|Terry Allen||Lubbock (on everything)|
Terry Allen — Lubbock (on everything) (October 14, 2016) ★↔★ The artist Terry Allen made outlaw country from the vantage of the art world. Paradise of Bachelors have lavishly reissued his 1979 double album, a dreamscape that sways between country and folk.
★↔★ Noted multi~media sculptor and iconoclastic singer~songwriter of Lubbock country.Born: May 7, 1943 in Wichita, KS
Location: Lubbock, Texas
Genre: Alt~Country, Americana, Singer~Songwriter
Album release: 1979 / October 14, 2016
Recorded: Caldwell Studios, Lubbock, Texas
Record Label: Fate Records, Sugar Hill Records, Paradise of Bachelors
01. Amarillo Highway (for Dave Hickey) 4:00
02. High Plains Jamboree 3:33
03. The Great Joe Bob (a Regional Tragedy) 4:43
04. The Wolfman of Del Rio 5:39
05. Lubbock Woman 3:36
06. The Girl Who Danced Oklahoma 4:19
07. Truckload of Art 5:24
08. The Collector (and the Art Mob) 2:03
09. Oui (a French Song) 2:22
10. Rendezvous USA 2:45
11. Cocktails for Three 2:58
12. The Beautiful Waitress 5:37
13. High Horse Momma 3:03
14. Blue Asian Reds (for Roadrunner) 3:48
15. New Delhi Freight Train 7:28
16. FFA 1:12
17. Flatland Farmer 4:18
18. My Amigo 3:21
19. The Pink and Black Song 4:00
20. The Thirty Years War Waltz (for Jo Harvey) 6:33
21. I Just Left Myself 2:10
♣ All tracks written by Terry Allen
¬••• Jo Harvey Allen Guest Artist, Photography, Vocal Harmony
¬••• Susan Allen Violin
¬••• Terry Allen Composer, Piano, Vocals
¬••• Tommy Anderson Trumpet
¬••• Mark Anthony Trombone
¬••• Mike Austin Vocal Harmony
¬••• Leslie Blackburn Viola
¬••• Ponte Bone Accordion
¬••• Richard Bowden Fiddle
¬••• Don Caldwell Engineer, Mastering, Saxophone, String Arrangements
¬••• Joe Ely Guest Artist, Harmonica
¬••• Kenny Maines Bass, Vocal Harmony
¬••• Lloyd Maines Bell Tree, Dobro, Engineer, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Mandolin, Mastering, Pedal Steel, Tenor Banjo, Vocal Harmony
¬••• Luis Martinez Guitar
¬••• Curtis McBride Drums
¬••• Suzanne Paulk Vocal Harmony
¬••• Dave Peabody Photography
¬••• Freddy Pride Vocal Harmony
¬••• Sylvester Rice Vocal Harmony
¬••• Jimmy Sampson Vocal Harmony
¬••• Alan Shinn Castanets, Jawbone, Marimba, Percussion
¬••• Russ Standefer Tuba
¬••• Jesse Taylor Guitar
¬••• Vincent Thomas Vocal HarmonyDescription:
¬••• Legendary Texan artist Terry Allen occupies a unique position straddling the frontiers of country music and visual art; he has worked with everyone from Guy Clark to David Byrne to Lucinda Williams, and his artwork resides in museums worldwide. Widely acclaimed as a masterpiece, his deeply moving (and hilarious) satirical second album, a complex memory palace to his West Texas hometown Lubbock, is often cited as the urtext of alt~country. Produced in collaboration with the artist and meticulously remastered from the original analog tapes, this is the definitive edition: the first to correct the tape speed inconsistencies evident on all prior versions; the first U.S. vinyl reissue; the first CD to restore the full track listing; and the first to contextualize the record within Allen’s 50~year career.
¬••• “5 stars; ‘50 Essential Albums of the 1970s.’ Eccentric and uncompromising, savage and beautiful, literate and guttural.” — Rolling Stone
¬••• “The most succinct commentary on the West Texas condition ever captured.” — Texas Monthly
¬••• “Riveting.” — NPR
¬••• “Nobody else does country music like Terry Allen … There’s not a wasted word or extraneous musical lick.” — L.A. Times
¬••• “I love Terry. He’s a funny son of a bitch.” — Guy Clark
¬••• “People tell me it’s country music, and I ask, “Which country?”” — Terry Allen
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine; OCTOBER 17 2016; Score: 8.5
★↔★ The artist Terry Allen made outlaw country from the vantage of the art world. Paradise of Bachelors have lavishly reissued his 1979 double album, a dreamscape that sways between country and folk.
