Thursday, November 5, 2015

Lone Justice - Ways To Be Wicked

This is Lone Justice's second appearance on ERV, as the equally strong "Sweet, Sweet Baby (I'm Falling)" showed up on our little corner of the universe back in November 2011.

As we mentioned then, Lone Justice was one of the leading acts in the cowpunk movement, a roots revival scene that merged country and rockabilly with the rough edges of punk.  Sadly, while several acts garnered critical acclaim, there was little to speak of in terms of commercial success.  Country rock just didn't sell in the 1980's, and we're all a little worse off because of that.

The band's roots go back to 1982 when the group was founded by Maria McKee (vocals) and Ryan Hedgecock (guitar).  Lone Justice eventually built a following, and signed to Geffen in 1985.  In the 'it's nice to have friends in high places' category, Tom Petty and Mike Campbell wrote "Ways to be Wicked."

In spite of the positive press, the single only reached #71 on the charts, while the LP stalled at #56.  The band effectively broke up after that, although singer Maria McKee kept the name and released a second album (Shelter) in 1986 that did not do appreciably better.

McKee officially went solo in the late 1980's, and has remained active in the industry to the present day.