Ian McLagan

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In 2004, Ian McLagan, infamous keyboard player with the Small Faces and the Faces, songwriter, Austin, TX, resident cum expatriate Brit, and all around fun hound, cut a killer little record that almost nobody heard called Rise and Shine. A little later that year he and his utterly wooly bar band Bump -- starring guitar king "Scrappy" Jud Newcomb, bassist Mark Andes (Heart, Canned Heat, Jo Jo Gunne), and drummer Don Harvey (Ronnie Lane) -- played a studio gig at Austin's Public Radio Station KUT. They blew the lid off the joint, playing an ultra-raw, good-time set captured to greasy perfection by engineer Walter Morgan. There are 13 cuts of gritty rock & roll complete with mistakes. (This band plays every Thursday at Austin's Lucky Lounge, so it's not like they're unrehearsed, but playing in a barroom format they don't sweat the details; they do it for fun and they don't need to fix or apologize for anything by re-recording it.) McLagan & the Bump Band ride through a slew of Mac's fine songs, including the beautiful "Wishing Hoping, Dreaming" (written for the late Lane) and the unreleased Jerry Lee Lewis-inspired "I'm Hot You're Cool," which moves toward in-the-red garage roots rock bombast. To be honest, McLagan & Bump have what so few "serious" bands do: the willingness to take the tradition and let it rip without giving a toss what anybody thinks. One can hear in his and Lane's "You're So Rude," the reading of Walter Jacobs' "Temperature," and Johnnie Lee Schell's "Little Troublemaker" why the music was once regarded as dangerous. It moves the ass as well as the feet. The mind gets to shut down and instinct takes over. It's swaggering, sexual, crazy, and loose. This isn't to say the music doesn't have a sensitive side; check McLagan's reggae cum soul-tinged "Date with an Angel," or the band's version of "Mystifies Me" by Ronnie Wood, another former Faces mate; they give up no territory in terms of rawness, yet peel back the veneer of the artifice of song to get to what's real underneath the chord changes and lyrics. Two of these cuts -- "Wishing Hoping Dreaming" and "She Ain't My Girl" -- were recorded live at the Christmas part of another radio studio, KGSR. This is the first real rock & roll record to be released in 2006. To all the faceless (no pun intended) bar bands out there playing trad rock or blues, this is how it's done; this is the standard of loose and crazy to aspire to. Quit worrying about how "authentic" you sound, and let it rip and have a good time. You can't lose.

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