When We Danced - Cool Groove CD110
...I think Lost Country has kept with the feeling expressed in the title; the times when we danced....Lost Country is eclectic across pretty much the same spectrum this magazine is about, centering around country music.
Blue Suede News
#87 Summer 2009
On When We Danced, Lost Country shares the kind of country that was just beginning to become rockabilly, sounding like an experienced local band sharing vocals on heartbreak songs in a rural dancehall somewhere out there about ten miles from the nearest town. It comforts in its purposeful antiquity....
Jim Colegrove has sustained a prime of achievement in the music-making business that makes his current collaborative ensemble, Lost Country, arguably the most youthful and vibrant band Texas has to offer. Youth and longevity make for a daunting combination — something of a Dorian Gray situation, without the built-in drawbacks — but Lost Country has proved dauntless, as opposed to daunted, in its six-album campaign to keep the roots-music scene true to its ancient bearings while seeking new directions.
That newly issued sixth CD-album, When We Danced, has more layers of sound and meaning than one can count without running out of fingers. The most commercially polished of its lot, When We Danced boasts a familiar lineup of instrumentalists and featured singers, with the addition of Craig Simecheck on keyboards as successor to since-retired Jeff Gutcheon. Simecheck and Colegrove, of course, are mainstays of the Juke Jumpers — a Colegrove-signature band of the 1980s and ’90s that continues to reunite on at least an annual basis.
The consistency with the previous Lost Country albums is astonishing, and so are the broadening departures that When We Danced makes from its prior representations-on-disc. The sonic palette is more extensive, intensifying in particular the naturally bold drum-kit work of Steve Springer and the nuanced stringed-instrument leads from Colegrove and David McMillan. The songwriting overall forges deeper into meaning-of-life territory, with wit and sobering insight in more-or-less equal measure — honky-tonk Existentialism is putting it lightly.
“Soul music” might be as applicable a term as any, if not for the industry’s narrowing of that phrase since around 1965 to apply exclusively to rhythm-and-blues. I used to hear the term a great deal from an uncle of mine, a blues-and-country enthusiast who applied the “soul music” description to any number of artists from Hank Williams to Muddy Waters to Billie Holiday and Kitty Wells. My uncle would have relished Lost Country, which acknowledges no barriers and thus practices a style as soulful and far-reaching as that of Doug Sahm or Willie Nelson....
Michael J. Price
Fort Worth Business Press
April 08, 2009
Here comes Jim Colegrove adding to his hours and hours of recorded history. Rock historians know him from what seems like three thousand bands and recording projects such as Bo Grumpus, Teddy & the Rough Riders, Great Speckled Bird and one of my all-time favorites, The Juke Jumpers—roots rock right up there with the best and recorded on one of the coolest labels ever, Amazin’ (If it’s a hit, it’s amazin’!). This time around, Colegrove has planted roots with Lost Country, a group of 50s’ and 60s’ castoffs—or would that be outcasts—all with feet in—well, roots.
The name is well chosen, as is the title of the album, because when they play, you want to dance. I, my own self, remember gatherings of an early evening, console radio cranked up, the smell of whiskey and coffee and cigarettes filling the air of someone’s house (though when I see pictures, they were no more than shacks). I remember laughing and dancing and talking in volume, but most of all I remember the radio, the sweet and sometimes rabid sounds blasting out of what was probably one ten-inch speaker filling the room with honky tonk and boogie woogie and country swing and rags and whatever other sounds there were which slowly entwined with R&B and became rock. It was all sweet, sweet sound to a kid not yet five, allowed to stay up until the sky turned solid black or the head began to nod.
Do we even dance anymore? As a people? It doesn’t seem so, but maybe it’s because the music doesn’t make you want to. Lost Country’s does. You could have stuck your head in any tavern or bar in my old hometown in the mid-60s and seen people drinking and dancing to a tune like I Could Swear It Wasn’t Raining, pedal steel slipping out the door and onto the street with mournful vocals following slowly after, or Got My Foot Caught in the Door, jazzy swing tones undulating beneath jazz harmonies (very Pee Wee King, this, and Pee Wee King was a god in the old hometown).
