Ron Wood & Ronnie Lane’s Mahoney’s
Last Stand
in stores tomorrow, 2/2

Sometimes an album created by some of rock music’s greatest artists gets lost in the shuffle of time. That’s certainly the case with Mahoney’s Last Stand, an album featuring future Rolling Stones’ guitarist Ron Wood and Faces’ songwriter and bassist Ronnie Lane as well as a who’s who of British rock stars from the 1970s. The album resurfaces tomorrow.

The 1972 session which produced Mahoney’s Last Stand was produced by Glyn Johns—the legend behind efforts by Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, the Who, and numerous other classic rock acts including the Eagles, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and of course, The Beatles.

Some of the other musicians who appear on the album, which was actually a soundtrack for a film (seen above and below), include Pete Townshend as well as several players who had connections to the Rolling Stones including Ian McLagan, Ian Stewart, Bobby Keys, and Jim Price.

Part of the reason the recording suffered such a long period of obscurity was because it was not released until 1976 (original album cover below) and the film was a flop that never saw a proper theatrical release. But the music is powerful and certainly deserves to be heard regardless of the pedigree of the players.

Much of the music draws on American blues, which of course was a major influence on all of the musicians involved. While the Rolling Stones were more drawn to the electric sounds of Chicago, parts of Mahoney’s Last Stand exposes the southern rural roots of the blues.

The album features some fine dual acoustic guitar work and is brilliant in an understated way. About half of the tunes are instrumentals. Some have a pastoral country feel and others are uptempo boogie blues. The songs with vocals run the gamut including the  country rock sound of  Lane’s wistful “Just for a Moment.” It closes the album and is also featured instrumentally.

For New Orleans music lovers, the Wood/Lane arrangement of “I’ll Fly Away,” the jazz funeral standard, is one of the strongest pieces on the album. It starts a cappella, with a much different feel than the familiar horn-driven song before morphing completely into light psychedelia with the melody line haunting the arrangement.

For fans of this era in British rock which produced so many classic albums, Mahoney’s Last Stand is a document that stands the test of time despite languishing for decades.

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