Courtesy of Collective Concerts, enter here for a chance to win a pair of tickets to see An Intimate Evening of Songs & Stories with Graham Nash on Tuesday, October 8 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Last Month's Top Sellers

1. BRIAN ENO - Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks
2. VARIOUS - Come On Let's Go! Power Pop Gems
3. SLEATER KINNEY - Center Won't Hold 
4. FREDDIE GIBBS - Bandana
5. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN - Western Stars

Click here for full list.

« PASTOR T.L. BARRETT - Like A Ship (Without A Sail) | Main | TAGES - Studio »

VA - Local Customs: Lone Star Lowlands

Venerated excavating reissue label the Numero Group rarely do rock (their power-pop sets notwithstanding), so it comes as an even bigger surprise that they would devote a 'numero' (034, to be precise) to demos from an obscure recording studio in Beaumont, Texas, two hours from Houston. 

Known for producing the Winter brothers, Barbara Lynn, and a lot of oil, Beaumont, from the sounds of this collection, had quite a lively and diverse scene. Local bands with their eyes on the big-time demoed material at the Lowland studios during the classic-rock era. Numero, in typical fashion, listened to every single tape in the studio’s archive, and after two years they assembled this impressive set of could-have-beens.

Of course, there's some southern blues-rock here, thanks to bands like Circus and their fitting-to-form cowbell. Most interestingly, though, the best material here avoids clichés. Insight Out are unmistakably country-tinged rock, and “It Makes You Feel So Bad” is a paean to friendship à la The Band’s “The Weight”, while Morning Sun do good takes on CSN (“Where’s Love Gone Today” features hilariously out-of-time cowbell) and Emitt Rhodes bubblegum (“Let’s Take A Walk In The Woods”). Meanwhile, “Dream Away” by Hope could have been in Neil Young’s ear just before penning his “Harvest Moon”. 

And who knew that Texas had a pub rock scene? The Next Exit go all Dr. Feelgood and proto-Television on “Take A Look At Your Friends.” Linda Crowe gives an unexpectedly fast piano-led waltz, channeling Dionne Warwick more than Janis Joplin, on “I Still Remember”, and the delightfully-named Sassy will break your heart with his Bobby Charles-esque “She’s My Daughter.”

On it goes over twenty-two tracks (twenty-eight if you fetch the double vinyl!); Lone Star Lowlands will easily sit among the top rock comps released this year.  

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>