Various Artists

Rig Rock Jukebox

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When Brooklyn resident Jeremy Tepper gassed up Diesel Only Records in 1990, it was with the exclusive purpose of pressing 45s meant for truck stop jukeboxes. At the time, there was a hard country revival bubbling under in New York City (an outpost of the emerging alternative country movement), and some of its principals began recording records for Tepper's fledgling label in a hard-charging -- or tear-shedding -- style perfect for those highway outposts where diesel and coffee flow in equal amounts and where lot lizards marked their prey. Rig Rock Jukebox, issued in 1992, was the first compilation of these early singles. It features great songs from bands like the Twanglers, Mumbo Gumbo, and Tepper's own World Famous Blue Jays. Many of these groups are out of service, just as this comp is out of print. Nevertheless, it's packed with petroleum-soaked, cement-chunk country and rock numbers that evoke things like truck tires, illicit highway love affairs, and the great divide between the highway and home. Fans of the later and better-distributed Rig Rock Deluxe should seek out Jukebox. While its talent level might not be top-of-mind, it's topped off with some truly classic material.

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