The pop and rock music subculture has been accurately satirized by the likes of Spinal Tap, the Rutles, Weird Al Yankovic, and to a certain extent Tenacious D. Lester "Roadhog" Moran & the Cadillac Cowboys are arguably the most successful lampooning of country music ever executed. The Complete Lester "Roadhog" Moran gathers the 1974 release Alive at the Johnny Mack Brown High School along with several previously unissued recordings and feigned airchecks of the band on the equally nonexistent AM radio station WEAK. Such a consummate fictional re-enactment can only be the work of insiders. Animating Lester "Roadhog" Moran and his backup band, the Cadillac Cowboys, are the legitimate talents of country music vocalists the Statler Brothers. The deadpan sincerity of the quartet -- as they embody their decidedly austere alter egos -- is a big part of why these recordings are repeatedly entertaining. Another lies in the unassuming charm of the characters' naïve belief that they actually have talent when all audible evidence points to the contrary. The two "Saturday Morning Radio Show" segments parody the days of low-budget local AM radio stations with uproarious accuracy. Moran leads his Cadillac Cowboys through ten minutes of what he refers to as "a pickin' and a grinnin'." What listeners are privy to are four musicians -- to use the description in its loosest sense -- with absolutely no timing, performing on four instruments that are just enough out of tune to make anything they attempt to play practically unbearable. Additionally, they can only (read: barely) make it through the first verse of each number they play, which is how they can fit five songs into each show. Among the highlights of each broadcast is an instrumental featuring "the ol' Roadhog's right-hand man, Wichita" who plays a "mighty fine, mighty fine take off guitar" -- well at least to Moran's standards. "Alive at the Johnny Mack Brown High School" -- also the name of the band's legitimate 1974 release -- documents a typical Saturday night performance by Moran and company -- including beer-fuelled brawls, cat fights, and the conspicuous absence of Wichita during his solo. Although the show must go on, it is revealed that he was just "out back for a few minutes." After being signed to the "Mercury music corporation U.S. of A.," -- as the ol' Roadhog calls it -- he gathered some of the finest talent in their fictitious hometown of Rainbow Valley to record the "Rainbow Valley Confidential Audition Tape." This ten-minute farce was originally featured on side two of Alive at the Johnny Mack Brown High School. The final two segments on this disc consist of a previously unreleased promotional interview and phone-in conversation with Ralph Emery -- the one-time voice of Music City, U.S.A., Nashville, TN. Hearing the down-to-earth musings of Moran on the subjects of fame, groupies, and the state of the recording industry is nothing less than sidesplitting entertainment. This disc is highly recommended for fans and foes of country music alike, as well as anyone with even a remote sense of humor.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer