Archive for October 24th, 2007


Randy Lee “Soakin’ With Tears”

I tried briefly to look something up about this guy, found nothing, and that’s okay– I’ll just let his legend– based on this 1974 record– reign on its own terms. He wrote all or most of the songs and is backed up by some pretty big name Nashville session musicians, so I get the impression that he’s a songwriter, and a pretty good one. He also has a voice that could melt: granite; the cold heart of America; and 33 years of popular music being ruined by every force imaginable. OF COURSE I couldn’t find Randy Lee on the internet– he’s probably dead, or at least knows better. I was just fooled because this record is so “now.” When is it Randy Lee day at my house? EVERY DAY I play this record is Randy Lee day!!!

First there is the cover, a full face portrait of who we will presume to be Randy Lee– though it looks like a woman in drag with a black wig and Peter Fonda Easy Rider sunglasses, and lots of leather. The picture is taken in front of what looks like a wall of nasty green carpet– either soundproofing the wall of a studio, or perhaps Mr. Lee is LYING on the FLOOR of some Nashville outskirts dive motel, most likely passed out with a bottle JD nearby.

The songs are all good, but none quite as, as the title song, and there is no experience quite like hearing it for the first time. It starts out with a pretty standard upbeat instrumental bit, complete with full horn section… and then the VOICE comes in: “Look up in the sky-aye-aye…” There is no way I can describe the impact of that first brutal introduction to Randy Lee’s radioactive, FBI’s Ten Most Wanted, Weapon of Mass Destruction VOICE, except to say, I STILL haven’t gotten up off the ground.

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October 2007