Lone Justice was the gateway band for much of the music that I have loved and written about over the years.
Maria McKee, Ryan Hedgecock, Marvin Etzioni, and Don Heffington helped define the term “Cowpunk in 80’s L.A. and were famous for their blistering live shows (which, alas, I never got a chance to see) The “Ways to Be Wicked” video entered the synth-gelled hair-florescent fray with unabashed roots-rock with McKee sporting her sultry sneer, garbed in vintage dress, and belting out the song of a jilted lover.
After only two excellent albums the band folded under label and internal pressures. McKee embarked on a successful solo career and Lone Justice helped shape the musical landscape forever.
Before it all LJ went into Suite 16 Studios in December of 1983 and recorded much of the set list they were packing Los Angeles area clubs with.
Recorded direct to 2-track tape by engineer David Vaught and with no overdubs, those twelve tracks can finally be heard in their entirety on “This Is Lone Justice: The Vaught Tapes, 1983.” As Billboard’s Chris Morris writes in his thoughtful liner notes, the release “offers the best representation of the band in its infancy—hot, full of piss and vinegar, and ready to take on the world.”
Nine of these twelve tracks are previously unissued, and include originals (including “Soap, Soup And Salvation”, which would appear on their Geffen debut two years later) to the covers they made their own in concert (Johnny Cash and June Carter (Cash)’s “Jackson” and “Nothing Can Stop My Loving You,” written by George Jones and Roger Miller.)
Available on CD and LP (with the first pressing on translucent red vinyl) by Omnivore Recordings, in addition to Morris’ liners, the package contains an essay from the band’s Ryan Hedgecock, as well as a remembrance of David Vaught from Marvin Etzioni and an loving endorsement from Dolly Parton. With unseen photos and memorabilia, this collection is what Lone Justice fans have been waiting for. This Is Lone Justice: The Vaught Tapes, 1983 takes us back to a time when music had an energy that was hard to contain.
For a chance to win a copy of red vinyl + digital download card just leave a comment below describing your favorite Lone Justice song and why or a memory from a show.
A winner will be chosen at random and will be announced on Sunday 2/23 at 12 Noon Central time.
Good luck pilgrim.
THE CONTEST IS NOW OVER. THANKS TO ALL WHO SHARED THEIR THOUGHTS.