Courtesy of Hot Docs, enter here for a chance to win a pair of tickets to see Blue Note Records: Beyond The Notes at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema on Friday, March 29 at 8:45pm.


Enter here for a chance to win an autographed copy of Todd Rundgren's new book The Individualist and a pair of tickets to see Todd at the Danforth Music Hall on April 28

Last Month's Top Sellers

1. SHARON VAN ETTEN - Remind Me Tomorrow
2. VARIOUS - Soul Of A Nation Vol. 2
3. VARIOUS - Pop Genius Of Mickie Most
4. VARIOUS - Kankyo Ongaku
5. VARIOUS - Manchester: A City United In Music

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>