Perry L. Jackson: The Old Deer Hunter
9.7 out of 10 people would probably find it completely unlistenable, but in 10 years of collecting records this is perhaps the most fascinating lp I’ve found. I am personally filled past brimming with joy each and every time I hear it. I suppose I should try and explain why…
Perry L. Jackson can’t sing, and he can’t play guitar. This is not really my opinion – it is something that bowls you over immediately. I believe my initial reaction was, “Dear lord, it’s like the Shaggs and Johnny Cash had a baby!” Sorry – that is a bad visual. Anyhow, this is an analogy I’ve often used when trying to explain this lp to people. Unlike most “real people” records which are normally just bad lounge singer rejects, there is no shred of evidence that Perry had any ambition to be a musical success. These seem to be no more than the plain songs of a mostly ordinary man – ranging in topic from falling into a loveless marriage, to his strangely beautiful ode to the desert – “Desert Wind”. But mostly they are about deer hunting which is a pass-time he seems to have spent a great deal of his life pondering.
If ever anything were going to motivate me to quest for “the story” behind a record, normally something which I consider creepy, this would be it. The cover is completely absent of information which gives it the irresistible allure of being shrouded in mystery. And, unlike most unknown records – which there are enough of out there to shingle the roofs of all the houses in your neighborhood (and that is probably one of the better uses for most of them) this is special. Unfortunately though, this record appears to be at least 40 years old as of this writing – and seeing that he looks to be a man of advancing years in the grainy cover picture, Perry L. Jackson it almost certainly dead. And for me it is just as well that he has taken whatever secrets about this strange and moving artifact with him to the grave as they were most likely never meant to be secrets in the first place.