Bill Kirchen & Austin de Lone – Transatlanticana
Bill Kirchen and Austin de Lone team up for a hands-across-the-Atlantic collection with their new studio album, Transatlanticana, out on 3rd March 2017 through Proper Records. This album unites the pioneers of two major musical movements on record for the first time after decades of playing together:
- Bill co-founded the original “Americana” band, Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, and his trademark Telecaster licks drove their hit “Hot Rod Lincoln” into the Billboard Top 10 in 1972.
- Austin de Lone dropped out of Harvard to start Eggs Over Easy, moving to London and recording with Jimi Hendrix’s producer/manager Chas Chandler in 1970. The Eggs are the acknowledged progenitors of British “Pub Rock”, the first link in the chain to punk rock, new wave and beyond.
Backed by both their British and American bands, Transatlanticana finds Kirchen and de Lone trading songwriting credits and lead vocals on this soulful and rocking collection.
The supporting cast includes: Gurf Morlix, Butch Hancock, Rick Richards, David Carroll, and Bobby Black (representing USA) with Paul “Bassman” Riley and Malcolm Mills (representing England).
Kirchen and de Lone cut the album on both sides of the Atlantic capturing on disc the best of their 40-year collaboration. In London they recorded at Proper’s SPECIFIC SOUND studio – with Bassman and Malcolm after a UK tour in 2015 – and in USA (Austin and San Francisco) with Rick, David, Bobby, Butch and Gurf. Kirchen is Austin, Texas – based; de Lone is in the San Francisco Bay Area, but both artists have longtime ties with the UK scene. Kirchen has toured as a guitarist with Nick Lowe and this is Bill’s fourth Proper Records album release; de Lone has toured as keyboard player for Lowe and Elvis Costello, who put out his first solo album on UK label Demon Records.
They first collaborated in the mid-1970s, writing together as The Moonlighters: “We sent Nick Lowe a bunch of songs for Rockpile, but unbeknownst to us they had decided to break up,” Kirchen says. What de Lone got back was a letter from Lowe that began, “Dear hero o’ mine. There’s not many of us left…”. Lowe then offered to produce them in London, and the resulting Moonlighters album, Rush Hour, came out in 1983 on the Edsel label. Since then, Bill and Austin have teamed up with Lowe and Costello many times: de Lone has worked with Lowe, Paul Carrack and Costello on several tours and Kirchen held the guitar chair for Lowe’s critically acclaimed Impossible Bird disc and tour.
The songs of Transatlanticana represent all the core elements of American music including R&B, country, rock, blues and gospel.
They kick off with Bill and Blackie’s tribute to the late Merle Haggard and the Bakersfield sound – “Hounds of the Bakersfield”. The song was finished shortly before Merle’s passing. The thunder and lightning ride of an album closes out less than an hour later with a barn-burning cover of “The Times They Are A-Changin’”. It’s an anthemic fresh take on a song you’ve heard a thousand times and somehow these guys infuse it with a singular power that comes from crazy talent, years spent playing together and a deep love of Dylan.
Spirited and served up with wit and humor, Transatlanticana is a ringside seat to these transatlantic sessions by a group of like-minded, top-of-their-game players enjoying each other’s musical company.
Label: The Last Music Company
Catalogue Number: LMCD202
Release Date: 3 March 2017