It doesn’t all lean toward the country, either. Pop rears its head on tunes like It Takes Too Long, a tongue-in-cheek look at aging played 60s-style (like something Connie Francis might have put on an album between the hit tracks) and the country/surf/rock Like a Wheel with its heavily reverbed guitar and odd chord changes could be a garage classic (I mean, if you didn’t know, you might think...). And I wouldn’t have thought anything about it if The Beatles had recorded It Don’t Work Anymore around 1965 when they became enamored with artists like Buck Owens. Speaking of ol’ Buck, if Right What’s Left isn’t right down his alley, well...
Lost Country plays music with a groove—a cool groove. That is the name of the label, after all, and you hear it here. They’re the latest in a long string of Jim Colegrove projects, but this isn’t just Colegrove—it’s Lost Country, front to back. If you have read this far, though, I do heartily recommend you check out the label’s site, if for no other reason than good reading. You might be surprised what you learn. While you’re there, buy an album. Maybe Lost Country isn’t lost anymore. Maybe it will be the next big thing.
Frank O. Gutch Jr.
Rock and Reprise (online)
Spring is here and having just celebrated a half century making music, Lost Country honcho Jim Colegrove has just released his band’s sixth (can that be right?) CD on his Cool Groove label. The disc features the same blend of voices (four, count ’em, four lead singers!) and influences (a veritable cornucopia of blues and country-rooted musics) as its predecessors. This time around, Colegrove’s Woodstock pal Jeff Gutcheon has been supplanted behind the ivories by ex-Juke Jumper Craig Simecheck. More to the point, producer Colegrove has invested the tracks on this latest opus with a glossy sheen that’s, dare I say it, “radio-ready.” Guitars ring, snare shots crack like rifle fire, and vocals carry just enough reverb to make them sound massive.
When We Danced is the first Lost Country outing to feature all original material, with nary a cover to be found. Pick of the litter is I Could Swear It Wasn’t Raining, a stately C&W ballad in the grand style, penned by steel guitarist David McMillan in collaboration with Colegrove, whose western swing-y Hybrid Baby is both topical and witty. (On first listen, I had to stop for a minute before I realized that the line “She’s a combination and she goes both ways you see” was about a car. Duh.) I doubt that Colegrove intentionally set out to summon the shade of Ronnie Lane on Nowhere to Go, but song’s nostalgia for late lamented places — which should resonate for listeners, like this one, who are having trouble adjusting to some of the changes to the face of our fair city — resounds with the same kind of sweet regret as the ex-Small Face and adopted Austinite’s best toons. The same bittersweet sentiments inform Colegrove’s It Don’t Work Anymore and Right What’s Left.
Susan Colegrove turns in a bravura rockabilly vocal turn that’d do Wanda Jackson proud on Baby Let’s Go, and expresses a very modern impatience with the pace of things (“It takes too long to eat my dinner / It takes to long when I want to be thinner”) on It Takes Too Long, a lazy, loose-limbed rocker that lopes along like something Cosimo Matassa might have cut in Nawlins back in the ’50s. Big surprise here is bassist Rob Caslin, who’s been gigging with jangly rockers Great American Novel when not busy with Colegrove and Co. He penned and sang the title track, a good-timey Appalachian hoedown, and Little Creeps, a galloping Buddy Holly-esque take on the same premise as Randy Newman’s Short People, with wobbly slide guitar from Colegrove.
Scattered - Cool Groove CD106
The solid and somewhat quirky bunch of Fort Worth music vets collectively known as Lost Country grace us once again with the funky sorta blues and rinky-tink piano-based country-rock melange of Scattered. While the sound is, indeed scattered, the mission, to make music that the band enjoys as much as the audience should, is never lost.
On a dozen originals and covers of two other songs, the new CD is often an enjoyable listen and also manages to reach into a little emotional depth.
The CD begins with the funky kinda country blues of Hard Love, followed by the somewhat raucous psychiatric spoof I Hate Myself and an electric, Dylanesque trip, Your Number’s Up, through the Mississippi Delta along Highway 61.
