A special piece of history has been released with Mike Watt’s Ring Spiel Tour ’95 album. It was a special time for Watt, who was just beginning his solo work after years of working with The Minutemen and fIREHOSE. His first solo album, Ball-Hog or Tugboat? was released in February 1995, and he took the show on the road in March.
His backing band for the trek? None other than Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Foo Fighters members Dave Grohl, Pat Smear, and William Goldsmith. The album comes from the Chicago, Illinois stop on the tour at The Metro. This was Grohl’s first tour following Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain’s suicide.
Watt and the gang have a distinctly raw attack throughout much of the album. All of the alternative, grunge, and punk aesthetics come together in a big way. Watt’s bass playing is particularly on point. His tone balances between the ballsy, gritty, growling low end and thick, sweet higher registers, especially on the opening cover of Daniel Johnston’s “Walking the Cow” and the closing bass solo “Powerful Hankering'”. If you like your bass lines to blend punk and funk, this is one to check out.
Get a load of “Against the ’70s”:
Ring Spiel Tour ’95 Track List:
- Walking the Cow (Daniel Johnson Cover)
- Big Train (Chip + Tony Kinman Cover)
- Formal Introduction
- Against the ’70S
- Drove up from Pedro
- Habit (Early Performance of Eddie Vedder Composition)
- Makin’ the Freeway
- Chinese Firedrill
- Piss-Bottle Man
- Forever…One Reporter’s Opinion
- E-Ticket Ride
- Political Song for Michael Jackson to Sing
- Coincidence Is Either Hit or Miss
- The Red and the Black (Blue Öyster Cult Cover)
- Secret Garden (Madonna Cover)
- Powerful Hankerin’