we can make them.
The result of all our work speaks for itself, on this very record in fact. We guarantee you have never heard this music sound better than it does on our Hot Stamper pressing -- or your money back.
What We're Listening For On Delta Momma Blues
- Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
- Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren't "back there" somewhere, lost in the mix. They're front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
- The Big Sound comes next -- wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
- Then transient information -- fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
- Tight punchy bass -- which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
- Next: transparency -- the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
- Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing -- an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
Mint Minus Minus and maybe a bit better is about as quiet as any vintage pressing will play, and since only the right vintage pressings have any hope of sounding good on this album, that will most often be the playing condition of the copies we sell. (The copies that are even a bit noisier get listed on the site are seriously reduced prices or traded back in to the local record stores we shop at.)
Those of you looking for quiet vinyl will have to settle for the sound of other pressings and Heavy Vinyl reissues, purchased elsewhere of course as we have no interest in selling records that don't have the vintage analog magic of these wonderful recordings.
If you want to make the trade-off between bad sound and quiet surfaces with whatever Heavy Vinyl pressing might be available, well, that's certainly your prerogative, but we can't imagine losing what's good about this music -- the size, the energy, the presence, the clarity, the weight -- just to hear it with less background noise.
- Delta Mama Blues
- Only Him Or Me
- Turnstyled, Junkpiled
- Tower Song
- Come Tomorrow
- Brand New Companion
- Where I Lead Me
AMG 4 Star Review
On Van Zandt’s fourth album his voice hasn’t yet attained the weary gravitas that made his later albums so shattering, but his dark, skewed visions of life are already in place. “Tower Song” is one of the minor key laments Van Zandt did so well, delivered with sparse guitar and subtle classical harp. The singer is leaving behind his wife and child, blaming her for the break up, although he admits he’s a drunk and unable to communicate with her, except in song.
“Where I Lead Me” is a dark folk-rocker that takes another jaundiced look at relationships with his characteristic bleak humor. “Rake” has the feel of a British folk song, the familiar story of an old soul adrift looking back on his youth with longing and regret. It has an epic feel augmented by the string section and a lone French horn. “Nothin'” is a bitter kiss off, a guy who doesn’t want nothin’ from a departing lover who he says gave him nothin’, but there’s more than a hint of revenge and rage in the lyric, and Van Zandt’s flat, dry singing makes the tune chilling.
The title track, a country blues, is more lighthearted, and sounds like a ragged jug band tune. “Turnstyled, Junkpiled” is in the same vein, a Jimmie Rodgers’ style love song; you almost expect to hear Van Zandt break into a yodel, but instead he starts talking like a drunken roadside philosopher. “Only Him or Me” and “Come Tomorrow” could be commercial country songs, but Van Zandt’s hopeless poetry and aching melodies make them sound so blue they’re hard to listen to. “Brand New Companion” is a boozy 12-bar blues, but something of a throwaway compared to the more chilling tunes on the album.