I Ain’t Goin’ Back to New Orleans is a dirge-like lament in the wake of Katrina, and the I’m-lonley-but-I’ve-got-my-guitar-to-keep-me-company Let the Guitar Howl manages to haunt just a bit.
...The sound is (purposely) a little loose, and it’s fun when the group takes itself just seriously enough.
Rating: - Great Roots Music from Fort Worth, TX!
Do you remember the band called "Hungry Chuck"? If you are fond of their music, which is titled as "Hungry Chuck" released by Bearsville, you are sure to love this album. Jim Colegrove is a leading member of this band, LOST COUNTRY, as well as a former member of Hungry Chuck, and shows his excellent ability in this album. R&B, Blues and Country are included here with joyous sound. It’s worth while trying!
Fats the Man(Nagoya, Japan)
(on Amazon.com) 2007
Latest in a string of consistently fine roots-music CDs dating from 2001, this album from Fort Worth’s most versatile country-rock and honky-tonk ensemble resonates with a combination of dark irony and rambunctious good humor.
Steel guitarist David McMillan’s It’s Dark in Here takes a particularly edgy approach to the Deep Southern murder-ballad tradition. Vocalist Susan Colegrove’s interpretation of McMillan’s I Gotta Dance is as festive a portrait of desperation as one is likely to find. Guitarist Jim Colegrove invokes an iconic image of a classic good-luck charm in Keep Me and Never Go Broke. Pianist Jeff Gutcheon’s composition I Hate Myself walks a risky line between droll wit and grim reflection.
Powerful original material, here, with the thematic unity of a suite — and garnished with choice remakes of Floyd Tillman’s This Cold War with You and Chuck Willis’ Love Struck.
Fort Worth Business Press - Homestyle
Could’ve been called Welcome to the Slide Zone or Great Speckled Birds Fly Higher. Whatever...we heard old guitars howling about ten seconds after this one started to spin. Track #1 is so good we could have easily blown a whole roll of quarters on it at the Waffle House if it had been on the juke box last night. Sad to say it wasn’t. Maybe next time or next stop on the blues highway. No, we don’t know if they’re playing the state fair this year or not. Maybe just Festival Express now and forever....We like the way these songs sound brand new but also somehow so comfortably familiar, informed as they are by classic folk-rock and country blues roots. Every now and then we yield to the urge to backtrack and replay some of the titles that begin to speak to us for one or more reasons.
Scattered is the fifth (!) shiny silver disc of rootsy Americana from Lost Country, the Fort Worth-based band led by Jim Colegrove, a veteran muso best known locally as co-leader (with blues-jazz guitar eminence / Record Town honcho / musical historian Sumter Bruton) of the Juke Jumpers—whose 30th anniversary (!) reunion takes place at J&J’s Blues Bar on August 31st-September 1st—but who actually began his career in late-’50s Ohio with Teddy & the Rough Riders, first-generation rockers who scored a regional hit with Tomahawk in 1960.
While the blues and rock ’n’ roll of those earlier groups is part ’n’ parcel of Lost Country’s musical mix, so is the country flavor that was the stock in trade of the Great Speckled Bird, an electrified band fronted by Canadian folkies Ian and Sylvia Tyson in which Jim played bass (watch the documentary Festival Express, an account of a travelin’ hipi rockfest ca. 1970, to see a younger Jim with a somewhat embarrassing haircut), and the urban expat’s resolute pastoralism that characterized the Woodstock music scene of the early ’70s, where Colegrove and pianist Jeff Gutcheon landed after the Great Speckled Bird crashed and burned.
Like Woodstock stalwarts The Band (to whose doomed singer-pianist Richard Manuel Jim bears a more-than-passing vocal resemblance), Lost Country boasts four strong vocalists—in particular, Jim’s wife Susan Colegrove can summon the spirits of June Carter, Patsy Cline, and Wanda Jackson at will, and invests bassist Rob Caslin’s Love Was In Your Kiss with an aching Appalachian purity—and four capable songwriters (Jim, Rob, Jeff Gutcheon, steel guitarist/Lost Country co-founder David McMillan). They’re an admirably self-contained unit, recording at Colegrove’s home studio, where he’s been honing his engineering chops on projects with blues-zydeco daddy James Hinkle (most recently on the eclectic bandleader’s sterling Blues Now, Jazz Later CD) and boho poet Wes Race (some spoken-word-’n’-jazz sessions with Sumter Bruton that remain tantalizingly unreleased).
