(July 10, 2018) Los Angeles – Blue ÉlanRecords is pleased to announce the signing of Los Angeles-based The Textones, featuring: Austin, TX native and band-leader Carla Olson, drummer Rick Hemmert, guitarist George Callins, keyboard/saxophone wiz Tom Jr. Morgan, and bassist Joe Read. Their 3rdand latest album, Old Stone Gang, will be released on September 21, 2018.
The new album might surprise Textonesfans who have been waiting more than thirty years for new music. After helping to define the path forward for what became known as Americana music, the new songs confirm that their classic style and talent have only grown over the years. “I think the new album is just as viable, important and relevant as Midnight Mission and Cedar Creek,” concludes Olson. “It sounds similar to what we used to do, but of course we are now older and supposedly wiser [laughs] and I like to think, a little more sage.” The track “20 Miles South of Wrong”, a Springsteen-esque Callins-Olson original, features a Tom Jr. Morgan sax solo with Allan Clarke (the Hollies) on harmonica alongside special guest, Poco’s Rusty Young. “One-Half Rock,” which actually started years prior with a Phil Seymour lyric (“She’s one-half rock/ One-half roll”) was finished by Carla and features a Chuck Berry-inspired riff from Callins and Carla as lead vocal.
The Textones originally came together in 1978 when Carla Olson and Kathy Valentine, formerly of The Violators, flipped a coin to decide the target of their search for fame and fortune. Los Angeles beat out New York. Both were adept singers, songwriters, and guitarists and with David Provost on bass and drummer Markus Cuff, The Textones took the L.A. club scene by storm. Eventually, they released a 3-song EP on the U.K. Chiswick imprint and later, a single on the “new wave” I.R.S. label. The Textones were, in Carla’s words, “A hard-rockin’ The-Who-Meets-The Stones kind of band, with a little Byrds or Beatles jangle thrown in.” Brimming with talent, they had members move on to continued success, notably, Valentine joining the iconic 80’s band the Go-Go’s. Their first album, Midnight Mission, was filled with music’s elite, such as Carla’s old friend Don Henley who contributed vocal harmonies, ace slide guitarist Ry Cooder and the great blues pianist (and album co-producer) Barry Goldberg. Even Bob Dylan joined in when he gave Carla an unreleased song, “Clean Cut Kid.” Midnight Mission was a straight-forward commentary on the Reagan era of the 80s, targeting the “yuppies” that have thrived under his watch. The follow-up Textones album Cedar Creek on the Enigma label, with Rick Hemmert in the drum seat, was just as strong, but Carla states,”It’s a music business cliché, but it’s true — your first album is written over a lifetime, the second album is written in a year.” The group did not produce a third album until this year.
There were a few attempts to reform The Textones over the years, but as band members got married, had kids, moved to other cities and found other employment, it didn’t become financially or logistically possible until 2012, when four tracks featured on the new album started to take shape in the recording studio with the old line-up all accounted for. Now, The Textones have returned to the fore and are driving ahead with Old Stone Gang, still fired up and ready to take on the world as they see it.