Fred Lincoln ‘Link’ Wray, Jr. (1929-2005) born of Shawnee Native American parents was an American rock and roll guitarist, songwriter and vocalist who became popular in the late 1950s. Though he began in country music, his musical style went on to consist primarily of rock and roll, rockabilly and instrumental rock. Building on the distorted electric guitar sound of early records, his 1958 instrumental hit “Rumble” (banned in New York and Boston for fear it would incite teenage gang violence) popularized "the power chord” which laid the foundation to modern rock music.
Tiring of the corporate music machine, in the 1970s he began recording albums using a three-track studio he converted from an outbuilding on his brother’s property that his father used to raise chickens. This is where the Beans and Fatback sessions were recorded in 1971, making it part of what we now know as the ‘Shack Trilogy’ together with the albums ‘Link Wray’ & ‘Mordicai Jones’.
Beans and Fatback is made out of fantastic Americana blended blues, country, gospel, Native American chants, folk rock and traditionals such as ‘Hobo Man’ and ‘Georgia Pines’ (the latter a rewrite of Lead Belly’s ‘In the Pines). Producer Steve Verroca had, allegedly, stolen the demo tapes of Beans and Fatback and sold them to Virgin Records who later withdrew the album.
Link Wray leaves a legacy as big as his career: Rolling Stone placed Wray at No. 45 of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time and in 2013 he was a nominee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Pete Townshend of The Who once said, “If it hadn’t been for Link Wray and ‘Rumble,’ I never would have picked up a guitar.” Other musicians citing him as a major influence are Iggy Pop, Neil Young & Jimmy Page (amongst others).
Originally released on Virgin Records in 1973, this is the first time the album gets a vinyl release outside of Europe. Now available as a gorgeously packaged deluxe vinyl edition, exclusively for Record Store Day 2017. Strictly limited to 2500 copies.