This December will see the rebirth of the renowned indie-rock label, Coyote Records, closely associated with Maxwell's a legendary music venue located in the, once improbable site of Hoboken, NJ. Its first release with be Now by Jersey scene vets Speed The Plough.
Coyote Records was founded by Steve Fallon and Bill Ryan in 1982 and went on to become one of the country's pre-eminent indie labels throughout the next decade. The label released early efforts by such seminal artists as Yo La Tengo, The Feelies, Beat Rodeo, Chris Stamey, The Neats, and Full Time Men. A compilation of Coyote artists, "Luxury Condos Coming to Your Neighborhood Soon," was released in 1985 and remains a highly sought-after album to this day.
Fallon was owner/impressario of the legendary Hoboken, NJ rock club Maxwell's, which became a "must play" destination for a veritable who's who of international recording artists, including New Order, Nirvana, REM, Husker Du, The Replacements, and many more. The club also became home base for many New York/New Jersey area artists, who came to define the so-called "Hoboken Sound" of the 1980s and 90s.
"At the time, a lot of the bands who I became close to through Maxwell's were struggling to find record labels to put out their first releases," said Fallon. "So I thought I could help and that's basically why I started Coyote. Of course, the most important thing was that I really liked the music they were making."
Coyote released dozens of albums and singles during its decade-long existence, eventually distributed by Minneapolis-based Twin Tone Records and, for some later releases, through a boutique label deal with A&M Records, where Fallon worked for two years as a talent advisor. Fallon folded Coyote in 1993 and a few years later sold his interest in Maxwell's. Under his successors, the club continued to thrive as a mainstay on the American club circuit until 2013.
Fallon moved to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware in 1996 and shortly after opened Gidget's Gadgets, a vintage retro emporium that soon included an expanding selection of new and used vinyl records. His continuing interest in music - and LPs in particular - led him to think about reviving Coyote on a limited basis.
As Steve tells it: "I took some of my own record collection into Gidget's and made room in a small section of the back room of the store. What helped me rid myself of the emotional attachment to that part of my life was seeing 14 to 25 year old kids picking them up as if they had found gold. And that enthusiasm just grew more and more."
"And then when Maxwell's was shutting down for good, the memories of what we had done there started flooding back. So I took that energy and enlarged the vinyl section of the store. Then, after last April's Record Store Day, which was a big event for us, I started toying with the idea of resurrecting Coyote."
"Coincidentally, around that time, John Baumgartner said that Speed the Plough was finishing up a new project and they were thinking about what to do with it. It was just an organic thing. It reminded me of how the label started in the first place. It seemed like a good time to ease my way back in."
The release of Speed the Plough's eighth full-length album marks the band's return to their very first label. One of Coyote's early releases was The Trypes' EP The Explorer's Hold in 1984. That band included several members who went on to form Speed the Plough, who's first eponymous album was released by Coyote in 1989.
The track list for Now by Speed the Plough:
- Midnight in the World
- Be With You
- More and More
- Hey, Blue
- Buttermilk Falls
- Miss Amelia
- On a New Day
- Ed's Song