Highlights abound, from the crisply recorded bumpa-chicka of Rob Caslin’s Hard Love, a tune worthy of prison-album Johnny Cash, to R&B Stroll-meister Chuck Willis’ slow-drag Love Struck, recast here as a sprightly country shuffle. The Colegrove-penned Your Number’s Up sounds like the rockin’ side of latter-day Dylan, while the title track’s a heart-tugging ballad in the grand old style. Keep Me and Never Go Broke adds some Nawlins spice to the musical stew, and the Crescent City homage continues with the plaintive post-Katrina saga I Ain’t Goin’ Back to New Orleans that follows. Let the Guitar Howl tips its hat to Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere-era Neil Young and Crazy Horse with blistering exchanges between guitar and steel. The lyrics to Floyd Tillman’s once-topical C&W chestnut This Cold War With You might require some explanation to 20something listeners, but here, as elsewhere, Lost Country’s music speaks for itself.
Bands that produce, engineer, mix, and master their own albums run the gamut from cream to crap, and Lost Country is consistently among the creamiest. Scattered, their fifth album, is almost as good as 2005’s Long Gone Thrill, which was a gem.
Like many Americana bands - the good ones, at least - they’re tough to pin down. They jump from country to rock to blues to folk, channeling Bob Dylan here, Neil Young there, The Band, Gram Parsons, Emmylou Harris, and any number of influences. While their sound might dance with the derivative, it maintains a welcome freshness and exuberance.
Several band members contribute to the songwriting process and share lead vocal responsibilities, providing a wide-ranging sound. Frontman Jim Colegrove’s I Ain’t Going Back to New Orleans ranks among the top post-Katrina songs trotted out by various artists and sounds as if it could have fit perfectly on the O Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack. His Your Number’s Up is an enjoyably rowdy rocker, while the title song is killer country, resonating with that early-1970s Southern California sound practiced by artists such as The Flying Burrito Brothers. The Joe Hutchinson-penned Let the Guitar Howl is as catchy as they come, and keyboardist Jeff Gutcheon’s I Hate Myself is self-analysis put to music, with some chuckles to boot.
Fort Worth Weekly, July 26, 2007
Lost Country, a Fort Worth-based country sextet, is in fine, footloose form on its fifth studio album, Scattered, a title that could just as easily apply to the patchwork of influences heard throughout these 14 tracks, recorded at Fort Worth’s Gold Tooth Studios. The twangy roots-rock of Hard Love and grinding dirty blues of Your Number’s Up meshes nicely with the giddy rockabilly of I Gotta Dance and the jazzy, goofy pop of It’s Dark In Here. It's useless to pigeonhole Lost Country, because its proficient eclecticism is its greatest asset.
Fort Worth StarTelegram
August 24, 2007
Long Gone Thrill - Cool Groove CD105
This six-piece Country outfit stretches the genre from classic Honky Tonk to ’60s style Country Rock a la the Byrds to more mainstream Country music and even throw in a borderline Bluegrass number with vocal harmonies and mandolin and the Jazzy Oldtimey Sugar Beet. A lot of variety, a handful of cover versions (including an excellent Shotgun Boogie with piano) and more interesting originals by several band members, four of whom share vocal duties but by far the best singer is the only female band member, Susan Colegrove, who does an outstanding job! Her songs are among my favorites here (the swinging Temporarily Insane, the Honky Tonkin’ Kissing My Pillow). Despite a somewhat lackluster vocal performance by the male singers here there are enough winners among these 16 tunes (like It’s Too Late To Die Young and Hank Williams’ Last Dream) to recommend this album.
Blue Suede News
#75 Summer 2006
This CD requires a little bit of thought and work, as it contains 16 tracks total. This band is very talented, performing all but one song of original material. The opening track, Make Do With Something New, reminded me of an older Americana group, The Band. The music here is like a wedding... something old, new, borrowed and blue. The recording was done in Ft. Worth and is good along with some very nice packaging. Bluegrass is found on track 4, I Chose The Path of Sorrow and Shame, and contained therein is good musical accompaniment and good vocals.
