New Ronnie Lane CD

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PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kent Benjamin November 1, 2000

Ronnie Lane: Live In Austin

Sideburn Records, a Portland-based affiliate of Burnside Distribution, is proud to announce the Nov. 28 release date of Ronnie Lane Live In Austin, a first-time release of material recorded from 1987-1989 for radio broadcast in Austin, Texas. The album features over 73 minutes of music and humourous interludes with Lane and friends like Ian McLagan, and will include a 24-page booklet with color and black and white photos from the Texas years, along with a lengthy essay on the Texas years and a detailed track-by-track commentary. Many of the 18 tracks have never before been heard in live versions, and several are completely unreleased. For the first time, American listeners can appreciate the songwriting genius, wit, and warmth of the late, great Ronnie Lane.

Ronnie Lane may not be a household name in America (like he is in England), but you hear him almost daily on oldies radio, whether singing harmonies on the Rolling Stones' "Can't You Hear Me Knocking," adding his distinctive trademark bass playing to Rod Stewart's "(I Know I'm) Losing You," playing with his band The Faces on "Stay With Me," or singing 'it's all too beautiful ...' on the Small Faces' best-known American hit, "Itchycoo Park," a song penned by Lane. Ronnie Lane was the founder of both The Small Faces (Lane, Steve Marriott, Ian McLagan, Kenney Jones) and The Faces (Lane, McLagan, Jones, Ron Wood, Rod Stewart), two of the most popular and most critically acclaimed British bands of all time. Both bands' influence continues to grow in the new millennium. Their songs have been covered by both The Sex Pistols and The Pretenders. They were the primary influence on the entire late '90s Britpop scene, especially acts like Oasis, Kula Shaker, and Blur. England's 'Modfather' Paul Weller kicked off his 2000 album with a track called "He's The Keeper" written about Lane himself. In America, critically acclaimed artists like Paul Westerberg and best-sellers like the Black Crowes list Lane's bands as among their main inspirations. Former Faces' singer Rod Stewart recently recorded Lane's song "Ooh La La" in tribute to his late bandmate -- bassist/guitarist/songwriter/singer Ronnie 'Plonk' Lane -- the heart of The Faces.

After leaving the Faces in 1973, Lane pioneered a semi-acoustic British folk music sound that pre-dated the whole 'Unplugged' genre under the name Ronnie Lane and Slim Chance, resulting in several British chart hits. He went on to kickstart the solo career of his mate Pete Townshend (1977's Rough Mix), and wrote and recorded songs with another close pal, Eric Clapton. Along the way, he also appeared on the Rolling Stones' first gold album, Sticky Fingers, and played with Paul McCartney as part of the 'Rockestra.' In late 1977, Lane was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis -- a debilitating disease that had plagued his mother before him. The typically heroic Lane founded the A.R.M.S. foundation, and a massive benefit was put on to raise money for his MS treatments, and to launch an American MS research foundation. Performing together for the first time, on Lane's behalf, were Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Steve Winwood, Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones, and a host of rock music's greatest musicians.

In 1984 Lane moved to Houston, where he could receive hyperbaric oxygen treatments for his MS. After the collapse of the US A.R.M.S. foundation in a welter of lawsuits, Lane relocated to Austin, the area's real music town, where he proceeded to form a succession of American versions of Slim Chance, and worked briefly with an electric band called the Tremors with another Texan -- legendary saxman (and longtime Stones' sideman) Bobby Keys -- in tow. These various Austin line-ups recorded over a dozen radio performances at KLBJ-FM and for KUT-FM, both in Austin clubs and in the radio studios, and for the first time ever, the best of this material is presented on CD, to fill in a crucial gap in Lane's musical story. The CD concludes with the final two songs Lane recorded live, prior to his death from MS-related causes, on June 4, 1997.

Few of Lane's many fans know much about the Texas years, and finally, here's a compilation to fill in this important piece of musical history, and present a touching and moving portrait of a great songwriter in the sunset of his career. At various times, the Texas version of Slim Chance included such local all-stars as Alejandro Escovedo, R.C. Banks, Susan Voelz, Jon Dee Graham, Rich Brotherton, Freddie Krc, J.D. Foster, Jody Denberg, Mary Hattersley, Darren Hess, David Crawford, and Ronnie Johnson, all of whom are featured on this CD. His bands included members of The True Believers, Alamo Choir, Poi Dog Pondering, and the Joe Ely Band.

Ronnie Lane had a huge influence on the Austin scene. Nearly every musician that performed with him went on to front their own bands, and nearly all changed their own style of music as a direct result of playing with Lane. For example, the critically acclaimed Alejandro Escovedo Orchestra was formed directly from members of Slim Chance after Lane became physically unable to perform. As Escovedo put it, the Orchestra was just 'my own version of Slim Chance but performing my own songs.' Brad Brobisky's band The Keepers, featuring Ponty Bone and Jesse Taylor, were a continuation of Lane's final Austin band. And other band members are scattered around the country, now found playing or working with Bruce Springsteen, Hanson, and the Robert Earl Keen Band.

Included on the album are many of Lane's best-loved songs, including "Ooh La La," "Kuschty Rye," "The Poacher," "Annie," "Barcelona" (the preceeding two co-written with Eric Clapton), "Nowhere To Run," "You're So Rude," and "April Fool." Also included are Lane's delightful Cajun-flavored rendition of Chuck Berry's "You Never Can Tell," folk legend (and co-star of D.A. Pennebaker's Dylan film Don't Look Back) Derroll Adams' "Roll On Babe," R.C. Banks' "Under The April Skies," and the Depression-era standard "Buddy Can You Spare A Dime," along with previously unreleased Lane originals like "Spiritual Babe," "Chicken," and "Rio Grande."

Ronnie Lane Live In Austin consists of the majority of the "KUT Live Set" from KUT-FM, recorded by Walter Morgan and hosted by Jay Trachtenberg, along with the best material from the archives of Jody Denberg and Ed Mayberry that was originally broadcast on KLBJ-FM. This CD was produced and compiled by Kent Benjamin at Ron Flynt's Jumping Dog Studios, and mastered at Terra Nova Digital by Jerry Tubb.

The album had its genesis over ten years ago when Sideburn Records' Jim Bradt tried to persuade a label for which he worked to release a Ronnie Lane album. This project was made possible by a small group of fans who were all friends of Lane's. Jody Denberg, who's been one of the most popular disc jockeys in Austin for over 15 years, was perhaps Lane's best friend during the Austin years, and best man at Ronnie and Susan Lane's wedding. Ed Mayberry was also a close friend of Lane's, a disc jockey with Denberg at KLBJ, and the recording engineer for many of Lane's radio appearances; in 1999, Mayberry's wife gave birth to his second son, Ronnie Lane Mayberry. Kent Benjamin produced a Lane career retrospective for local television, videotaped Ronnie and Susan Lane's wedding, and produced this album. This album is being released with the cooperation and approval of Susan Lane.

And, as Lane himself once said, 'God bless us all ....'

 

 


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