FROM SOME HOUSTON, TEXAS NEWSPAPER...
One of a nexus of gifted L.A. writers and pedigreed players who populate each other's records and gig bands, Randy Weeks is a master of the dark mood and the edgy relationship. Filled with foreboding tones and suicidally wistful sentiments on lovers here and gone, Sugarfinger, Weeks's third solo album since his days as a Lonesome Stranger, is easily his most fully realized statement yet. Sporting Piggly Wiggly T-shirts and a sheepish, I-just-woke-up look, Weeks is one of those walk-softly-and-carry-a-big-stick artists, part J.J. Cale and part Al Green. If Weeks's work weren't so painstakingly constructed, we might be tempted to call him minimalist. For his first visit to Houston since the infamous Sunday night when he played three hours without taking a break at the Mucky Duck, Weeks will be working with a brand-new Texas ensemble. As his songs make plain, this is one guy who likes to walk the tightrope without a net.
FROM RANDY'S www.myspace.com/randyweeks
James Brown at The Apollo, Cheap Trick at Budokan, Led Zeppelin at Knebworth...the history of modern popular music can be traced through a series of unique relationships between specific artists and specific venues. "Sold Out At The Cinema", the latest release from L.A. songwriter Randy Weeks, honors a similar special relationship between performer and venue...albeit with a few slight variations on the theme. To begin with, it's not a "live" album. Also, "The Cinema" is not some arena in a distant land filled with shrieking for'ners...but a tiny no-cover juke joint on Sepulveda Boulevard in West L.A.. THE STORY We first meet our hero in his boyhood home in southern Minnesota...but since nothing he did while there made it onto the radio, we'll fast forward to when he moved to Los Angeles. As a founding member of The Lonesome Strangers -- one of the forebearers L.A.'s early-nineties cowpunk scene -- Weeks made three highly-acclaimed albums and toured the world supporting Dwight Yoakum...with the band waiting to split up until just after their recording of Johnny Horton's "Goodbye Lonesome, Hello Baby Doll" found success at top-40-country radio (of course). Following The Lonesome Strangers, Weeks began playing his newer material around Los Angeles with a band featuring Tony Gilkyson (X, Lone Justice) on guitar, Don Heffington (Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris) on drums, and Kip Boardman on bass (Kip is no less bitchin' than the other two, just less name-droppy). The results of this period can be seen on Weeks debut solo release for Hightone Records, "Madeline". Mixing American rock and roll, roadhouse country, blues, and soul music "Madeline" was heard by many who matter -- proof of which can be found in Lucinda Williams' cover of Weeks' song "Can't Let Go" for her "Car Wheels On a Gravel Road" album...which went on to achieve platinum status and garner Williams a Grammy nomination for her performance of the song. "Sold Out At The Cinema", co-produced by Weeks and keyboardist Danny McGough (Shivaree, Tom Waits, Social Distortion), pays tribute to several years worth of bi-monthly gigs at a funky little juke joint in West L.A.. Funky though it might be, you could have never known from the fans of those Saturday nights. From members of Beck's band to Ms. Williams herself, it became the folk-rock resort destination for many of the more discerning ears in Los Angeles....that, and the cheap beer... Michael Meisel
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