If you like upbeat country jazz (swing), then the piece on Track 5, Sugar Beet, will be your treat! Something borrowed can be found on Track 6, Heaven Has a Rope, as it reminds me of The Byrds. I’ll say again these folks have talent, and the CD is tough to tackle with its total of 16 tracks, but you get your money’s worth. Traditional country, something old can be found among others on Tracks 6 and 7, not neglecting Track 7’s Tennessee Ernie Ford’s number, Shotgun Boogie. There is some American Roots, some upbeat stuff and some nice female vocals, especially Temporarily Insane which is Track 13. If you’re into broken love duets, #15, Free Floating Anxiety. has a nice slow and sad melody with agreeing vocals. The final track, Land of the Happy People, is an interesting, melancholy piece that sounds like happy and sedating meds being handed out on the mental ward. Anyway, if you like something old, new, borrowed and blue, then this one’s for you. As for being Lost Country, my personal opinion is that it’s a good find.
Long Gone Thrill by Lost Country is another indictment of Music Row’s perverse preoccupation with bared navels and muscle shirts. Mixing blues with country, rock, folk, and pop, long-time scenester Jim Colegrove and company have created what truly amounts to a cohesive genre-busting piece of polycarbonate.
Fort Worth Weekly
June 7, 2006
(Long Gone Thrill was nominated for Album of the Year by Fort Worth Weekly Music Awards 2006)
The best thing about Texas Music has always been its gumbo of influences — Latino, gospel, hillbilly, R&B, rock, folk, whatever. Why keep churning out formulaic songs about surviving tough times, drinking beer, heading to Mexico, and drinking more beer? These one-trick ponies can learn a thing or three from Lost Country’s latest effort. Guitarist, singer, and Fort Worth resident Jim Colegrove isn’t the least bit shy about dipping both hands into the gumbo and flinging it all over the studio walls. Long Gone Thrill is the enjoyable result. These boys — actually five old dudes and a woman — sauté their country with various musical styles and sprinkle in damned fine lyrics. The record veers with ease from fun-loving (It’s Too Late To Die Young) to traditional (I Chose the Path of Sorrow and Shame) to whimsical pop country (Free Floating Anxiety) to bizarre-o blues (Land of the Happy People) and occasionally conjures sheer radiance.
Fort Worth Weekly, May 3, 2006
No one is recording better roots music today than Lost Country. The six-piece band from Fort Worth, Texas has released its fourth album, Long Gone Thrill.... Throughout the album, Colegrove’s stinging guitar lines blend seamlessly with the sweeping steel guitar of David McMillan... Long Gone Thrill pulsates with the kind of roots-rock that characterizes the music of Poco, the Eagles, and Tom Petty... Hank Williams Last Dream finds Lost Country perfecting the poignant storytelling associated with Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson.
Discoveries, February 2006
Long Gone Thrill is a diverse but cohesive album laced with country weepers such as It’s Too Late To Die Young and All These Years; rollicking honky-tonk numbers such as Shotgun Boogie and Sugar Beet; and upbeat roots rockers such as Heaven Has A Rope and Too Late To Worry.
Dayton Daily News
December 2, 2005
Lost Country’s fourth album, Long Gone Thrill (Cool Groove CD 105), is a gem of sparkle and substance....
The original compositions resonate with an affection for historic rustic and honky-tonk styles and sundry forms of rock verging upon jazz, and with an intellectualism as profound and adventurous as the emotional qualities implicit in the material...
The material is overall so self-confident that it hardly needs to dictate any fixed manner of appreciating it....
Long Gone Thrill is, hands down, this year’s richest new collection of American music. Next year’s too, maybe.
Fort Worth Business Press
November 28, 2005
Turn Your Radio Around - Cool Groove CD104
The six Lost Country souls infuse their brand of country with a big dose of western swing, a blusey element, and bit of roots rock. Their repertoire is a welcome mix of vintage pearls like John D. Loudermilk’s When The Band Plays The Blues, Jimmy Work’s Tennessee Border, the Wilburn Brothers’ Somebody’s Back In Town (with fine vocal harmonies), and the rockin’ I Got The Bug (Kenny Owens).
