Most of my trips to Logan Hardware follow the same basic pattern: I dig through the country vinyl, then the reggae, then if I haven’t already found enough records to max out my discretionary budget on I’ll move to the rock section, then I pay up and hit the back room to have my self-worth as a pinball player challenged by the store’s collection of old tables. (The people who designed pinball machines in the 70s were ruthless.) My trip up there over the past weekend was a quick one, partly because of the current state of my discretionary budget and partly because I scored some gems right off the bat: a K-Tel compilation called Rowdy Country (worth the $1.99 just for its name and cover art alone), a compilation of lovers rock with a similarly (and considerably more NSFW-ly) memorable sleeve, and an album called Beatle Country credited to the Charles River Valley Boys.

As you might be able to guess by the name the Charles River Valley Boys were a bluegrass band out of Cambridge, Mass. who were obviously aware and unafraid of the irony built into their situation. According to an almost disturbingly thorough web page devoted to the album, Beatle Country was the brainchild of producer Paul Rothchild and Elektra label owner Jac Holzman, who during the mix-60s were fairly obsessed with bringing the burgeoning folk-rock scene to a mainstream audience.