Down by the Old Mainstream

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Down by the Old Mainstream
Down by the Old Mainstream.jpg
Studio album by Golden Smog
Released 1995
Recorded Pachyderm Studio
The Terrarium and
Triclops Recording
Genre Alternative country
Length 50:17
Label Rykodisc
Producer Golden Smog, Sir James Bunchberry
Golden Smog chronology
On Golden Smog
Down by the Old Mainstream
Weird Tales

Down by the Old Mainstream was American Alternative country band Golden Smog's first full-length album, released in 1995. Its title is from a line in both the Wilco song, "Someday Soon" from the album, Being There, and from "Radio King," the last track on this album.


Golden Smog was a loosely connected group of musicians comprising, at various times, members of Soul Asylum, The Replacements, Wilco, The Jayhawks, Run Westy Run, The Honeydogs and Big Star. Golden Smog's lineup has often changed, but relative constants who appear on all the recordings are guitarists Kraig Johnson (Run Westy Run), Dan Murphy (Soul Asylum) and Gary Louris (The Jayhawks), along with bassist Marc Perlman (The Jayhawks).


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars [1]

Writing for Allmusic, music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine called the album "a loose, relaxed affair that sounds like it was a lot of fun to has an offhand, relaxed charm that is sometimes lacking from Jayhawks and Soul Asylum albums. Not all of the songs are first rate—'Pecan Pie' and 'Red Headed Stepchild' are a bit too cute to be effective—but the performances are full of grit and fire, which is what makes Down By the Mainstream such an engaging listen."[1]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "V" (Gary Louris, Kraig Johnson)
  2. "Ill Fated" (Dan Murphy)
  3. "Pecan Pie" (Jeff Tweedy)
  4. "Yesterday Cried" (Johnson)
  5. "Glad & Sorry" (Ronnie Lane)
  6. "Won't Be Coming Home" (Louris, Mark Olson)
  7. "He's a Dick" (Johnson)
  8. "Walk Where He Walked" (Tweedy)
  9. "Nowhere Bound" (Marc Perlman, Murphy, Johnson)
  10. "Friend" (Johnson)
  11. "She Don't Have to See You" (Bobby Patterson, Strickland)
  12. "Red Headed Stepchild" (Murphy, Perlman)
  13. "Williamton Angel" (Johnson)
  14. "Radio King" (Tweedy, Louris)


The band members of Golden Smog used pseudonyms in the credits.

  • Rodney Amber – organ, piano
  • Andres Conlee – background vocals
  • Jarret Decatur – Chamberlin, drums, guitar, Bass, harmonica, mandolin, piano, slide guitar, tambourine, vocals, background vocals
  • Michael Hacklyn – guitar, background vocals
  • Anthony James – vocals
  • Michael Macklyn – guitar, piano, slide guitar, vocals, background vocals
  • Leonard son Saratoga – drums, sound effects, tambourine, background vocals
  • Davis Spear – guitar, vocals, background vocals
  • Scot Summit – bass, guitar, vocals, background vocals
  • Raymond Virginia – bass, E-Bow, fuzz bass, guitar, mandolin, background vocals
  • Dave Pirner – vocals

Production notes[edit]

  • Sir James Bunchberry – engineer, mixing, producer
  • Clive Mills – executive producer
  • Scott Hull – mastering
  • Rip Nordhaugan – photography
  • Brent Sigmeth – assistant engineer
  • Michael Sommens – drawing
  • Ken Lau – photography
  • Kraig Jarret – art direction, design

Chart positions[edit]

Year Chart Position
1996 Billboard Heatseekers Albums 14


  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Down by the Old Mainstream > Review". Allmusic. Retrieved September 29, 2015.