Blue Suede News
Turn Your Radio Around, the title track to Lost Country’s third album, crackles with the mysterious excitement of extending a transistor antenna, twisting the dial, and cradling the hand-sized black box to capture a far-off station broadcasting an enchanting sound. Knocking Clear Channel behemoths, the irresistible song has all the style and spunk of a Ray Davies classic, had the eccentric Brit hailed from heartland America. It’s one of four tunes composed by singer-guitarist Jim Colegrove, whose musical career bounded from the Midwest (Teddy and the Rough Riders) through the Northeast (Bo Grumpus), before settling in Fort Worth, Texas, as founder of the Juke Jumpers and most recently Lost Country.
The rootsy sextet also features keybordist Jeff Gutcheon, who previously teamed with Colegrove in Ian and Sylvia Tyson’s seminal country-rockers Great Speckled Bird and its offshoot Hungry Chuck. Gutcheon contributes the spirited instrumental Cotillion, the country tearjerker There Goes My Memory Again, and the majestic cowboy anthem Pecos River Trail.
Complementing its resplendent vocal harmonies, Pecos River Trail closes with a sweeping instrumental playout blending guitar, piano, and steel guitar. In fact, the authoritative and energetic interplay between Colegrove’s six string and David McMillan’s steel guitar enriches the entire album.
Although Northern-born (he tips his hand with a song called Cruisin’ Through Ohio), Jim Colegrove epitomizes the eclectic spirit of Texas musicians from Bob Wills to Doug Sahm to James Hinkle. He’s been soaking up country, blues, R&B, and rock ’n’ roll influences since the late 1950s, and he’s played with artists as diverse as Cowtown blues godfather Robert Ealey, ’60s weirdo the Legendary Stardust Cowboy, and rockabilly legend Mac Curtis.
His work with Lost Country is really a continuation of what he started in the ’70s with the Juke Jumpers, playing gems from his extensive record collection alongside rootsy originals with style, wit, and humor. In this almost disturbingly wholesome looking band, he shares vocal duties with his wife, Susan Colegrove, and his Fort Worth buddy from old, old Woodstock, keyboardist Jeff Gutcheon.
Their third CD, Turn Your Radio Around, features the usual mix of covers, ranging from the handiwork of honky-tonk heroes Hank Locklin, Red Foley, and the Wilburn Brothers to blues eminences Tampa Red and Big Mama Thornton. But the real story here is the originals—four each by Colegrove and Gutcheon—and some surprisingly modern touches (like the synth string parts that make Gutcheon’s ragtimey instrumental Cotillion sound cinematic).
The two most memorable songs here are also the least roots-referential. Colegrove’s Henry, Was That You in the Mirror? is a wistful reflection on aging, a topic that probably precludes the song’s achieving radio-hit status. And, lyrical allusions to Texana aside, Gutcheon’s Pecos River Trail, is the kind of ballad that, in a just universe, Ray Charles or Willie Nelson would transform into a smash.
This is old-time country music with rockabilly jump thrown in on the side — no Nashville gimmicks at all. But the best part about Turn Your Radio Around is that it was written (for the most part) and recorded entirely by a band of Fort Worth hillbilly boppers, including Jim Colegrove of the ex-local-hero Juke Jumpers. Now on their third album, Lost Country blend five voices, three guitars and a juke-joint piano, mixing fast tunes like Cruisin’ Through Ohio with half-speed tear-jerkers like When the Band Plays the Blues. The CD drags a bit in spots, but it’s genuine country throughout. Viva Fort Worth!
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
December 19, 2003
There is something appealing about the collection of mostly original songs on Turn Your Radio Around, although I’m not sure yet what that is. The slogan on the back of the jewel case is "more sweet music and other semi-recognizable noises," so we couldn’t say the singing and playing is particularly grand. And it’s not the production values, which are adequate.
