Jon Spencer Reignites Blues Explosion For Reissue Series

Michael Lavine
Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

Jon Spencer is deep into Heavy Trash, his continuing collaboration with Matt Verta-Ray, but next year will see the return of the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. In retrospect, at least.

Starting in the late spring, Shout! Factory will begin a catalog campaign that includes a new best-of compilation as well as expanded reissues of the group's studio albums. Spencer promises "a lot of additional tracks" but, he adds, not an inordinate amount.

"There isn't going to be tons and tons of unreleased stuff," he tells "We're trying to keep them to single discs. There will be B-sides from singles in Europe, stuff like that. Hopefully it will be an easy way for someone to tie things up and put them all in one place."

The reissues will not come in chronological order, however; Spencer expects 1995's "Now I Got Worry," the trio's fourth album, to follow the best-of collection.

The Blues Explosion, meanwhile, remains "very much in deep hiatus," though it did play a show during the summer in New York City. But Spencer predicts "there might be some more activity" in the wake of the reissues, and he doesn't rule out the possibility of another new album. "We're all up for it," he says. "We've thought about it, talked about it, just haven't done it."

Spencer isn't wanting for work, at least. Heavy Trash has just released its third album, "Midnight Soul Serenade," and is, according to Spencer his primary musical outlet at the moment.

"When we started it was sort of a lark, me and Matt hanging out and playing rockabilly," he says. "It was very much a studio experiment in the beginning. Then it evolved into a real live touring band...I think this record is us growing up and maturing. It's not the birth, not the growth spurt; now we've arrived."

Heavy Trash isn't Spencer's only concern, however. He and his wife, Cristina Martinez, have collaborated with Dutch electronic artist Solex (ne Elisabeth Esselink) on an album that will be released in 2010, which Spencer describes as "a wonderful sort of patchwork of stuttering sounds. It reminds me a little bit of Captain Beefheart at times."