Sunday, March 10, 2019

Spotlight on The Del-Lords

The Del-Lords photo by Jeffrey Scales, courtesy Enigma Records
The Del-Lords photo by Jeffrey Scales, courtesy Enigma Records

The Del-Lords Discography:
Frontier Days (EMI America Records, 1984)
Johnny Comes Marching Home (EMI America Records, 1986)
Based On A True Story (Enigma Records, 1988)
Howlin' at the Halloween Moon (Restless Records, 1989)
Lovers Who Wander (Enigma Records, 1990)
Get Tough: The Best of the Del-Lords (Restless Records, 1999)
Elvis Club (GB Music, 2013)

The Del-Lords remain one of my personal fave bands and one of the tragic rock 'n' roll stories of the 1980s. The band's imaginative mix of roots-rock, blues, folk, and country music went over big with college radio listeners, and the Del-Lords' electric live performances won them a loyal following from coast to coast. Due to label mismanagement and management woes, however, they never got the support needed to break through to mainstream rock audiences via commercial radio. Still, the Del-Lords – singer/guitarist Scott Kempner, singer/guitarist Eric Ambel, bassist Manny Caiati, and drummer Frank Funaro – released four incredible studio and one live album during their too-brief tenure.

The Del-Lords reunited in 2010 to perform a handful of shows, later recording a 2013 album titled Elvis Club. Scott Kempner, who can brag of being a member of two legendary bands in the Del-Lords and the Dictators, has released a handful of critically-acclaimed solo albums over the years. Eric Ambel also continues to make new music, most recently releasing the 2018 album Lakeside, and has made his mark as a producer, working on albums by artists like the Bottle Rockets, Sarah Borges, Steve Wynn, and Jimbo Mathus, among many others. Frank Funaro is currently beating the cans for Cracker and has played with Joey Ramone and Nils Lofgren while Manny Caiati wisely got out of the business, got his law degree, and currently works as a child advocate.   

Also on That Devil Music: The Del-Lords' Based On A True Story CD review

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