They Were alt.country when alt.country Wasn't Cool
Everything in Popular Culture, of course, happens in waves. Things that are hugely popular one minute are tossed to the dust bin the next and left there for several years only to become hugely popular once again when discovered by a new audience. While Country Music remains popular with it's own core audience it slips in and out of acceptance with the Rock 'n' Roll crowd about once each decade.
In the 50s it was Rock 'n' Roll's Country Cousin - Rockabilly.
The 60s saw the youth of America embrace Folk Music, most of which was just Old Time Country Music.
Rock fans of the 70s were reintroduced to Country by the likes of Country Joe McDonald, Gram Parsons and Albert Lee. The stuff they played was called Country Rock, but it was just plain Country when it came right down to it.
In the 80s we had a handful of leftover hippies who moved over to the Country stations, but the real Country-Rock Connection of the Post Punk era was known as Cowpunk and was played by bands like Jason and the Nashville Scorchers, Dash Riprock, Rank & File and The Knitters.
The 90s gave us alt.country, with Uncle Tupelo paving the way for BR5-49, The Lonesome Brothers, The Gourds, The Bottle Rockets and a pile of others.
This record came out somewhere between Cowpunk and alt.country. In 1987 there weren't even Country bands who played music that sounded this much like, well, Country Music. And although there were bands who were tossed into the Cowpunk category who played softer sounds than the Punk designation would suggest, there were very few that played a sound as simple and retro as this one. NOBODY on Country Radio was playing anything that sounded anything like this by 1987, and neither have they since.
Last Roundup is made up of Angel Dean singing lead vocals, Amy McMahon Rigby playing guitar and harmonizing, her brother Michael McMahon playing Guitar, Lap Steel and Fiddle, and Garth Powell. The songs were written by the McMahon siblings and you may recognize Amy as she of "Diary of a Mod Housewife" fame a decade later. Angel Dean had a great alt.country band called Angel Dean & The Zephyrs who had a couple of songs on the Rig Rock Deluxe series by Deisel Only Records. She released a record with Sue Garner, who had preceeded her as vocalist for Last Roundup, in 2004.
- Cast Iron Girl
- Playin' the Fool
- To Paint the Town Red (You Need a Bucketful of Green)
- Mama's Last Stand
- Don't Wake Me Up
- River of Red
- At the Well
- (A Matter of) Satisfaction
- Walk in a Straight Line
- Just a Little is Enough
- Mary Beth Edwards