Through the fires of failure a tougher metal is forged.

And those failure fires have made Gary Floater into an incredibly hard headed man.

When the slick record executive in the suit handed Gary a new recording contract, Floater signed it – against legal advice – without reading it. Buried in the document was the worst deal in country music history- 10 albums in exchange for a four dollar advance and a 0% royalty for the artist.

Gary stole his lawyer’s pen, looked hard at the recordman, and said, “You go on ahead of me Satan, I’m right behind you.”

Only three records were eventually released on that ill-fated contract with Hyena Family Records: Denim on Denim, Soul Patch, and You Had to Be There – Gary Floater Live. These albums hit markets in Sweden, Japan, and the state of Missouri in a famously uncoordinated release schedule.

The remaining Hyena Family recording projects were abandoned due to “quality control” concerns and “low sales,” despite the fact that Gary had scratched out lyrics to hundreds of excellent songs, before an epic decade-long hangover prevented him from actually laying them down on tape.

When Gary’s artist friends came together in 2009 to make the tribute album, A Hero Never Learns, may of these unrecorded “lost songs” were not considered, as Gary’s distinctive spelling and chronic laryngitis prevented anyone from knowing the lyrics.

As Gary himself was not willing or able to break away from his home shopping network addiction to help solve any of the lyrical mysteries, the songs were nearly lost to history.

Only through the efforts of legendary producer Flip Dickerson did a set of the songs reemerge. Flip led a team of redneck first graders who were finally able to translate the crayon scribble from one of Gary’s Big Chief tablets into lyric sheets.

The lyrics in this particular tablet were apparently intended for an album called The Devil’s Backpack that never saw the light of day.

The resulting collection – of nine nearly lost Gary Floater songs – is remarkable as it shows a songwriterman getting back up on that gift horse and riding, with no doubts or reasonable caution, even as the stink of desperation blew across the deserts of his mind.

Flip Dickerson called up Puffy Dan Walters, who then phoned B.W. Akins, who called up Marvin Hopkins, who then contacted Roy Huffmeister over Myspace for another session. Now a second Gary Floater tribute album is in the can.

Floater Rising – the number 2 tribute album – drops April 1, 2011



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