Evergreen Blueshoes, The

Band members               Related acts

- Skip Battin (aka Skip Battyn) (RIP 2003)  -- vocals, bass,

  guitar (1968-69)

- Jim Ibbotson -- drums, percussion (replaced Chester

  McCracken) (1969)

- Ken Kleist -- keyboards (1968-69)

- Lanny Mathijssen -- guitar (1968-69)

- Chester McCracken -- drums, percussion (1968-69)

- Al Rosenberg -- guitar, backing vocals (1968-69)




- Skip Battin (solo efforts)

- The Byrds (Skip Battin)

- The Doobie Brothers (Chester McCracken)

- The Flying Burrito Brothers (Skip Battin)

- Gary and Clyde (Skip Battin)

- Help (Chester McCracken)

- New Riders of the Purple Sage (Skip Battin)

- The Pledges (Skip Battin)

- Skip & Flip (Skip Battin)

- Skip and the Hustlers (Skip Battin)

- Skip and the Flips (Skip Battin)

- Skip and the Groop (Skip Battin)





Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  The Ballad of Evergreen Blueshoes

Company: Amos

Catalog: AAS 7002

Year: 1969

Country/State: USA

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: cut out hole; gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: --

Price: $75.00

Cost: $66.00


Throughout the mid-1960s singer/bassist Skip Battin played and recorded with a string of groups including The Pledges, Gary and Clyde, Skip and Flynn and Skip and the Groop. 


Tired of paying his bills as a sessions bassist, by 1968 Battin was ready to try to make it with a real rock band.  Recruiting long time friends Al Rosenberg and Clarence White, he decided to put together an outfit that would play a mixture of Byrds-styled folk-rock and West Coast psychedelia.  White quickly dropped out of the project, leaving Battin and Rosenberg to recruit drummer Chester McCracken, along with keyboard player Ken Kleist, guitarist Lanny Mathijssen.  Playing at a Topanga Canyon club named 'The Corral' the band began attracting considerable word of mouth publicity, which led the small Amos Records to sign them to a recording contract.  


Produced by Jim Post, 1969's "The Ballad of Evergreen Blueshoes" offered up an odd hodge-podge of musical genres.  Battin (here spelled as 'Battyn') and Rosenberg were responsible for the majority of the 12 songs, which bounced all over the musical spectrum.  Jug, country and western, pop, psych, etc. were frequently dumped together on tracks such as 'Life's Railway To Heaven' and 'Amsterdam in 1968'.  Connected by a series of spoken word segments, the results were frequently maddening, though these guys simply had too much talent to turn in a complete dud.  'The Hedge Hog's Song', '' and their cover of Dylan's 'Walking Down the Line') were all quite good.  Amos also saw fit to release a truly bizarre cover of  'Johnny B. Goode' b/w 'Walking Down the Line' as a single (Amos catalog number 115).  As a small label, Amos lacked much promotional clout, effectively guaranteeing the set would enjoy limited sales. (The back and inner sleeves are pretty funny - wonder if they had to wonder about ticks while prancing around naked in the woods?)   

"The Ballad of Evergreen Blueshoes" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Life's Railway To Heaven   (Skip Battyn - Al Rosenberg - Ken Kleist - Larry Mathijssen - Chester McCracken) - 3:50

2.) Walking Down the Line   (Bob Dylan) - 3:25

3.) Line Out  (Skip Battyn - Al Rosenberg) - 0:45

4.) Amsterdam in 1968   (M. Levine) - 3:07

5.) Everything's Fine RIght Now   (Mike Heron) - 3:00

6.) Johnny B. Goode   (Chuck Berry) - 3:00


(side 2)

1.) The Hedge Hog's Song   (Mike Heron) - 2:44

2.) The Raven  (Skip Battyn - Al Rosenberg) - 1:53

3.) Mrs. Cohen's Little Boy   (D. Cohen) - 1:55

4.) Moon Ovver Mt. Olympus  (Al Rosenberg) - 1:45

5.) Jewish Teahouse  (Al Rosenberg) - 3:16

6.) The Everblue Express  (Skip Battyn - Kim Fowley) - 4:54


Original drummer McCracken subsequently bailed, eventually hooking up with the band Help, followed by a stint with The Doobie Brothers.  He was quickly replaced by Jim Ibbotson.  Offered a chance to join The Byrds, Battyn was next to go.  His departure spelled the end of the band.


Suffering from Alzheimer's disease, Battyn died in July 2003.  He was 69 years old.