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STANDOUT TRACK: No. 3, “Girl in the Checkout Line,” the uptempo lament of a supermarket shopper who “ain’t got the nerve to ask” another customer for her phone number.
The shopper spots the object of his affection in the cereal aisle and the checkout line, with a stop at the dairy section along the way. “She’s puttin’ some kind of spell on me,” frontman Charles Walston sings over a piano-and-guitar-based boogie. “She’s puttin’ the ‘wiggle’ in the Piggly Wiggly.”
MUSICAL MOTIVATION: “It’s not like that song has any message to it anyway,” Walston says, other than “celebrating life and lust.”
But it took the 50-something Capitol Hill resident a while to rediscover those rock ’n’ roll staples. “I had the riff going for years,” Walston recalls, “[and] I was coming up with all these stupid ideas for what the song was about…most of it was just too convoluted and too highfalutin.” Then one day he told himself, “just write a song about seeing a girl that, you know, takes your breath away”—the kind of woman who makes you “go, ‘Hot damn!’”
BASKET CASE: Before recording “Girl in the Checkout Line” in Bethesda, Walston had played it in Atlanta with his former band, the Vidalias.
At one basement practice session, a bandmate “had a little niece or something that was over” who took a liking to the song. “She came down and said, ‘Play that grocery-basket song,’” Walston recalls. “She liked it just ’cause it rocked. She had no idea what it was about.”—Joe Dempsey