When half of a band's original lineup packs up and leaves, it's a pretty big deal, at least to the group and their fans. Left Lane Cruiser were populated by just two guys for their first ten years – Frederick "Joe" Evans IV on guitar and vocals, and Brenn Beck on drums – and after Beck quit the group in 2014, Alive Naturalsound decided to mark the end of an era with Beck in Black, a collection of material from the duo's years with Beck behind the drums. Left Lane Cruiser are very good at what they do, but they have only so many moves in their repertoire, and Beck in Black covers them all – heavy-hitting blues-rock with lots of gnarly slide guitar, Brontosaurus stomp rhythms, and lyrics about women, whiskey, weed, and dangerous good times of all stripes.
"Twilight Cruiser" is a very melodic, somewhat melancholy album. The Zeppelin-esque sound is still there, but it's tempered by a much more emotional and personal approach. …
In 1972, pre-heavy metal legend Neil Merryweather took the musicans from Mama Lion with the exception of Lynn Carey, entered the studio and laid down two albums, "Heavy Cruiser" and "Lucky Dog" under the name of Heavy Cruiser.
Artie Ripp (record producer) stopped the band from putting their names on the record cover because he didn’t want it to interfere with his main act, Mama Lion.
The same thing happened when Neil did more of his songs with the band and produced a second “Heavy Cruiser” album called “Lucky Dog” – band members’ names were left off the cover.
Left Lane Cruiser is the duo of singer/guitarist Freddie J. Evans IV and drummer Brenn Beck, from Fort Wayne, IN, and their music not surprisingly recalls that of the White Stripes, another twosome with the same instrumentation. Like the White Stripes, Evans and Beck are self-consciously primitive in their approach, and they are equally mannered in their effect. The main difference is that Left Lane Cruiser is more of a blues act. Beck stomps on his drums, and Evans plays familiar loud, heavy riffs on his electric guitar while howling into what sounds like a microphone not intended to handle vocals, such that his singing comes off distorted, even when he isn't yelling. For only two musicians, they make quite a racket, but their relentlessness can be enervating unless one really has a taste for it.
This Wounded Bird two-fer packages together two of Deodato's transitional albums from 1979 and 1980, when he was actively pursuing chart success and radio play in the United States. Knights of Fantasy, from 1979, contains trace elements of the Brazilian producer and composer's fusion persona while melding them with disco and lite funk – as many other jazzmen were also doing at the time, from Lonnie Liston Smith to the Crusaders. Fine for the dancefloor or the listening room, Night Cruiser is easily Deodato's most consistent effort of that decade.