Tuesday, April 5, 2016

THE ORIGINAL SINS – Big Soul (1987)
THE ORIGINAL SINS – Bethlehem (October 15, 1996)

 http://www.bar-none.com/the-original-sins http://www.bar-none.com/the-original-sins

The Original Sins share something with some of the greats: Them, Love, l3th Floor Elevators, Big Star, Velvets, Stooges, and the Replacements. There’s a direct line from the heart of the singer to the soul of the listener.  Singer/guitarist John Terlesky – aka “Brother JT” – has enjoyed a long career as a singer/songwriter, but you can hear the origins of his uniquely soulful take on garage, punk, and the blues on 1987’s Big Soul, hailed by The New York Times as “one of the best indie rock albums of the l980’s."  Big Soul proved to be one of the last Bar/None vinyl releases before the advent of CD’s; in 1996, Terlesky and the Original Sins returned to Bar/None for the more pop/less garage Bethlehem in 1996.

JOHN TERLESKY:  I knew Glenn’s brother Steve from going to college in my hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  I gave Steve a tape of some stuff I was working on and I guess he passed it on to Glenn, and Glenn asked me if I wanted to flesh out those songs and make an album for Bar/None.  Glenn was very well-connected in those days, having been a writer and a musician himself, and he was able to get us a lot of press.  Given my personality, I am pretty sure nothing would have happened with the Original Sins if Glenn hadn’t taken an interest, I’m not very good at promoting myself and I can rub people the wrong way, so I give him a lot of credit for getting us on our way.We went our own way after Big Soul, partly because we had a manager who wanted to shop us around to major labels. That didn't work out, although we did put out four albums and did tours of Europe and US. After parting company with the manager, I started sending Glenn some songs I thought he might be into--a little less garage, more introspective stuff. He hooked us up with Ray Ketchem, who was the drummer in a band called the Melting Hopefuls and who also had a studio in his Belleville NJ home, where we recorded what would become Bethlehem. I feel as though releasing the album might have been connected to the 10 year anniversary reissue of Big Soul on CD (it was vinyl/cassette only originally), though that would have been 1997--maybe as a lead-up. That's about all I can recall.


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