What Part of "Get Thee Gone" Don't You Understand?
While most of the material on this compilation was recorded prior to the release of the Geraldine Fibbers' first album, Lost Somewhere Between the Earth and My Home, What Part of Get Thee Gone Don't You Understand? stylistically straddles a middle ground between the group's first long-player and their second (and apparently final) album, Butch. The set's first seven songs originally appeared on the band's first EP, Get Thee Gone (two of the tracks were re-recorded for Lost), and the performances are leaner and more direct than those on Lost ; while they jibe with the more country accented approach of that disc, the pared-down arrangements also recall the philosophy (if not the sound) of the rawer, more aggressive Butch. The rest of the set is comprised of single tracks, demos, and a variety of live cuts, many of which anticipate Butch's blunter approach, particularly "They Suck," "She's a Dog," and a striking cover of Bobbie Gentry's "Fancy," a tale of a young girl forced into prostitution by her mother that Carla Bozulich wrings for every bit of its drama (and how is it some other bunch of cowpunks didn't run across this lost classic first?). A number of other covers dot the rest of the collection, which show how Bozulich and her bandmates could honor the emotional power of classic country while bending its structures to their own will; her version of George Jones' "The Grand Tour" is turned into a same-sex breakup song that's just as devastating as Ol' Possum's recording, and while Daniel Keenan's guitar solo on "Hands on the Wheel" takes it someplace very different than Willie Nelson's original, it doesn't lose a bit of its heart-tugging undertow. Lost Somewhere Between the Earth and My Home remains the Geraldine Fibbers' greatest moment on plastic, but this collection proves they were already had a strong and distinctive sound well before that and were already looking to other places; it's invaluable for fans and not bad for beginners.