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MP3 Hill of Beans - The "Hill of Beans" Story

The original comedy/folk/punk duo that inspired Beck''s "Satan Gave Me a Taco" and Tenacious D.

19 MP3 Songs
FOLK: Power-folk, SPOKEN WORD: Comedy


Froo Froo HAH!

If you happened to live in Los Angeles in the early 1990s and frequented coffeehouses (such as Jabberjaw, Highland Grounds, or The Pik-Me-Up,) attended one of the many anti-War Rallies (against Gulf War I,) or listened to your local college radio station, chances are you have heard and/or seen Hill of Beans.

The duo existed from 1988-91. It consisted of Steve Moramarco playing the acoustic guitar and singing, with his partner David Markowitz singing and playing a variety of acoustic instruments including accordion, fiddle and mandolin. They would often show up at an event and perform unannounced,
in a style they referred to as "terror folk."

Their blend of comedy, harmony, rock, punk, and folk inspired a young folksinger named Beck to write "Satan Gave Me a Taco" in homage to "Satan, Lend Me a Dollar," and later "Steve Threw Up," about an unfortunate street fair incident. (Two things Steve throws up are "beans" and "saurkraut," a reference to the song "Down & Out.")

Comedian/musician Jack Black was also an attendee at early Hill of Beans shows, having been a student at UCLA when both Steve and Dave were there. Jack went on to start his own comedy/folk acoustic duo "Tenacious D" several years later.

Hill of Beans'' first demo tape, consisting of songs such as "Appreciate," and "Lunatic Asylum" gave them instant popularity on college station KXLU. In 1990, with the help of a friend, they put out a seven-song CD, simply entitled "Hill of Beans," and sent it to college stations all over the U.S.

The response was overwhelmingly positive, with top-ten spots all over the country, including Portland, Los Angeles, Indianapolis and Chicago. The song "Satan Lend Me a Dollar," was especially popular, although "Magic Toe" and "Ozone Layer" were close behind.

One song, "Afghanistan," (a comedic Irish/Middle-Eastern jig) now sounds strangely contemporary, as does "The Sh*t Has Hit the Fan," in which they sang about George (the first) and Saddam.

In 1991, after a short-but-successful tour across the country entitled "Hill on Wheels," the group disbanded. Steve went on to form the Power Pop group Bean (which put out a very rare split 7" with Beck) and then later The Abe Lincoln Story, which he currently fronts.

David went on to play in a variety of Middle Eastern and World Music groups and currently plays fiddle in Hot Off the Range and Blackjack, two popular folk bands based on Catalina Island, where he lives.

In 2005, the hit Showtime series "Weeds" wisely included "Satan, Lend Me a Dollar" on their show and soundtrack album!!

Hill of Beans was a rowdy, fun, often funny, more often silly, sometimes political, sometimes sweet, weird folk group. They didn''t record much in the studio proper. They mostly just played live and delivered their songs in the old Woody Guthrie tradition.

Included on this CD is the original 7-song album released in 1990, plus demos, radio and live recordings that have been restored to their best possible quality. And as a bonus, the original "Satan, Lend Me a Dollar" video is also here! What some of the tunes may lack in fidelity, they will hopefully make up for in the humor and musicality that was their trademark.

Non-dairy, no caffeine, all-natural ingredients.

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