Nonetheless, there’s something here. Perhaps it’s the sincerity as much as anything else. And the fun the band seems to be having recording this old-style country music ranging from the keyboard driven Cotillion to a cover of John D. Loudermilk’s When The Band Plays The Blues. There’s love here, and lost love, and honky-tonks and highways, and border towns and bugs....
This very cool Ft. Worth group is back with "more sweet music and other semi-recognizable noises" inspired by earlier forms of American music: Honky-tonk, R&B, prewar and postwar western swing, blues, folk, boogie-woogie, country rock, and hillbilly bop. And, although their "industrial resistance" or "no alternative" music sometimes deals with heavy themes, it is not sad, dreary, or negative, and it might make you want to shine up your dancing shoes!
Marq’s Texas Music Kitchen (online) - January 2004
Down On The Borderline - Cool Groove CD102
Lost Country, Down On The Borderline, Cool Groove Records: Jim Colegrove is best known as one of the linchpins of Cowtown’s most famous R&B band, the Juke Jumpers, but for the past few years he’s been leading Lost Country, an excellent country/roots band that deals in honky-tonk mixed with a bit of blues and rockabilly. This second CD is chock full of winning performances and songs, from The Voice That Answered to The Trail I Always Leave Behind to Slow Death to Searching, the last of which features Colegrove’s wife Susan on lead vocals. Plenty of younger and far more famous "alt-country" bands would give a body part to make a CD that’s this good.
3 1/2 stars
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
...With the addition of bassist John Allen and drummer Steve Springer, the record has a more organic sound, with Colegrove’s soloing more on guitar to complement McMillan’s singing steel. Susan Colegrove takes a nice solo turn on Kitty Well’s Searching, but the album’s finest moment is the closer, Gutcheon’s heartfelt Friends. The material is more diverse than on Broken People, ranging from hardcore honky tonk (The Voice That Answered and What’s In It For Me?) to barroom balladry (The Trail I Always Leave Behind) to Mose Allison-ish blues (Slow Death) and boogie-woogie (Saying Goodbye To You). "It’s just natural evolution," says Colegrove. "The name of our band having the word ’country’ in it does NOT mean we’re strictly a country band, or a country-rock band. We don’t want to be typed that way, because we do too many other kinds of music."
Fort Worth Weekly
August 29-September 4, 2002
...The only real highlight to this album is the singing of Susan Colegrove.
One of two lead vocalists in this band, she shines when she sings in an old fashioned ’50’s female country kind of way that immediately makes you sit up and take notice.
Scott Homewood - Freight Train Boogie, 2002 (online)
A project born of, and built with passion. Lost Country began to record in 1998, reviving music with roots in country, blues, honky tonk, and protest songs. They have created a style that is not antiquated, but rather nostalgically modern, demonstrating the fact that this music is evergreen.....The follow-up to Broken People is sparkling and refreshing like an ice-cold Coca-Cola after a summer day in Texas....The good sounds of their debut CD renew themselves and are even more penetrating and intriguing in this second work of Lost Country, loaded with poetic and cultural decorations. The fireworks explode in a sky of music that are shining and charming as ever.
Bloc Notes by Lino Terlati - April 2003
Drive Magazine (online)
Just as Chip Taylor reappeared on the TRR radar screen in 2002, so did longtime Panther City favorite Jim Colegrove, still in Ft. Worth, this time as front man/lead singer for Lost Country, which came up with a dandy in 2002 called Down On the Borderline. You’ll congratulate yourself endlessly for buying this one, but seriously, how tough is the decision for you, when one factors in the soothing presence of the Famous TRR GuaranteeTM?
Reiser’s Drive-By Musings (online)
March 31, 2003
Broken People - Cool Groove CD101
"Jeff Gutcheon and Jim Colegrove master the aspects of country music. Lost Country’s experimental style and diversity is refreshing.
Rockabilly, vintage country and alternative country is what you’ll hear from this Texas band."
Backroads Radio (online)
"So for those who only know Colegrove from the (Juke) Jumpers, Broken People, the new CD by his current band Lost Country, is a revelation—a musical stew of country, blues, swing and folk."
