Caught by the River

Jeb's Jukebox

Jeb Loy Nichols | 16th April 2014

I want to be ready

I Want to Be Ready
Kool Blues


So let me tell you this about that. Some records are magic. It’s a fact. Some records are holes through which time and space curl back on itself. Some records are an instant ticket on the Trans-Memory Express. I Want To Be Ready is one of those records. It was 1994 and I was visiting my good friend Dan Dow in Columbus, Ohio. Dan owned (and still owns) the legendary record shop Used Kids. Dan was (and still is) a hellava good guy. My visits with Dan consisted of mostly of listening to music, buying records, buying books, and gossiping about mutual friends. They were (and still are) the best of times.

On this particular visit he took me to a record shop that had just bought a truck load of singles. We got there early and started going through pile after pile of rubbish. Unspeakable trash. Of the John Denver and Fleetwood Mac and Peter Frampton variety. It was soul destroying work. And then about mid-day I hit a run of records on Capsoul. Yes! Not many but enough to make the whole day worthwhile. I bought the lot.

The two Capsoul records I knew were Row My Boat by The Four Mints and Who Knows by Bill Moss. Great records both, so I was excited by eight new singles. And when I went to pay for them, the cashier pointed at the Four Mints and said, I’ve got an LP by them. So I had that too. That’s the way it goes sometimes. Another great day with Dan!

Nothing could have prepared me for I Want To Be Ready by Kool Blues. It slid from the speakers like a drugged up preacher. It took its time and didn’t care if it was damaged. It seemed to say ‘I want to be prepared but being prepared is impossible.’ It was one of the most spooky and beautiful things I’d ever heard.

And it still is, 20 years later. A ghostly, mysterious transporter. As I said, a magical record.

Jeb Loy Nichols
Jeb’s Jukebox archive