GUADALCANAL DIARY – ” Watusi Rodeo “

Posted: July 1, 2021 in MUSIC

Watusi Rodeo” is the debut independent EP from the American jangle pop group Guadalcanal Diary. It was released in 1983 on DB Records. The EP was included by Rhino Handmade on the same CD as the reissue of the band’s debut LP, “Walking in the Shadow of the Big Man”.

A song called “Watusi Rodeo” by Guadalcanal Diary taken from the independent “Watusi Rodeo” from the American Indie guitar jangle pop group Guadalcanal Diary. It was released in 1983 on DB Records.  I recall these guys being around the time of R.E.M and it gets better and better. This band had a sophisticated and spiritual bent to the band’s lyrics.

This song is off of the EP “Watusi Rodeo” released in 1983. The song writing in this band was a step above many of their peers…clever lyrics with a mixture of jangle and country. When you start listening to this band later on you can see a lot of eclecticism as they could bounce from one style to another.

They did get picked up by a major label after this release. Their LP  Jamboree  released in 1986 was on Elektra. They unsuccessfully attempted a commercial breakthrough, adopting the style of a country-rock band with some  religious sentiment.

Jeff Walls and singer Murray Attaway were friends in high school in Marietta, Ga., just outside of Atlanta. Along with bassist Rhett Crowe and drummer John Poe, they formed Guadalcanal Diary. The band quickly became staples on the Athens and Atlanta club circuit, signed by Danny Brown’s Atlanta-based dB Records.

“Walking In The Shadow Of The Big Man” produced by Don Dixon. Filled with rich but moody songs about faith, doubt, and the legacy of life in the Deep South, and driven by thundering drums and the clarion call of electric guitars, “Walking In The Shadow Of The Big Man” quickly won an enthusiastic reception from critics and college radio programmers, and in 1985 Elektra Records signed Guadalcanal Diary and reissued the album.

In 2011, Guadalcanal Diary briefly reunited to play Athfest, and celebrated their 30th anniversary there. Jeff Walls died, May 29th, 2019, of a rare pulmonary disease

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