Early Lone Justice 'Vaught Tapes' studio recordings due Jan. 14

A new perspective on L.A. country-rock band Lone Justice arrives Jan. 14 with the release of “This Is Lone Justice-The Vaught Tapes, 1983,” a collection of live-in-the-studio recordings the band made as its career was heating up.

The band, fronted by singer Maria McKee, entered a Van Nuys recording studio in December 1983 with engineer David Vaught and recorded versions of a dozen of the songs that were a core part of the group’s set at the time. Only three of those songs eventually were released.

Lone Justice, also including bassist Marvin Etzioni, guitarist Ryan Hedgecock and drummer Don Heffington, soon was signed to David Geffen’s Geffen Records, which issued its major label debut, “Lone Justice,” in 1985, and a follow-up, “Shelter,” the following year.

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The set includes an essay by Hedgecock, a remembrance of Vaught written by Etzioni, liner notes by veteran L.A. music journalist Chris Morris and a shout-out to the band from Dolly Parton.

“I have loved Lone Justice and Maria McKee since they first started out as a group,” Parton writes. “I remember going to see them at the Music Machine in Los Angeles in 1983; I was so impressed. I especially love this album. It has some of my favorite old songs on it and some new favorites that I've never heard. Hope you enjoy Lone Justice, everybody!”

The album is being released by Omnivore recordings, the label that specializes in archival releases.

Among the tracks are an early version of “Soap, Soup and Salvation,” which turned up on the “Lone Justice” album, and the group’s rendition of the Johnny Cash-June Carter duet “Jackson.”


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