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
June 17, 2001
"Colegrove’s new band Lost Country’s album Broken People may well be the best release of the year that far too many people will never hear. Juke Jumper fans may be astounded at where Colegrove’s musical tastes and talent take him with this band. Not to be missed."
Art-Will-Break-Your-Heart Productions - concert flyer, November 2001
Fort Worth, Texas
Broken People is Cool Groove’s first release
featuring former Great Speckled Bird and Hungry
Chuck band members Jim Colegrove and Jeff
Gutcheon teamed up again and calling themselves Lost
Country. If you like Norman Blake, Dollar Bill, and the
Stanley Brothers, this CD’s for you. You’ll get 15 good
ones, ten of which were written by Jim and Jeff. The
other five are vintage country. Titles like Gunplay,
Powerball, Indecision, I Lied to You, I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know, It’s Not My Fault, Disposable Love, and something funny about how TV will rot your brain in the morning, noon, and night lend an almost tongue-in-cheek and all-in-good-fun feeling to Broken People. Overall, I’ll say it’s good Texas music medicine if you’re feeling kind of down and blue, or even if you’re not, and I hope you’re not. Other Lost Country band members are Susan Colegrove on vocals and David McMillan on steel guitar.
Marq’s Texas Music Kitchen (online) - January 2002
"Thank you so much for sending us your great release. We have enjoyed listening to your great music and strong beautiful songs and we will give your disc regular airplay because you’re damned good.
Many thanks again.
Raymond and Theo
Radio ATL "Roots Revival"
"Engaging, deep searching, it couldn’t be more excellent and in some points the CD scales the summit of masterpiece. After repeated listening to the disc you come to appreciate the cultural decorations and political associations with these times and for expanding and widening the speech of artists like the Band and all the country rock music of the 1970s. Here these sparks are still alive and explode like a drowsy fire—images of miners and workers who after a hard day’s work struggle to be set free through guitar string melodies blasting from the radio like shots from a gun. But violence is far from an album like this. Paul Butterfield, The Neville Brothers, Muldaur Maria, Michael Nesmith, John Denver, Jericho, all come across to you cross-sectionally and elevate you with taste, class and sometimes irony. A disc to love, to amuse, to get passionate, to dream and to remember a never lost time. How many other record efforts have this magical ability?"
Bloc Notes by Lino Terlati - February 2002
Drive Magazine (online)
This catchy, infectious album of songs is, the producers rightly say, "a re-creation, in modern dress, of classical country music from the time we were growing up, re-fashioned around themes that are contemporary: avarice, gun control, child rearing in the TV age, lust, and the rapid disappearance of the world as we knew it." Don’t let the bleak title, Broken
People, deceive you: most of these original compositions, arranged and performed by Gutcheon and three other talents, are funny and lively—like the lusty song of deception, I Lied to You ("It isn’t true that I want to marry
you / I just want to be near the smell of your hair . . . ."). But one heartfelt song that’s no joke, 20 Silver Strings, a thrumming sad lament dedicated
to the late guitar player Jimmy Day, is a special beauty.
Amherst Authors, Spring 2002
Amherst Magazine (online)
...The debut Lost Country disc, Broken People, was completed in 2000 and released on Cool Groove in April 2001. The songs feature wryly humorous lyrics dealing with contemporary subject matter, including gun control (Gunplay), lotteries (Powerball), lust (I Lied to You), and the evils of television (the new lyrics to the hymn Daniel Prayed). While not exactly nostalgic, many of the lyrics deal with changes in the world and in the way people live. You could almost imagine these folks performing on NPR’s Prairie Home Companion, and that’s not meant as a slam. Colegrove jokingly uses the term "industrial resistance music" to describe Lost Country’s sound. Broken People’s most obvious strength is the band’s vocal blend (they currently have five vocalists), and several tunes are decorated by gorgeous Gutcheon vocal arrangements. Also not to be missed are Colegrove’s lovely "It’s Not My Fault" (somebody puh-leeze send this song to Ray Charles) and the sprightly Pistol Boogie. (Is the line "Hold it John, I can’t get my pistol out" too un-PC for radio?)...
Fort Worth Weekly
August 29-September 4, 2002