I want to take you into the annals of music history. The year was 1982. I had been doing Country Radio in New York for 6 years or so and was very familiar with all the flavors of music that were being made under that umbrella. It was a righteous palette in those days; there were the likes of Don Williams and Porter and Dolly, George and Tammy, Waylon and Willie. I was in New York City working at the country station WHN. I think even then, there was an “other” music not included in the mainstream of the time, that was country infused with a rock and roll vitality. There were several bands playing around town that we called cowpunk, one of them was Rubber Rodeo. In other cities, X, The Blasters, Jason & The Scorchers, and Rank & File held court. Lone Justice came out of the LA cowpunk scene, to be signed to a record label deal in 1982. It was a new wave, but it never found a mainstream audience. That isn’t to say they weren’t worthy, but just that the music wasn’t in sync with the moment. Maria McKee was an iconic presence, there was simply no one like her; sensual, intense, lusty-voiced. She partnered with Ryan Hedgecock to form Lone Justice , and they were joined by Don Heffington and Marvin Etzioni, to put out two albums back in the day.
Cut to today - Marvin Etzioni is still infused with the spirit, and has just put out a solo album called Marvin Country!. He recruited some heavy hitters to help him out, including Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Buddy Miller, Richard Thompson, John Doe, and his old Lone Justice band mates Maria McKee, Don Heffington, and Shane Fontayne. Marvin came solo to the Spring Music Fog Marathon in March at Threadgill’s WHQ in Austin. He played us a tune from the new album, here is the MF version of “The Grapes of Wrath."