Gary Higgins – Thicker Than A Smokey

Gary Higgins recorded only one album, 1973’s Red Hash, before he was arrested on drug charges, never to record again. Luckily for us, he left an absolute gem of a record, with beautifully sparse guitar arrangement and an irresistible loner charm. According to this interview it was recorded in hurried sessions before Higgins was to begin his prison term, and was released on Nufusmoon Records. Though well received at the time, Higgins confinement made touring to support it impossible and it was largely forgotten outside of record collecting circles, where it is considered quite the find. Six Organs of Admittance, aka Ben Chasny, recorded a cover of Thicker Than A Smokey for his 2005 Drag City release School of The Flower, and on the liner notes he included a plea for information about Higgins. Eventually Drag City reissued Red Hash with two bonus tracks and Higgins would eventually perform with Six Organs of Admittance on tour. When asked about plans to record again, Higgins was cryptically hopeful:

That is ongoing and always will be; there are lots of things in the archives and on the stove…how or what makes it out there is yet to be seen. Having an avenue to make that possible is my greatest realization with all this renewed interest.

Here’s hoping for more Higgins!