King Louie Bankston - Harahan Fats
Amazing album recorded by King Louie but unreleased in his lifetime.
These are at times heartfelt, harrowing, heartbreaking, and funny songs.
15 song LP / 22 song double cassette
Gatefold cover, archival photos, notes from recording by engineer Lewis D’Aubin.
Video for "Trinkets" directed by Art Boonparn, the Chinese Crawfish rider himself.
Air Conditioning, Cold Drinks, Pussy & Pickles
Wasted at Work
Harahan Boogie Man
Gin Road Ramble
All Songs Written by King Louie Bankston except:
“Coca Cola Cowboy” written by Mel Tillis
“Rehab Legend” written by Cadalack Ron
“When God Dips His Pen of Love in My Heart” written by Cleavant Derricks
King Louie Bankston played and sang everything except:
Jheri MacGillicuddy – Bass on a bunch of songs but can’t remember which ones
Larry Lava – Vocals on the first three verses of “Gentilly Woman”
Paul Grass – Saxophones on “(Theme From) Crawzilla” and “Wasted at Work”
Aaron Hill – Drums on “Gone too Far”
Julien Fried – Guitar on “Gone too Far”
Bennet Bartley – Bass on “Gone too Far”
Recorded by Lewis D’Aubin at C.O.G. Secret Lab, Harahan, LA
Mixed by Lewis D’Aubin and King Louie Bankston
Mastered by Matthew Barnhardt
Front Cover Photo by King Louie Bankston
Back Cover Photo by Allison Green
Gatefold Collage Photos by Allison Green
Gatefold Collage Assemblage by Lefty Parker
Cover Art by Cole Wheeler
Direction: Andy Bizer
Thank you Elaine Bankston
Harahan Fats, an extraordinary posthumous album by King Louie Bankston (December 18, 1972 - February 12, 2022), showcases an American artist at the pinnacle of his musical and personal identity. An aural roadmap to South Louisiana that’s imbued with personal mythologies and blurry, beer-soaked and drug-skewed memories, Harahan Fats was recorded over a four-year period that culminated in mid-October 2021.
As the album’s recording engineer Lewis D’Aubin recalls in the liner notes, “King Louie shows up at my studio with a pair of bongos, some congas, three guitars (two without cases), a tiny Vox amp, and a head full of ideas. He wants to be ready for whatever inspiration might strike…Words flow seemingly off the top of his head into the mic - perfect in two takes. What an eclectic mix of songs! Some are really raw and simple, some way more complex with drum machines, backwards cymbals, saxophone, you name it.”
Before his untimely death at the age of 49, Bankston envisioned Harahan Fats as a 22-song release on two cassette tapes. Now, Goner Records is releasing a standalone 40-minute LP and a limited edition “Director’s Cut” double cassette as Bankston intended. Both will arrive on store shelves November 10, 2023.
Harahan Fats serves as both an introduction and a coda to King Louie Bankston, who was born and raised in Harahan, Louisiana. Bankston immersed himself in the DIY punk and skateboarding scene of the late 1980s, playing in bands and running a skateboard shop out of his parents’ Jefferson Highway hardware store, Louie’s River Ridge Ace Hardware. A musical polymath who helped propel dozens of bands into rock n roll, garage, and punk, infamy, Bankston would ultimately release 53 records in his lifetime, weaving his talent for songwriting into the mellifluous fabric of New Orleans, Memphis, and Portland. Goner Records will celebrate Bankston’s vast oeuvre by also releasing a series of albums from Louie’s back catalog that are currently unavailable on streaming platforms.
As co-founder and drummer of the Royal Pendletons, Bankston recorded with power-pop legend Alex Chilton. He picked up a Gibson Flying V for his work in Bad Times, a garage rock supergroup that Bankston helmed alongside Eric Oblivian and Jay Reatard. In the 1990s, Bankston channeled his energy into bands like the Persuaders, Intelligenitals, the Clickems, Harahan Crack Combo, and Gerry and the Bastard Makers. At the dawn of the new century, he founded the legendary King Louie One Man Band.
In 2000, Louie pulled up stakes in New Orleans and moved to Portland, Oregon, where he joined the power-pop punk band the Exploding Hearts. Bankston wrote many of the songs and played keyboards on their only album, the highly acclaimed Guitar Romantic, released mere weeks before three members of the band were killed in a van wreck, and recently reissued by Third Man Records. Bankston then landed in Memphis, where he formed the Loose Diamonds, a ramshackle bar band, with Jack Oblivian, Harlan T. Bobo, and Gary Wrong. With guitarist Julian Fried, he formed Missing Monuments and Black Rose Band, founded a New Orleans biker-rock band called Kondor with Mr. Quintron, and reconnected with Exploding Hearts guitarist Terry Six for Terry and Louie.
Despite Bankston’s musical adventures–and misadventures–Harahan was always home. And much like Bankston’s life, Harahan Fats is laden with truth and tall tales. Some songs are roughly laid down in a single take; others sound fully fleshed, with overdubs with drum machines and horns. On “Coke-A-Cola Cowboy,” and “(Theme From) Crawzilla” a happy-go-lucky Bankston notes recent heartbreaks over jaunty, countrified power pop guitar lines. Bankston’s fans will recognize the more bitter truths that underscore the lyrics of “Gentilly Woman,” the rollicking “Wasted At Work,” and the spoken recitation “Pawn Shop Row.” A few songs are a capella: “Down and Out,” and “Places Like This.” There are also journey songs, like “Trinkets” and a re-recorded version of the King Louie One Man Band song, “Writing the Same Song Over Again.” The heartbreaking “Rehab Legend,” which serves as the centerpiece of Harahan Fats, was not written by Bankston. He discovered this obscure hip hop song by the rapper “Cadalack Ron” with less than a thousand views on Youtube. In true Louie fashion, he connected with lyrics of “Rehab Legend” and turned it into a stark, acoustic confessional.
The countdown for the release of Harahan Fats includes the digital release of his 2001 King Louie One Man Band album Jesus Loves My One Man Band on September 20, 2023.