The Rave-Ups’ (from the album Town + Country on Omnivore Recordings) - There was a rock and roll stance in the way The Rave-Ups leaned more towards Country in their Rock, and certainly an outlaw sensibility in the way the band recorded. The members of The Rave-Ups’ worked in the A&M Records mail room as a day gig, using the studios at night and during lunch breaks to record. The band welcomed the help of producer Stephen Barncard (Grateful Dead’s American Beauty), and pedal steel player Sneaky Pete Kleinow in the recording of Town + Country in 1985. Omnivore Recordings packs the ten original releases with eleven additional tracks of unreleased, live, and 1986 studio cuts. During the album’s original release, the LA-based The Rave-Ups’ were primed for infamy as part of the John Hughes’ film Pretty in Pink. The track was in consideration with “Positively Lost Me” and when it was not used, Town + Country fell out of print, though not Roots music legend.
On the recording, Town + Country has the rock’n’roll band studio perfection that ruled 1980’s productions. The Rave-Ups’ tear down California residential streets cruising “In My Gremlin”, point fingers over an Everly Brothers-branded Rock’n’Roll with “Class Tramp”, dial in a sad Country song for “Radio”, and shake out a Burrito Brothers Country Rock wisdom in “Not Where You're At (But Where You Will Be)”. Guitar distortion rises up in dusty clouds of chords on the included demo of “If I Had a Hammer” as The Rave-ups electrify Country in a live version of “Nine Pound Hammer”. Rapid fire preaching holds on tight to runaway rhythms in “Remember (Newman's Lovesong)” as The Rave-Ups wrestle a T-Rex boogie into “Rave-up, Shut-Up”, caffeinate a honky tonk swirl with “By the Way”, and put a city-street edge to The Byrds’ “You Ain't Goin' Nowhere”.