Totally by accident, I came across this report of a recent show by Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers, one of my favorite bands in the world. I've seen this band several times and they're basically the ultimate bar band. Roger Clyne is a great troubadour songwriter in the tradition of Warren Zevon or Robert Earl Keen, spinning tales of tequila, senoritas and sunsets. Their shows are a celebration of the finest in unpretentious rock and roll and they've often been called the best live band in America. If you ever get a chance to see them live, I suggest you run, don't walk, to wherever they're playing.
Ed! I've been a fan of yours for quite a while. Now I know why. RCPM is without a doubt the best live show there is. And I really admire Roger, 'cause he's making the new music business model work. After he finshed his contractual obligations to Mercury records, he disolved the Refreshments and set out to make his own music, on his terms. They control every bit of their product. Recording, distribution, marketing, the BAND does it all and the BAND gets the money. In ten years there will be no big record labels--there's just no need for them...
The part about being an independent band has never meant much to me. I mean, I admire the fact that Roger didn't take the easy way to do things, but there is plenty of very good music put out on major labels, so I don't think that alone has much to do with the quality of the music. What it does do, I think, is eliminate the kind of packaging and marketing gimmickry that you so often see with bands. You go see this band and it is so far away from the pre-packaged stuff you see and hear so often. There's such a genuineness to their performance. You can just tell that this is really who Roger is. The honesty of the performance really keeps you coming back.
You forgot to mention that Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy by the Refreshments is probably the greatest road trip CD of all time.
The bad part of the independent record label is the difficulty getting the CDs. I would have bought his last two the day after the show, but even Amazon has trouble getting Americano.
Ed: You are absolutely right. I didn't mean to suggest that the label independence was in any way responsible for the quality of the content. Indeed, there are some tragically bad bands following the same course. The quality of the music, the songwriting and the honest, powerful performaces would certainly come thru if RCPM was signed to a label. I was happily stipulating that we both really like the band and the music, and further pointing out that in addition to being a genuine modern day trubador, Roger has a real understanding of the direction the music business is taking and is there ahead of the vast majority of his peers.
gttm: I'd have to put "The Bottle and Fresh Horses" ahead of Fizzy for a road trip. I'd also have to put Tesla's "Mechanical Resonance" ahead of them both for a road trip. Also the Dead's American Beauty, Bostons' "Don't Look Back", Zevons "Excitable Boy" and Dylans "Blood on the Tracks". But don't get me wrong--I really love Fizzy...