‘Midnight Mission’ & ‘Cedar Creek’
The Textones (Omnivore)
4.5 stars out of 5; 4 stars out of 5
Rootsy rockers The Textones are the victims of unfortunate timing. Their 1984 debut album “Midnight Mission” is an intoxicating mix of rock, power-pop and country, but never found the audience it deserved at the time. Their 1987 sophomore slab “Cedar Creek” is almost as good, but mainstream acclaim still eluded the Carla Olson-fronted outfit and The Textones called it quits after 1989’s underwhelming “Through the Canyon.”
“Were we ahead of our time or just didn’t get the breaks needed?” Olson wonders. “An artist never knows. What I do know is that when The Textones played together we created a musical fabric never far from our many influences and diverse backgrounds and that the connection we felt between us was one of the joy of entertaining and the hopefulness of our music.”
A new generation of listeners now has the opportunity to experience The Textones thanks to the folks at Omnivore. They’re offering up deluxe reissues of “Midnight Mission” and “Cedar Creek” that are definitely worth exploring.
“Midnight Mission” remains the jewel in the band’s crown. In addition to the 10-track original album — highlighted by “Standing in the Line,” “Number One Is to Survive,” the title track and Bob Dylan cover “Clean Cut Kid” — there are five bonus tracks. The live versions of “Running” and “No Love in You” are the ones you’ll remember.
The “Cedar Creek” has even more live stuff from The Textones. In addition to the original nine-track slab — topped by keepers “Every Angel in Heaven,” “One Love,” “Austin” and “You Can Run” — there’s an eight-song live set recorded in Santa Cruz, Calif. on Nov. 20, 1987. Check out the killer performances of “Gotta Get Back Home,” “No Love in You,” “Upset Me” and “Standing in the Line.” (Jeffrey Sisk)