Catfish in My Shoe (album)

Companion Album to the Book

Here is a collection of misfit songs that have until now had no place within the archives of J Roth’s music presented on this Walking Boxes website. With the publishing of Roth’s book of lyrics Catfish in My Shoe, there is now a reason for these songs to crawl out from under their rocks and stand in the light of posterity; should any readers of that book stumble with curiosity upon the lyrics of these particular songs, they now might have an opportunity to hear the intended melodies for those words.

There’s a reason these songs have been left in the shadows – they’re all missing that “certain something”. It’s not that they’re without potential, they have just never elicited quite enough excitement to be molded into prettier shapes. Nonetheless, here they are presented, warts and all.

Button Up, Buttercup – The Musical (2015)
Here are eleven rough demo tracks, the lyrics co-written with J.B. Eckert for a musical he had written about burlesque dancers who go on strike. The show has yet to be staged.
Another Summer Brawl
Nobody Listens
I Need A Story (Rolling)
Fraulein ‘Comes a Frau
Stripper Strike
At the Diner
Outta the Park
Trojan Horse (We’re Riding)
Comin’ Down the Street
Women of Delight

Swabbin’ (2013)
This demo was originally put together as a rough draft for the members of Srazhalys to listen to. The instruments are out of tune at times (a frequent problem with the domra, in particular). In 2022 the vocals were added for the release of the Catfish in My Shoe album.

Yolka Shows (2007-2008)
Demos of songs written for Harmony Theatre’s Yolka Shows featuring the Russian folk characters Baba Yaga and Ded Moroz.
Baba Yaga’s Theme
They Want and They Want (Ded Moroz’s Theme)
Little Baba’s Song

The Musicker’s Lantern (2004)
This rather bizarre play was staged at the original Acadia on Nicollet & Franklin. The song below kicked off the show in rather epic fashion.
The Wall of Reckoning

Walk Among the Boxes (2003)
In 2014, J Roth’s musical Walk Among the Boxes received its final treatment. Prior to that, in 2003, J created a series of demos for the musical. At that point in the show’s manifestation it was slated to be a nine-part series. When pared down to a single show, the songs below didn’t make the final cut. These were all recorded on a four track analog recorder except for She Said OK which was re-recorded in 2013.
Coffee with My Coffee
Here I Go Again
Livin’ on the Moon
Not Quite Brazil
Roly Poly
She Said OK
Ya Bwanuti

Lullaby for Mammet-Aga (1999)
Despite being congested with a cold, J made a tape on his boombox of himself singing and playing a few songs, which he sent to his host family and friends in Turkmenistan. Here’s the single take, unedited recording of the lullaby he wrote for the youngest member of his host family.
Lullaby for Mammet-Aga