Monday, August 17, 2009

Come and Gone: Last Free Exit

JT Stewart of Last Free Exit

I rarely do "Come and Gone" segments, because people seem really only to care about bands that are current. Fair enough, I suppose, but in the pre-Myspace era there were a lot of great bands that simply never had their moment. Last Free Exit was the biggest band in my small college town, and they moved to Austin, broke up and scattered. I posted some old footage of a show on my Youtube channel, because I knew a handful of people would get a thrill out of it. Judging by the response, I drastically underestimated the number exit-heads who missed the good old days. Here's "You Up I down," after which the band predictably starts a jam. The tape was a little damaged, so the end of the song is missing.

For the non-nostalgic: Last Free Exit were a combination of Jam Band, Classic Rock Band, and Funk Band, with a strong singer-songwriter at the helm. As all young bands do, each member exerted his tastes in the songs regardless of the "vision" of the greater whole. Sometimes that doesn't work out, but with Last Free Exit, the music was just really good. One common complaint I have heard among the old fans of this band is that no one can find a copy of the S/T EP that was released between their two albums. It's actually my favorite recording of the band - much more raw and exciting than the Concert G, which I personally find over-produced. Anyway, here it is, with the secret track "Christian Boy," which I still play religiously (NPI) on the guitar for people when I am in my cups.

"Pick & Stride" by Last Free Exit download mp3 (with permission)

"Landshark" by Last Free Exit download mp3 (with permission)

"Billy Lift" by Last Free Exit download mp3 (with permission)

"Marley And Morphine" by Last Free Exit download mp3 (with permission)

"Christian Boy" by Last Free Exit download mp3 (with permission)

Buy A DAY WAITING on iTunes!!

Buy THE CONCERT G on Yahoo Music!!

I had a chance to reconnect with a couple of the guys at one of these recent SXSW's. Kyle has a band in Austin called About:Blank, and JT said in a recent email that he is "likely [to] put something out within a year. likely just me." I hope he's serious about that.


Richard Bonds said...

Thank you so much for this. Thank you Thank you Thank you! I have missed this album more than I can say. I never thought I'd be able to hear these songs again....


Adam said...

Nice post! I was a big fan of theirs from about 2001-2003, buying their albums and catching shows in the B/CS area (and occasionally in Austin). Really talented group and I wish them the best.

The Wilkins Family said...

Such a big part of my college experience.

JT and Brain have been playing together recently.

Def diff from LFE, but great music.

Was able to catch one of their shows and hang out with Parker. Good times.

Anonymous said...

Still my favorite cd to drive across Texas with :) Luckily my brother was a senior when I started at A&M and introduced me to this outstanding music :) Thanks for this!

Jen Smith