Pete Zaharoff

Band members                             Related acts

- Pete Zaharoff (aka Bryan Garret) -- vocals, guitar




- The Prisners Dream





Genre: folk

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Tiger Rose

Company: Guinness

Catalog: GNS 36063

Country/State: Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5844

Price: $50.00


Here's one of the rarer Guinness releases I'd been looking to score for a number of years and then all of a sudden I came across two sealed copies ...


Like many of the artists on the Guinness roster namesake Peter Zaharoff was a complete mystery to me.  Discogs shows he was a member of the Canonsburg, Pennsylvania based The Prisners Dream who recorded an obscure 1967 single for Chuck Edward's small Rene label:





- 'Autumn Days' b/w 'You're the One I Really Love' (Rene catalog number 1080)






I've never found any kind of review on this album and due in part to the stripper cover art I thought this might be a funk or jazz-tinged uting.  Nope.  Not even close.  Produce by Lou Guarino and with all nine tracks credited to Zaharoff, the album featured a collection of singer/songwriter material with a distinct social activist orientation.  Imagine a younger Loudon Wainwright III on a Woody Guthrie bender and you'd have a feel for most of the collection.  The performances weren't bad in a stark, singer/songwriter genre.  Zaharoff's voice was well suited to the genre, but none of the nine tracks did a great deal for me.  The singer/songwriter activist musical genre also made this release a really oddity in the Guinness catalog.  Interestingly, though the title on the album cover was shown as "Tiger Rose" the inner labels carried the title "Emphysema Blues".  Beats me, though the disconnect may have had something to do with common sense - a title like "Emphysema Blues" simply wasn't going to garner great sales (not that it really mattered for a tax scam label like Guinness).  


Thanks to Peter Mork for pointing out that Zaharoff has a series of one-man-band performances on YouTube. 


"Tiger Rose" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Emphysema Blues   (Pete Zaharoff) - 4:41   rating: ** stars

Hum, Woody Guthrie would have approved of 'Emphysema Blues'.  Kicked along by a barrelhouse piano, as you'd guess from the title, the subject matter was coal mining and black lung disease.  The hacking cough sound effects were a delightful and uplifting touch.   

2.) Tiger Rose   (Pete Zaharoff) - 5:59   rating: ** stars

Borrowing a sea shanty rhythm (acoustic guitar, accordion, harmonica), 'Tiger Rose' found Zaharoff talking his way through a narrative of picking up a hitchhiker on his way to California - tiger rose was the name of a charm the hitchhiker had around his neck.  Yeah, not the most exciting narrative you've heard.   Here's a link to a YouTube performance of the song:   

3.) Havin' a Good Time   (Pete Zaharoff) - 3:00   rating: ** stars

'Havin' a Good Time' was a standard acoustic singer/songwriter reflection on lost youth.  Pretty tune and mildly entertaining, though you could hear something as good virtually any night at your local corner bar.   

4.) A Night Rider   (Pete Zaharoff) - 4:19   rating: ** stars

The reflective A Night Rider' found Zaharoff working with a full band.  Musically the song sported kind of a supper club jazzy vibe, though the fuller arrangement gave Zaharoff and opportunity to crank up the vocal volume.  


(side 2)
1.) Ain't Gonna Stop Drinkin'   (Pete Zaharoff) - 3:02     rating: ** stars

'Ain't Gonna Stop Drinkin' was apparently intended to sound like a live club recording complete with audience noise.  To my ears the performance was too clean to be anything other than a studio take.  Like several other tracks, this sounded like something you'd hear on a Saturday night at your local Irish bar.  The difference with this one was that the subject matter was mildly funny.  

2.) Out An Old Country Road   (Pete Zaharoff) - 5:55   rating: * star

'Out An Old Country Road' was another Saturday night at the pub song ... unless you wanted to hear a song with a lyric that included 'the smell of cow sh*t' this one was a complete  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  and it was long, clocking in just under six minutes.   

3.) Girl In a Shack   (Pete Zaharoff) - 2:42   rating: * star

Crap, a banjo tune.  'Girl In a Shack' gave me flashbacks to early Loudon Wainwright III  ...   

4.) Coming Home To You   (Pete Zaharoff) - 4:13   rating: * star

If you were into super sensitive singer/songwriter material, 'Coming Home To You' was going to be something you treasured.  Otherwise this one was going to be tough to get through.     

5.) No Pretty Song   (Pete Zaharoff) - 3:00     rating: ** stars

'No Pretty Song' found Zaharoff returning to coal mine industry injustices territory.  Get out your union card and hit the picket line ... 



SRB 03/2021