★↔★ Terry Allen released Lubbock (on everything) via the minuscule Fate Records in 1979, just as the outlaw country movement started to run out of gas. Allen never was an outlaw. He was an outsider, a visual artist who wrote songs on the side and played museums instead of honky~tonks. That calculated distance is evident on his 1975 debut Juarez, where he divides his time between recitations and skeletal arrangements that, at their fullest, featured guitar and piano.
★↔★ The same can’t be said of Lubbock (on everything), just reissued in a lavish edition by Paradise of Bachelors, which also put Juarez back in circulation this year. Allen recorded the double album in his scorned West Texas hometown of Lubbock, a city he left as soon as he turned 17. Flipping a coin, he and his then~girlfriend — now wife of 55 years — Jo Harvey wound up choosing Los Angeles over New York City, so the two hightailed out to the West Coast, setting up shop and beginning to establish themselves within the art world. Allen’s songs gained some attention, including that of Little Feat leader Lowell George, who had hoped to record Allen’s song “New Delhi Freight Train” for his band’s 1971 debut. George decided to wait, though, until Allen left his bad record deal so that he could actually score some royalties.
★↔★ Allen broke free from that contract around 1976 and Feat did cut the tune for 1977’s Time Loves a Hero. A year earlier, the country singer Bobby Bare recorded Allen’s song “Amarillo Highway” for his Cowboys and Daddys album. It was then that Allen decided to cut the songs he’d composed since the completion of Juarez — including “Amarillo Highway” — and cooked up the notion that George could produce part of the album, while none other than his art~world friend Laurie Anderson could handle the other. Instead, Allen headed back to Lubbock, the town he abandoned years ago, to record with locals Don Caldwell and Lloyd Maines.
★↔★ Lubbock music was then in the throes of one its periodic hot spells, spearheaded by Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore — a trio who performed as the Flatlanders between 1972 and 1973. By the time Allen got to Lubbock in ‘78, Ely was the king of the scene, earning attention for his recent Honky Tonk Masquerade. Ely’s band was pulled into the studio to support Allen.
★↔★ Ely had been channeling some shit~kicking roadhouse boogie into the plaintive panhandle country of the Flatlanders. And while Allen never deigned to dabble in hardwood floor honky–tonk, Lubbock (on everything) does benefit from a band consciously withholding its full power. They turn Allen’s satirical sketches and odes to art into something robust, full~blooded rambles through the byways of the flatlands of West Texas. Sometimes, the music really does cook. “New Delhi Freight Train” moves along just like a locomotive, and the band works up a groove on “Amarillo Highway,” not coincidentally the album’s two most covered songs.
★↔★ But usually the group allows Allen to indulge in his sly jokes. Witness the louche lounge sway of “Cocktails for Three,” the beer joint stomp of “Flatland Farmer,” or how “Truckload of Art” hinges on a piss~take on Slim Whitman’s “Cattle Call.” All this derives from Allen knowing West Texas so well he can’t help but snipe. Often, Allen doesn’t bother to hide his contempt at his former hometown, which does goose the performance: he seems to be gaining fuel from a band that allows him to sneer, but also to cloak his occasional tenderness in a woozy waltz.
★↔★ Such a pointed sense of remove — Terry Allen isn’t a participant, he’s an observer — is one of the reasons Lubbock (on everything) is ungainly called an “urtext” of alt~country, with the other being the music’s rootless rootsiness. As it sways between country and folk, it feels thoroughly specific yet consciously ambiguous: music intended to stray from its home. Influential it may be, but that also seems beside the point. Like any enduring piece of art, Lubbock (on everything) embodies its moment while transcending it. Allen couldn’t have recorded this album at any other point than 1978, after the outlaws opened the door for genuine outsiders in country music, and after singer/songwriters like Randy Newman paved the way for barbed cynicism to be part of the pop vernacular. Decades after the Lubbock of Allen’s childhood has passed, this double~LP is still a powerful dreamscape, capturing a West Texas that may never have quite existed, but Lubbock (on everything) certainly makes it feel like it did.
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason; Score: ****½
|Terry Allen||Lubbock (on everything)|