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Live in Austin

Ronnie Lane

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Album Review

In 1984, while suffering from the debilitating effects of MS and seeking treatment, former Small Faces/Faces founder Ronnie Lane moved from his native Britain to Texas. Settling first in Houston, it wasn't long before he sniffed out the hotbed of a music scene that was Austin in the ‘80s and relocated to the famous college town. There the diminutive Lane became a beloved local figure, gigging with several local bands such as the Tremors and befriending fellow musicians and radio DJs alike. Those friendships are directly responsible for Live in Austin. Culled from several live radio broadcasts on KUT and KLBJ, the album is a hodgepodge of old chestnuts, previously unreleased material, and old folk ballads, played by a slew of local scenesters such as Alejandro Escavedo and saxist par excellence Bobby Keys. At this stage in his life, Lane no longer had the muscle control to play guitar and relied on his musician pals to accompany his, at times, quivering vocals. Because of that fact, this album is as bitter as it is welcome for fans. Here we have previously unreleased material from one of the great, unheralded songwriters of his time, but it's taken from a period when Lane's disease had all but eroded his once great musical gifts. Give credit to the folks at Sideburn for recognizing Lane's importance and for putting together such a great package, though. The liner notes are stellar, as are the many photos, and the inclusion of little spoken snippets show what a wily, humorous, eccentric character he was. Especially warm and funny are the two phone exchanges between Ian "Mac" McLagan and Lane, where the two reminisce about their old, boozy days with the Faces. Reviews are essentially recommendations to buy, or avoid buying, and it's difficult to suggest either for Live in Austin. On the one hand, it may very well be the last Lane release and it contains many great moments for fans looking for insight as to what the artist was like as a person. But the music is sub-par and often drenched in accordion, and his once distinct voice can be heartbreaking in its limitation.

Customer Reviews

PATHETIC!

This album illustrates the way that Ronnie Lane was exploited in the last ten years of his life by people who wanted make money off of his name. If you listen to this piece of crap you can hear his voice is wracked by the effects of M.S. and as a nearly lifelong small Faces/Faces fan I say shame on the people who put this out! I'm sure his estate isn't getting a dime off of this.

Not that Bad

I really didn't find this as overwhelmingly awful as people here are purporting. His voice cracks a bit here and there, but overall I found it warm and inviting. Not his best, but not abysmal, either. 'Sgot more heart than most.

If you are a fan....

You'll enjoy this recording as an addition to your favourite RL recordings.
This album was recorded in an Austin Radio Station, it's not a slick recording, but has charm.
Cool if you can handle some bumpy tracks, it's actually refreshing compared to a lot of computer based music of today.

Biography

Born: April 1, 1946 in Plaistow, London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

As the former bassist for the Small Faces, and later the Faces, Ronnie Lane left both bands when he felt the spirit of the group had died, gaining him the reputation of an uncompromising artist, and allowing...
Full Bio
Live in Austin, Ronnie Lane
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Customer Ratings

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