Purple Canteen ‎– Brains In My Feet

Alley Records (2) ‎– AS 1049
Vinyl, 7", 45 RPM

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A Brains In My Feet
Written By – Jim Wheeless, Terry Taylor


The group was from the Jonesboro area and rented a house in the tiny town of Goobertown, Arkansas as a place to practice and hang out. The band's trailer was shaped like a huge purple coffin inscribed with Purple Canteen to scare the kids. "Brains" mostly sprung from writer Terry Taylor’s head, but the whole group contributed parts. Wheeless' name appears in the credit mostly due to the fact that he was the only member over 18. This track was taken directly from the studio session master tape. It is in dual mono and instrumental. This tape was used as part of a track bouncing technique where two reel-to-reel players were tied together. The vocals were added in the studio while this tape played through an eight channel mixing board onto the second reel-to-reel recorder, producing the final mix. It is a fascinating look into the construction of a psychedelic masterpiece. The session was recorded by Joe Lee at Variety Recording Studio in April 1969.


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February 17, 2018

Dancing out on a limb under a smiling orange full moon is not a place I’m unfamiliar with, so while I’m out here among the thin branches under the stars, let me be so bold as to say that the song “Brains Are In My Feet” by Purple Canteen, is hands down one of the most amazing psychedelic songs I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing.

It’s a singular number from 1969, from a band who delivered but one seven inch 45 rpm, a song deeply laced with haunting hypnotic droning magic, and has been the source of frustration for most of my life … first because it took me forever to find this gem on wax, and secondly, the magic laid down here on this one hit wonder has set the couch-bound lysergic drenched atmosphere that I can’t seem to get enough of, where this number stands as the beacon to which I compare everything else.

It’s a rather short song, and is so infectious that an entire album should have been built around its shimmering intoxication and ethereal delights, both lyrically and instrumentally the song is responsible for setting the groundwork for what was to be rediscovered and become so essential to the structure of later low-keyed and morally wasted psychedelic music, that it simply staggers my mind each time I hear these notes ebb from my speakers, where I’m not so much drawn back in time, nor pushed forward, but am face to face with one of the few constants in my life, an eternal singular moment, with a song that is truly timeless, sounding as enchanting today as it did nearly fifty years ago … and if that’s not saying something, then I’ve been on the wrong train for far too long.

This is a piece of musical history that nearly requires one to own the 45 rpm, thought the song itself can be found on many compilations, where it is usually the standout track, leaving listeners breathless, because there’s no one I know who can hear this number without holding a collective breath, putting aside anything else one is doing … and just listening.

Never have so many owed so much to a single song.

Review by Jenell Kesler