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Paint Me On Velvet

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Album Review

Since their formation in 1980, the Austin Lounge Lizards have entertained themselves and a lot of other people with their brand of music, which they call "satirical bluegrass." Actually, the listener can also hear strains of rock, soul, blues, and gospel in the music. The band is composed of Conrad Deisler on acoustic lead guitar, Hank Card on acoustic guitar, Tom Pittman on banjo and pedal steel guitar, Boo Resnick on bass, and Eamon McGloughlin on mandolin and fiddle. The fact that they are master musicians is often lost in the hilarity of their lyrics. Best known for their song "Jesus Loves Me (But He Can't Stand You)," the Austin Lounge Lizards poke fun at everything and everybody in modern American culture. Their humorous take on such an easy target has spawned an enthusiastic following of fans known as Lizard Heads. Paint Me on Velvet follows the Lizards' formula for success: great music and funny lyrics. There are rollicking banjos and hot fiddles and beautiful harmonies. It seems so comfortably bluegrass until your ears tune into the words. The CD's title track, "Paint Me on Velvet," is a case in point, as the Lizards make fun of the tacky, while at the same time parodying the icons and styles of the genre. No idol is too big to fall before the barbs of group's sharp pens and tongues: This song finds Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson on the hot seats. The title of "Put the Oak Ridge Boys in the Slammer" speaks for itself. "1984 Blues" shows just how good these musicians really are. Enigmatically, they then go off on a version of that long-forgotten song from the crypt, "The Purple People Eater." But then this group of former lawyers, doctors, and other ne're-do-wells is nothing if not enigmatic. Other standouts on the CD include "Going to Hell in Your Heavenly Arms," "Boudreaux Was a Nutcase," and "That Godforsaken Hellhole I Call Home." Having the musical knowledge to appreciate the group's inside jokes and puns increases the fun, but the music stands on its own, guaranteeing all listeners a good laugh along with an enjoyable musical experience.


Formed: 1980

Genre: Country

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Regarding their name, Austin Lounge Lizards guitarist and founding member Conrad Deisler said: "I think it was a slang term I'd heard my grandmother use to describe gentlemen of easy virtue who hung around in bars. When we started out, that's just what we were doing -- hanging out and playing for beer and tips and stuff like that." The Lounge Lizards trace their origins back to the late '70s, when Deisler, then a Princeton student, hooked up with Hank Card to indulge their shared interest in folk...
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Paint Me On Velvet, Austin Lounge Lizards
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