Ronnie Lane with Slim Chance

Anymore for Anymore (GM 1974)

I know I keep writing this…but I apologize for my absence and regular posting will resume shortly.

I only discovered this album a few years ago, but wish it had fallen into my lap much sooner. Slim Chance, Ronnie Laine’s post-Faces project, barely sounds like the work of a man responsible for the raunchy rock and roll of the Faces. In fact, it has that easygoing 70s stoner vibe that makes me love the Flaming Groovies and Holy Modal Rounders while nailing some slick Nilsson/Rundgren styled AM weepers. Hell,  their cover of Blind Willie Johnson’s “Bye and Bye(Gonna see the King)” makes the whole album worthwhile as Lane channels Bob Dylan circa Blonde on Blonde.  There is no weak link on Anymore for Anymore. Lane manages to synthesize the strands between psych, r&b, country, blues and folk into a thoroughly unified musical vision where it all doesn’t quite fit, but you wouldn’t change a damn thing. It’s all so well-written, played, performed and produced that a cotton-candy pop confection melds into barroom boogie into a damaged weeper without ever seeming like a well-intentioned, but uncohesive collage. Lane ain’t exactly reinventing the wheel with Slim Chance, it’s just a sloppy, passionate album where everyone sounds like they are having a fucking blast in the studio. Therefore, you get to hop on the coattails of their good mood.

If you isolated the country tunes from the rest of the album, you would have the makings of the best outlaw country recorded by a British citizen. The other half would make a far better soundtrack to Harold and Maude. Both haves capture a vibe of a man whose been burned a few too many times, but keeps hoping for brighter days ahead of him. “Don’t You Cry” is an especially moving tune where Lane is obviously crushed by a broken relationship, but he chokes back the tears to proclaim that he’s going to rise from the ashes like a phoenix. Yeah, the imagery is a bit hokey, but I feel him on the idea that moping around in your pajamas is for the birds. The more you listen to Anymore for Anymore, you kind of grow attached to Ronnie Lane. His songs are so full of hope, regret and conflicted emotions that his protagonist seem all too familiar. Therefore, I have found myself blaring this album at inopportune moments while commiserating with Lane’s cavalcade of lovable losers and determined souls. There’s something to be said for albums where you find solace, sympathy or empathy with each sentiment. Anymore for Anymore is really an unheralded album that may represent one of the best county-folk albums of the 70s.