Charlie Mcalister

I’ll See You in Hell (Tape Mountain 2006)

A friend of mine asked for some Charlie Mcalister and I kept putting it off since I didn’t have a copy of his Mississippi Luau lp which is a shame since it is his best album. However, I found a copy of I’ll See You in Hell which is still pretty amazing in its own right. Charlie Mcalister has released about 70 cassettes of mangled banjo-driven tunes, southern charm and warped audio collages.  Supposedly, he listened to a lot of noise label RRR’s musical output which lends an unpredictable air to an already helter-skelter stew. Perssonally, I kind of find much of his recent output to be a noisier, eccentric kin to the Mountain Goats earliest works. Both John Darnielle and Charlie Mcalister have a knack for wordplay and an appreciation of the intimacy that can result from the hiss and gurgle of a cheap recording. Sure, tracks like “Scuzz Rag” and “I Love You/Punch Me in the Eye” lack the eloquence of Darnielle, but he more than compensates with sheer gusto and a willingness to muddy the waters. Some of his prettier moments even remind me of Roky Erickson’s acoustic work or Daniel Johnston at times, but this is something far more chaotic and stream of consciousness. If anyone could send a link to other Mcalister recordings or find a place where I can find his lps, please send word to