Release date: March 22, 2019
Remastered 30th Anniversary Edition of solo album from Nighthawk Records founder, includes 10 previously unissued bonus tracks.
When Omnivore Recordings acquired Nighthawk Records they also gained a secret weapon in Leroy Jodie Pierson. Leroy had founded Nighthawk, co-produced most of the albums, wrote most of the liner notes, photographed the artists, and best of all, wanted to be involved in the revival of the label.
Throughout his life, Pierson devoted himself to musical pursuits. Among his endeavors was production of blues shows and festivals, teaching blues classes at Washington University in St. Louis, helping form the Missouri Friends of the Folk Arts, hosting/DJ-ing radio shows, authoring books and recording his own music.
In 1979 Nighthawk Records began a project in Kingston, Jamaica aimed at developing a reggae series and Leroy solely undertook the task of annotation, programming and material selection and eventually producing new music in the Kingston studios. Such widely acclaimed albums as the Wiser Dread, Knotty Vision, and Calling Rastafari anthologies plus albums from such reggae greats as The Itals, Gladiators, Justin Hinds And The Dominoes, and reggae-legends Ethiopian and Junior Byles.
His own band, The Leroy Pierson Band, was requested by the U.S. Information Agency to do a one month tour of Jamaica with Rockin’ Doopsie and the Twisters in 1985 including the Jamaican Jam-Fest and the World Music Festival, sharing the stage with among others, Yellowman, Lionel Hampton, and The Mighty Diamonds. In 1987, the USIA once again featured The Leroy Pierson Band on a tour of Africa and the Middle-East for five weeks performing concerts in such exotic locales as Iraq, Yemen, United Arab Emerites, Oman, Bahrain, Sudan, and Quatar.
In 1988 Leroy released his own album, Rusty Nail, on Nighthawk, with Russell Horneyer playing bass, and award winning fiddler/violin maker Geoffrey Sietz on drums and fiddle. The record received extensive air play on blues programs around the country. Now for its 30th Anniversary, it has been remastered and expanded to include 10 previously unissued tracks as part of the Nighthawk reissue series.
As A.J. Cabanellas wrote in an Artist Profile for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “St. Louis is fortunate to have in its home base an artist with as many talents as Leroy Pierson. Not only is he a gifted performer with special talents on guitar and vocals, but he is also a noted scholar of early black music history, both blues and Carribean-based reggae music. If that wasn’t enough, Leroy’s skills as a record producer and radio announcer clearly point to a musical Renaissance man.”
Omnivore Recordings is proud to reissue Rusty Nail for its 30th Anniversary and even prouder to call Leroy Jodie Pierson a friend.
Roll And Tumble Little Boy Blue Rusty Nail Long Lonesome Road Mole’s Moan Highway 61 Write Me A Few Lines Easy Rider Steel Guitar Rag Catfish Twenty Flight Rock Don’t Start Me Talkin’ Sweet Black Angel Junko Partner Far And Wide Country Clown You’re Gonna Change (Or I’m Going To Leave) Back Door Man Good Morning Little Schoolgirl Everybody Got To Change Sometime