Amoeblog

New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with T.S.O.L.

Posted by Amoebite, July 25, 2017 05:52pm | Post a Comment

John Grisham TSOL What's In My Bag?

Jack Grisham, lead singer of legendary Long Beach punk band T.S.O.L., recently visited Amoeba Hollywood and shared some of his favorite records with us in this "What's In My Bag?" episode. The lyricist and author had much to say about what the albums meant to him, including The Beatles' Revolver, which he often listens to while making his own music. "When I put on a great song, it makes me want to strive to write a great song," he tells us. "It's just the feeling of thinking, god, something this cool was created."

T.S.O.L. (True Sounds of Liberty) was founded in 1978 in Long Beach, CA. Original members Jack Grisham (vocals), Ron Emory (guitar), and Mike Roche (bass) are still with the band. The band's self-titled debut EP was released in spring 1981. Their first full-length, Dance with Me, landed later that T.S.O.L. The Trigger Complexsame year. The band signed to Alternative Tentacles in 1982, the same year Greg Kuehn (piano, synths) joined the group. He departed a year later and returned in 2005. Drummer Chip Hanna joined in 2016.

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Cheri Knight: overlooked Queen of Alt. Country

Posted by Mark Beaver, December 31, 2008 07:15pm | Post a Comment
blood oranges corn riverBy all measures, 1990 was a pivotal year for country-rock, or what we came to call "Alt. Country," or even "No Depression," the latter term being the title of the debut album released that year by a country-infused trio out of Belleville, IL., called Uncle Tupelo. I 'm sure I don't need to spend too much time elaborating on the merits of this band that re-awakened a slumbering genre with enough force to have that genre thereafter associated with its debut.

I will say, however, that I own a good number of t-shirts with their name emblazoned on them, as well as t-shirts for the band Son Volt, formed, after Uncle Tupelo's break-up, by Jay Farrar. Out of all proportion to any of my other band T's (and I own many), these Uncle Tupelo and Son Volt t-shirts almost without fail find me being stopped by strangers telling me how much they love those bands.

Now to my real point...

Mining similar material and existing through the same arc of time, a much lesser known band, steeped in bluegrass but pulling it into the 21cheri knight knitterst century by its fiddle-strings was rockin' its way out of northern New York State. The Blood Oranges featured singer/songwriter/mandolinist Jim Ryan, guitarist Mark Spencer, singer/songwriter/bassist Cheri Knight and drummer Ron Ward. The Blood Oranges were a really, really good band, good enough that Steven Mirkin in a June 1994 Rolling Stone said that they, "...find ways to make country-rock fusion seem like an idea with unlimited potential." They followed their 1990 debut, Corn River with 1992's Lone Green Valley and The Crying Tree in 1994. All of them strong albums and all of them more or less greeted with apathy by the record-buying populace. Then they called it quits.

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