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Uploaded on Mar 9, 2010
Artist: Gary Higgins Album: Red Hash Song: I Can't Sleep At Night (Track 5) Year: 1973
Recorded during one forty-hour period in 1973, 'Red Hash' by Gary Higgins is one of the great 'lost' albums of all time. A lovely, sad, wistful folk album, 'Red Hash' was recorded so quickly because Higgins had recently been arrested on drug charges and was facing years in prison.
Shortly after the album was self released on his own Nufusmoon label, Higgins seemed to disappear and seemingly gave up a career in music, firstly serving out his prison sentence and later falling into domestic life marrying and having a child, and 'Red Hash' fell into the abyss.
It was during the mid-1990s, when 'Red Hash' began to get noticed. Partly due to the development of the internet (word spread about the album online and pirated copies began to appear on ebay) and partly down to musicians, such as Ben Chasny of Six Organs of Admittance, who began to cite the album as a major influence. Chasny even covered one of 'Red Hash's' many standout tracks, "Thicker than a Smokey" on the quite brilliant Six Organs of Admittance album 'School of the Flower' (2005). The story took a further turn for the better when A&R man Zach Cowie received a burned copy of the album from Chasny and was so enchanted with what he heard, decided to set out and find Higgins. The search paid off and the album was remastered and released to critical acclaim by Drag City in 2005.
'Red Hash' is a gem of an album that has aged fantastically well, comparisons with Skip Spence's 'Oar' and David Crosby's 'If I Could Only Remember My Name' begin to position this record in the "classic" territory that it deserves to be in.