The Lemonheads

Since they were formed in Boston, Mass, in 1986 by Evan Dando, the family tree of The Lemonheads has many twisted tentacles and tangential branches, and a host of one-liners etched into its bark. Anyone could be a Lemonhead but for how long who knows? Leastways they'll be shoulder-to-shoulder with Evan throwing discordant chords against alt-country-tinged melodies, playing that light and dark card. Through their ranks passed Descendents, Blakes Babies, Dinosaur Jrs and members of Fuzzy.

Three raucous albums on local label Taang! in the late '80s led to a deal with Atlantic Records and their "grown up" fourth: 'Lovey'. The times were a-changing. Touring that platter Evan hooked up with songwriter Tom Morgan and future bassist Nic Dalton in Australia. The seed was sewn, there was a nod to Gram and Evan's vocals matured for some much more mellow moments; the mix was massaged. Radio-friendly singles followed, it was pop forged out of punk angst, a beautiful mix made by beautiful people — Evan was voted one of the 50 most beautiful people by People magazine in 1993.

Subsequent albums, 'It's A Shame About Ray' and 'Come On Feel The Lemonheads' focussed on that Evan vocal; his turn of phrase, the curl of his lip, the couplet that became a lifestyle... and the hits followed, the radio hummed to the gorgeous 'Into Your Arms'; national TV beckoned; Evan and his 'heads were on Leno and Lettermen. The attention multiplied, the touring magnified, the anecdotes of self-destruction, road weariness and all too necessary poor behaviour increased and by '97 Evan was announcing the demise of his beloved Lemonheads on stage at Reading Festival.

His magnificent solo album 'Baby, I'm Bored' was released in 2003 — sounding even more laidback. So, to be truly unpredictable, a mere year later he was fronting The MC5 before returning as The Lemonheads with a head-on collision of wordy '70s punk and cosmic country for 2006's self-titled album as a new line up was bedded in.

Inspired by long time buddy Gibby Haynes of the Butthole Surfers' mix tapes their next project was 2008's 'Varshons' a collection of much-travelled covers that neatly placed Leonard Cohen next to GG Allin, Townes Van Zandt and obscure early Lemmy from his daze as part of psyche icons Sam Gopal. It also featured a cameo from Kate Moss.

Now, a decade on, 'Varshons 2' sees The Lemonheads return for their tenth studio album. Evan is at the helm with producer Matthew Cullen also on guitar and siren, Come and Codeine's Chris Brokaw supplying guitar and Willy Mason and Nina Violet sitting in. It's another mixtape in a different kitchen placing the oddball and the unsung next to The Eagles and Nick Cave. Where else could you hear the music of Tom Morgan's short-lived Givegoods, English curmudgeons The Bevis Frond and Lucinda Williams so seamlessly joined at the hip?

Varshons 2 - The new album, out 8th February 2019 on Fire Records www.firerecords.com

Tommy Stinson

TOMMY STINSON, founding member of the seminal Minneapolis-based rock group The Replacements, and current bass player for Guns N' Roses and Soul Asylum, has released his second solo effort, One Man Mutiny, on his own Done To Death Music label (distributed by Redeye).

Stinson will donate a portion of the net proceeds from the sale of the album to the Timkatec Schools in Haiti. Last summer, Stinson held an on-line auction and raised over $40,000 for the schools, which have housed and provided skilled trade education for abandoned and orphaned youths in the Pétionville district of Port-au-Prince for over ten years. The schools' fund-raising needs have drastically increased in the wake of the 2010 earthquake, and as a result Stinson remains committed to his on-going effort to raise funds for them.

One Man Mutiny is Stinson's most fully realized effort to date in both production quality and craftsmanship of song. "I'm finding it a lot more interesting to make music these days," says Tommy. "Especially given the musical climate as of the last few years – there are a lot of people complaining about how bad it is. I am actually embracing the challenges." This album is also a family affair for Tommy – his fiancée Emily Roberts sings harmonies on many of the songs and lead on his first ever duet, "Destroy Me," while her uncle Chip Roberts' slide guitar playing flavors the album from beginning to end. The album was produced by Phillip Broussard, Jr. (who has worked on records for such groups as Red Hot Chili Peppers and Weezer as well as Tommy's 2004 solo effort, Village Gorilla Head) and recorded at Tommy's Bipolarbear studios in both Los Angeles and suburban Philadelphia. The exception would be "One Man Mutiny," which was recorded with Guns N' Roses members Dizzy Reed and Richard Fortus in the restaurant of the Conrad Hotel in Brussels, Belgium on a day off from their 2010 world tour, which was documented on video (along with all sorts of other adventures on the road with GnR) on Tommy's website. The album was mixed by Sean Beavan (GnR, Nine Inch Nails, Village Gorilla Head).

Stinson, whose career began at the tender age of 13, has spent his entire life thus far making music and touring incessantly, leaving an indelible mark in the world of music and pop culture. After the Replacements stopped playing in 1991, Stinson went on to form his Faces-flavored group Bash & Pop and the more straightforward Perfect. His first solo release, Village Gorilla Head, was released in 2004 receiving praise from the critics and the fans. In 2005, Stinson also scored his first movie ("Catch and Release" with Jennifer Garner) with BT. Stinson is currently helping Soul Asylum put the finishing touches on their upcoming release and continues to tour with the group, as well as with Guns n' Roses.

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