Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Got chili, huevos, beans and coffee?

The past couple of nights I've plugged in the noise-cancelling headphones to my phone's playlist at bedtime.  This post is about one of the songs on that list.

Lone Wolf, Murphey's 'rock-n-roll' album from early 1978, was a departure from his Geronimo's Cadillac, Cosmic Cowboy, and Wildfire earlier work.  It's said that Epic/Columbia wanted more edge, and was trying to develop and package him in a Dan Fogelberg fashion.  After hearing him open for America at DCC, touring to support this album, I bought a copy at the now-defunct Six Flags Mall Musicland.  Even though I don't think he plays any of the material from this record anymore, it's still one of my favorites.

This album was produced by John Boylan, who a few years earlier, as Linda Ronstadt's manager, introduced her to a long-haired Detroit country rocker, and an East Texas native who - like Murphey - had attended NTSU and later moved to L.A.  They formed a band of their own not long after.

In some respects, Lone Wolf, and this song in particular, seem to echo that band's blockbuster's theme of disillusionment with the crumbling façade of the American Dream and progress featured in The Last Resort, Life in the Fast Lane, and Hotel California a year earlier.  Prolific studio musicians Jai Winding (featured on many Henley songs) and Mike Botts (also a member of  Bread), perform on the album.

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