McGuffey Lane

McGuffey Lane: Call Me Lucky

$16.32 $18.98
Product Type: CD
Artist: McGuffey Lane

Title: Call Me Lucky
Label: CD Baby

McGuffey Lane Biography For a band given up for dead, both figuratively and literally several times over, McGuffey Lane and their music are still going strong, pleasing thousands of fans throughout Ohio, the Ohio River Valley and beyond, with their own unique blend of rock, country, and bluegrass. In the beginning there wasn't even a band, just a duo called Scotch and Soda. That's the moniker Steve Reis and Terry Efaw took in 1974 as they started to play around Columbus, doing popular country and folk rock tunes of the day. When joined by singer songwriter Bobby Gene McNelley, they became McGuffey Lane, named after a street in Athens that Reis lived on during his Ohio University days. Their popularity grew gradually, and they soon started playing bigger bars and clubs. While headlining at Ruby Tuesday's, the band expanded again with drummer Dick Smith and keyboard player Tebes Douglass. Slowly some original music started to find it's way into their sets. Zachariah's Red Eye Saloon was the center of the country rock music scene in Ohio during the late 70s and early 80s. Located in a former warehouse on High Street directly across from the Ohio State campus, the Lane first played there in 1977 and became the house band soon after. At that time they added their sixth member, guitarist/vocalist John Schwab. The line up that would be McGuffey Lane for their High Street glory days was now set. And what days they would be... During the early Zach days most of the songs were covers, with originals making up a small part of each night's set. There were country covers like Jerry Jeff Walkers "Up Against the Wall (Redneck Mother)" and George Jones' "She Still Thinks I Care"; rock covers like "Suite Judy Blue Eyes" and "Hey Jude"; and blue grass standards like "Rocky Top," "Cumberland Gap," and "Foggy Mountain Breakdown." As the band took hold, more and more of their performances became filled with originals. The band's confidence in their own material grew, supported by the reaction from their fans, and original music soon dominated their shows. Many of these songs would end up making up their first album in 1980, such as "Green Country Mountains," "Break Away," "Long Time Loving You," and "People Like You." Whether it was Zachariah's or on the road, more and more people came to hear McGuffey Lane do McGuffey Lane songs. In concert the band was developing it's own sound. At any one time almost anyone would sing lead vocals; a blue grass standard would be followed by a band original followed by a cover of a Stones song; steel guitars and mandolins would blend with Stratocasters. Some fans came to party and dance, some came to sit and listen, others came to enjoy the contagious atmosphere that was McGuffey Lane. The central Ohio college students loved them. The Midwest city kids raised on Bob Seger and Michael Stanley attending Ohio State hopped on the bandwagon, and the eastern preppy types at Ohio Wesleyan, Denison, and Kenyon packed their concerts when the Lane played their campuses, or would make the trek to Columbus to see the band at Zachariah's. McGuffey Lane's times at Zach's would go from 1977 until 1980. And when they weren't at Zach's they were on the road, spreading their music the old fashion way, playing Ohio and the Ohio River Valley's bars, ballrooms, and colleges. Enthusiastic crowds greeted the band at Peabody's and the Agora in Cleveland; Bogart's in Cincinnati; and the Decade in Pittsburgh. College shows like their annual outdoor concert at Ohio Wesleyan's Styvesant Glen became traditions. They also started opening for national acts who would travel through Ohio, starting with a 1977 Waylon Jennings show at Veteran's Memorial. By the end of the 70s, McGuffey Lane songs were being requested on local and regional country and rock stations. In 1980 local music entrepreneur Steve Liberatore put up the money to record those songs, and released the Lane's first self-titled album on Paradise Island Records in August of 1980. Region success was immediate, selling 10,000 copies in the first month, 40,000 in three. During the fall of 1980 Emotional Rescue by the Rolling Stones was the #1 album in every major market in America, except in Columbus where McGuffey Lane headed the charts. That got the band noticed by Atlantic Records who would soon release the album nationally on it's Atco label. It would go on to respectable sales of 175,000 copies. McGuffey Lane featured the line up that had been playing at Zachariah's, with John Campigotto subbing for Dick Smith on drums. The album featured ten songs, all of them popular originals from the band, with seven written by McNelley and three by Schwab. The album was recorded at Fifth Floor Studios in Cincinnati, and was engineered by Gary Platt. Amongst the guests on the album were John Stelzer with a terrific sax solo on "Breakaway;" and a piano solo on "Rodeo" by future Lane member Casey McKeown. "Long Time Loving You" b/w "People Like You" had success as a single, appearing on the Top 100 country charts. With the success of their first album, and exposure farther and farther from their base in central Ohio, the early Eighties found McGuffey Lane as a national act, trying to find that one break out gold album or top ten hit. They played Charlie Daniels' Volunteer Jam from 1981 to 1984, toured and/or opened for everyone from the Allman Brothers to the Marshall Tucker Band, and released three more albums for Atlantic. In 1981 the band released their second album Aqua Dreams. The personal was the same as the first record, with the permanent addition of Dave Rangelar on drums. The album featured several long time originals that did not make the first album ("Tennessee," "Don't You Think About Me"); several Steve Reis penned songs ("It Comes from the Heart" and "Outlaw Rider"); some new Bob Gene McNelley tunes, including "New Beginning" and "Falling Timber"; and an instrumental bluegrass medley called "Bags of Rags," which featured Terry Efaw's guitar picking talents and a guest fiddle solo by Charlie Daniels. The single "Starting All Over" made the pop charts Top 100. The band's third effort on Atco was "Let the Hard Times Roll." Released in 1982, it is the band's most country of their four Atlantic releases. Recorded at the Bennett house in Franklin, Tennessee, the album was produced and engineered by Marshall Morgan and Paul Worley. Morgan would go on to engineer Dolly Parton's bluegrass albums, as well as work extensively with Ricky Van Shelton and Ricky Skaggs. Worley would later go on to produce number one albums by Colin Raye, Martina McBride, and the Dixie Chicks. The single "Making a Living (Has Been Killing Me)" made the Top 50 on the country charts. In early 1984 tragedy would strike the band. Keyboard and harmonica player Tebes Douglass was killed in an automobile accident while returning from a sold out show in Dayton. The band's final effort for Atlantic was Day by Day in 1984. The album was engineered and produced once again by Morgan and Worley. The record was dedicated to Douglass, and his keyboards and harmonica can be still heard on most of the album's tracks. Amongst the highlights of the album were the McNelley/Schwab titled composition; "Jamaica on my Mind" which McNelley wrote with Bobby Keel; and "The Legend," Schwab's tribute to the roots of rock and roll, which he wrote with Dan Tyler. The album would have two songs make it to the country Top 100, the title tune and "The First Time." During McGuffey Lane's five years with them, Atlantic Records had trouble marketing the band. They really didn't know how to promote a country rock band, at the time it's roster was filled with acts like Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, and Led Zeppelin. There really wasn't even another act that the Lane could have partnered up with on the road. Their last three albums would all sell well in Ohio, but nationally sales were a disappointment. By the late 1980s country rock was over. Most of the Marshall T

1.1 Kid with the Arrow
1.2 The Good in Goodbye
1.3 There's Only One of Us Now
1.4 When I Sing of You
1.5 What You've Got
1.6 Trains Make Me Lonesome
1.7 Call Me Lucky
1.8 Baby Don't Call Me Babymore (Anymore)
1.9 Into the Mystic
1.10 The Good Times Tonight

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