Friday, November 16, 2007

Fred Lane

"If jazz is dead, it’s because Fred Lane personally killed it."

"As a radio station music director in the late 80’s, a record came across my desk that changed my life. It was called “Car Radio Jerome” by Rev. Fred Lane & His Hittite Hotshots. I simply didn’t know what to make of it, but I knew that I liked it and had never heard anything quite like it before.

The album ran the gamut of styles I wasn’t expecting to hear, from Sinatra-ish big band swinging (White Woman, Upper Lip Of A Nostril Man), to spaghetti western soundtrack anthems (The Man With The Foldback Ears), to depressing country ballads (Pneumatic Eyes), and even something that sounded like a kids record but for kids with demented parents (The French Toast Man). The artwork, the band musicians' names, and even the technical description of the album’s pressing included on the cover all led me to blissful confusion. I wasn’t sure if it was a comedy album, and if so, just who did Fred Lane think his audience was? This was comedy that was sure to go over most peoples heads. I wasn’t even sure if I “got it”. But at the same time, these were very well-written and arranged songs, played with a lot of feeling by what sounded like a group of questionably-competent musicians. In fact, some of the playing is so hysterically bad on the album, that I couldn’t believe anyone would seriously release it. I’m no stranger to music that’s “so bad it’s good”, but this was something different - this WAS good... period.

Go to Direct Waves, and get both!

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