Country-punk rockers Lone Justice‘s brief existence produced two fine albums, established lead singer Maria McKee‘s career, and helped to define the country-punk and nascent “alt.country” genres. This Is Lone Justice: The Vaught Tapes, 1983 is a rare recording from the band’s early years. Shortly after signing to Geffen, the band went into friend and notable session bassist David Vaught’s studio and recorded their set in a quick, live to tape session.
As a result, this is an extremely scorching set; rough, raw, and raucous, it shows a band at the peak of its power. The set is comprised of a handful of covers (the Johnny Carter/June Cash classic “Jackson,” Merle Haggard‘s “Working Man’s Blues,” and George Jones‘ “Nothing Can Stop My Loving You), several originals, such as the gospel rock of “Soul, Soup, and Salvation,” “Cactus Rose,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” and takes on traditional songs “Rattlesnake Mama” and “This World Is Not My Home.”
For such an influential band, This Is Lone Justice is a welcome rarity and a gem of a release, allowing the listener to peek inside and experience a fine, underrated country-rock band.