While Sub Pop had delved into country with The Walkabouts and Mark Lanegan, Scud Mountain Boys dealt in alt.country, and Reverend Horton Heat and Supersuckers dabbled in cow punk and rockabilly, The Blue Rags was Sub Pop’s first—and only, as of this writing—foray into…Ragtime.
The Blue Rags hailed from North Carolina, and their debut album, Rag-n-Roll, was something else. Fast, furious, piano-driven ragtime, the album was a true anomaly. It wasn’t bad, mind you, but it was different. There are tons of jewels on this record, but my favorite is the jaunty “Three Night’s Experience.” It’s the tale of a lost weekend, with plenty of sinnin’ and wrong-doin’ taking place, that sounds like something out of 1923 New Orleans. Their second record, Eat At Joe’s, would find them playing down the ragtime in favor of a more country flavor, and was a fine record in its own right.
Fun fact: co-founder Bill Reynolds would later found Sub Pop band Band of Horses.