Album Reviews

The Textones

Midnight Mission and Cedar Creek Reissues

Artist:     The Textones

Album:     Midnight Mission and Cedar Creek Reissues

Label:     Ominivore

Release Date:     05/26/2015


The previously overlooked, L.A. based band, the Textones, are reissuing their first two albums, Midnight Mission  and Cedar Creek. While the Textones cannot necessarily be described as ground-breaking, they were powerful, important and deserving of more attention than they received back in the early ’80s. Part E Street Band, part Rolling Stones, the Textones were able to synthesize rock, country and blues into their own dynamic sound which is represented well on these two discs in the studio and in live performances. Leader Carla Olson (guitarist, vocalist and principal writer) has a bravado and confidence that just seems to leap from the speakers.

Midnight Mission, the first album, was recorded in 1984. Among the highlights is Bob Dylan’s unreleased “Clean Cut Kid,” offered to the band after Carla appeared in Dylan’s “Sweetheart Like You” video. Five bonus tracks include three from the film Sylvester, as well as two previously unissued live recordings from the Palace in Hollywood.

Cedar Creek followed three years later with new drummer Rick Hemmer joining the core lineup of Olson, guitarist Callins, bassist Read and saxophonist Morgan. Just as on their first album, Ian MacLagan and Howie Epstein guested on the CD. This disc has the nine studio originals augmented by eight scorching live tracks from their 1987 performance at the Catalyst in Santa Cruz. Olson’s enthusiasm is splashed all over the liner notes, “I don’t wag my tail much about this, but the Catalyst show is one of the best examples of how well I can sing when it all works. It’s some of the best singing I’ve ever done.” Olson is equally buoyed by these two discs being reissued in expanded fashion. “We are glad the music is being made available again, especially with the live set that we’ve added to Cedar Creek. We were one hell of a rock n’ roll band.” If you missed them in their prime, now you have no excuses. Genuine rock n’ roll is timeless. The Textones sound great even thirty years later.

– Jim Hynes

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