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Number 298

Michelle Shocked - The Texas Campfire Tapes (Cooking Vinyl Cook 002)

It was in 1984, when Dallas-born Karen Johnson changed her name to Michelle Shocked and two years after that, the British record producer Pete Lawrence captured on his Sony Walkman, a highly informal set of songs from around a campfire at the Kerrville Folk Festival. The recording not only captured this new singer songwriter in, but also the chirping crickets and various festival sounds in the background. When Lawrence returned to the UK, so captivated was he by the recordings, he released them first as a bootleg on his Cooking Vinyl label and later, with the singer's cooperation, reissued the set on Mercury Records. Initially unhappy with the original release, which the singer dubbed 'The Texas Campfire Thefts', Michelle Shocked would have to concede that these recordings put her name very much on the world stage and paved the way for her official debut SHORT SHARP SHOCKED in 1988.